Originally posted on Facebook HERE
This is the back window of our room in St. Lucia, which means this is the 87th edition of the “Looking Out My Back Window” posts. The first edition of the compilation books from these posts was released earlier this month, and I started a specific Facebook Page just for the “Looking Out My Back Window” series of blogs & books. Writing is a funny thing, you know. It takes a lot of time and effort to consistently post something weekly, as well as publishing my first book “Feed Your Angel” in January. While you’re working you have no idea if anything you’re doing will resonate with anyone at all. Then comes the editing process (more so with the stand alone book like FYA than the blog book, which we mostly left alone). That’s a tough thing because, as a writer you sometimes want to do things a certain way that might not be totally grammatically correct, but express the emotion – then you get the grammatically correct, somewhat emotionless version back and start the compromise. It takes time. You go back & forth, wondering if the editing process is actually helping or hurting, but eventually there’s a product, and you put it out. My goal when I publish a book is to sell 100 copies. Feed Your Angel hasn’t even come close to that yet, and it got to #47 on Amazon’s list of short read self-help books. I think once I start promoting the books more outside social media, I should see them all pass 100 copies sold, but man – that’s a ton of work and expense to get books in the hands of so few people. And then… what’s the response? So far, reviews have been great for FYA – all 5 star so far (5 reviews). All reviews are from people who know me in some way, though. No reviews for the blog book yet, but sales there lag far behind FYA. Why am I telling you all this? Because my thoughts are on insecurity and confidence today. It happened to me when I was learning to play bass, too. You start doing something artistic, you kinda like it, you do it just for the fun of it, maybe even get a little positive feedback – and you keep going. Eventually you join a band, or start doing solo shows, or write a book, start a blog, hang your art in a gallery – and put yourself out there. It’s a very vulnerable place to be, especially at first. Do it enough times, though, get enough feedback, and eventually you’ll build some confidence and get better at whatever it is, which leads to more positive feedback, and at some point you get to a place where you start believing in yourself. What’s funny is – we probably all know people who have great belief in their ability, but not much talent… and vice versa – people with crazy ability and no self-confidence. The bottom line is this – if you have a yearning in your heart, be true to that calling. If it brings you joy, then play that guitar, write that book, paint that painting. Nobody else in the world can do it exactly like you can. And if, along the way, you find you’re actually good enough that people will buy your product – wow, what a bonus. Musically, I’ve achieved a lot. Sold thousands of recordings, played thousands of shows, and I’m very grateful for that. There’s a confidence level that comes from experience. But you’ll never get there if you let a bad review or someone’s hurtful words steal your self-confidence. Be true to yourself today.