Over-Confident Man, a Superhero + Blogging Awards

Confidence is hard. Not just in writing. In everything. But especially, it seems, with artistic pursuits. I have these moments sometimes where I’m almost over-confident in my stories and my abilities. I know I’m a good writer. Sometimes I even think I’m really good. When I’m reading a story I wrote and I’m so excited that I’m crying and laughing, I might even call myself a creative genius. But most of the time I think even being really good isn’t good enough. That I somehow have to posses something even greater, something I don’t have. Something I can’t get through hard work. I guess it’s just that “it” factor. The same “it” factor that despite something not being well-written or even good, there’s still something highly likeable about it, and if I don’t have it, all the talent and hard work in the world won’t help me.

But let’s say talent and hard work do help. And I think it does (most of the time). Then we enter a whole new world of neurosis that has nothing to do with having “it” and all about being great. Because being really good still isn’t good enough. I have to be great. And I’m not great. Suzanne Collins is great. In fact, I found Catching Fire so amazing, it inspired me out a 3 year writing slump. It lit such a fire under my ass that I haven’t stopped writing since. I guess you could say it brought me back to life (cue Celine Dion ^_^). Because it gave me a reason to keep trying despite the many brick walls the universe deems fit to throw in my path. I want to make people feel the way she made me feel when I was reading that book: deliriously excited about the story I’m telling and emotionally invested on an insane level.

To be honest: I don’t know if I can. Though really it depends on the hour of the day you ask me. At noon I may be super excited and tell you that I think I’m so freaking amazing I can’t stand it. After lunch, I may be close to tears and ready to shelve my story into the darkest corner of my hard drive. It’s maddening almost. And I hate to get a case of the “not good enoughs” like this when I’m so close to querying again, but isn’t this exactly when it happens? We have these attacks on our confidence right when we need it the most?

So, today I’m also going to accept a couple of awards that were passed on to me. One was such a long time ago that I could kick myself, but it makes me happy so I’m going to talk about it anyway. ^_^

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The Sunshine Award via the inspiring Beverly at The Beveled-Edge in which I answer 10 questions about myself and then pass it along to other peeps.

Then I have the Versatile Blogger Award from rock star Crystal Collier (which was thankfully only a couple of weeks ago), in which I state 7 facts about myself and then pass it along. ^_^

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10 questions:
Fave color: Purple! Surprised? Did you think it’d be blue? ^^ It’s purple. All shades of purple, but the deep, color of royalty purple is my favoritest.
Fave animal: Panda Bears! They’re just so cute. They don’t look real. I want to hold one one day and squeeze it.
Fave number: 26, don’t know why. Maybe because it’s the number 13 twice and I was born on the 13th so I just embrace it. ^
^
Fave non-alcoholic drink: Water. Lol! Really…
Fave alcoholic drink: Hmm, I don’t drink very often, but I’d have to say cranberry & vodka…but really any kind of juice and vodka. I do like screwdrivers. ^^
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. I don’t even remember to get on Facebook most of the time.
Passions: Well, other than writing, I LOVE singing and reading and movies.
Prefer giving or getting presents? I like making stuff and then giving them as gifts and having people tell me how great it turned it out. Lol! I hardly ever actually have enough ingredients to make something for myself, so the feedback is really nice. Plus I can always use the self-esteem boost. ^
^
Fave city? Hadrian’s Wall in Upper Denton (between Northern England and Scotland) – Yeah, this probably isn’t quite a city, especially since I can’t quite remember exactly where it is. I just know I loved it. It’s such an amazingly beautiful place, and I could have stayed there forever.
Fave TV Shows: Um…TV? Lol! I don’t have a current favorite. I’m doing good if I even remember to watch it before my DVR threatens to delete it. So, hands down Married with Children, Xena, Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Nanny. (And I could name more old shows, but then I’m going to look crazy.)

And for this I’m nominating the following bloggers that bring Sunshine to the blogosphere: the triple awesome Michelle Athy over at The Sunflower’s Scribbles and the wondrous & energetic Karla Gomez over at Peace, Love, & Books.

7 Random Facts
1 – I had a crawling ivy plant once. It died outside during a frost in the middle of April (in Tennessee).
2 – I love Chai Tea Frappucinos! And Green Tea Frappucinos, too. ^^
3 – I’m half blind and I have asymmetrical astigmatism, so I love my contacts more than I love Chai Tea Frappucinos.
4 – I love pens! I could tell you how many I have, but then you’d have me institutionalized. Also, I bought a new one last week. (It’s a liquid pencil! Seriously folks, I didn’t have one.)
5 – I’m the middle child with an older sister and younger brother and yes, I have the complex.
6 – I’m obsessed with lip balm. I have about half as many lip balms as I have pens. XD
7 – I’m obsessed with perfume bottles. Especially those old-fashioned ones with the giant pump-thing. ^
^

For this I’m nominating the talented Emma Adams over at From the Writer’s Nest and the hilarious Jodi P. over at Ocean in a Cup.

17 Responses to Over-Confident Man, a Superhero + Blogging Awards

  1. Congrats on the blog awards! Yep, I know exactly what you mean about the “it” factor – it’s why I had to shelve the last MS I queried, because although there’s nothing technically wrong with it, something about it just isn’t grabbing people. It’s tough!

    And yep, I’m suffering from a confidence crisis right before entering the query trenches again…and right before three deadlines for books which will actually be on the shelves. Great timing! 😛 It’s always the way!

    Thanks for the nomination! ^_^

    • That is exactly why I had to shelve the last story I finished. It’s technically sound, but something just isn’t working. I don’t even know what it is, I just know “it” isn’t there.

      Why does it always have the best timing? ^_^
      Where is my over-inflated ego now?! Lol!

      Books on the shelves is exciting! But yeah, it’s amazing how not even that and good reviews can stop a crisis from creeping up on us. Each book is a different beast for sure.

    • That’s hard. And we’re so close to our work it’s hard to tell sometimes. A lot of times I find though that after I’ve stepped away from it some, a lot of the things I thought were problems or were even missing aren’t problems or missing at all. Hopefully when you read over it after this next round of editing is done, you’ll find that it’s good. 🙂

  2. Awe! Thanks for the award :))
    As for the confidence, I think every one experiences it differently and at various levels. I’m actually going through that a little bit. But I can’t let it get me down because I’m not even done with my major rewrites lol. Plus, it’s a fear of what others will think. Because if we were 100% all humans would love it, our confidence wouldn’t be so bad now, would it?
    I love pens too. I’ve cut back tho 🙁

    • Pens! ^_^
      Yeah, it’s that unknown factor, I think. That maybe I’m delusional and my story isn’t good after all! I have the worse confidence attacks a few days after I finish the first draft and any number of times between the first edit and the last. You’re right though we just have to ignore it and keep working. ^_^

  3. Congrats on the awards. I love this post. I can soooo relate. As I approach query time, I’m just a bundle of nerves and that little voice of doubt within me is really trying to claw its way out, making it so disheartening. Yesterday I was talking to an old friend about my book and he flat out said, “That sounds like every other YA book, doesn’t it?” I about died. Bless his heart, he doesn’t read much YA, but it freaked me out like crazy. I started second guessing myself and wondering if my story was really that cliche and was really even worth spending all my time on it. But then I woke up and continued writing. I don’t have the heart to stop, so gotta keep pushing on. Best of luck on your query 🙂

    • My sister said something similar to me once. The best thing you can do is what you’re doing: you keep writing anyway. After all, everyone has their own voice and their own way of telling a story. When I was trying to pick out a title, I ran into a book that’s similar to mine. I almost panicked, but then I remembered: How many vampire books are out there? How many Snow White reincarnations are out there? So many! So, it’s okay if there’s a book out there like yours. ^_^ It’s very true though that the less someone had read in a category the more similar they sound.

      Thanks! Best of luck to you, too! ^_^

  4. Awwww…! Thank you Krystal for tagging me for the Versatile Blogging Award (and congrats on your own awards)! I loved your 7 Random Facts and am going to have a lot of fun coming up with my own. 😀

    I really connected with your discussion on the “it” factor. It’s that…well, THING…that somehow surpasses good writing, natural talent, etc., and for me, I can never quite put my finger on it (literally, IT)–but it’s as prevalent as gravity when it comes to a good book. It reminds me of something Cheyenne C. said recently over on her blog: “Recently I finished reading a series that blew me away — it has flaws, some sort of big, actually, but the writing is dreamlike and gorgeous and the plot lassoed my heart and danced across the sky with it” (http://www.cheyennecampbell.com/ive-been-away/). That passage got to me because she blatantly expresses her love for this series, despite its inherent (and even large) flaws. I think this speaks toward the mysterious “it” factor. A decent book can give us a few hours or days of entertainment. But books that have IT can lasso our hearts and keep us spellbound. It would be a dream to write a book like that someday. I think right now I’m still aiming for just “good enough.” Arghhh. LOL.

    • I SO want to write that book! I want to engage people so much that they walk away astounded. I want to move the earth under their feet. ^_^ I know I can’t TRY to write a book like that though. It just happens. It. Grr. I swear I have to tell myself every week to just block everything out and do the best I can. Luckily that works for me. Lol! My goal lately has just been to get out of my own way and write. Somewhere inside I must have the belief that if I do this, it’s impossible for me to write anything that isn’t amazing. Lol! ^_^

      Also, OMG, I completely LOVE her post. ^_^

  5. 5 – I’m the middle child with an older sister and younger brother and yes, I have the complex.

    Me too! And I have OCD. When I was 12 I would right down numbers on paper, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5….yep. Middle child syndrome is not a myth! 🙂

  6. You know, I think you have to take one day at a time and focus on the good. I’m a pen clepto, so I’m right there with you on the pen collection.

  7. That roller coaster of self belief and self doubt is a hard blooming ride! And one anyone in pursuit of a creative dream faces. Hang tough K. We are always our own worst critics. You are amazing even when you’re not feeling it.

    • Thank you! ^_^
      It’s so true that we can be our own worst enemy sometimes. I try to remember that when I’m editing and I’m starting to think that one bad sentence is dragging down my entire book! It’s amazing how often I forget.

Hi! ^_^