Thursday, 31 January 2013

C is for...Confidence!

Today I had to put up posters throughout the office promoting a campaign I’ve been working on.  As I pinned them to notice boards I grew more and more embarrassed.  Suddenly the words were stupid, the messages were wrong, the photos were weak.  Despite having had it approved by two people higher than me, I still don’t have confidence in my own work.

The same can be said of my writing.  I wonder how many times I will read and edit my current novel before I finally feel confident enough to it?

I could go on to explain ways of boosting ones confidence in writing (and work) but instead I’m going to ask a question.

Is this a female thing?

Best selling author, G P Taylor didn’t even bother submitting his first novel to publishers or agents for rejection.  He went straight to self publishing and look where it got him.  Look at where his confidence in his own capabilities got him.  Book deals, awards and movie rights.

What about Joe Abercombie’s recent announcement that he will be taking a break?  In his blog he mentions that he recent book, Red Country, was not always a pleasure to write and he’s come to a road block in his creativity and planning.  Maybe he’s burned himself out – a break is definitely very well earned after writing and publishing five books.

Last weekend I wrote down all of my ideas for books, novels and novellas and there’s more than ten on that list.  A lot more.  And I haven’t even got the confidence to know when my first novel is ready.  How on earth am I going to write over ten?

How about the fact that men are much more dominant in the literary world (and every other world it seems)?   Despite the number of female best selling authors – J K Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, fantasy is still ruled by men.  This trend is definitely changing but...

And it’s an embarrassing but...but I have yet to read a fantasy novel written by a woman that I actually enjoy.

To write that as a woman is awful.  To write it as a female writer is close to blasphemous.  So one of my New Year resolutions for 2013 is to read more female fantasy writers.  I have the pile of books ready and as soon as I finish reading Terry Pratchett’s Snuff, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Abercrombie’s Red Country, I’m there!

So what is it that makes men more confident than women?  And why is it that when women are confident, they are frowned upon?  

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