The Confidence of Writing

What gives a writer the motivation to keep going? To keep typing one word after another—to press on, even when faced with no ideas? Why do we think we can get published with the fierce competition and the disadvantage of not being published?

Writing makes me feel good about myself. I enjoy crafting problems and fixing them. And heck, it’s a lot easier to fix fictional problems than my own, right? I’ve always been driven and don’t like being told something can’t be done (at least without trying my darnedest). Once I set a goal, I do everything in my power to achieve that goal. I may have to adjust the steps I need to take and the timeframes in order to meet that goal, but I always keep moving. At this year’s RWA National Conference, Susan Elizabeth Phillips said in a workshop, “Give yourself permission to write crap”. That quote will always stick with me. I may not always know where I’m going when I’m writing (kind of like when I started this post), but I keep typing and revising. Eventually I’ll get there. I believe.

Time Management

Time. A word I say frequently and constantly wish I had more of. As much as I hate to admit it, I can relate a little too much to the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, who runs around saying “I’m late, I’m late.”

Time—such a small word to cover the myriad of tasks, appointments, errands we try to fit into a single day. I don’t know about you, but I’m an overachiever. I have a rolling list of things that need to be accomplished. Sometimes this ‘virtual’ list is in my head (my own version of the cloud—without any back-up capability). If I’m lucky, I actually write it down (smile). I keep a yellow pad next to my computer to write down things as they come to mind. I’ve been known to repeat something in the shower so that after I dry off I can enter the task into my phone. It might be something simple like needing milk from the grocery store to the more complex such as a breakthrough for my book. Crazy? Maybe, but a necessary reality for me as I juggle work, family, activities, and writing. Right now, to the dismay of my husband, the main item that still isn’t crossed off the list is to take down the Halloween decorations. Most likely they’ll come down the day after Thanksgiving, just in time to put up the Christmas tree. It may not be part of my original plan, but I can live with it.

It would be difficult to cover time if I didn’t touch upon the notion of sleep. For me, there’s an inversely proportionate relationship between writing and sleep. The more I want to write, the less sleep I get—especially when the ideas are flowing or I’m trying to meet some type of deadline. Sleep…yeah, highly under-rated in my house.

Write-Prioritize-Adjust. Balance of my writing goals with my family and work life is constant cycle. Sometimes that means I don’t accomplish something when I had originally planned. Being a goal-oriented person, this usually this frustrates me. But I’ve learned I have to take a deep breath and re-prioritize. I’m not a failure because my MS wasn’t ready to submit to the Golden Heart. There’s always next year.

Giving Thanks

Given the time of year, it seems appropriate to end this post with some of what I’m thankful for.

  • My family, who’ve supported me as I pursue publication
  • My friends, who’ve been kind enough to read my MS and give me their input
  • My critique partner and writing group/friends (including my fellow Violet Femmes), who’ve given me feedback, told me where my plot needs strengthening, given me some fantastic ideas, and been a source of inspiration and encouragement
  • My NJRW chapter for being a great resource of knowledge and support
  • Of all that I’ve accomplished and all that I’ve yet to

How are you spending the Thanksgiving holiday? What are you thankful for? Whether you’re spending time with family, writing, or just doing whatever you want, stay safe and healthy!

Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Leave a comment


  1. Nicole Doran

     /  November 21, 2011

    Great post and so true. As long as the words are getting on the paper/screen in some way – I feel better about my confidence in persuing this dream and a little bit more ahead of the game. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving..we missed you at the meeting!

  2. You expressed exactly what it feels like to fit a busy lifestyle into your writing schedule. I give you so much credit for your commitment and self-discipline.

    And, I thought I was the only one talking to myself in the shower!

  3. hieubietusa

     /  November 22, 2011

    Very warm post…I wish you will share some fiction with us…some of us (me) need inspiration.
    Talking to yourself in the shower is a good idea.
    Maybe, I won’t get the same looks as when I talk to myself on the street…frequently



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