I am not a very confident writer. I know doubt much better than I know confidence.
I don't want to be like this, I promise you. And some of you are probably going to think - this should not be happening to you, Lisa, and you have the power to change it. But I don't know - is the ability to believe in yourself a switch you can turn on and off, just like that? I don't think it is, but maybe some of you think differently. If so, please share, and tell me how do it!
Quite a few authors I admire seem to be fairly confident in their abilities, so I know it's possible to be a writer AND to be confident.
But here's what I've been really thinking about as it relates to this confidence issue:
If I'm not confident in my abilities as a writer, are readers going to want to read my books?
Let's say I have a serious health condition, and I need to have surgery to try and correct said serious health condition. If I go to a surgeon and he doesn't appear confident in his abilities to do that surgery, guess what? I'm going to another doctor!!!
The doubt probably makes me work extra hard, and I'm hoping with time, I can replace the doubt with confidence. The old saying – practice makes perfect comes to mind.
And in thinking about those doubts, often times, it's me comparing my writing to other books out there. I've talked about this before, and of course I know I shouldn't be doing this. In fact, Cheryl Renee Herbsman had a great post about this yesterday, and I love her phrase to remind herself to be happy with who she is - Don't be the clown.
When people pick up a Lisa Schroeder book, they aren't expecting a book by anyone else. My name is on the front, right? So I need to stop stressing that it's not as good as this book or that book or whatever.
Anyway, in thinking about all of this, I've realized it's probably best to keep the doubts to myself. I mean, I can't imagine that doctors don't have doubts. Or teachers. Or airplane pilots. They all must have doubts some days. But they've learned it doesn't do any good to share those doubts with the world. And in fact, it can even hurt their career to do so. And perhaps those authors I admire so much DO have doubts, they have just learned their readers really don't want to hear about them.
Therefore, let me go on record as saying:
You are really going to want to read my YA novel, CHASING BROOKLYN, coming out in four short months. It’s a ghost story told from two points of view, Nico and Brooklyn. A book told in multiple points of view is not easy to write. But guess what? I think I did a damn good job.
(how'd I do?)