Self-confidence isn't something I usually struggle with. I don't mean that to sound conceited, but in both my personal or professional life, I make sure I know what I'm talking about, backwards and forwards, before I open my mouth. I have a firm grasp of what my capabilities are (and aren't) and a belief that they will help me succeed with whatever I'm doing.
But when it comes to my writing, it's a whole other story.
There are days that I feel my vocabulary consists of a dozen words, and I keep using them over and over again. See that. I just used over twice. I'll write a scene in my novel one day, and when I read back over it later I gag on how bad it is. Then there are times when I write something that I consider fairly pedestrian, and when somebody else reads it they can't stop praising it. I am my own worst critic sometimes.
Stringing together a 100K words doesn't make a novel (although I've read some books from authors who might take issue with that statement). If we go out on a limb and stipulate that it does constitute a novel, that doesn't mean its necessarily commercial. Can it sell books? How many? What number of books does it need to sell before you consider it a success? Even if you're confident it will be a success, can you convince an agent of that fact? If there is an agent out there looking for just the type of book you've just finished, will you work hard enough (or be lucky enough) to get your manuscript in front of him/her at just the right time. Will she have PMS that week? Will he be suffering from a case of Hemorrhoids? Are all of the stars aligned properly?
I am not kidding myself here. I am well aware the chances that either of my novels find their way into traditional print (self-publishing will always be an option) are astronomical. But there are things that I am confident in . . .
* I am confident that my exploration into creative writing is a good thing.
* I am confident that my stories are entertaining.
* I am confident that the people who support me and nudge me along, do so because they believe in the work, not just in me.
* I am confident that failure to be successful won't be because of a lack of effort on my part.
* I am confident that I can expand my vocabulary to at least 13 words.