Exploring confidence

As we start to explore the theme of confidence it doesn’t matter what we look like, how old we are or where we live. The focus is on the written words.

The way we feel drives much decision making in society. We don’t always apply logic and science when we consider the choices we will make. We often rely on opinions, raw emotion and gut instinct to guide our actions and their consequences. In society much effort is focused on studying and influencing market, business and consumer sentiment as these measures of confidence drive profit and help to measure community outcomes.

The arts have enduring societal benefits that are frequently unrecognized and under-valued by such metrics and models. For example, reading fiction can set the imagination free by transporting and entertaining us.

By suspending disbelief, we are encouraged to embrace complexity, uncertainty, new worlds and different ways of thinking. Interpreting confidence from a fictional perspective can open us up to subtleties, curlicues and diverse perspectives that will enrich our understanding of each other, the world and our place in it. It doesn’t do this by teaching but rather by entertaining us. As we read or watch we may laugh, cry or do both at the same time.

There are infinite ways to explore the theme of confidence. Imagine a circle with many lines drawn through it. Each line represents the perspective of a writer. Some may explore confidence and hope, others confidence and betrayal. Elements of confidence may be reflected in characters or in the environment. Key characters may be over-confident, lack confidence or have an experience that shapes their self-belief in some way. Some explorations will be light and joyous others more somber.  Think about your line, where it is headed and what you seek to share with your readers.

The relationship between a reader and a writer occurs across time and space. A reader sits skimming your lines with their eyes, completely absorbed. Once finished there is a sense of loss like farewelling a friend. Happy with the experience, sad in the parting but comforted that some of the meaning will stay with them, they put the book down.  This is also true for fiction that is spoken, acted on a stage or filmed.

 Some of our writing will influence people and have flow on effects that we may never know about. That is the true power of your piece.

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