Allan Mayer’s Weblog

A Question of Confidence

Posted on: June 7, 2008

My 2007 copy of the ‘Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book’ is full of useful articles by published authors. I haven’t got the 2008 version, but I can guarantee that even though they say that the content changes every year the message will be the same: If you want to get your book onto the shelves you need tenacity, staying power, and a positive mental attitude.

Funny how none of them mention the mental attributes of a box of frogs…

I remember the day I completed my novel, thinking naively that I would send it off, maybe get a few rejections, but that by this time next year…
When it doesn’t happen it is easy to get disheartened. Read accounts of how bestselling writers went through the same. Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is a good one.

In the 2007 Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook J.K. Rowling tells of how getting rejection slips made her feel like a real writer. I feel so sorry for her not having the chance to feel that way again that I’m going to send her some of mine in return for her fortune and movie franchise.

I have found confidence coaching a useful tool. (For more information go to or read Lynn’s book, ‘Cut the Strings.’)

What I would highly recommend is that you find a confidence coach. You can read about the techniques, but there is no substitute for having a real live person helping you along. These days this doesn’t have to be face to face- Lynn Grocott coaches by phone, by email and through Skype.

One of the main tools that I have used is the pyramid. Draw a pyramid with lots of bricks with room to write in. Put your goal at the top- e.g. ‘I want to see my book on Amazon.’ This is what you are working towards. Do you believe that? If so you will be working towards that until you achieve it, or for the rest of your life- whichever comes first.
The bricks at the bottom will contain those things you need to do first- e.g., if you’ve not already done so, write the novel. Others will be about research you have to do, browsing publishers websites, completing your synopsis and application letter etc.
Many publishers these days like to see that a writer can help market themselves, so marketing should come in there somewhere.
Your pyramid will be topped by a massive goal, but the steps below will be things that are easy to achieve. And as you achieve them cross them off or highlight them. This is really helpful when you feel like your goal is a long way off.
And do something every day. You may think that you don’t have time. That something may be a five minute phone call, or a browse on the internet for writing or publishing sites. It all feeds into the pyramid and gets you a little closer to your goal.


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