Friday, August 24, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Ignorance and Confidence

"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."
--Mark Twain
Would you bike down this?
When I set out to write my first novel, I knew nothing about the business of publishing. Ignorance was bliss. I had confidence that I would write a great story and then my book would be published. Simple.

My ignorance and confidence did not mean sure success in my case. So what exactly was Mr. Twain talking about?

What I understand now is that the more knowledge I gain about writing and publishing, the harder it is to maintain that blissful feeling of confidence. 

What does Mr. Twain's quote mean to you?



25 comments:

  1. Yep. I hear you. I plunged into, and finished, that first novel with the same ignorance and confidence. Not so with subsequent novels, because once the ignorance is removed, the confidence wears off.

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    1. How to recapture the ignorance--that is the question.

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  2. That's a great quote, and I remember the confidence I had starting out..,before I learned what the industry was all about. We should stop worrying so much and remember that feeling. Or, at least, I should.

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  3. I guess ignorance + confidence = success does happen, but I don't think that's the norm in publishing today, and I definitely think a lack of instant success does chip away at our confidence, so I'm with you there.

    But there are two different types of confidence to consider: self-confidence, which can falter in the face of rejection etc. and writing confidence, which can continue to grow the more we learn and the more we write. I'd like to think that this is much more important and is only waiting for the right moment. Your writing is beautiful and confident, and you can be very proud about that. The success will come. *hugs*

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    1. Your are brilliant, Kip. That is exactly the point. Writing confidence and self-confidence are two separate things. And thanks for the vote of confidence. ^_^

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    2. I like Kip's reply. So I'm plagiarizing. Or as Patrick Swayze would say in Ghost, "Ditto."

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    3. Imitation--the sincerest form of flattery.

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  4. I love Kip's point about writing confidence vs. self-confidence, because I'm right there with you, Angelina. I would love to return to those blissful moments I used to have, or at least stop banging my head against the walls of the publishing world. But alas, I think writing chooses us, not the other way around. And I know, Angi, that writing chose the right person when it chose you -- keep going! We need your voice out here in the wilderness.

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    1. Thanks, Barb. Now stop beating your head against the wall and go eat some green beans. ^_^

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    2. NOOOOOOOoooooooooooo! You're in league with the green beans, too?! ;)

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  5. Couldn't agree more. Each book is harder. I long for that pre-pub innocence.

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  6. Greetings!

    I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and thought I would visit some blogs before the fun begins. Nice to meet you...you have a lovely blog!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donnalmartin.com
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I'll hop on over to yours and take a peek. ^_^

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  7. That was exactly my experience, Angelina. I love the quote, though, and think what he means is if you're lucky enough to have that combination of ignorance and confidence, you can enjoy the ride. I loved every minute of writing my first book!

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    1. I was giddy for six months. ^_^ Someday I'll feel that way again. I hope.

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  8. I can totally relate to the "ignorance is bliss" feelings of the early days of writing, lol. Now, though, for me the thing is recognizing my ongoing ignorance (realizing there is always so much more I can learn) and still having the confidence to believe I can get there...I can learn and grow and eventually succeed. The "ignorance" part keeps me learning, and the "confidence" part keeps me from giving up. I think that's what the quote means for me. :)

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  9. I couldn't agree more with you and everyone who's commented. Writing started out as fun, "oh my gosh, this rocks" type thing for me. Then the 'technicalities' and the 'rules' and the 'professional advisers' kicked in and beat away at my pride and confidence. I was determined not to let it show at first, but they eventually won out. I went back to hiding my work and being a bit more secretive about it. It took some time, but I think I might be back to the fun part. It's easy to lose sight of the fun side. But it's what makes it worth it. I know it's easier said than done, but don't let the dark side of the writing world drag you down. Surround yourself with supportive, helpful, and up building people ... and listen to them!

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    1. Happy to hear you're having fun again. ^_^

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  10. I felt the same way when I wrote my first story, but I think I actually gain more confidence the more I know. Sometimes though, I feel I know too much. It makes my head hurt.

    The success part? That I don't know. I guess it's all in how you define success, but I wasn't very successful when I was ignorant and confident either. Great stuff to think about though. :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Sometimes I think it was the innocence, rather than ignorance, that gave the confidence. I feel better having more knowledge, but I miss my newbie innocence.

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  11. Hahaha, that's me! Stilll happily revising! :)

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