January 12, 2011

Writer’s Cycle of Confidence

Confidence is a funny thing. Some people have too much, some people have too little…it’s a rare thing for a person to have just the right amount. I know my amount fluctuates wildly and randomly, and not so randomly. So I have created an illustrated* guide to the Writer’s Cycle of Confidence.

It can all begin with feedback. Word back from a CP. A revisions letter. A rejection letter. A bad review. It can take a peaked level of confidence down to zero.

Then the crows start to descend. Ugly ones. Big ugly crows that have the blood of vanquished writers dripping from their evil hooked beaks!! You can’t do it, the crow whispers. Your writing is full of suck and you suck and basically you live in opposite land where everything you thought was awesome is actually sucky!! (my crows are mean…MEAN!!)

But then you sit down at the computer, and you tentatively type a few words, even though the DOUBT CROW is looming behind you looking all spectral and ebil and watching you with his hollow, creativity devouring eyes!!

Somehow though, you power through, and you write something. And you realize, hey…I’m not so bad! You’ve tortured your hero, you’ve had a breakthrough on conflict…you didn’t give up even though you were beset by doubts and CROWS.

And you have to celebrate the victory because, inevitably, trust me, the evil tricksy crows will return. πŸ˜‰ It’s a cycle, and kind of a vicious one. Some days I feel great about what I’m doing, other days each word is a struggle because I’m afraid that I’m not even a fraction as good as I’ve started believing I am.

But it’s not about never having doubts, it’s about what you do with them. Or to them. I have a baseball bat, evil crows, and I’m not afraid to use it.

*I use the term ‘illustrated’ in its loosest sense


22 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Hey Maisy,

    Even if the crows attack you, We have confidence in you. BTW, good illustration!

    To me, you’re an inspiration!

  2. I think you’re inspiration material too πŸ™‚

  3. LOL. Love the illustrations. I don’t think I’ve met a writer that doesn’t suffer serious doubts a lot of the time.

  4. Writing is a guaranteed path to rejection. Not everyone will love your all work. Some people won’t love any of it. It’s hard to put a bit of your heart and soul on paper and then hear that it isn’t wanted.

    I think I need a bat, too.

  5. Love the post Maisey, and the illustrations are fabulous. What you say is so true and the pictures are a very amusing way to highlight it.

  6. Thank you, Nas, the confidence is always much appreciated.

    Rach…aww.. πŸ˜‰ I don’t feel all that inspirational, but I do get inspired by the online community. Romance writers/readers rock.

    Anne, thanks! πŸ˜€ I think it comes with the territory. You end up leaving a lot of yourself on the page and that’s why, no matter how much I, or any of us, tell ourselves it’s not personal…it can end up feeling like a personal rejection of yourself, not just your work. That makes it easy for the crows to find us…

    Julia, it’s true. And I’ve had a revelation that I can’t please everyone…not even remotely. Because you can’t possibly worry about ALL the things someone MIGHT object to (the color of my heroine’s luggage? who would have thought…). Here’s a bat. Got any leftover vodka? Not to drink, but I need something to sterilize the wounds the crows left…

    Carol, thank you! The doubt crows are tough, but I think, in the end, we’re tougher.

  7. Yay comics! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I can hardly wait till one of your books gets released as a manga!

  8. Fabulous post! I’m battling the crows now, but you made me smile. Thank you!

    P.S. Your illustrations rocked!

  9. Haven, do you think they’ll let me illustrate them? πŸ˜‰

    Margaret, thank you! I’m all about bringing the smiles.

  10. Okay, that’s hilarious. Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything at the time. I can SO relate to everything you said. πŸ™‚

  11. Lol, fabulous drawings! And yes, you should SO ask if you can illustrate the manga. Sigh, I teh hates crows. I have a scarecrow I put up every so often but it’s not as cool as that drawing of the baseball bat.

  12. Awesome post, Maisey! Ha! Love the illustrations.

  13. LOL! Great drawing Maisey!

  14. Lynn, ah, but isn’t it nice to spit coffee all over your computer screen? πŸ˜‰ Glad I’m not the only one with the occasional (ha) looming doubt crow.

    Jackie, thank you…oh the possibilities of doing my own Manga…I don’t think I’m authorized. ;P

    Thank you, Shadonna!

    Lacey, thank you m’dear!

  15. That is so cool.

  16. Haha…thank you muchly, Marcie!

  17. Ah, so true! And your illustrations are awesome. Self-doubt is such an awful thing… I even get it when something GOOD happens… a good review or comment and I’m thinking ‘oh, they were just being nice’ It’s amazing how much power the bad stuff has. Crows go away!!

  18. Kate, thank you. πŸ˜‰ and yeah, doubt reallt likes to creep in whenever it can. It’s been that kind of week for me. But words are still going down on the paper…er…screen…and that’s what really matters right? πŸ˜‰ Plus, dreaming of NYC and good times with other writers. That’s always so nice and refreshing!

  19. Those crows are lying bastards! Your writing is NOT full of suck and you DO NOT suck and DONT basically live in opposite land where everything you thought was awesome is actually sucky!! You are totally awesome and a serious inspiration to me because you are so the opposite of suck.

    p.s. Ummm those illustrations were also the opposite of suck. I have to go now because the same damn cat who stood at my door for an hour crying to get in is now crying to get out. Does she suck? Yes, with the intensity and dedication of someone getting paid to suck.

  20. Emma, you are so cool. πŸ™‚ And cats are like that. But if you’re talking about Dru, I no longer believe in the sucking because I saw the pics of her in the snow and she’s just cute. :p

  21. Love the illustrations Maisey! You keep batting them away, because your growing as a writer – you know i didn’t completely believe the hero in the first one, but your second is WOW! Can’t wait to get my hands on the next, and the next…
    Those crows suck!

  22. ha! thanks, Kerrin, I will kick the crows and tel l them THEY suck. XD Thanks for the review you did of Mistake, btw! and Inherited Bride will be in NZ in March! On the M&B Aus site in Feb!

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