Confidence In Writing

Ok. Here goes. Shamelessness on my part. I write well. In fact, when I was taking a college communications course last year, my professor asked me why I was on a psychology/sociology track and not writing. Well, at the time, I hadn’t had that big “ah-ha” moment. 

To re-cap, I was on vacation last summer. This little old Jewish lady with ice-blue eyes that could see right through you asked me what I did. I explained that I was a full-time mother, a college student, worked with the local literacy council, was on PTA, etc. She asked “What do you want to do?” and I told her I taking college courses so that I could counsel. Shirley then said said “No, What do you really want to do with your life?” and I blurted out, I want to be a writer. It was so pure, so organic. This confession came from deep within my soul. I went back to my cottage on the beach and cried for two hours. I finally felt like I was being truly honest with myself.

Flash forward one year. As I sit here on my sofa, trusty laptop underneath my fingertips, I realize I have a problem. I have a self-confidence issue. A huge one. I am a children’s book writer. Most people call it fluff writing. It’s also much more difficult than anything I have ever written. But, I am not taken seriously. I don’t expect to become famous. I would love nothing more than to see my name on the cover of a book and know that I wrote it.

However, what would make happier than anything? For a kid to “get it” from one of my books. What do I mean by “get it”? I volunteer with out local literacy council helping children in 2nd grade what are at risk of failing the End Of Grade testing in 3rd grade with their reading comprehension. We read once a week for most of the school year and there is a point when they “get it”. You see it on their faces. They light up and all of a sudden, they are breezing through higher levels of books and actually wanting to take AR tests to meet their reading goal.

I want to write the books that makes “my kids” get it.

Because even if I haven’t read with every child in the world–and they can be anywhere in the world–I learn what they like. What they want. How they like to read. When they are frustrated. It’s a beautiful thing to be involved in–influencing and helping a young mind grow and help them develop a thirst for learning. 

I don’t have a lot of self-confidence. Period. I may put on a good act, but it’s more out of fear and the appearance of being in control. I am working with my therapist on my self-confidence, but there are years worth of issues that I am taking hold of. 

Therefore, I am holding myself back. I will have my books–children’s and otherwise are pretty much complete, but they will still need a little extra and I just can’t seem to get that last little bit in there. Maybe I am afraid that I won’t be able to finish them. Maybe I am afraid I won’t ever have another good idea. Maybe I am no good.

Could it be that I am a narcissist?  Is this blog, that I consider my writing therapy, really a narcissistic avenue for my own insecurities. My husband said it’s “prosaic” and considers this to be my diary. But really, it’s all about my confidence-the confidence I have and the confidence I lack. It’s hard to reconcile within me, yet I know that I have to.

I was asked recently on my Twitter account  ”Well, how can I help? Its so important that U share UR gifts…pls let me try &help….we all need more writers of great words. Thanks”  by someone who is not your average run of the mill person. This person had inquired “What would do this weekend and Monday if you were not afraid?”. So, I said send a query or manuscript out to publishers and agents.

But I don’t want to feel like I am taking advantage of this person. It is so kind of them and I truly appreciate this offer of generosity and kindness. But, at the same time, I am not someone who has ever asked for anything, ever. They have offered to send me the name of publishers and agents. But, what about my own merit? Or do I look at this as a genuine act of kindness and generosity and owe thanks to my creator for? This person wants to help me get past my insecurity and I have no idea as to how to define it or to even state what I need. Is it a mentor? Is it someone to read my work that has experience doing this type of thing that would give me honest, constructive, criticism? 

*sigh* I have no idea. But I promised an answer in a couple of days and I have a multitude of things to ponder.


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