Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The BIG C in Scapegoat's ABC's for Writers - CONFIDENCE

I started my ABC's for writers because after finishing my first manuscript I discovered there were three big areas that really stood out as essential to success as a writer. They just happened to start with A, B and C and a very unimaginative theme idea was born. LOL. 


Just to review, we previously discussed A for Accountability and B for Balance. Today I want to focus on the BIGGIE...C for Confidence. More so than almost any other quality that I found to be essential to getting those words on the page and pushing myself to balance my life and hold myself accountable, confidence really is key. 


Why is it that so many writers can't believe what others tell us about our work? 


Time after time I meet writers so I could wax poetic for hours about loving their voice or how great a story idea is and yet I can tell they just aren't buying into what I'm saying. They aren't buying into themselves. 


Or the writer who feels the weight of the world pressing in on her because she thinks the words should just flow easy if she was a "real writer." Oh, the self-doubt voices are evil little devils aren't they. No matter how many times we hear stories of best-selling authors who struggle with stories, somehow we expect so much more form ourselves or our fragile little thread of confidence is easily snapped. 


Why? Why do we doubt ourselves when so many who have come before us have proven it's not easy, it can take time, effort, tears, etc? Why do torment ourselves by letting doubts creep in, whether from our own demons or from something outside of us we can't control? 


I'm so glad today's my blog day since we Pirates kicked in with some fabulous goal setting on yesterday's blog. If we're going to reach those goals, we have to learn to be confident in ourselves and that WE WILL get those stories where they need to go. The first draft is a first draft - it's not supposed to be perfect. Ease up on yourself. Believe in what you've learned, the vision you have for your stories and your characters, and even your ability to turn that first draft turd into solid gold. 


Today I want to hear what messes with your writing confidence the most. Let’s get it out there, speak it out loud and help each other find a way to build some armor to protect our sometimes fragile confidence in ourselves.

I’ll even put it out there first. Among the many confidence killers I have, one of my biggest is when someone I’m close to finds success. It’s natural to compare ourselves to others, especially those we share this writing journey with, but even though I’m beyond bursting with happiness for them, I say to myself, “You haven’t even finished editing your first book yet. Oh, and it’s a crappy first book no one should ever see. Why bother writing anymore, since the first one sucked.” Or I rationalize, “Oh, I’m way to busy right now to write. Sure, that’s why I’m not writing.”

Insert your own internal voice monologue there, but most of us do get that hit to our confidence when those around us succeed. I know some think of this as jealousy, and yes who wouldn’t be jealous, but what I’m referring to is something different from that. I’m talking about self-doubt and giving up on yourself and your writing because it seems an overwhelming idea that YOU have what it takes.

I just revealed a pretty raw confidence killer for me so now I want to honestly hear yours. Get them out there and release yourself from them hanging over your head. Let’s build up that protection with some great ideas for becoming so confident that the little things and voices can’t get us down! 

51 comments:

Marnee Bailey said...

... most of us do get that hit to our confidence when those around us succeed. I know some think of this as jealousy, and yes who wouldn’t be jealous, but what I’m referring to is something different from that. I’m talking about self-doubt and giving up on yourself and your writing because it seems an overwhelming idea that YOU have what it takes.

WOw. THIS!! This this this!!

Every year, Nationals is a huge blow to my confidence. I hear about all these requests and all this shmoozing among writers and everyone looks and sounds so professional that I feel like a big hack.

It didn't help that this year I'd just come off querying a book that, though still out in a few spots, hasn't gone anywhere.

I know right now, part of my problem is what came out of this past round of querying.

I got five different full requests this time (yay) and even more personal feedback (yay). But, all the feedback pretty much said the same exact thing: love your voice, charming character (that is actually the adjective three different agents used), but this story isn't right.

I can only assume this means that my plots or the development of my character arcs are subpar.

Where am I right now in this story? That's right. I'm trying to figure out the plot and the character arc. Hence, I'm feeling paralyzed.

I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm sure I'll work through it. But right now I don't feel so good about things.

Marnee Bailey said...

PS. I didn't mean to start off on a downer. I'm okay, I swear. Just another road bump to work through. :) What I should do is focus on the good things they said and the fact that I got so much interest and feedback. But, sometimes I feel like that's not how my writer brain works. LOL!!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Marnee - no apologies needed! Getting it out there can release you from feeling like it's this big secret crushing weight.

And, how else are we supposed to build confidence in ourselves if we don't know the weapons that can harm us the most.

Now, what can we do to help build you up? First let's focus on those charming as hell characters! You've obviously found your voice too - which I'm soooo envious of - and that is a major accomplishment. Seriously, you've got this girl!

TerriOsburn said...

Excellent blog, Scape. Confidence is my biggest issue. Meeting my agent last week was incredibly helpful, but then found out this morning that one editor (of many!) passed. First response? DOUBT!! Amazing how that works.

Six of the writers I started with back in '06/'07 have reached publication. Almost all multi-pubbed. Some have hit the best seller lists. One just won a RITA. Needless to say, the voice pipes up often with the "You could be up there but nooooo, you had to fiddle around and not finish anything forever."

Mind you, fiddling around included working a day job, raising a child alone, planning a conference, coaching a softball team, earning a Bachelors degree. So it's not as if I was sitting around eating bon bons. :) But that voice doesn't like discussing reality.

I think I've hit the point where I've come this far so I can't turn back now. There's no giving up. But at the same time I know I have miles to go. I spent 90 minutes sitting with Kristan Higgins last week and her reaction to being at a "break out" table at the big book signing was "Why am I over here??"

Kristan "2 RITAs" Higgins didn't think she was big enough to be in the "biggie" row. She didn't think she'd have a line. Needless to say she DID have a line and sold out of her books before the halfway point of the signing.

What I've learned is that no matter how far you go, how much success you have, the writer brain is going to remain nutso. (That's my scientific term. *g*)

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Love it Terri! "...the writer brain is going to remain nutso,"

Too true. The confidence issue doesn't just hit us when we're unpubbed and just starting out. It's something we need to work on and build up for our entire writing careers. I mean, HELLO bad reviews! They will happen and we will have to keep writing the next book.

So, did seeing that in Kristan Higgins help your own confidence Terri? To know you aren't alone and that it's not just unpub jitters?

MsHellion said...

Excellent blog, Scape, and very timely and true. I suffer from the one you mentioned--I'm so happy for someone close to me to find success, but then end up using the backside of that joy to be destructive of my own dreams and goals. It just makes you feel very small; and too much of it can make you mean--you can start being less happy for successful people. (I certainly feel this way when someone buys a house. "How are they buying a house? I'm such a loser! I'm one step away from living at home!"--it's a vicious circle. And it's not True. But that's hard to keep in perspective. *LOL*

I think my Big One is that I'll write the book and it will fail. Again. I've finished two manuscripts (the same hard slog I'm making with this one) and it will be rejected just as hard, if not harder, by the public. It's hard to put your passion and faith in an idea when secretly you're doubting it will hack it with the public. You can't have faith if you care too much about what other people think of it or you.

There's this strange balance of writing for yourself and writing for an audience. You hope there is an audience out there as quirky as you are, who get it, but is it a LARGE enough audience that a publisher is willing to invest in it? You get very weird about your writing and every word is carefully calculated, like a test-tube baby where you're making sure it has blue eyes, fair skin, and blonde hair. Oh, and it must be a genius...with an athletic body and confidence, charm, and a hilarious sense of humor. I mean, there's no such thing as an unflawed baby, you know...and suddenly you're uber-critical like, "My baby's eyes bulge out like a frog's. Everyone will hate it." It's demoralizing.

I agree with Terri though (at least the sliver I can see above me here): we're always going to be nuts. That's just what writers are.

TerriOsburn said...

Would be nice if it worked that way, but no. The writer brain still says, "Keep dreaming. You'll never be that good."

What I am getting better as is remembering that I do what I do and other writers do what they do. I'm never going to write lyrical prose like Barbara Samuel or Janga. I'm not going to write powerful thrillers like Elizabeth Lowell or uber-hot alphas like Jill Shalvis.

The truth is, I don't HAVE to write like those people, I just have to write like me. Takes a lot of repeating and clubbing of that inner voice, but it gets better if you think of it this way.

MsHellion said...

But, all the feedback pretty much said the same exact thing: love your voice, charming character (that is actually the adjective three different agents used), but this story isn't right.

I can only assume this means that my plots or the development of my character arcs are subpar.

Where am I right now in this story? That's right. I'm trying to figure out the plot and the character arc. Hence, I'm feeling paralyzed.


I totally GET THIS. (and I agree with the WOW and the above stuff too *LOL*)--but when you said they said it wasn't right, my first thought was, "They already have a book slotted that's too much like Marn's book." Not that you did anything wrong; just that have too many like this right now. (Which would be easy to see. I mean they even do it on TV all the time--isn't it weird how movies and TV will come out with shows in the same year that all sound alike? I mean, even non-comic items that sound alike or have a similar twist. It's WEIRD.)

But yes, PARALYZED is a great word. That fits the situation you feel in front of the screen. What are you doing? How can you guarantee this book will be right?

Maureen said...

Trying to think how to put out where I've been the last...well, chunk of a year. For me, the kick in the gut was the October royalty statement and it literally sliced my feet clear off.

It just took me some months to realize I could stand, but I wasn't moving forward...then I went to my knees, then flat on my face. It didn't happen overnight, but it happened.

Good reviews...rotten sales. I got lost in the fog of self-pity and simply not knowing how to move forward without my feet. (Yeah, I know, it sounds gross. Sorry.)

I couldn't see the fortunate side of the last few years for all the tea in china. I was bitter and angry and numb and terrified I'd had my chance and blew it. I was terribly sad. All at the same time.

A strange place for me to be, the queen of second chances and life gave me a second round and there is always a way out and... I lost it. All my optimism and belief.

I'm not totally out of that fog, but I have realized that even if I couldn't see my feet, they were there. And the Nationals gave me several good reminders. Including a reminder to put my publishing creds on the letter I send with the request, because it means someone had faith in your abilities enough to publish you.

I forgot that somewhere along the way.

Marnee Bailey said...

Hells - I know this is going to sound stupid, but I never read it like, "I already have one." I always read it like, "Your plot sucks monkey balls."

Huh. Perhaps I need to rethink my perspective.

Though maybe it is that my plot sucked monkey balls. But maybe not.

And, MAYBE, just maybe, I need to let it go and stop being all obsessive and Virgo about it.

Right.

Ter - that's so cute about Kristin Higgins not thinking she was good enough/smart enough/doggone it people aren't going to like me about her signing. We artisty types are really silly.

Maureen said...

And I totally get the envy thing...and being happy for someone at the same time!

I do the comparision thing. I didn't think I did, but I do. All it the bloody f*cking time and it kills me.

No matter how you know that there is no finite limit to good news and someone else getting good news doesn't mean you won't get good news...it still haunts most of us. If it doesn't manifest as simply envy, it manifests as 'I'll never be that good. I lost my chance to be that good. I blew it. Period.'

And it isn't just writers. But I think because we deal with words and emotions so much, it hits us in a powerful way. Because our business is understanding these things and recreating them. So we're good at it!

Look, I found an upside to it! LOL!

Maureen said...

Marn - your situation is so totally frustrating. What a terribly useless thing to keep hearing. It just isn't right?

WTF are you supposed to do with that? Some actual rational would be nice. Though I've gotten that It just doesn't fit.

Like, fit what?

I share your frustrations! But what great positive words to hear!

P. Kirby said...

My demons are legion, and include most of what ya'll have already addressed.

A crucial problem for me is that writing, as an art form, is incredibly exposing. (For me.) More than anything else I've ever done: painting, sculpture, music. So I have a hella time separating myself from the work, which means I don't take criticism well. My approach until well into my 30s was simply not to write fiction at all. (I worked as a tech writer; so I was writing.) As long as there's the potential that someone might be critical, nothing I write will ever, ever be good enough.

I can only assume this means that my plots or the development of my character arcs are subpar.

This is where, for me, it's becomes a weird mixture of frustration and arrogance when I come across a book published/represented by a rejecting agent, a book that's utterly "Meh." And I'm like, "Dude, you rejected my stuff, and then published this dog?" Then I decide I must be some kind of alien, because I just don't get how that book is better than mine. Then...depressed.

Oh, yeah. I'm several fries short of a Happy Meal.

Janga said...

My response was delayed while I picked myself up off the floor where I was knocked by Terri's putting me in same sentence with Barbara Samuel. You just made my day, Ter. Thank you.

I think I'd doubt the honesty of any yet-to-be-published writer who said she didn't experience some self-doubt when friends and acquaintances win the agent, editor, contracts, etc. that are her goals. I suspect the feelings continue with published writers when others hit bestseller lists, win awards, earn bigger advances. Anne Lamott, whose Bird by Bird is a book I keep returning to, wrote, "Jealousy is such a direct attack on whatever measure of confidence you’ve been able to muster. But if you continue to write, you are probably going to have to deal with it, because some wonderful, dazzling successes are going to happen for some of the most awful, angry, undeserving writers you know – people who are, in other words, not you.” Even when I think the dazzling successes are wonderful, lovable, deserving people and I sincerely rejoice in their blessings, I still have the if-only-I-were-x moments. For me, X usually equals younger, about which I can do nothing, and more disciplined, about which I can do a great deal.

But my greatest problem, because it is the most constant, is that the words I get on the page never match the perfection that exists in my head, and I can't let go of the ms. until I try once more to get it to that perfect stage. Useless, I know, but still . . . I'm pretty much stuck in an endless cycle of Debbie Ohi's "Four Stages of Writing."
http://writerunboxed.com/2011/01/15/comic-the-four-stages-of-writing/

Maureen said...

Oh, Janga! So right... When success happens to those we feel deserve it...we might be envious, but we can rise above it because we agree with the accolades.

But when someone who we feel doesn't deserve it...then the envy twists into pissy anger and it might be mean we go pout in a corner and draw nasty pictures on the wall...

Neither of which are productive, but both happen.

Pat - I spenet most of my life keeping it all private for fear of being told I'm no good. Then I got published, was told, via reviews, that I was good. Then I didn't sell. And someone else did who I just shake my head at! Sometimes, life just sucks!

But we are still writers and this is just what we do...

Marnee Bailey said...

Mo, it WAS frustrating. LOL!!

I think that no one fell in love with it enough. Actually, some even said that. One said that the historical market is so tight that they didn't think it would stand out enough.

So, "just isn't right" is how I took it. "Not right for us." "Not in love with it enough." "Just doesn't fit our agency." Blergh. Just not right.

I'm going to focus on the positives. Characters they called "charming" and "intriguing." A "very very strong narrative voice." (Yes, that's a direct quote from a very well respected agent. I still preen at that. LOL!!) And one of my favorites "witty dialogue."

(Sorry, I was just reading rejections for positives. I think I read them the first time for the negatives. LOL!!)

I feel your pain, sister! I just keep thinking that I'll eventually write something that is right. Sorta like dating. You gots to see "wrong" to know what's "right" for you.

And this... No matter how you know that there is no finite limit to good news and someone else getting good news doesn't mean you won't get good news. is soooo true. No finite amount of good news. Good reminder.

TerriOsburn said...

Okay, y'all are making me nuts.

1) I have read Marn's book. The entire book. The plot is sound. The characters well developed AND consistent, which is my biggest pet peeve in books. Do not introduce me to a shy virgin then turn her into an aggressive sex kitten on page 50. Marn does not do this. AT ALL.

A friend recently received a rejection from an editor (thru her agent) that mentioned a lack of social media presence. I (and many others) believe this is a totally bogus reason and put no stock in it. Editors/agents put all kinds of reasons on those rejection letters and many don't mean anything. SO STOP TAKING THEM SO LITERALLY.

*breathes* Okay, I had to get that out. Now there's more.

2) Hellie - the PUBLIC did not reject your books. Some short-sighted agents or editors maybe. That is not the public. We need to keep that distinction clear.

3) Janga - You deserve to be included with Barbara. I in no way exaggerate or venture to flatter by putting you together. It's the truth. And someday you will send those books out (hopefully soon!) and everyone else will get to see I'm right.

4) Pat - Been there done that. "THIS is good enough to publish but not mine? Really??" I'm sure we've all done that. But then I turn it around to "Well if this could get published then I know I can do it."

It's all in the spin!

Marnee Bailey said...

Mo - what I meant to say above is that like my "just not right" stuff, I think you're "just doesn't fit" stuff is similar. If we both just keep going, I think we're bound to be "right" and "fit" eventually. Even if it's by accident. LOL!!

Marnee Bailey said...

Huh. Ter. I think you should tell us how you really feel. You definitely hold back too often. LOL!!!

Editors/agents put all kinds of reasons on those rejection letters and many don't mean anything. SO STOP TAKING THEM SO LITERALLY.

*salutes* Yes ma'am. You're right. I'm officially over it. :)

Maureen said...

Hee, hee. Yeah, it's like how my jeans just don't fit right - now. They will, again.

Terri - True, agents and editors use all sorts of reasons and sometimes they just don't give a reason, which can be just as frustrating! Rejection is rejection, period.

BTW, I think I may know who the 'lack of social media presence' agent is... Or at least someone else who is using that rational...

Maureen said...

Hels - Ditto on what Ter said.

Marnee Bailey said...

MM - and I think that it's like how a certain style of jeans just doesn't "fit" me either. Seriously, the style right now for skinny jeans? that is not a good fit for me. But I don't think skinny jeans will be the style forever. Then maybe I'll fit the next style too. Ya know what I'm saying?

Marnee Bailey said...

Hels - Ditto on what Ter said.

I pretty much ditto everything Ter said to all of us. :)

TerriOsburn said...

I don't mean "get over it" as if it shouldn't sting. It still stings. I just got a rejection this morning! I'm just saying to look at your hard work (that is good!) and say, "These seven people didn't think it was "right" so I guess I suck" is not healthy. Or right.

Process. Interpret. Move on if necessary. But don't dismiss your own work and its merits because of a few vague comments. In other words, don't let them win. Because you ARE good and your book IS good and screw their definition of "right". Whatever it might be at this moment.

Maureen said...

Marn - and someday, you will find the right pair of jeans that fit. And be in style! ;-)

Or mine will fit because I'll stop getting apple fritters at Starbucks!

P. Kirby said...

BTW, I think I may know who the 'lack of social media presence' agent is... Or at least someone else who is using that rational...

Meh. Stupid rationale. Any agent who'll turn aside a good manuscript because the author doesn't spend 7 days a week, 8-plus hours a day on Twitter/Facebook and beyond, isn't someone I want to work with. Does this agent spend that much time online? If so, she/he probably isn't doing much work actually selling manuscripts. Whadda ya bet this agent also expects her/his authors to crank out two or more new books a year? Oy, vey!

Ugh.

Marnee Bailey said...

Mmmm... apple fritters..... :)

And you're right, Ter, of course.

I think more than anything, I've spent this past month or so second-guessing every plot twist and device I've come up with. At every turn, I've wondered, "is this the 'mistake' I made with the last one?"

And what talking to you guys is making me wonder is that maybe it's not that I made a mistake. Maybe I just was "slightly out of fashion" for whatever reason. Too many courtesans or too much treason in historicals right now. Maybe something else. Who knows.

But, I need to stop thinking back on it like that. This is the best received book I've written to date. So I need to go with that. Build from there and stop focusing on why it didn't work but instead on what about it DID work.

Marnee Bailey said...

As to an agent who expects a huge social presence.... That is something that is easily rectified. Writing a good book... not so much.

TerriOsburn said...

That rejection was from an editor, not an agent, but Mo says an editor is spewing something similar. And maybe their just busy and want a reason to put on the rejection. Maybe they don't want to say, "This still needs a lot of work" or something. I don't know. I'm just saying you can't take everything at face value.

And Pat, I'm with you on that. I wouldn't want to work with someone who expects me to do all the promotion work on my own. They better be bringing that to the table. I'll do what I can, but I shouldn't have to carry the load.

TerriOsburn said...

Mo says an "agent". Gah! Too much stuff in my head today. LOL!

Maureen said...

Marn - I don't know how many rejections you hit on this book...but if you'd also gotten such good feedback...keep submitting it!

Don't give up because it didn't fit... I mean, if I got that sort of feedback on a MS, I'd keep submitting, and keep working on new stuff...but keep pushing the older one.

Hell, the requests I got last week weren't on brand new stuff...since I've been stuck in new-stuff-hell, I pitched older stuff. Good older stuff...

You never know what will click, or when!

Marnee Bailey said...

I agree about not wanting to be the only one doing the promoting. I mean, the publishing house is the one with the clout. If they're not willing to wield it, that seems kind of like reinventing the wheel.

And Mo, thank you. :) I've gone through enough rejections that I'm going to shift it to the backburner for now. Maybe a year to ferment will do it good. I'll read it after this project and see if fresh eyes help it. :)

You're right though, you do never know what will click and when!!

MsHellion said...

Hells - I know this is going to sound stupid, but I never read it like, "I already have one." I always read it like, "Your plot sucks monkey balls."

No, not at all. Because if I was literally in your boat that is exactly what I would have thought. Terri would have had to put the other spin on it. But I read that in articles a lot, how a rejection is not really a "this plot sucks monkey balls" rejection, but we have too many right now or we just bought one like this.

Getting over it is so much easier said than done. *LOL* But I have been trying to do more and more positive affirmations and they do seem to put me in a better frame of mind. I'm not as paralyzed; it's safe to proceed, that sort of thing.

MsHellion said...

No matter how you know that there is no finite limit to good news and someone else getting good news doesn't mean you won't get good news...it still haunts most of us.

This is true. But it's not that we think that there is finite good news, but that EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD will get the good news and we won't. That's the problem. Or one of the many.

MsHellion said...

Process. Interpret. Move on if necessary. But don't dismiss your own work and its merits because of a few vague comments. In other words, don't let them win. Because you ARE good and your book IS good and screw their definition of "right". Whatever it might be at this moment.

Who else is thinking Terri must have painted her face blue today and is riding a stick horse up and down the length of the ship? FREEDOOOMMMMM! *LOL*

TerriOsburn said...

Since I managed to spout a giant zit in the middle of my cheek DURING Nationals, I could use some face paint today.

I'll throw in "Grow a set!" for good measure. Meaning ovaries, of course.

P. Kirby said...

Who else is thinking Terri must have painted her face blue today and is riding a stick horse up and down the length of the ship? FREEDOOOMMMMM! *LOL*

Hmmmm. As I recall that didn't turn out all the well for William Wallace in the end. Perhaps a more upbeat bit of speachifying, something absent ritual disembowelment: Aragorn before the Black Gates or some such. :)

TerriOsburn said...

Good point. I'd rather not be drawn and quartered!

Though after seeing myself in pictures from awards night, I could stand to lose some from the middle. *sigh* Medieval liposuction could be an option.

MsHellion said...

We've actually broken over 30 comments for today already. We must have eaten our Wheaties this morning. *LOL* Or it could be the awesome blog. Whatever.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Sorry I've been MIA most of today, but you ladies have been doing fine without me!

BUT...I'm not seeing enough talk about how to build up our confidence against the things that can bring us down.

What say ye?

MsHellion said...

I'm sorry, we were too wound up bitching about what the problems were. I'm not sure we have solutions, other than Terri's colorful, "Grow a set." Which makes me want to flip her the bird--I'm not fond of that saying. I think it's because of the usual people who say it annoy me. As if they've never had a moment when THEY needed to grow a set and their discounting your anxiety.

I do recommend positive affirmations and setting more reasonable expectations. As my current favorite saying is: "Live simply, give more, and expect less." (I don't think we should not have any expectations, but I think we can take them down a few notches first.)

TerriOsburn said...

I've been positive all day! And I was making a joke. I really just wanted to work ovaries into the conversation.

TerriOsburn said...

To answer Scape's question, there's only one answer I've found. Keep writing. The more you write, the more confidence you feel. The more you push through, the more you see getting done, the more powerful you become.

I'm sure having an entourage on our heels repeating how awesome we are would be nice, but writing is the only real answer. It's what is working for me anyway. I'm not cured by any means, but I'm better.

Maureen said...

You looked fabulous at the awards! Are you outta yer mind?

How to overcome the confidence crunch... I heard a phrase at the con that I really liked...

Don’t give yourself time to be afraid.

I think that can be adapted to confidence. Don't give yourself time to indulge in the lack of confidence? Though lack of confidence is what fear is all about...so perhaps the first works.

I'm fighting to establish a routine so I do less thinking about what I'm writing or whether it's any good or if it will sell or any of that and concentrate more on just writing the stories only I can write, in the voice only I own.

Better, Scape? ;-)

MsHellion said...

I agree writing is the only real answer; the more you write, the better you get. It's a positive circle rather than a vicious circle. *LOL*

But I love Mo's thing: don't give yourself time to be afraid.

MsHellion said...

I'm listening to a positive CD right now (Power of Joy)--and she quotes Anne Lamont. "My mind is a terrible neighborhood. I should never go there alone." *LOL*

Maureen said...

You know, Hels, I could sit and consider the various nuances of fear and what I'm feeling and how it makes me react and...into infinity... I think it's my philosophical soul that goes there with such ease.

I also think I'm actually the reincarnated Edgar Allen Poe on some days...

So, yeah. I like the idea of outrunning the fear by just staying busy countering it. Which is actually what Terri does most days... ;-)

Di R said...

Definitely a blog (and Comments) I need to print out, highlight, and hang on the wall where I will see it.

I tend to doubt, well, everything. I'm afraid I'll spend all this time and energy on writing something and my family and friends will be appalled that THIS is what I've been working on.

Sometimes, I doubt that my characters are dynamic enough-although Drake assures me that he's not one I need to worry about. But, like Marnee, I'm writing a regency and know how crowded that market is.
*sigh*

I think taking out fears and looking at them in the light of day takes away a lot of their power. Also, having friends who will call you on it when you're believing the evil Inner Critic.

Di
(who hasn't written a word in over a week)

Janga said...

I read an article a while back that addressed the issue of writers' self-confidence. The guy who wrote it has been an editor and a therapist, so his creds give him a certain authority. I think it's interesting that his top two tips are ones this group has identified: 1) Stay connected. 2)Keep writing. He also includes reading on the list.

Here's the link to the full article:
http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2009/02/08/how-successful-writers-keep-up-their-confidence/

Marnee Bailey said...

Keep writing. The more you write, the more confidence you feel. The more you push through, the more you see getting done, the more powerful you become.

I second this. I don't think there is anything better than just pushing forward. Even if you're dragging your annoying, blathering inner critic along behind you.

Maureen said...

I should stipulate the actions advised by the authors on the Slaying Your Inner Slacker panel to write. Leave no place for fear to perch in your writing world.

At least not for long enough to stare you down and see you stop.

Sounds like I need to invite the kraken to visit again and feast once more upon our inner critics...