Cc: Confidence, Bolstering Your Self-Worth Day by Day

During April, I will be blogging about how creative people can practice their craft every day and what rewards will come from the daily effort.


Cc:  Confidence, Confident
Bolstering Your Self-Worth Day by Day

Even though I’ve practiced writing and drawing for a couple of decades, I never describe myself as a writer or an artist. Instead, I belittle my work with phrases like, “…they’re just little whimsical drawings…” or “I’m just sort of working on some stuff…”

But then, two things might happen.

1. You meet someone who tells you, “I’m a musician” with total confidence and ease. You assume that person has practiced for two decades, makes his living from his art, and performs regularly. When you look him up online, you discover you have football fields full of more experience than he does, and yet, here he is, claiming the title you crave and yet shy away from.

Sometimes, envy can be instructive.

2.  You’ve started to practice your craft daily (see “Dd: defining daily”). Let’s say it’s been six months. You don’t have anything to show for it yet, no finished canvas or publication, but a lot of projects have been started and developed a little bit at a time, and you love all of these beginnings and think about them when you’re not working on them, and that’s when it happens:

You meet someone new and they ask you, “What do you do?” To your surprise, you hesitate for only a second or two, and during that time the months of daily effort stack up behind you like building blocks, pressing your spine tall and straight, and you hear yourself say quite naturally, “I’m a writer.” (Or artist, painter, musician…)

Daily practice clarifies your sense of self and bolsters your confidence. In time, this new strength powers you through tougher and tougher projects, ones that would have seemed impossible six months earlier.

It’s in the practice that you earn the title of Artist or Writer or Painter because it’s in the daily grind where you build your sense of identity and faith in your work. Showing up every day, especially when you have nothing (yet) to show for it in any easy fashion (like a gallery show), proves your dedication and passion for your craft. Once you have this disciplined dedication, sense of self, and vision, you can better handle the ups and downs of making your work public, facing rejection, and managing success.








I write and illustrate stationery, cards, customized snail mail (yes, you can receive handwritten and illustrated letters in your mail!!), coloring books, and more. My business name is "Carrot Condo." After teaching English for 15 years (gasp!), I am now a full-time parent and part-time artist slowly, but steadily, building a creative business and life. You can read more at or see my products at Thanks for your interest and support!!
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13 Responses to Cc: Confidence, Bolstering Your Self-Worth Day by Day

  1. EcoCatLady says:

    Another wonderful post. There is such power in naming, isn’t there?

  2. Alex Hurst says:

    Strange how quickly that thing we want can become familiar like an old friend. I still do a double take when someone says “So you’re a published author.” I want to say “no” because I’ve only ever self-published work… but then… that’s a valid form of publishing, and I’m still proud of those stories…

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

    • TRISTA says:

      Alex– and you’re starting a graduate program in publishing, right? I hope I’ll get to read more of your thoughts on publishing. I think the methods and reputation of self-publishing has changed a lot in the last decade. I remember when people called it “vanity press.” But now, it’s a way to get a more diverse range of voices and art into the world. Hurrah for that!

      • Alex Hurst says:

        I’m applying in February! Hopefully I’ll get in. Vanity presses are still a very real thing, and are defined as any publishing house that makes YOU pay to get published. Self-publishing avenues like Smashwords, Amazon and Lulu are technically vanity, since all you pay for are the materials for printing. I think my A-Z next year will be about publishing… but that’s pretty for in the future, haha!

  3. I think a little confidence goes a long way! If someone belittles their own talent then how can they accept someone else to take it seriously! That is what I am learning , slowly but surely!

    • TRISTA says:

      Exactly! And yet, I thought I was simply being humble and shy. The thing is, confidence has to come from somewhere, and for me, it comes from the daily practice. I fit into the title of “writer” or “artist” a lot better after months of daily “working out.”

      • I agree. I am pretty shy and would hate to be thought of as arrogant. For that reason I would not deign to call myself a ‘writer’ or a ‘poet.’ However, if it is something that I did on a regular basis (which I do now), then I suppose I should be confident about it! (I worry that ‘real’ writers and poets will think I have got a cheek to describe myself as such)!

  4. hollihd says:

    Hi- Just stopping by from a to z. I believe that confidence is everything. I do what I can and try my very best at whatever I do. I am no way an expert at anything but I sleep well knowing I gave everything I had. Great post!!

  5. Rose L. says:

    Friends will tell me that I need to “accept” and take the title of professional since I have made money with talents. I have sold my photography so am told it makes me a professional photographer. I have sold my poetry so it makes me a professional writer. I have made items and sold them so it makes me a professional craftsman. I am not really completely accepting of that. Just making money at something doesn’t grant you the title. But I have accepted that I do have some talents! And when people pay me for it, it does give me some confidence.

  6. mj6969 says:

    Nervy. It always struck me as nervy and I admit, it ticked me off more than I care to admit – which was the envy and jealousy of the Ego and in-my-head obnoxious and cruel self-censor, when I met people claiming a “title” I so desired and coveted. Then, either through more exploration of said person, I’d often add chagrin to my feelings – because they mostly weren’t nearly as accomplished as I thought – but “THEY” thought so – and wore the title as if they had “earned” it.

    Sometimes, it’s all about the hutzpah – ultimately – it’s not about degrees or education or how long one has been practicing – often it’s self-belief and courage – and the daring to self-promote. This doesn’t mean that all that is “out there” truly is “great” – but, who is to judge?

    And I guess this means coming to terms with oneself – digging deeply and self-examining and learning that denying ourselves the right to create, for whatever reasons we do, and then shying away from claiming who we really are – are simply dis-services to ourselves.

    Practice – showing up – daily – and just creating something – without the pressures of “grandiose” ideas – and eventually – it will all come together. But we have to, as Nike says “Just Do It.”

    Great post 😀

    • TRISTA says:

      Wow, MJ! I love the idea of the “right to create” and “claiming who we really are,” and you’re right about it coming together…eventually. I’m on my way to visit your blog right now. Thanks for reading and for your great insights!

      • mj6969 says:

        Thank you! Actually, it’s your great post that had me thinking – and having battled with myself for so long, eventually it just seems that in the end, it’ll either eat you alive, or you have to surrender – and follow your truth.

        Hmmm … I hope you find it to the right link – just in case:

        I was still linking to another site – which I’m not really writing at, so …

        Thanks for the great comment and for stopping in 🙂

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