Nathaniel Martin, Assistant Surgeon on the HMS Surprise, is clearly the kind of writer I know all too well.

Martin was a thoroughly amiable man, a man of wide reading, but when he came to write he mounted upon a pair of stilts, unusually lofty stilts, and staggered along at a most ungracious pace, with an occasional awkward lurch into colloquialism, giving a strkingly false impression of himself.

And of course, to top that off, he has a very common attitude when showing his writing to others.

But it required no very great penetration to see that he was not convinced, that he still clung to his carefully balanced periods, his similes, his metaphors and his peroration. He had shown his letter to Maturin partly as a mark of confidence and esteem, being sincerely attached to him, and partly so that Maturin might praise it, possibly adding a few well-turned phrases; for like most normally constituted writers Martin had no use for any candid opinion that was not wholly favourable.

I, of course, am a “normally constituted writer!”