I own a publishing company, 3L Publishing. I work mostly with writers who consider themselves artists. In this community of amazing and wonderful people, I have noticed something about “some” of them—not all of them. I don’t like to use absolutes because, of course, nothing is always absolute or true for everyone. What I’ve noticed is a crowd of people loaded with insecurities. Now, we’re all insecure on some level; but my observation of the number of people expressing an inordinate amount of insecurity in this group prompted me to add a session on our upcoming Writer’s Conference and Cruise to address this insecurity when it comes to their work.
I noticed the insecurity among this group of professionals over the last few years. If there is one thing I can say about reinvention and its impact on my spirit is that I am now more confident, centered and balanced than ever. This serenity within myself has given me a more objective place from which to make observations, because an interesting detachment comes with it. Since I am focused on building my business and “doing my thing,” I have little concern or desire to compare myself or feel bad about myself.
Now I might have wrestled with the insecure monster had I not discovered my passion and purpose – the discovery is actually quite liberating. You know you’re on a journey that you want to make versus stumbling along and allowing life to kind of drag you. So that said, I am more able to rise above many of these conversations where the writers start as I like to call it, beating their chests and declaring their skills in some ritual in which they think I am impressed or nullified, meaning I no longer question their skills or work. I wonder though, do they think this is a sales technique?
I think the saddest encounter I have had with a writer comes from a man who is actually famous and has published dozens of books. His resume is impressive. So I find it odd that this fellow would find the need to make digs at me (as I must pose some threat to his ego). I mean really this person is famous with a canon of work to be envied; therefore, I won’t mention him by name. His digs have ranged all over the chart from subtle comments to overt snobbery. I don’t take the bait ever – and I rarely talk to him now because of it.
The other end of the extreme comes from authors who like to puff up their chests and in a foolish way to explain how their manuscripts don’t need editing (everyone needs editing including me) and that their very large group of family and friends have assured them this book will attain best –seller status. I want to be clear: The ability to identify the next big hit like Harry Potter or the Twilight series is difficult. You think you can predict consumer behavior … good luck; but you can spot good, solid talent. I try to go with the latter when judging manuscripts.
So the insecurity of this group ranges – from the very seasoned professional who has every reason to feel proud and confident to the beginning author who must puff up his or her chest to reassure me of their impending fame. And at the heart of these conversations sits the truth of two types of insecurities – one somehow threatened and off center that their achievements can shine as an example of their vast talents and the other lacking confidence yet trying desperately to seize upon anything to validate their talent as real and legitimate.