Not Going To Frisco: Day 1

Welcome to Writing Biz Reality.


Do you have the confidence to write the book that's been teasing your consciousness? To secure an agent to represent your work? Or perhaps in a different writing arena to apply for a professional blogging job? To write ad copy?

The Big Picture

Let's look at the big picture. Do you have confidence in your ability to have a successful writing career?

Arthur Ashe, as great a human being as he was a tennis champion, once said: "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."

How much confidence would Vince Young or the Manning brothers have in their ability to win if they sat around drinking beer and watching TV instead of attending football training camp?

Athletes know the value of preparation. That's why Tiger Woods hits a few hundred golf balls each day, lifts weights, and runs a few miles. That's why Venus and Serena slam tennis balls around every single day. Look at any professional athlete and see how they prepare to compete.

Let's break down what Arthur Ashe said. To be successful, you must have self-confidence. To be self-confident, you must prepare.

Pseudo Math Formula

If it were a mathematical formula, one might write:

Preparation = Self-confidence

Self-confidence = Success

Therefore, preparation = success.

Now, ask yourself, what have I done to prepare? You can apply this to any endeavor, not just writing. Substitute the words or phrases that speak to what you are trying to achieve in asking yourself these questions.

Have you prepared by learning your craft? Have you mastered grammar? The narrative elements necessary to tell a story? Have you learned how to write a synopsis? A query letter? Have you studied the body of work in existence from past and contemporary writers?

Have you practiced your craft on a consistent basis to develop a good work ethic? Have you completed at least one manuscript? Have you written enough to know how long it takes you to write a manuscript?

Have you studied the business end of your chosen career? Do you understand contracts so when you're offered one you'll have a working knowledge of what the clauses mean? Have you obtained agent representation? Have you joined professional organizations to educate yourself about your chosen career and also to take advantage of benefits they offer?

Takeaway Truth

Preparation is a step by step process of building a foundation of belief in your ability to achieve. That foundation is called self-confidence. In the end self-confidence makes you believe in the inevitability of success. Your success.


  1. Thank you, very inspirational.
    I'm still working on "work ethics", trying to write everyday, no matter what. Learning the craft is also in the works, but I know I'll get there, eventually, because it's the place I want to be (wherever "there" is).

  2. I have confidence in spades, what I need is the willpower to sit through edits where I realize that a beautifully written page does not actually move the story along and must be cut.

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  4. Ruth, thank you. Yes, building a work ethic is a challenge yet we all manage to build one in the "outside" world. It's the inside world where we're doing something that's just for us that is the challenge. We're taught not to be selfish. Sometimes, subconsciously, we may feel that doing something just for us is selfish. But it's NOT!

  5. Hey, Just me! Confidence in spades but need will power to accomplish a task that you really don't want to do? And that's the secret there. When we write something beautiful, we really don't want to cut it out. BUT, if you know it doesn't move the story, cut it anyway. I save those fragments in a file with the project name and Fragment (date). You never know when a beautifully written scene might work for something else - even if it's just an example to show a workshop class of a beautifully written scene!

  6. Samantha, at

    I suspect you are a business masquerading as an interested reader. Therefore, I am deleting your comment. If you're a real live person, email me with "real live person" in the subject and I'll be glad to have you comment again.

  7. You explained it very well and I must agree with you. You wouldn't feel the confidence you need if you know that you haven't prepared for the battle. Preparation will give you confidence because you know you've done the things you need to do in order to succeed.

    By the way, your mathematical formula is cool! :D

  8. Thanks, Stella. Glad it helped. BTW, no one has EVER said my math, of any kind, was cool. If my geometry teacher was still above ground, I'd forward that comment to her. *g*