Archive for the ‘self-belief’ category

Don’t doubt self-belief

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling and Fire, has a beautiful blog over at This Is My Secret. I had intended this post to link to Kristin’s recent post about the things a writer might consider when finding someone to read their early drafts, but instead found her latest post which talks about self-doubt and self-belief. Kristin was asked to explain how she keeps faith in a manuscript even when it seems to be a total mess and her reply is one worth reading. Here’s a snippet.

‘At every moment, writing is an act of self-confidence — the sheerest, most determined, most stubborn self-belief. You CAN have faith and doubt at the same time; the most insecure writer on the planet has faith that shines just as bright as her doubt, and she deserves props for that. It might be hidden deep, she might not feel it and you might not see it, but it’s in there, or she wouldn’t be able to write.’

Reading this set off a light in my head. I’ve said before that I don’t know how to quit writing, that the thought of giving up makes me cry, but I didn’t make the connection Kristin describes; that every time I sit down and write, I’m reaffirming my belief in what I’m doing. I have a loud and carping Inner Critic and often wonder why I can’t get my Inner Fan to be as vocal. Now, I get it. Inner Fan doesn’t get my attention by screaming at me or jumping up and down; Inner Fan just holds out a hand to the chair at my desk, invites me to put fingertips to keyboard, then sits back quietly to watch, hands folded on belly, a contented, possibly smug smile in place.

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That’s ‘Fronkensteen’

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Yes, it been almost a year since I blogged, but it’s not dead, I tells ya; it lives. I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been writing and editing, and re-writing and re-editing (and playing some cool computer games) and writing some more (and watching a bit of telly) and editing some more.

OK – I have let the blog down. I see that now.

Something really big happened, something too big to tell in just one post, and it’s the bolt of lightning needed to reanimate this near-corpse of a blog. I sent my current manuscript off to an agent – hugely ambitious move on my part that resulted in a form rejection BUT I immediately sent the m/s off to a competition.

I won.

Check it out: QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program 2009. There’s my name on the list of winners, one of eight who were selected from a longlist of 40 who were chosen from about 130 applications to the program from all over the country.

Over six life-transforming days at a beautiful rainforest retreat, we happy eight had the opportunity to meet with Hachette publishers (Bernadette Foley, Rachael Donovan and Kate Ballard), a literary agent (Sophie Hamley of Cameron Cresswell Agency) and two generous, inspirational, ‘keeping-it-real’ authors, Rebecca Sparrow and Angela Slatter (our QWC guide). The experience has been profound and I’ll blog about it more in future posts. Here, now, I just want to say thank-you (again) to Kate Eltham and the Queensland Writers Centre, Hachette, Bec, Angela and my fellow winners for giving so much and helping me in so many ways.

Watch this blog.