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.
The significance to this story lies within (each person). At either end of the spectrum something is missing. A deeper part of their confidence eroded by some invisible force we can’t know without being in their heads. What I do know and want to share is that your path is your own. When you have genuinely found your passion and purpose and mission in life you will put your eye on the horizon and move forward. The deeper you go within yourself to answer questions of who you want to be in this world and the more you come back with your truth (the absolutely truth), the clearer that path will unfold in front of you. It is when we deny what we really want to do and allow barriers to stop us that we sink into deeper insecurities about what we’re doing.
I know what is my mission? I know what I want to do. I know how to do it. I am doing it. I focus on the goals at hand. I don’t feel the need to justify it. I don’t feel the need to explain. And I most assuredly don’t feel the need to try and bring someone else down, because I am scared or doubtful or insecure so that in my act of bringing that person down I can somehow feel better about me.
And the really great part: When you become completely centered, confident and serene, the attempts to break through this emotional wall of fortitude with the attacks fall away. Insecure people can throw emotional daggers at that wall all they way want. They can try and desperately poke holes in the force field. Try, try, try – it won’t work. At the same time, I can stand within my fortress and keenly watch the attempts, turn, and get back to my “walk about” which is my life, goals and purpose. Do you see the synergy and irony? The more you stay your own journey, the less insecure you become; and the less able the insecure ones are able to knock you off track. What an amazing payoff!