Nathan Bransford wrote a very interesting post recently on the Dunning-Kruger effect. Do you lack confidence in your writing? It seems that might be a good thing.
This was like an Eureka moment to me. And what an interesting concept. If you’re at the pre-agented stage in the journey to publication, you’re especially susceptible to agonizing self-doubt. If you suffer from lack of confidence in your writing skills (as I believe we all do from time to time), make your way to Mr. Bransford's posthaste.
Lack of confidence can be debilitating, and with each rejection it becomes harder and harder to maintain a decent level of self-esteem without which one cannot gather the courage to forge ahead and resubmit. According to the Dunning-Kruger effect, lack of confidence can actually be an indicator of talent. Likewise, when people are incompetent at something they tend to lack the ability to realize it.
Maybe this theory can also explain the recent actions of certain Republicans in the House and Senate. Maybe it explains why the Texas Board of Education is trying to write Thomas Jefferson out of history. These self-proclaimed historians have traced the idea of "separation of church and state" back to Jefferson and they don’t like separation of church and state, so they would strike him out of American History. What is troubling about this is that the textbook industry contains very few textbook publishers and because of the tremendous purchasing power Texas has, what they want schoolchildren to know can make its way into classrooms around the country. From sea to shining sea, Thomas Jefferson could become but a memory.
But this blog is supposed to be principally devoted to the craft of writing, so back to Nathan. Read his post. I’m calling this the Wednesday Uplift. You might be underrating your abilities. Go see what I mean.