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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Post: A Note On Confidence From Lisa Barrass

Think you’ll never make it as a writer? Well, you’re not alone!! But don’t worry, read on, gather your strength and embark on a journey…

The Red Planet Prize – come on, you’ve all heard about it/read about it/entered it... Or maybe not. I’d been lurking around the blogsphere reading great pieces by writers and, to be honest, I was in awe of the confidence. It left me dazed and, I have to say, very intimidated. I would read them and then slink back to the safety of anonymity – hey, don’t knock it, it’s a great place, no-one criticises you. Yep, staying right here…

Then, in an uncharacteristic act of sheer bravado, I entered the Red Planet Prize. Sent off those first ten pages in the click of a button.

God help me, what had I done?

The blogs were buzzing with it and confidence levels were high. Bloggers were talking about polishing their work, making it shine, re-writing, re-writing, editing – oh my God – what had I done? Well, for a start, none of that. Nope, in my naivety, I’d just sent ‘em what I’d got. Oh, devil may care me!!! And the more blogs I read, the more the dread took hold – the more I realised that I’d screwed up big time!! By now, I think I was fairly resigned to not getting passed that first ten page read and a massive lesson had been learnt about how to approach my work. Boy was I glad of anonymity then.

Then an email appeared, inviting me to send the rest. Me! OMG! Me? At that time I had no idea of the stats – it was only later I found out just how many didn’t get that email. Eventually, the winner was announced and it wasn’t me but I was invited to the workshop and a day with the man himself, Tony Jordan.

Even as I sat around that table the nagging doubt that I was the impostor, the one that shouldn’t be there, kept creeping over me. I looked at the other writers and I ticked off the reasons they were there and I felt absolutely sure TJ was doing the same thing and that when he got to me, we had come to the same conclusion: why is she here?

So, if you’re lurking around the blogs and you feel the same way, remember that you are not alone and do what I did. Start a blog: Google blogger accounts are free and easy to set up. Write something in it – doesn’t matter if you think you have nothing to say and no one will read it – do it for you. Be brave, comment in blogs. The blog owners don’t bite and they won’t mind. Tweet your writing thing - it’s just 140 characters, come on, you can do it! Join a couple of friendly sites such as Twelvepoint and UKwriters... Have fun!

Most of all don’t worry! You’re a great writer – and when you’re ready, you let the world know!

MORE ABOUT LISA: Writer cunningly disguised as a museum assistant. I made the final twenty of the 2008 Red Planet Prize and am passionate about writing, Rom Coms and archaeology and one day I'm going to combine all three in a script!

Lisa's blog

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Thanks Lisa!

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