Saturday, September 1, 2012

Confidence is Everything.


Confidence is everything.

It’s true, isn’t it? Confidence is everything. For without confidence, at least some positive belief that we might succeed, we would never really try, would we? There’s no incentive without at least the possibility of success.

It’s a lot of work, after all.

The notion that we might try and subsequently fail is enough to put some of us off. What would our friends think? Why do we care? Their needs are different, and each must act according to their needs. That’s why we figure a family of five should live in a house, and a single male can get along fine in a one-bedroom apartment. We try new things, and maybe someone else carps about it. Let them. It helps them in some way, which is to the common good of all. Right?

But when we aren’t really trying anything new, we have little chance of failure. We don’t learn much from success. We learn a great deal from failure, not the least of which is that we can go on. Our lives are not over.

“We have just begun to start,” to badly misquote a famous American naval hero.

It is in fact failure that instills confidence. Because we did what we had to do, and we took it on the chin, and paid our dues. We put in our time in the trenches. At last, we have earned the right to succeed, or even just to be here.

As things stand, I am confident that I can finish any writing project that I choose to start. I am confident that I can edit it. I am confident that I can format it, and publish it, and market it, et cetera. This is a lot better than where I was three or four years ago, when I was scared shitless about self-publishing my first two e-books.

Yes, I am confident that I can create paperbacks, and one would suppose hard-covers if it comes right down to it. I didn’t know any of this stuff before I tried and failed…to hear them tell it.

You know I’ve made every mistake in the book. We’re only up to about Chapter Three on that one by the way, but the mistakes showed where the problem areas were. I didn’t know before that. I had to put it to the test and find out where the weaknesses in the plan, the skills, and the knowledge were.

We still have weaknesses. Should I write another novel and submit it around to major publishers again? Should I try to get an agent? But how long would that take? And what if it never happens? I should have more confidence, but of course I’ve been reading all the wrong stuff about this industry. I think I will check out a few other sources. Anyhow, I can’t rule it out. I have full confidence in making a proper submission, and full confidence in writing a book that could be published. As for whether it ever really would be published, the word is that it’s very hard to justify taking on new authors right now, at least for the publishers that I’m actually interested in. It would have to knock their socks off, not just be a good, clean, workmanlike novel. And I don’t have nearly so much confidence in that regard. It would have to have a brilliant premise, wouldn't it?

So there is this question of attitude. One of the things that strikes me is that pretty much every blogger or online columnist has an interest and a premise. When I re-post someone’s opinion, it very often mirrors my own opinion, which is natural, but doesn’t it also support my own premise? Don’t I post it to support my brand, and aren’t I posting it for the benefit of my readers, whether on a blog, or somewhere like Kindle Boards?

I throw in the odd link of an opposing viewpoint, but it’s hardly balanced fifty-fifty. Nowhere near it, in fact.

Do I actually have an opinion on where this industry is headed, and if so, how did I arrive at that viewpoint? Seriously, why would I have an opinion? It’s just a bunch of stuff that I read. I am what I read, and lately I seem to read a whole lot of opinions. I read some non-fiction, and I read very little fiction these days.

But I would carefully label some writer’s work as opinions, and not ‘non-fiction.’ Even though it’s not presented as fiction, I think it really is in some cases. Some things I read lately clearly aren’t geared to my needs, and I suppose that should be taken into account. The writer was writing for a very specific group, and I wasn’t actually in that group. I should bear that in mind. They were clearly expressing opinions, and fairly strong ones.

It’s meant to persuade, and that means someone has an interest, if only a very basic one like getting as many hits as possible on their blog or website, or who knows, it might be genuine altruism.

I’m always on the lookout for good blog posts and websites relating to books, stories, writing, editing and publishing. If they seem relevant to others, like my tweeps and feebs and fellow collaborators in this great conspiracy of life, I will re-post them when I see them.

Other than that, I try to be objective, but there are times when I wonder if I really am.

It’s easy enough to persuade ourselves, especially when we’re the ones doing all the talking.

Attitude is everything, and I have to admit, I’m not exactly brimming over with enthusiasm lately. It’s probably just a little phase I’m going through, and it will all clear up in about a week.

Comments are always welcome.

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