Why Is It So Hard to Believe in Yourself?

For more years than I care to remember, I wanted to write a book; something which left me with a wee bit of a problem. You see, I didn’t believe that I could. Yes, I could draft a good fundraising letter that pressed all the right buttons in a coherent and imaginative way, but a book, that was a whole different ball game! Until, circumstances intervened in the form of needing to bring some more money in, I got down to it and started my autobiography.

As usual, for, I suspect, most of us who work from home, after 15 minutes, I decided that I needed a cup of coffee, so I got up and made myself one. Then I went back to the computer and kept going. Half an hour later, I remembered that I hadn’t done the washing up. So, I went back into the kitchen to do just that. The task completed, I went back to the computer and wrote some more. Another half an hour or so passed and I remembered that the some washing had to be put into the machine, so off I trotted and did it. Then I went back to the computer again.

Somehow this determination to keep going, despite the distractions that I was creating for myself, generated a sort of rhythm to the process and I found that the words started to appear on the screen without much thought. As a result, something started to flow and what I wanted to write appeared. Not only that but things that I never imagined, came out. So much so that I surprised myself on reading it back. At the end of that first week, I found that I’d written 20,000 words. OMG, I could write and write well. It was a revelation. Not only that but I had a writing style which I really enjoyed reading as, it turns out, do those who’ve read any of my books.

To have readers say, for example, that “Mike’s an incredible writer and this book is brilliant” or “This book is full of lessons for all generations and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Also, “I love the title and the style”. This latter from Jeremy Corbyn. And, finally, “I found it impossible to put this book down and would recommend it to anyone who has ever felt that they’ve lost their way in life”. Well, you can imagine how I might feel.

So, apart from patting myself on the back, why this blog? Well, the reason is that all my books to date are works of nonfiction and I’ve always wanted to write a novel. And here I find myself back, so to speak, at square one. This, fairly imaginative, person is finding that difficult. The ideas are there but the words don’t flow. Until, that is, I recently woke up at 3 am when all the words, painting all the right pictures, came into my head. So much so that I got up and wrote it all down in a notebook that my youngest daughter, Ellie, (also a writer) bought me. Task completed, I went back to bed. Some days later, I tried writing again and, again, it didn’t flow until I picked up the notebook a read what I’d written during those early hours. It was exactly what I wanted to say just as I wanted to say it.

So, now to try to break down the internal barriers and write that novel.



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