Tag Archives: confidence


Back in 2011 I wrote about this, but I was urged to mention it again. When I decided I wanted to become an author in my late fifties, I had no idea how to go about accomplishing that goal, but figured I’d learn along the way. When I spoke about it to friends, their responses were varied. Some said, “That’s nice.” I could tell their answer was just that, not one that took any thought, just something polite to say. Some were discouraging without meaning to be, saying it was really difficult and getting published was almost impossible. And a few were encouraging, but uninformed about the possibilities or lack thereof.

One of my dearest friends whose opinion I seriously sought, totally surprised me by not being encouraging at all. She was an educator and a Stanford Grad and I expected a “go-for-it” attitude from her. At that point in my life I might have been discouraged, but I was lucky. I had been successful in my last few endeavors and had gained confidence from those experiences, and my desire to write a book was fueled by the recent discovery of a sister for whom I had been searching for over fifty years.

My deep down determination was pretty sealed, but what cemented it in place was a friend who had traveled the world and wore the wisdom of many varied life experiences. I hadn’t seen him in a while, so when we did meet up one evening, I told him about my search for family and how dogged I had been through the years and that my efforts had finally been rewarded. I told him I wanted to write a fictional story about my search for my sister, but make it entertaining for others to read. As I spoke, I could tell he was hanging on every word and I could sense his interest.

When I finished telling him my hopes, he smiled and said he wanted to recite a poem by an unknown author that had been given to him many years before.  He also said it literally changed his life.  Here it is:


I wish I were a could be

if I could not be an are.

For a could be is a maybe

with a chance of reaching far.


I’d rather been a has been

than a might have been by far.

For a might have been has never been

while a has was once an are.


When he finished he said, “Now, keep this poem close and go write your book.”

I did and I did.

I’d love to hear if you have had any special something that has helped you fulfill your dreams, besides persistence and hard work.



Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.

Join her here each 11th of the month.



Filed under How To, musings, writing

“Me and Amelia Earhart” by Sherrie Hansen

Seven months ago today, my first novel, Night and Day, was released by Second Wind Publishing, a small, independent, up and coming press. I was cautiously optimistic, and excited about the launch of my writing career. I timidly announced the news to friends and relatives, sent out a few press releases, and scheduled a book signing, to which I doubted anyone would come.

I’ve always believed in my writing abilities, and liked my stories, but as one who has always marched to a different drummer, I wasn’t at all sure anyone else would like them. Although I was thrilled to be published, it was also terrifying for me to release my baby into the world, to open myself up to criticism, maybe even scorn.

Stormy Weather.

Stormy Weather.

When positive reviews started pouring in, my confidence level soared. Five hundred plus autographed books later, I feel great about the way Night and Day has been received. Affirmation is a wonderful thing!

Writing to an audience of “fans” who like my book, and are eagerly awaiting the release of the next one (Stormy Weather in Nov 09) gives me an unprecedented high. Yet a part of me worries that I will be a “one hit wonder”, that the new book will flop, that I will disappoint my publisher, friends, family and fans with my next book, or the next.  Do authors ever get over the pre-release date jitters?

A rainbow after the storm.

A rainbow after the storm.

A woman stopped me in the grocery store last week when I was picking up a few things for the Blue Belle Inn, my bed and breakfast and tea house, with my 7, almost 8 year old niece. She started out by telling me that she was an avid reader – Jude Deveraux,  Sandra Brown, LaVyrle Spencer (one of my heroes), Linda Lael Miller… the list went on.  She then proceeded to tell me that she had read Night and Day, and that it was as good or better than the books written by these women, and that I was now on her “favorite authors” list, and that she would be buying any and all of my future releases.

My niece piped up and said she was a good writer, too, and that she was working on a book about a bear who smells a very sweet, unusual odor in the woods, and then sets out on an adventure to try to find out what the smell is.

The woman praised her story idea and said maybe she would be a famous author someday, too.

Later, when we were on the way home, my niece told me that she thought I was about the most famous woman in the world.

“Well, not really,” I said. “Maybe someday.”

“Well, there is Ameilia Earhart, ” she said. “She flew across the Atlantic Ocean.”

“Yes,” I replied. “She’s definitely more famous than I am.”

“Her plane went down in the ocean and she was never heard from again,” my niece said, her voice filled with awe. “Some people think that aliens took her.”

“Where did you hear that?” I said. “In school?”

“No. On a Scooby Doo DVD.”

When I got home, I googled Stormy Weather, and found that in addition to being a hit song, it was also the name of an USAAF B-17G airplane that crash landed on the island of Als, Denmark (where the Hansen family is from several generations back) during World War II.

Let’s hope I am famous one day, and not just in the eyes of grocery store shoppers and 7 year old nieces. And, please, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that Stormy Weather is a huge hit, and that I don’t crash and disappear in the ocean of Amazon.com, never to be heard from again…


Filed under books, fiction, fun, Sherrie Hansen, writing