Categories
memories The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Miriam Drori

Yes, this week, I’m going to tell a story of my own, partly to show that this series doesn’t have to be about writing and you don’t have to be “a writer” to join in. The story doesn’t even have to be true; it can be one you made up, or one you read or watched on a screen.

For A-level, I took Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Music. I spent two years studying those subjects, but the teachers didn’t instil in me any belief in my abilities. There was one girl who was brilliant at Maths and always going to get straight As, and others who were clever. I was mediocre and mostly ignored. In Music lessons, I was the only pupil. I struggled with that and never shined in the lessons. My homework, in all subjects, suffered from my lack of self-confidence.

My father, who was a Maths teacher, wanted to help me. He was disappointed when I refused his help, but it didn’t seem right that he should do my homework for me. However, when lessons and homework finished and we were given time to revise before the final exams, I let him go through the whole syllabus with me, and that made all the difference. Suddenly, it all became clear and I knew that I could do this stuff.

I ended up doing extremely well in the exams, surprising myself and everyone else except for my father – or so he said. He hadn’t helped with Music, but I think that extra confidence spilled over into that subject. Also, I was conscious that the teacher wouldn’t see what I’d written in this external exam. This made me feel free to express my thoughts, uninhibited by her potential comments.

Belief produced results that took me to university, where I didn’t excel, but I did have a good time, meeting some lovely people with whom I’m still in contact.

About Miriam

Miriam Drori survived growing up in the UK and now enjoys her life in Israel (although she misses the UK and is looking forward to being able to visit again). Following careers in computer programming and technical writing, she now writes mostly fiction. Her next novel, Style and the Solitary, launches on 26th April.

Miriam is passionate about raising awareness of social anxiety. Not all her writing includes it, but she never fails to mention it in her bio and elsewhere.

Miriam’s Links

Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and many other places, including this website.

***

Next week’s post in this series will be from… you, whoever comes first. Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories.

If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.

Categories
Books The writing process

Confidence

We all make mistakes, sometimes. We all need to listen to advice, sometimes, especially when that advice comes from a voice of experience.

But equally important is the notion that we need to have confidence in our own abilities to think, so that, after listening to advice and learning all we can, we are able to make and follow our own decisions.

I’ve just made a decision about one of my books, one that I should and would have made sooner if I’d had more confidence to follow the path I’d chosen. Because no matter who the person is who advised changing direction, the final decision should have been mine.

I’m not going to explain any more now, but in about three months I’ll refer back to this post.

In the meantime, the message of this post is universal:

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.

Rosalynn Carter

Writing is tough. Life is tough. But we can do it.

Categories
Books

A-Z Challenge: S is for…

Secrets

Memoir Writing

This post is one of 26 I am writing for the A-Z Challenge on the subject of writing a memoir. I’m not an expert in writing memoirs, but I’m exploring the topic with thoughts about writing one, and am happy to share the fruits of my exploration.

—-0—-

MemoirWriting-Secrets

If you’re going to mention, in your memoir, that there have been secrets in your past, you have to tell the reader what those secrets were, because the reader will want to know. Hopefully those secrets no longer have to be kept secret. Otherwise, you’d better not write about them.

In an article in the Independent, Ruth Rendell is mentioned as having written in her first Barbara Vine novel, A Dark-Adapted Eye: “Secrets, having them, creating them, keeping them and half-keeping them were the breath of life to her.” Ruth Rendell, the article says, has her own secrets although that particular interviewer found her in an unusually talkative mood and she even, though briefly, discussed her childhood.

But she didn’t say whether she had to keep secrets as a child. Maybe she did and she was good at it. I hated having to keep secrets as a child. Secrets stopped me from talking – I was so afraid of making a mistake – and that in turn took away my self-confidence.

So, while secrets have been a breath of life to Rendell’s character and, it seems, to Rendell herself, for me they have had the opposite effect.

How have secrets affected you?

Note: I love to read your comments, especially when they’re attached to the right post. Please remember the Comment link is at the top of this post.

Categories
Uncategorized

It’s a Fake!

Or not.

What a powerful video this is. I love the message:

Don’t fake it ’til you make it.

Fake it ’til you become it.

With thanks to David Allen for brightening up my Thursday.