It’s Monday and the second official day of the A to Z challenge for this year. I had a great time visiting other bloggers on Saturday and Sunday and look forward to going back and seeing what they’ve got for me today.
As I’ve done each year, my posts will be eclectic, covering a number of different topics. Today, I want to talk about something that is important to everyone–believing in yourself.
As children, we are ready to believe in anything–Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, even monsters in the closet or under the bed. It takes believing in yourself to sit, stand, and walk for the first time, but as we get older, that belief that we can do anything we put our minds to seems to fade. When it comes time to learn to swim, skate, ride a bike, hit a baseball, score a basket or toss a football, the reality is that self-doubt often triumphs over self-belief. Sadly, that self-doubt becomes more and more prevalent as the we age.
Believing in yourself and your abilities is crucial to success in school and in life. Some kids have incredible confidence, willing to let their ideas soar, while others are so terrified of failure that they won’t even try. Sadly, that inability to believe in themselves will only get worse as the years pass, and those hopes and dreams will become regrets. I know because I almost gave up on becoming an author.
For many of us, while we may claim to believe in ourselves and our abilities, and project that image to the world, the truth is we are actually a seething mass of contradiction, and fear. When I retired from my job as a teacher, I decided to do something I had always wanted to do, but had been afraid to try. I’d had my fifteen minutes of fame, influencing young minds, but I’d never done anything truly for me.
Pushing all my self-doubt away, I wrote a book, but sadly the pitch was rejected. I have never handled rejection well. That was that. I’d given it a shot. Now, I would go back to reading other people’s books, doing housework, existing, not living, my dream crushed in ashes at my feet. For two weeks, I walked around with my jaw in my shoes until someone goaded me to try again. Convinced it was just a waste of time, but not wanting to let them down and prove to them and myself that, when it came right down to it, I was a quitter, I pitched the book again. Lo and behold, I got a request. I sent the manuscript and synopsis off. Within a week, I got a revise and resubmit email. Suddenly, that impossible dream wasn’t so impossible anymore, if I chose to believe in myself and follow the editor’s advice.
I signed my first publishing contract on February 13, 2013 and Fire Angel came out in April 2013. Since then, I’ve written and published 17 novels, 3 short stories, and 2 novellas as well as 3 episodes of a sci-fi serial. I have a manuscript with a publisher, another undergoing final edits and several stories percolating on the back burner. Have I made a fortune? No, but I have made a difference in myself and in the lives of my readers.
None of it would’ve happened if I had given up. It was my friend’s faith in me that created the belief in myself that I could do it and that belief, like faith, can move mountains.
Please visit the other A to Z bloggers today. A to Z Challenge Blog