Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most confident prince in the land?
When I started writing books, all those years ago, I was so full of confidence about my abilities and books that I took off selling to bookstores in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia … all the while, submitting to publishers to take my books and do the marketing for me.
However, I gave up counting when I’d received 120 rejection slips and carried on pretending I was fine/coping and that the rejections had no effect on me … but they did.
I recently realised I’d lost my mojo. I was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety and I’m sure one of the contributing factors was those rejections – one by one, chipping off shards from the block of confidence I used to be.
I hid from the world, afraid of people and I stopped promoting my books to bookstores – that was too scary. The plandemic gave me a great excuse to hide but that excuse is gone and I recently made a declaration to swim to the bottom of my dirty pond and find the gold coins at the bottom.
Two weeks ago I made a commitment to my men’s group to take my books onto one bookstore last week and two this week. It was a scary commitment to make and I broke it, in a good way.
Last week I approached the Gold Coast Library Service (22 libraries) and the Brisbane one (33 libraries). This week I took my books to four bookstores and the actions weren’t scary at all. It was fun!
I also realised I’d become diffident – almost embarrassed – about my books but I’m really proud of them now … in parallel with moving from diffidence to pride about myself. What I gained in self-confidence, I lost in pain. I have been living with chronic pain for many years and, quite suddenly, that pain is receding. If my choice is to have pain or confidence/freedom, I’ll choose the latter any day!
Having lost my confidence, I think I was looking for someone to support me … many people did but I couldn’t acknowledge it at the time.
Anyway, the support and confidence I was looking for from others is now coming from me and, boy, does that feel freeing and fun!