Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wish I knew Wednesday

First off, thanks for all of the birthday wishes for Ivy yesterday. She loved getting them. And we had to make an unscheduled trip with Christopher to the hospital, I'm afraid. His platelet count and white blood count needed to be checked. Please send a special prayer up for him. Thank you!

This is my Wish I Knew Wednesday post #2. I know many of you already know this, it's just something I needed to say. When I first started writing, I wish that I would have always known about self-confidence and how important that is to anyone, especially a writer. Our time is spent mostly alone. Furiously typing our beautiful words. Believing in yourself is the number one thing a writer MUST do. If you can't believe in you, then who can? I wish I'd known how easily a writer can slip into insecurity.

It happens fast.

A few days of writers block, coupled with a critique that basically says, toss what you wrote and start over. And you have lost your self-confidence and will to write. Belief in yourself cannot be overemphasized.

Writers need to write. They don't need to wait on anyone to tell them they can write. Just do it, as the commercial says.

I never thought I could write. I never imagined me doing this. "Only for my eyes to see," is what I always told people about my writing. I never felt confident enough, until things just kind of happened and I found myself writing and showing folks what I'd written.

I still struggle with self-confidence, but I understand it now.

Writers are solitary people. We need to remember how easily we can fall if we aren't careful. And keeping in touch through our bogging buddies is one way to help our confidence level stay up. Our critique groups show us where our strengths are and help us make our weak points stronger. They make us better. We learn from other writers that we are not alone. And that they have gone through dark periods too.

Self-confidence. I wish I would have known how important it is in my writing sooner.

Are any of you joining in the Wish I knew Wednesday posts? The more the merrier. :)

Here's a link you might be interested in. I actually got it from Jen's Writing Journey. Thanks Jen! It's a Free copy of Nail Your Novel. :)

39 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about Christopher. Prayer coming your way.

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  2. Thank you Jennifer. You'll never know how much it means.

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  3. Christopher is lifted in the prayers of many.

    Wish i knew....hmm I wish I knew earlier about the information online I could gather from actual agents and publishers. I used to feel like the agents, editors and publishers were impossible to reach "unless you knew someone." I kept myself from writing for a LOT of years due to this fallacie.

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  4. Oh, wow. Sorry about the trip to the hospital. That must have been stressful! And thank you for this post today. I struggle so often with insecurities (my post today!). I needed your honesty and reminder that we need to have confidence in who we are as writers.

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  5. oh, yes, I'll send out a prayer for him.

    I love this post so much. It is part of our journey and we need to understand that we CAN do this. It may take a looong time (8 years for me) It may not be our first novel (3rd for me), but if we stick to it, we can do it.

    And, I love that you are doing the Wish I Knew Wed w/ me .. we'll keep at it and maybe others will follow.

    I didn't do Wish I Knew today....I did a "Wickedly Wonderful News"....(hint ;) )

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  6. Self Confidence! Ha!

    Self confidence is hard to find/maintain then balance - check out my blog post from Monday (ooops, little free advert on my friend Robyn's blog). : ) I think the key to self-confidence is a good support group of friends. Self-confidence is like the ocean tide, it rises, it falls, it rises, it falls . . . though the cycles aren't so normal.

    I know I've struggled with the self-confidence issues for many years, and part of my struggle goes all the way back to childhood. As my sister likes to say, 'we're all adults now, but we somehow fall into the patterns of childhood, and the discouraging words we heard so often'. I still hear those voices from my childhood - sometimes, not often any longer - that tell me 'yeah, he plays the piano, but not very well' or so many other detrimental comments that somehow stuck with me, and my siblings, so many years later.

    On that note - encourage your children, your friends, and whoever. Remember that words can stick with a person for the rest of their life, and even the most off-hand comment can have a detrimental effect on a person.

    Great post, my friend.

    S

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  7. Yes, being a writer has its challenges. It helps me to know that there are other writers out there via blogs, groups, Facebook, etc. I pray that one day soon, we'll have the right confidence balance in Him. We are works in progress:) Blessings to you and your readers.

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  8. Praying for Christopher now!

    Thanks for the reminder that we don't struggle alone. Self confidence is a fleeting thing for me, but I try and remember that I can only work through Christ's strength.

    Checking out the link.

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  9. I know a certain bloggy buddy that ALWAYS boosts my ego when she comes to visit my blog. Thank you so much, Robyn, for continually helping me with my own self-confidence. I wish I could make it up to you somehow. You're the best.

    And my prayers are with Christopher.

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  10. One of the things I learned at the workshop by Cynthea Liu was when you get a critique, think about what the intent of the comment was, not the actual comment. So, for example, when a person says to cut something, don't think "should I cut it or not?" but instead think "why does this person want me to cut this?" If you figure out the why behind the suggestion, you can fix it in a different way from the way that person suggested.

    I hope it wasn't my critique that made you think you should start over and cut everything! :)

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  11. Kristi, thank you for praying. And I think you should start doing these Wednesday posts with Tess and me. It seems you have some, "wish I knew" thoughts. :)

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  12. I'll pray for Christopher for sure!

    Your post really hits home for me today. I've been struggling with confidence in myself and my writing ability, especially after all that's gone on in my journey to date. I agree that critique partners are invaluable. If not for mine, my writing wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today.

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  13. You know what? I wish I knew all of you long ago. What wonderful support I have found in other writers online. And just now reading Beth's comment about looking for the intent in a critique is valuable. So much learned from all of you.
    Hugs to you and the family. Sorry you had to go to the hospital again like that.

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  14. Jody, and thank you for your reminder. Isn't it funny, how we bloggers can post similar things on the same day? Scott and I do it all the time. Of course, he steals my stuff out of my head.:)

    Seriously though, thanks for your post today. I needed that reminder that we all struggle with this from time to time.

    And yes, the unexpected hospital trip was awful. Please keep him in your prayers. He has ongoing medical issues that I wish would just go away.

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  15. TESS! I can't tell you how happy I am for you. I know the past eight years haven't been easy. Believe me, boy do I know. But now look. Baby you're sittin' pretty! Woohoo

    And we all do need to have little reminders that we're NOT alone. :)

    Hey, I love "Wish I knew." I hope others join too.

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  16. Scott, I know. About the discouraging words from childhood. My sister was the QUEEN and one brother was king according to mother. My other brother and I heard good stuff from dad, but he wasn't one to express his feelings all that much.

    And it DOES stick with us. But I know that someday I'll be making the big announcement like Tess did today. Someday...:)

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  17. Scott, I'll be over soon to collect on the advertising. Nothin's free, don't you know that? Except for the advertising on your blog. Now it's free and I thank ya. :)

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  18. Lifting prayers for Christopher and for writer's confidence. Bless you both!

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  19. Karen, I'm still being molded. I won't be finished until I join Jesus in Heaven. :)

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  20. Tamika, isn't it wonderful to know that we are in this together. UGH, that reminds me of a High School Musical song that I have heard until I'm nauseous. :)

    Yes, please pray. And thank you.

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  21. Linda, awwwwww, thanks. I needed that today. You KNOW exactly what to say. I so appreciate you my bloggy bud. I'm a fan of Linda Kage. Number 1 fan. :)

    And please pray for my Christopher. I find the results out tomorrow. Thanks!

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  22. Beth, Oh no! This is not anything that you said. If it was, I'd say to you, "SAY WHAT?" :)

    This was before you. Long, long ago in a galaxy...well, you get it. The other group I was in. Remember?

    You are all the SUPER, COOL, MOST AWESOME critiquer. :)

    And I love what you said about thinking, "why does this person want me to cut this?" In my case, "why does Beth..." :) It is so very true. But at the time, I didn't know that. I do now thanks to you. :)

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  23. Cindy, I appreciate the prayers. We need them for him. Thank you!

    And it hit home with me as well. It is wonderful to know that we have each other. I am so thankful to have each of you. It gives me HOPE! :)

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  24. Tricia, I'm sorry about the unscheduled trip to the hospital too. I am really worried. I will find out tomorrow.

    Bloggin' pals are so super wonderful aren't they. I wish I would have known all of y'all too. OOps my drawl is showin'. :)

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  25. Eileen, thank you. Prayers for my son and for confidence, which I desperately need both. Thanks my friend. :)

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  26. Sorry about your son. I'll be praying for him. And Happy Belated Birthday to Ivy. Self-confidence is key. Sometimes, I have it; sometimes, I don't.

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  27. I'm sending over good thoughts about Christopher, Robyn!!!!

    Self-confidence is something I struggle with all the time. But, even though I go through lapses, rarely do I let it keep me from writing anymore. Even if I'm writing garbage, I'm still giving myself permission to do so.

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  28. Robyn - just found my way here from your pingback - thank you so much for spreading the word! Love the idea of Wish I knew Wed. I find my confidence is at its lowest ebb when I'm just starting a project. I yearn to go back to the security of the project I just finished - characters I know, a world I know.

    Hope the news about Christopher is good.

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  29. Hey Susan. Thank you for praying and for sending birthday wishes to Ivy. And sometimes I have self-confidence and sometimes I don't. I wish I could have it all of the time. :)

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  30. Davin, I DO know that you are sending good thoughts. Believe me, I do. :) Thank you my friend. :)

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  31. Roz! Great to see you here. I downloaded 'Nail Your Novel'. I have already started reading it. Thank you so very much.

    And I find my self-confidence wane at the beginning of a book and when I'm trying to wrap up revisions and edits. Because I'm always wondering, "IS IT REALLY DONE?" :)

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  32. Great post! I'm so glad to see it, and your insights on the subject. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    You and Christopher are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  33. So many posts about confidence and doubts today! Thanks for yours. Great reminder. I struggle with this a lot!

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  34. Leona, thanks for remembering us in your prayers. I really, rally appreciate it. :)

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  35. Katie, I struggle with this to the MAXIMUM. yikes. :)

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  36. Special prayers.

    And I believe in you. You are dedicated and motivated and will succeed one hundred percent.

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  37. Thanks PJ! We need these special prayers. :) And thanks for believing in me. You'll never know how that makes me feel. Thanks friend!

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  38. So very true. Great and inspirational post.

    Writers are solitary. I never thought of that before.

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