Does writing bring out the best, or the worst in us?
I would argue (if you want a fight about it) that we need both in order to write, but the mortal sins are what give us an edge.
I have long been fascinated with Dante Alighieri's poem of his journey through the rings of Hell. In the epic 'Divine Comedy' the poet encounters, studies and reports on the human condition in Purgatory. Surely it is human nature to have a fair sprinkling of all seven of the deadly sins, especially if you are writing about it?
Invidia (envy) gets us going. If that twat who is currently at the top of the bestsellers list can do it, then so can I.
Superbia (pride) - Look at my bright shiny, sparkly words. Don't you want to buy them?
Ira (wrath) - anger at self (and the twat) sharpens the pen and improves style and technique.
Avaritia (greed) - no point in writing unless you are hungry for words, for completion, for success of the piece you are working on.
Gula (gluttony) - no chapter, no chocolate - therefore writing quicker = more choc. Yum! (err, maybe this is one of my rules)
Acedia (sloth) - all writers are experts at displacement activity. We would far rather lie on the sofa with a pound of grapes watching daytime TV than pound out the next paragraph.
Luxuria (lust) - the old meaning is 'extravagance', something that I often feel that my writing is. The rest of my life put on hold while I attend to my habit. And of course, where would any novel be without an intimate knowledge of a good juicy bit of lust!
I would add my list of contrary virtues but they don't slip off my fingers as easily as the sins. Funny that.