Monday, August 27, 2007


Posted by Lisa

You recognize him, don't you?

He hasn't got quite the Pizzazz! he does today; he's wearing a button-down shirt with a neat sweater layered on top for goodness sake. But there's a steady look to his gaze. He's not nervous - that's clear.

My British roomate at McGill loved to tell the story of her dad's experience as a student in London. "The fellows in an upstairs flat drove him crazy," she told us. "There were a few of them that would meet each night, playing music all the time." They weren't rude, so the tale goes. Every time they were asked to turn the music down, or to stop playing as it was so late, they always obliged. Apparently her dad regrets that he didn't pay better attention back then. Had they been practicing early songs like The Last Time or Satisfaction?

Recently, I walked into Best Buy to check out printers. On the big screen TV, a Rolling Stones concert is playing. Who is mesmerized by the performance, but two young children and their grandmother. A couple teenagers paused to watch for at least a couple minutes. Mick Jagger is on the screen, strutting in a sparkling robe. Confidence, talent, brilliance exude from the screen. His presence has taken hold of that busy store.

I wonder if Mick was always destined for fame? Were there crossroads in his life when he doubted his path? He may not have. Perhaps it's that practicing, that perseverence that enabled him to succeed. That combination of talent and hard work. Maybe he made a decision to become a success. Perhaps he had the confidence to choose his path. Or perhaps the path chose him.
As writers we know we must write. Though we may not have the choice whether or not to be writers, every day we make choices that affect our writing. Choose with confidence. Talk about your work with pride. Schedule time for your writing. Keep the bar high for every word, phrase, bit of dialogue, and character flaw. Have that level of confidence.
Perhaps you'll succeed.


Therese Fowler said...

Lisa, I've been pondering similar thoughts since attending a Nickelback concert last night. (What a good mom I am, taking my teenage sons to a rock concert on the night before school started!)

I was so impressed by the band's energy and confidence, the showmanship that differentiated them from the two opening acts. I wondered if that confidence was in the Nickelback band members even back when they were playing in dives.

You're right, we can choose how to be the writers we are. It takes time to discover who that writer is (or it did for me anyway) but once we know, we should strive to be that writer with confidence. That in itself is a success.

Larramie said...

Confidence is the key to success because even if you don't succeed at first, you try until you do.

Shauna Roberts said...

To expand on Larramie's comment, confidence shows that you believe in yourself and your abilities, even if no one else does. Confidence gives you the wings to try things you don't know how to do.

One thing I learned in counseling is that many or most people have a constant conversation going in their heads that consists of self-criticisms, doubts, and other undermining thoughts. To become aware of these barely conscious thoughts and change them to positive, empowering thoughts not only makes one happier but also creates the psychological mindset to succeed.

Trish Ryan said...

It's unbelievable how big a role confidence plays, isn't it? Great post! I tend to forget this, and it makes such a difference.

John Robison said...

All my life, when people have believed in me, my dreams have come true.