Those of you who have read my musings before know that career confidence is still relatively new to me. I wasn’t raised to take chances. In fact, quite the opposite; I was raised to believe I should avoid criticism.
Such a mindset is awful when you’re a writer. Every sentence – every word for that matter – comes with an internal struggle: will the editor like where this is going? Will reviewers find the dialogue realistic? Is my sentence structure too basic? Am I using the word ‘it’ too much? There are times when the din gets near deafening. Getting lost in my characters? Forget it. A good day for me means getting words out without too much inner struggle.
You’d think, by the way, that the struggle would get easier the more books I published. Wrong. Twelve books in and those voices are louder than ever. I think because I am pushing myself to grow career wise. Growth is great, but growth also brings higher stakes. When you’ve been taught to fear failure, it’s a little like adding a few dozen extra landmines in the field you’re trying to cross.
Why am I babbling about this today? (Beyond the fact this is my blog and I can babble about anything I want.) Six months ago I announced that I wanted to become a more productive writer, and I started studying work habits. I’m realizing now, that work habits alone are not enough. Confidence is also important, and key to confidence is learning to push past those nasty inner voices. I have some confidence – I wouldn’t be published if I didn’t – but with those voices growing louder, I see the need for some bolstering. So my summer project is going to be a crash course in confidence building. Naturally that means, I’ll be sharing what I learn here on my blog. We’ll be able to grow more confident together.
Oh, and if you have websites, articles, or tips you think would be useful, please share them. With luck, Labor Day will bring positive new attitudes for us all.
In the meantime, Happy Reading! (And writing, of course)