It has been almost four years since I graduated from college with an English degree with Creative Writing emphasis. In that time, I have written several short stories, poems, and almost three novels. I still have a long way to go in being the best writer that I can be, and I will always be the first one to admit that. Still, I want to keep moving forward.
Since it has been four years, I figured it was time to go back and read some old books and new ones on writing. The first of these that I picked up was Ursula K. Le Guin's The Wave in the Mind. I read her other book, Language of the Night, a few years ago and intend on re-visiting it sometime in the future. I am taking notes, actual handwritten notes, in a journal my husband's grandmother gave me when I graduated from college. Lately, I have been using the computer more and more for writing. I felt it was more appropriate to go back to my college days and take notes, so when I do become discouraged, I can flip through the book to find some advice to bring my heart some hope.
At this time, a quote from Le Guin's book has served that purpose:
"Confidence in yourself as a writer is pretty much the same as all other kinds of confidence, the confidence of a plumber or a school teacher, or a horseback rider; you earn it by doing it, you build it up slowly, by working at it. And sometimes, particularly when you're new at the game, you fake it- you act like you know what you're doing, and maybe you can away with it. Sometimes if you act as if you are blessed, you will be blessed. That too is part of trusting oneself. I think it works better for writers than it does for plumbers."
For the past month, I searched for words to figure out what I need to do and why. Now I know. I am building confidence. I have the framework right now, but there is always room to grow and expand my knowledge and experience. I must believe that I can do it and to keep moving forward. I must believe before others will. I know that is how other writers do succeed (with a bit of luck splashed in there).
As Le Guin wrote, all types of passions or professions need that confidence. In whatever you love to do, I hope you find the confidence in yourself that you need to succeed.