Confidence in Your Abilities / by Arch Magazine

            Happy Holidays everyone. First off, I want to thank everyone who has contributed and made this issue another great one.  We had our largest contribution pool to choose from, and I know I speak for all of the editors when I say it was a pleasure to see everyone’s works.

            My second point deals with perspective contributors. So if you haven’t contributed and are looking at someone else's piece, if you are a friend of a contributor, or if you are from Suny Albany and are just looking because you heard of us, this message is for you. Trying to recruit for Arch contributors, I always run into the same issue. Confidence. I have seen amazing writers, and talented artists of all sorts, but when I ask if they would be interested, they don’t think that their work is good enough.

            I am well aware of this feeling and I suffer from it as well. It is hard to do something where you express yourself and then show it to others. The other part of it is that you might not be satisfied with the work and you might want to keep tweaking it. As artists, we might never be satisfied with the "doneness" of our work. However, there is little to fear. All of us editors feel or have felt that fear or lack of confidence at one point or another.  Personally, I once had to have about three friends and my mom to tell me to submit some of my writing for a contest. I share this with you not to say that this lack of confidence has completely left me, but I say it because I want everyone to know we get it. I tell you that story to show that sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and it might pay off. The worse thing that could happen is that we say that you won’t be in this issue of Arch. The world won’t end, you shouldn’t stop trying, and we are only one group of people.

            If you don’t get in this time, edit your piece, create another, or try a new medium. The only way you lose in this case, is if you don’t try. I was once at a creative writing workshop and the instructor told me something that I will never forget. “Shut up and read your shit.” The instructor didn’t mean that our writing was bad, she meant that everyone thought that of their own work and it showed. We all made excuses on why we weren’t sharing our work or justifications for it being less than our best if we did share.  After that, we started sharing more and it was rare for someone to read a “bad” piece. Once we all got over our fear, we grew as writers and helped each other improve.

          In short, the only way to get better and gain more confidence is to submit work to places like this. If you are having trouble working up the confidence to submit, come see us and talk to us at our launch parties. We understand what you are going through, and we are a safe and low judgement place for you to explore your hobby or talent.    


Until next time,

Danielle York