Thursday, 18 September 2014

Confidence is the Key

As a person, I've never been the most confident. At school, I never offered the answer to a question in class, even if I knew the answer. I never volunteered to read aloud, even though I can read perfectly well. I never asked the guy out, never made the first move. Never believed I was pretty or thin, or clever enough.

Simply, I always thought someone (or everyone) was better than me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about arrogance here. Just a basic level of confidence.

This has carried on into my publishing career, and I have come to realise that one of the bigger problems with my book sales is just that I don't have enough confidence in my work.

Have you seen those amazing authors who post with such enthusiasm about their own books? I don't mean the pushy, "buy my book now!" people - just those who are so happy with what they are putting out there, they ooze confidence (even if it's faked, because let's face it, releasing a book is always terrifying!).

I released my first book in 2012. I was thrilled with it. I still love it now - I love all of my books. But when someone says to me, "Hey, I bought your book, I can't wait to read it!", although I always say thank you, I often can't stop myself from saying, "Oh, you didn't have to do that, you probably won't like it, it's not that good."

This isn't something I say to fish for compliments - it's like a safety net. If they really don't like it, at least they won't tell people I go around bragging about a book that is crap. I DON'T think my books are crap, but I can't bring myself to be too positive about them.

But this is NOT the attitude. Not the attitude that will sell a book.

This brings me to my new book.

Nobody Knows - my baby, and the book I have seriously high hopes for.

I don't want to start promotion for this book with negativity in my head. I want to be the author who says, "I wrote this, and it's really great, and I think you would love it!" I BELIEVE in this book. I believe in the story and the characters and I think my writing is the best it has ever been in this book. I have an amazing cover for it, I have a team of wonderful people helping to promote it.

Yet those nagging voices say, "Yeah, but.... what if it's a gigantic flop? Stop bigging up the book, because if it fails, at least the crash won't be so hard!"

I know every writer feels it. I know I'm not alone. But right now I am fighting hard at unlocking my inner confidence and being secure enough to say, "Hi, I'm Kyra Lennon, and I wrote this book. It's about rock stars, and it's about friendships, and it's about the complications that arise when the lines between friendships and love get blurred, and how people who have such tangled pasts try to find their way forward when their mistakes return to haunt them. It has heart. The characters are flawed, but I think you will like them because of that. I love them because of that. I feel like each one of them is a small part of me, and I truly think the best books are those the author has poured a little of themselves into. I am proud I wrote this, and I hope you feel the story the way I do."

Yup, that is all totally schmaltzy, but hey, if I don't believe in my work, I am going to have a hard time convincing anyone else it's worth reading.

Confidence really is the key.

(P.S You can sign up for the cover reveal right here - I'm telling you - this cover is AMAZING! You seriously don't want to miss this!)


32 comments:

  1. I loved that statement, the one that starts "Hi, I'm Kyra Lennon..." In fact, it's pretty much the most awesome thing I've ever heard you say about yourself and your books. And you deserve to feel that way! Make sure it lasts ;-)

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  2. You should have confidence - you've written several books and you've continued to improve your writing skills. No need to believe you didn't knock this one out of the park!
    There are things I wish I could change about my first book, as I know I made a lot of mistakes despite my publisher's efforts to correct all of them. I'm still proud of it. Really proud of the second one. But didn't hit a hundred percent confidence until the third one. I KNOW I hit everything right with book number three. (Still not going to go around telling everyone though. We do the best we can, right Kyra?)
    Not doing cover reveals anymore but will do a shout-out for you when it's released.

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    1. Haha, yes we definitely do what we can!

      I guess it's a process - we learn along the way.

      Thanks, Alex!

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  3. I can SO relate to this post, since I am honestly my own worst enemy. I really love every character I create and every story I begin to weave. But then that little voice of doubt starts trickling in and all of my insecurity and fears start whispering in my ear that what I've done is awful. Slowly, I allow those evil voices to change how I feel about everything I've written. It's crippled me for a long time now. I'm trying to combat it the best I can, and my prayers are that I gain more confidence in my writing skills, day by day.

    It's sad for me to hear that you feel this way about yourself, considering the quality work you ALWAYS produce. You are such an amazing writer Kyra, you should be very, very proud of each and every one of your accomplishments. My hope and prayers are that you will find the courage and confidence you lack and will from here on out, be strong and bold in both your work and personal life.
    :)

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    1. *hugs* Thanks, Jen!

      I hope you can manage to battle those insecurities too because you are super talented!

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  4. Stop reading my mind. The other day, my son said something about me having three books published, I told him it was actually four. My husband was like, see?! You don't tell anybody...your kids live in the same house as you and don't know when you publish another book. I do want to be one of those people who has all the energy and confidence, but i fear that will never be me.

    You do rock. You're writing is always a pleasure and I look forward to each new book (and you're right, this new one is amazing!). I think you have nailed it...when it comes to selling things, we sort of suck...no offense.

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    1. Thank you! <3

      Haha, I get that a lot too - about the number of books published. The funny part is, sometimes I still have to stop and remind myself!

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  5. You and I said the the same person when we were in school, but for me it wasn't exactly because I wasn't confident, but because I was too shy and hated attention. There were times when I badly wanted to read aloud or give the correct answer, but just shrank lower in my seat instead. Later, I'd be mad at myself for not speaking up. And i always thought to myself, "I hope my kids aren't as shy as I am."

    I know just how you feel about releasing books. I was brimming with confidence when Hurricane Crimes came out, but something happened. With 30 Seconds I am excited by extremely terrified that the problems I had during its conception will come back and bite my in the butt. But I don't think you have ANYTHING to worry about. You have so many people backing you up. I mean, look at the number of likes you have on your FB page and the number of followers you have for your blog. That means you're doing it right, and creating books they love! :D

    P.S. I can't wait to read Nobody Knows!

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    1. Thanks, Chrys!

      Confidence is such a hard thing to keep hold of, but I hope yours comes back soon. I cannot wait to read your books!

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  6. I believe most writers feel the same way. Once our books are out there , there's tons of insecurities. And I also wish I had the confidence that you describe. In fact after my books have been pubbed, I don't read them. I do open them to reference for the sequel and I cringe. We should evolve and become better writer's, right? Good Luck and Much Success with Nobody Knows!!!

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  7. Oh man, I know exactly what you mean. When I released the Christmas Anthology I was in my friends and family actually bought it. Totally shocked me. I was the same as you. I don't how you get over it, but it sounds like you're there, and that you've put in the work to back it up. So exciting!! Congrats :)

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    1. I'm working on it! :D

      Thanks, Jennie!

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  8. Sometimes I've lacked confidence and other times I didn't want attention. I know exactly what you mean. I'm more confident with age and experience, though.

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    1. Yes, age and experience does make a difference for sure!

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  9. I think with traditional publishing, SO many people are involved from the time it's bought to the time it hits shelves, you don't really feel that the entirety of the work is resting on your shoulders. Self-publishing or publishing with a small press takes a greater level of confidence because a lot of the work rests on your shoulders alone. Having a good critique group who helps you refine it can help, but I just think it takes a pretty high level of confidence to put your work out there yourself. I'm not sure I can do it without that buffer zone between me and readers!

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    1. I never really thought of self-publishing that way before - but you're right, it definitely requires confidence!

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  10. Ha I can relate. I never offered the answer to a question in class, even if I knew the answer as well. And everything else you mentioned, though I did approach a guy once (I was terrified, lol). It's nice to have that absolute confidence in a book you've written. It makes promoting it so much easier! And having the support of others really helps too.

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    1. Yes, support definitely makes the process easier!

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  11. I totally get what you're saying. If you find out how to ignore those little doubts, let me know. :)

    But you do rock. And your next book about rock stars will rock. :) So go out there and be confident. Maybe that's the key. If we act confident, eventually we'll become confident. Who knows. :)

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  12. I had the opposite problem with my own family having zero interest in my writing. Trust me gaining confidence is much easier. Wish you all the best and can't wait to see your cover.

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  13. While I haven't yet published, I know how you feel, as with my music CD I have been absolutely terrible at promoting it. I'm hoping to be better about all that when my 2nd CD comes out. And when it comes to books, I really hope I can ooze that sort of confidence you're talking about.

    As for you, missy, your books are great, and you are just going to have to learn how to say, "Oh, thanks! I hope you like it!" and leave it at that. :)

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    1. You need to remind me about your music - I want to listen! Where can I get it?

      Thank you!!

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  14. In this solitary profession, confidence really is the key. At least you published a book in 2012, I'm STILL trying to get there.

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  15. Ohhhh… HUGS!!!!

    Kyra, I loved reading all of this. And getting inside of your head. Let me tell you though, having read your new book, it's WONDERFUL. And you SHOULD have confidence! Time to shout it out to the world! You've worked hard and it SHOWS!!!

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  16. I can absolutely relate to that. I'm the same way. And I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling confident about this new book. You are an amazing writer. I can't wait to read it.

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