Confidence: A Must

There is something to be said about confidence, which I have very little of. I think the lack of it started very young – I am the youngest of my siblings and always felt like I was just falling short of all “cool” and “interesting” things they could do. And I had very little support from the mother that raised me. I did okay in college. I was pretty confident then – feeling like I definitely had more life experience than some of my roommates – and was often looked up to for help. But now, I’m flipping the world as I know it upside down to attempt to achieve big things with my writing. The problem is, there is this huge wall in front of me, telling me that I’m simply not good enough. It might be the fact that there are millions upon millions of people doing the same thing I am – trying to make a living out of their writing – or it might be that very early instilled fear of falling short rising yet again within me. More than likely, it’s both. Writing novels, for me, has become more than just a hobby, more than just a daily routine. It’s become a non-profit job. I have to do it. And some days it takes mighty big balls to put myself out there with my writing. It makes me feel exposed and vulnerable, but I have to at least keep my head up. I debated about writing this post because this is the very thing I was trying to avoid – showing my lack of confidence in myself. The part of me that won the argument decided that I was going to allow myself to put this put once to get it out of my system, but then I’ll never mention it again. Here’s why: There is this tremendously talented author that I’ve met and I’ve idolized her talent for so long, read everything that she has put down on paper, on the web, in her blog, etc. But then she said, “You know, some people think that all my books are just the same story, just told over and over again, with different details,” and the whole idyllic world about her shattered in front of me. I read her book without much gusto because, in fact, I read exactly that: the same story, just told in a different way. The lesson I learned is if someone admires you for something that you do, don’t give them a reason not to. My point here is that I’m not going to do that to myself anymore. My writing is/will be good enough. Whether it is today or in thirty years. I have to do it, much like I have to breathe or eat or sleep. I get up, have my coffee, and I write. Everything else – my life, my laundry, my kids, even, sometimes – are put on the back burner for the time I allow myself to write. It’s involuntary. I can’t not do it. My question here is: Why? Oh, why would I want to even a little bit unsupportive of something that I can’t help but do? From here on out, it will be confidence. Confidence. Confidence. And you should be that way too. Have confidence, bear it proudly on your face, and people will hold you in their minds with respect.

Kelly

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