There's something invigorating in the discovery you're capable. That you're no expert, but not totally inept either. You've probably heard the phrase 'Action breeds confidence.' I consider this past year a whirlwind of action and discovery.
A year ago today, I wouldn't have believed someone telling me I'd publish not one, but three books in 2014.
In January, I would've laughed if someone told me I would not only build/design my own website, but create a mailing list, blog somewhat regularly, and even setup my own online store.
None of this might seem like a big deal to most of you. (Technology has become increasingly user-friendly after all.) I, however, still remember my college days when I begged, bribed, and otherwise cajoled friends and classmates to "help" me write HTML code so I could receive a passing grade.
This post is not all about wins and small victories, nor my pretending there haven't been incredibly frustrating moments along the way.
There have been. Many.
Frustration is just a part of life though, isn't it?
One troubling me for as long as I can remember is my general lack of handyman skills. I'm a country boy, yet one thing country boys are universally considered good at it is the ability to fix things with their bare hands.
I recently wrote a Father's Day post declaring my Dad as all that is man. My brother is too. If you need men who can fix or craft metal and wood, hunt and fish all day, or talk makes/models of vehicles, they're your guys.
Me? I write about people who can transform into seals.
That's an equal playing ground right?
*This is where Dad would kindly remind me everyone has different talents. That the reason I didn't know how to do "man" things, like ripping out the entire stairwell in my house to address/replace squeaky boards and put it all back together again, (which I've since done), is because I hadn't done it before.
This past year of action has been a giant reminder of both that lesson and an Emerson quote I love: When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
So what was this newest win, Galv?
I learned how to format ARCs.
For those who don't know what those are, ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy. Usually these are sent to reviewers, bloggers, etc. in advance of publication to generate early press/reviews. The process involves taking a Microsoft Word document and warping it through the seven formatting hells in the hope it comes out clean and readable on the other end.
Again, I realize this seem silly to most of you and incredibly easy. It's just formatting, right?
I had initially planned to farm the formatting service out, but I had a few excited reviewers who couldn't wait to start reading. I thought why not give this formatting thing another shot. The worst that could happen was I fail miserably like I did in March, give up as another skill forever lost on me, and farm out the service anyway.
I figured it out a few hours later. ;)
The point of this post is not to pat myself on the back, or some hope any of you reading this will give me one.
I don't care about that.
This post is me saying you are capable.
Action breeds confidence. Get out there and do. Surprise yourself with how capable you are.
Author. Actor. Rascal.