I came across a discussion on best writing advice the other day. One author said we should take ourselves seriously and never apologize or offer a disclaimer for the confidence we have in our writing and the BIG vision we have for it.
I think we often shoot ourselves in the foot when we don't take our writing and our goals seriously. It shows--in the way we respond when a non-writer asks what we're working on, in our interaction with other writers at conferences, and probably in our writing. I know there's a fine line between taking ourselves seriously and arrogance. I've met writers who believe in themselves to the point of alienating editors and agents and other writers. I find their cockiness annoying. Yet often, I get mad at myself because I don't have--and exhibit--their confidence.
I'm filled with uncertainty regarding my own writing and goals, and I know that can cause an editor to look at me suspiciously. I suspect they wonder if I can turn out book after book? I wonder too. I've written four books, published one and have a background in newspaper and magazine writing. I can meet deadlines with no problem. But do I want to? I ask myself if I can promote the way I'd have to if they honored me with a three-book contract. I'm constantly looking inside myself, trying to determine if I believe in myself to that extent? Do I want to put writing and promotion before everything else in my life? Actually, the answer to that question is no, I don't. I want God and family first--always.
I'm an observer. I watch and listen to everything going on around me. I've seen writers relegate family and friends to the back of that publishing bus. They become obsessed with that next contract--will it come? Deadline after deadline pummels them into submission.
Honestly, I don't want that. But I do want to sell another book, and another one, and another one.
The question I have is--how can we produce over and over again without sacrificing those we love. And that includes ourselves?
Is it possible? What do you think?