When I look back on my writing career, I laugh at the misconceptions I had. I also laugh at how little I thought of my abilities, and not as a writer. I didn’t believe I was capable of marketing myself, or interacting with readers, or even networking with other writers. The number one thing I did “wrong” in this path of writing so far is to sell myself short. I can see why I did. When I first began I believed my role as a writer was to stay locked in my room and write. This was certainly what I felt the most comfortable with. Then, when I learned what “being an author” meant, I began to second guess my ability to perform. How could I possibly sell my work when I didn’t believe in myself? I love watching the Voice. Last week, Usher asked a contestant how he felt he did. The man replied “Pretty good.” Usher was astounded at his modesty. He said if the guy didn’t believe in himself, then who would. That stuck with me as being true on so many levels.
We have to believe in our abilities. We have to believe that we write awesome work…or at least work worth reading. But, more importantly, we have to push for our own success. If we don’t, who will? To push for our success means that we must believe we are capable. I am capable of setting up a marketing campaign, even though I got a D in college in my marketing class. I am capable of speaking in front of groups of people even though I have to fight my knees from knocking each time. I am capable of learning and growing, because that is the price for what I want. And, you know what, I am not as horrible as I think.
My mom taught second grade and always made them read “The Little Engine that Could.” Then, whenever they doubted themselves, she made them chant “I think I can, I think I can.” I need that to hang on my wall. I can do this. Yet, I feel like I am lacking if I seek outside help. It’s a lot like the students I taught. “It’s okay to ask for help,” I constantly said. So, I need to believe, but I also need to be motivated to learn. Okay, so I obviously need help in marketing. Let’s grab as many books and listen to as many people as I can on the topic. Stage fright? Practice makes perfect. I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. I suspect I am not quite as bad as I project.
So, as I head into this week, I want to remember to believe in myself a lot more and doubt a lot less. I want to recognize my weaknesses and set forth learning and overcoming. I feel this is easier said than done….