The one thing I hate about writing is promoting. It’s true. I hate promoting myself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it feels too much like bragging. I’m not one to brag. Never have been.
You’ve heard the saying, It’s not bragging if you can back it up, kid.
Okay, the kid part isn’t in there, but that’s how I hear it in my head, maybe with a bit of Humphrey Bogart behind it.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, but a great many people who brag are either very confident in themselves and their abilities or full of some smelly stuff. Maybe it’s half and half.
When I was a kid, I heard a story about Pistol Pete Maravich. For those of you who don’t know who Pistol Pete was, he was one of the greatest scorers in the history of college basketball (he scored 3667 points in his college career, averaging 44.2 points a game). He went on to play in the pros, though his career was cut short, thanks to those little things called injuries. Interesting enough, most people don’t remember Maravich for his scoring, but for his creative passes. He is, essentially, one of the pioneers of the passing guards that we know today, but I’m not going to go into that here.
At any rate, the story goes that Wilt Chamberlain asked Maravich how high he could shoot the basketball. Maravich asked, “How high can you reach?”
Chamberlain then showed him how high he could reach while jumping.
Maravich (most likely with a slight smile on his face) said, “I can shoot one inch above that.”
Arrogance? No, I think not. Maravich was confident in his abilities. Maybe he was bragging a little? But he sure could back it up, kid
Bragging and confidence seem to go together. They are like birds of a feather. They are like peas in a pod. They are like any other cheesy cliché I wish to throw out there.
Confidence and ability can take you far, but it can only take you so far if you aren’t willing to take a few risks and put yourself out there, put your abilities out there. This is where I struggle: putting myself out there.
It just feels like bragging.
But maybe that’s what I need to do. Brag a little. Show some confidence.
Okay. Here goes.
Henceforth, some bragging will occur.
You have been warned.
There’s no turning back once I get started.
Here we go.
Are you ready for this?
I’m stalling, right?
Yeah, I thought so.
No more stalling.
Read the following words and believe them.
I am a good writer. I am a very good writer. No, I am not your typical fast paced all action all the time type of writer, but most of my stories are really good (especially the ones over the last two or so years).
If you don’t believe me, then read one of my collections. Consider it a challenge to the naysayers. Yes, I said naysayers.
I’ve spent a good chunk of my life with very few people who believed in me or my abilities. I’ve constantly had to prove myself, and in many respects, that is why I don’t particularly care to socialize outside of work and the few friends I have. Let me tell you, when it comes to writing, I’ve worked and worked and worked and with each story, my abilities get better. It’s just a fact that I have seen over the years.
I had one editor tell me to quit writing, that I would never be good at it. Umm… dear Mr. Editor Dude, you were wrong, and from what I hear, you went out of business, probably because of the way you treated the writers that made your magazine.
(Oh, sorry. A little bit of soapbox standing for a minute there).
I work hard at writing and I stay true to myself. I enjoy creating characters and scenery and situations for my characters to be in. I also love letting those characters decide how the stories will end and how long they will be.
I’ll tell you one thing you won’t find with my stories: all action and no development. I hate those types of stories and I refuse to write them. Does that mean some of my stories are a little wordy? Absolutely. As Stephen King once said about his work, “sometimes my stories become elephantine.” I’m okay with that. Thankfully, my stories only become little elephants, not 1500 page mammoths. The thing to remember is they are good. Good, I say.
I may be a nobody at the bottom of the totem pole right now, but I won’t be forever. There will come a day when things will break the right way for my writing career and I will take off.
It’s not bragging, kid. Not if you can back it up.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Just in case you haven’t heard: I’m a good writer. Read it again. I’m a good writer. And you will like my work.
That’s not bragging. That’s confidence. It’s not arrogance. It’s learning to believe in myself, in my abilities. It is something I have struggled my entire life with: the confidence to believe in myself.
You tell me: Is it bragging? Is it confidence?
One other thing I need to do is get back to blogging regularly, a couple of times a week. It is the one thing I need to take the time to do. I know I’ve been neglectful of Type AJ Negative at times, and for that, I apologize. But stick with me. I have some things I am working on that you may find interesting (you’re darn right you’ll find it interesting, and don’t you forget it).
If, by chance, I have piqued your interest in one of my two collections (or both of them), here are links to them. Along the Splintered Path came out in January and was released by Dark Continents Publishing. Southern Bones was released in October and was put out by CMB Publishing. Don’t bother looking the name up—it’s my own label.
Here’s a little game for you: What does the CMB stand for? No, a certain wife of mine cannot play.
The links follow, but for now, be safe, keep reading and until we meet again, my friends…