The Fragility of Confidence


It’s a strange thing, confidence. It hangs by a thread most of the time and it only takes something very small to break that thread and send the shield  crashing to the ground.


I’ve been researching possible paying markets for short stories recently and also thought I might try some article writing for the web. There are hundreds of such markets if you take the trouble to look for them. is one source which lists them and there’s plenty of listings to choose from. So a couple of months ago I decided to enter two stories into two separate on-line competitions. What the hell, I have nothing to lose, I told myself. Strangely, although I do have nothing to lose I’ve kept a close watch on my emails. Just in case; you never know.

Last week I received a very polite email advising me that I had not been short listed for one competition and today I received a similar one from the second completion. It really knocked my confidence. Even though I know my writing isn’t good enough to win anything or get published, and I’ve said many times that I love the process of writing; It’s a hobby I enjoy. So why should I be bothered? It’s not as though it’s my first rejection.

I generally don’t lack confidence. I regularly deliver presentations to large groups of people so I don’t think that’s it and I don’t think I’m feeling particularly sorry for myself either. It certainly won’t stop me blogging or competing in NaNoWriMo (Only 13 days to go!) or writing my almost finished novel or anything that pops into my head but, this time, I felt the rejection.

It won’t last long

Take care of your confidence, it’s a very complex and fragile thing

4 thoughts on “The Fragility of Confidence

  1. I entered a handful of competitions last year with the same attitude as you and it knocked me a little that I wasn’t placed or even acknowledged (I checked my emails hourly for about a week). Don’t feel bad, I later discovered the majority of short-listed stories were written by at least semi-professional writers who were known to the competition curcuit. Don’t give it, it’ll be your turn eventually! X

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