Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ISWG: Confidence

I went to a pitch workshop last fall which was eye opening. It wasn’t formulaic as some of these types of workshops are. Instead, it was about being able to talk about your work, whether to a publishing professional or your best friend, in a way that makes other people interested.

The presenter kept saying, “You have to believe in your work—or no one else will.”

Now of course I know this. In my head.

But it wasn’t till I got home, processed what I learned, and started drafting a new query letter that I realized something.

I was terrified to put a certain book down as a comp title.

It’s a good book and one of my favorites. It’s one of those books I think of as “out of my league” because it’s a sort of recent classic in my genre.

I was terrified that if I used that book people might laugh and think, “Who does she think she is comparing herself to that book?”

But my book is very similar in a lot of ways and would appeal to the same audience.

As I wrote my new query letter and put that “out of my league” title at the top I thought, “Wow, that’s bold.”

But shouldn’t a query letter be bold?

And the strange thing is this boldness thing is carrying over into my writing as well. When I get feedback on my writing, it’s often the lines or even the scenes that felt risky to me that get the most positive feedback. There’s something to this being confident in your own work thing on so many levels.

What I’ve realized is that like fear, people can smell confidence. And if you have it, it shows.

I’m faking mine till I make it.

How easy is it for you to talk about your work--in a query letter or in person?

What is Insecure Writer's Support Group?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

If you're looking for more ISWG posts, check out our website here.


  1. Awesome how you are being bold. Sometimes you just have to do it whether you feel it inside or not and see what happens. And you'll be even more bold and confident if it works. Fingers crossed for you.

  2. Be bold. Good advice to remember. I'm not much for public speaking or talking about my book to others without stumbling over my words. Definitely something to work on.

  3. I was just thinking about that this morning! How during my very first face-to-face agent pitch, my voice quivered like a violin. I became more relaxed with the second and so on though. :)

  4. I so wish I was bolder than I am! Good for you! And thanks for the reminder. :)

  5. Then go ahead and reek of confidence! Although I'm bolder with the IWSG than my own books.

  6. So glad I'm not the only one in the fake til you make it camp! Hi fellow camper. Thanks for this IWSG post :)

  7. A much needed reminder. Confidence is a beautiful thing, eh? I need to remember that one when someone starts talking to me about my books and I want to just bashfully back away. =)

  8. In an attempt to keep the insecurity from overwhelming me, I put on an act of being bold.
    Actually, you'd be surprised at how many authors fake their confidence.
    Writer In Transit

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