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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Company at Vastine's...Welcome, Jayden Brooks!

Welcome to the weekend, darlings!

Today another dear friend is visiting my place. She's a new author and I've had the pleasure of knowing her during the process of getting her very first book. That lovely fun of seeing a friend's first release. And, oh, sugars, I can tell you this new book will only be the first of many for this talented gal. 

Welcome lovely Jayden Brooks! Not only is she talented but she's fascinating, a stands-by-her-guns woman. 

Psst...want a peek at the luscious cover for this new book of Ms. Brooks'? Why just take a gander at this, you all...

Did I not tell you it was nice? Exquisite! 

So now that you've seen the gorgeous cover, I'll turn the floor over to Ms. Brooks. And hang around after the visit because if you comment, there's a chance to win That's Who I Am.

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I’ve experienced ups and downs with being insecure about my abilities in one area or another. Am I a good enough mom, partner, friend, photographer, writer? If there is a moment where I think, “Damn, I did good”, it will swiftly be followed by, “Ha, that sucks, ya hack”.

I know I’m not alone, and usually, I shrug and tell myself that I did my best, and it’s good enough. I’m content, but last week it was one hit after another: a less than stellar book review, a photo shoot that resulted in (to my eye) crappy pictures, and some family drama.

It was my disappointment with the photos that took the largest chunk out of my confidence, which then bled into all other areas of my life. Photography, for many years was my only artistic outlet, the thing I was allowed to feel accomplishment or pride—outside my children. Failing at something I KNOW I do well…. *shudder *

 I doubted my worth in all things close to my heart.

The good reviews for my book suddenly carried less weight than the bad ones, and realizing my co-worker, who had bought my book two weeks prior and never again mentioned it… well that just added fuel to the doubt now spreading like wildfire. All sorts of manic “what if” scenarios began running rampant through my mind, igniting even more pockets of doubt. It was crushing.

It is appallingly easy to believe the worst in yourself. There I was, staring at hundreds of pictures, and I needed to find at least fifty that I could make presentable. I worked through the night doing everything I could to squeeze excellent photos out of mediocre shots. When Ze man woke up at 7 am, he found me curled up on the couch, distraught. He said one word, “babe” and the levee broke. Let me just say, I’m not a pretty crier, but it was cathartic, and once the storm passed, I made him sit down and look at the images I now viewed as proof of my incompetence. He looked, my son looked, my daughter looked, my brother-in-law and fellow photographer looked and so on… and they all said the same thing. “Good, but not your best.” And you know what? THAT I could hear. I needed to hear that from them. It validated what I knew, but in some way it also reassured me. It made me feel less inadequate, because most people would lie and offer praise to the lady on the verge of a meltdown. (I still think the pictures were crap.)

In the end, the family raved about the pictures. On Monday morning my co-worker launched into a sputtering demand for more to my book, praising and asking questions about Sophie and the baby. Their combined enthusiasm and excitement went a long way toward restoring some of the damage left in the wake of my insecurities.

So what did I learn from all this? Not to let myself be coerced into taking a job for which I feel no enthusiasm. Not to let the doubt fester in my head until I reach critical mass. And falling short of my self-imposed bar doesn’t make me a failure.

It also served as a reminder of something important facts I lost sight of… I’m a good mom, a loving partner, a fierce friend, a resilient photographer, and a writer who isn’t afraid to learn.

Now for a little promo  giveaway!

Let’s start a positive thread. Tell me one thing that you love about yourself, and enter to win a copy of my novella, That’s Who I Am.





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Jayden, thank you for sharing your feelings. Your sentiments are ones that every author has experienced. None of us are immune to doubt. Helps all new authors to know it is just part of the biz. 

You heard the lady, folks! Come on! Tell us one thing you love about yourself!


Jen CW said...

What a great post! One thing that I love about myself is my ability to read most people and being able to get a feel for whether I want to know them or not at first meeting. When I was younger, I didn't have the skill and/or didn't trust it. Now, while I'm not always right, I tend to be able to find the people that I will connect with and enjoy the most faster.

Jayden Brooks said...

That is a fantastic quality to have!! I tend to trust first and see how it goes. Oy. Thank you for sharing. ❤️