Projecting confidence —

5 Aug

I think by now y’all know I am a big-time sports fan. Even if I really don’t know much about them, or understand their reason for being, I can still appreciate the time, money and energy invested in the effort to be the best in the world at whatever it is that you do. This applies in life, too, especially for someone in a creative endeavor.

You cannot succeed in any measurable fashion without such an investment. Of course, you don’t run around telling anyone who’ll listen “I’m the BEST!!” Well, unless you are, of course. But you’d better be able to back up your statement.

In 1992, when I was a member of Romance Writers of America, their national conference was held in Chicago. I was pleased beyond words to have a ribbon attached to my badge that said “First-time author” or something similar. Maybe it was “First Sale”. As I walked through the Literacy Book Sale (which I hoped to attend the next year, with my own book for sale) I stopped to buy a book from Nora Roberts.

I will never, ever forget her attitude when she saw that ribbon on my badge. Her face lit up as she smiled and said “Hey, Congratulations on your first sale! What kind of book is it, and when will it be available?” Holy cow! The queen of romance was interested in me – and my book? Well, if she wasn’t really, she was certainly a top-notch actress, as her enthusiasm surely seemed genuine. I literally floated through the rest of the conference. I know I stood straighter after that, and walked the same way. Ms. Roberts made me feel as though I’d just been nominated for a Pulitzer!

My Mama would have been proud, had she been able to see me, after all her years of admonishing me to “stand up straight!” Ms. Roberts gave me a wonderful gift that day. She instilled in me a sense of confidence in myself as a writer. I’m not sure it had really hit me yet, that by next year’s conference I’d have a book of my own to sell.

I’m forever saying that even just writing a book (and finishing it!) is not easy. Getting it published is even more of a task. But you have to believe in yourself and what you’re doing or you’ll never succeed. Has everything I’ve written been published? Mostly, yes. Those books or stories that I’ve finished, have been published.

Last weekend, ESPN was all about a fight between two women for a major title. The expected winner certainly did just that. In 34 seconds this time. Her last four fights have totaled exactly 130 seconds from start to finish. Eeegads! From looking at her, you can easily tell that she’s very serious about her training, etc. She’s also drop-dead gorgeous, but that’s beside the point.

One of the many fringe stories about her was her support group – they were labeled ‘the four horsewomen’, in a photo. Even with no caption, it’s easy to pick out the champion. Her bearing, her posture shout it out. She really is the best in her world right now, and I expect for the future, as well. Her confidence radiates from her, and why not?  What do you think? Which one is the champ?

4-horsewomen

So, start thinking about yourself and what you do. Are you successful? If not, do you want to be? Think about it for a while, then put your shoulders back, and your chin up, and look at the world head-on. Stand in front of a mirror and tell that image, “I AM good.” The sooner you believe yourself, the sooner you will be just that. (You can substitute the word ‘great’ for good in that statement, if you wish.)

Questions? Comments?  Please write to me at: bookmechanic AT gmail.com

P.S.  Ronda Rousey is on the right in the above photo. The other UFC fighters are from left, Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke, and Shayna Baszler. (Screen shot taken from ESPN.com – photo credit: Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News.)

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