2017 A to Z Challenge B is for Believing in Yourself

2017 BadgeIt’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.

BBelieving 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




About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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6 Responses to 2017 A to Z Challenge B is for Believing in Yourself

  1. Wow! Congratulations on your publishing contract! This is exciting news, and a great reminder to believe that we can make it happen!

  2. Megan Morgan says:

    That’s a great story! I think a lot of young writers should take heed of this: it’s quite normal, even for writers who have ‘made it,’ to have gotten rejected at the start which led to them wanting to give up. It’s part of those writing growing pains.

    26 Things To Hate About Writing: B is for Books

  3. Barbed Words says:

    Fabulous advice and major kudos on your perseverance!

  4. It can be hard to believe in yourself when you get knocked down, but I try to live by the slogan “no regrets”. I give up on something only after determining if in 5 -10 years I will regret not completing/trying. Donna from Girl Who Reads

  5. Yours is a really inspiring story , Susanne. A very motivating post for B. I am so glad you are living your dreams.
    Best wishes,

  6. My mom once told me that if you are going to write you have to never let rejection and criticism interfere. It’s hard but as you know believing in yourself and perseverance can and does move mountains.

    Plucking Of My Heartstrings

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