Hello and welcome back to the blog! I’m about to be really busy, as I will be starting a new novel next week. Yes, it’s the second book in the Breaking Character Series. Full disclosure, this will be short. I didn’t plan on doing a blog post this week, but I felt inspiration strike. When that happens, I usually listen. Today, I would like to talk about self-confidence. Let’s get started.
The know-it-all that is the internet defines self-confidence as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement. A sense of confidence in one’s abilities can go a long way no matter the profession you have chosen. Since I’m a writer, I’ll stick to self-confidence as it pertains to writing, though the parallels can reach anyone. As I sit here at my desk typing, I consider myself a confident person. That hasn’t always been the case. Once upon a time I let fear and self-doubt get in the way. I mostly consider that a thing of the past.
A lack of self-confidence doesn’t sound like that bad a thing to suffer from. After all, I’m sure we all know a few people who are so boisterous in their self-confidence that they come across as arrogant. Such people can be hard to be around. However, that’s not what I’m talking about. I believe there is a way to have confidence in one’s own abilities while remaining humble. It’s a fine line between confident and arrogant, but the same can be said for humble and meek. It’s about trusting in yourself and in your abilities, while using those to make decisions. Once a decision is made, you must have confidence that the right decision was made and see it through. If you don’t, self-doubt and regret rear their ugly heads. Believe me, I know.
In the past I have let self-doubt get in the way of achieving my dream of becoming a published author. I wrote three novels without sending any to literary agents for possible representation. The fourth was only sent to four or five before rejection got into my head, causing self-doubt. I have a full blog post devoted to rejection, so I won’t go into that any further. Breaking Character was the fifth novel I have finished and was sent to more than forty agents. I’m still waiting for responses on several of those queries, but I tried. While I believe it’s far better than the four novels that preceded it, those four still deserved a chance. From Darkness Comes… is just as good and is currently being queried.
Did something change from my first novel to my fifth and sixth? Yes, and I’m sure you know the answer. My self-confidence. After years of both reading and writing I realized something. My writing isn’t half bad, dare I say good. Sure, there are better writers on the shelves at bookstores or on whatever device you use to download books. However, in my experience there are a number that don’t measure up. I don’t think it’s arrogant to say such a thing, but simply a matter of confidence.
For me it boils down to this simple fact, I know I’m good enough to make it in this business. It has taken thirteen years to be able to say (or type) those words. Now I work each day to ensure the world knows it too.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, follow your dreams, even if they terrify you.
Stephen Michael Roth