Confidence (Just let me be the one you want right now)

I've yet to decide on a date to move to Roanoke. Ever since I got
accepted in March, I've made plans to be there on August 21st.
Frighteningly enough, that date is only two and a half weeks away, and
I've yet to find a place to live or a way to move my possessions three
thousand miles from Los Angeles to Roanoke. Still, I'm confident that
everything will somehow work out. Some portion of this confidence
comes from being involved in The MFA Chronicles, because the
assumption behind that blog is that I am going to Hollins this month,
otherwise I wouldn't be involved in the blog.

I also have to state that I am very persistent, smug, and arrogant. I
like to think this comes with the territory of being a writer. You
have to have some confidence and arrogance to believe your work will
count for anything when you submit it not only to MFA programs, but to
editors who read thousands of submissions a year. I jokingly told a
friend recently that she should be more arrogant, and yet there's some
truth to that statement. You really have to believe you are the best,
but you also have to be intelligent enough to know when your work
needs improvement. I think some people don't realize you can be
confident in your writing, that you should be confident in your
writing. Confidence does not equate with arrogance. The key is to
find the balance between confidence and self-improvement.

I know good work when I see it, and I know my work is good, but I also
know that I can make it better. So I will continue to criticize bad
work whenever I see it, and I will continue to improve my own work.

I think if I had half the confidence in other aspects of my life as I
do with my writing, I'd be a much happier person. I probably wouldn't
be alone.

By the way, this was a test of the email posting system. Does anyone know how to attach labels to your post through email, instead of manually doing it after you post?

4 thoughts on “Confidence (Just let me be the one you want right now)

  1. Be arrogant, or confident, or perseverant (is that a word?), or hot, or driven, whatever. Enough with evaluating your persistence. Just fucking write, ok?

  2. I think Jes and Mozart are on to something. I don't think you have to believe you are “the best” in order to succeed or write well. There is no way to define “the best.” The reader who make Raymond Carver's work a success and those who make Stephenie Meyer's work a success will never agree on what the best writing is, for example.

    I think arrogance and confidence are different and that Mozart is right. Arrogance goes hand in hand with a sense of entitlement and entitlement can be the death of a good writer.

    Anyway, good luck with moving! I don't think your post is all wrong, but you are probably confusing a healthy dose of confidence with arrogance. All interesting pre-MFA thoughts.

  3. denis, i gotta agree with Jes here. Arrogance can be a unfavorable perspective. I think there is a difference between arrogance and confidence, just like there is a difference between assertiveness and being aggressive. I think they are neutral entities, that can have emotional issues if misused. I think arrogance oftentimes gives off a “fake” sense of entitlement and privilege to individuals.

    On a lighter note, i say go full steam ahead towards Roanoke, no one can believe more than you.

  4. I hope it works out for you, but I definitely disagree with the idea of a needing arrogance to be a writer. Confidence, sure, but arrogance is definitely the distasteful bastard of confidence. But maybe that's just me.

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