A few days ago, David J. West posted about an author needing a thicker skin, and I just read en violet's post about confidence. Both these posts inspired so much thought material on my end, I thought I'd write about it further. Thanks to both these excellent bloggers for their inspiration!
Note the name of my blog-- from reclusive writer to published author. Hmm, wonder why I was so reclusive for so long. And not published. Might it have had something to do with a lack of confidence and a super-thin skin? Well, yes. Still, I've worked out my issues and moved on, knowing I still have a ways to go. I judge my progress as a writer by the *thickness* of my skin.
Why does a writer need kick-butt confidence?:
1. To start writing for an audience in the first place
2. To finish a manuscript
3. To ask for critique
4. To submit to an agent and/or publisher
5. To take rejection, rewrite and resubmit
6. To keep going on this merry go round, which you're never sure will get you anywhere.
7. To put yourself on the internet and start blogging for the first time.
8. To interact with others on the internet, make comments, and be a part of the cyberspace community.
9. To get published at long last, and realize the work of finding your readership is just beginning.
10. To go to that very first book signing and watch people avoid your table. P.S. Don't chase them down or grab at them. No, I've not done this, but I've known authors who have. It doesn't work.
11. To give a presentation on your book and have all these people watching and waiting to be informed, entertained and enchanted by you, a reclusive writer not a public speaker or a performer.
12. To read reviews that are negative, mean-spirited, and critical of your baby, your heart and soul.
13. To make a pitch on yourself and your work.
14. To go back and do it all again and again and again.
15. To respond graciously to those people who ask you when you're going to get a real job.
That's my list. I decided to stop at fifteen. Anything to add? Why do you need confidence?
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf