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IBQ Writing Prompt: Confidence

introvertchallenge

This week’s prompt is:  Confidence

Noun:  a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

From the Latin confidere ‘have full trust’.

“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

books_walton2Earlier this week in Share Your World, I mentioned that I wanted to be the Editor in Chief of the Los Angeles Times. No one doubted my skills in writing. I used to love writing and was fairly eloquent at it. My early teen years were in the 1970s and John Boy Walton was one of my heroes. I would keep a journal and write about my life and dreams. Mainly dreams back then because my childhood home was anything but loving and fun. Every once in awhile John Boy would announce he writes so much a day, I would make sure I mimicked his efforts.

Anyhow, in junior high and high school I took journalism and creative writing courses and was a teacher aide to one of the hardest English teachers in school. I even took a couple of college courses.

screenshot_458By the age of 21 and living on my own in Denver, I was speaking in front of hundreds of people about my story of incest and helped many adult survivors speak their truth for the first time. What a privilege that was. I worked with doctors and psychologists to form incest survivor groups for both children and adults.

So what happened to me? I got Lyme disease in my mid-twenties and had no idea I had it for next three decades. On top of having Lyme disease I am an introvert. As I got sicker, I withdrew from life more and more. I met Chris shortly before I quit all my outside activities. She was able to see me speak in public a couple of times. I remember she was amazed how good I was, once I started to speak.

I’ve learned over that span of time not to trust my own ability to speak or write. I can really relate to Notes from the Fog words from her IBQ writing.

Sometimes I can’t even think of the word for something, let alone spell it and use it properly in a sentence. And being able to put my knowledge into words when I need to…it’s a big concern of mine.

There were many times I just didn’t remember a word or words and would remain quiet. Remaining quiet really fed into my introvert self. My life, and in turn Chris’s life, became lonely.

This past year my Qigong Master has really worked on reconnecting my brain and getting rid of that mental fog. I can actually think and most of the time get words out of my mouth and in a timely fashion. I am no longer embarrassed to speak with people. Okay I’m learning I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore when I speak with people.

Chris mentioned Malcolm Gladwell who wrote “Outliers: The Story of Success”. In his book Malcolm talks about 10,000 hours of practice makes a person an expert in that specific area. Where writing is concerned, I specifically devoted a lot of hours when I was younger. I wonder if some of those hours are still usable hours and will help me rebuild my confidence in writing and speaking again.

Community of geese.

Community of geese.

A couple areas I do have confidence in my photography and composition. Over the past years, I have studied composition and analyzed countless photos and graphics. I spent the last twenty years developing my eye for a style I like or dislike. Over the past decade, I have studied photography and practiced taking photos. Now I have a lot of confidence I can take beautiful photos.

Now I need only to learn how to put the proper words together to teach photography and composition. That is partly why I am writing my Tips and Tricks for photographers. Once I get my writing skills back watch out world.

Qi (energy) hugs

Cee

I write Photography Tips and Tricks posts for the everyday photographers without all the technical mumbo jumbo. If you ever want electronic copies of my photographs, please contact me. Check out my left side bar for menu options.

34 replies »

  1. Wee you certainly wrote that well! So I’m guessing all those hours do count and the reconnection is going well 🙂

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  2. It must have been terrifying to go through so many years of that mental fog without knowing the reason for it. I believe all your hours of writing practice in the years before the Lyme disease will come back to you now that the fog is clearing and you’re opening up those pathways in your brain again by writing. Like you say, watch out world! 🙂 Thank you for the mention in this post. Having others, like you, that understand what it’s like living with brain dysfunction is such a blessing. I don’t feel quite so alone in it anymore. Thank you!

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    • Well being in the mental fog I really was terrified. I was able to pull it out and had a great work history but I can sure see where a lot of other things fell to the way side. The one I really feel for is Chris. She’s been through a lot and we didn’t even know it.

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  3. Oh God…just lost a really long comment on here. So here we go again. I often come here and sit and study your photos. It always fascinates me how you manage to get it so right…every time. The colour, the lighting, the movement, the composition. So I study…and try to learn to be better at photography because of you and yours. But you are so much more than that. Your bravery at continuing to try to be better, and sharing that with all of us is inspiring Cee. So yes I agree…when those writing skills start to pull together inside of you…the world had better watch out.

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    • Oh Jo you brought me to tears. Thanks so much. I didn’t realize how much my photography effects other people. You are a bright star shining in my world.

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      • It is amazing that often the people who have such a long reach out to others, never realise their worth. Seems to me that your worth shines long and bright…and is very visible if you look.

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  4. Reading this post, Cee, you are courageous and confident, a beautiful person, inside out. You have shown and shared with the word the beauty in you through your beautiful photographs and your beautiful writing. Big hugs to you. 🙂

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  5. What a long hard challenge it must have been for both you and Chris, I’m really happy you two were able to make it through together. About writing, I totally agree, your writing hours will never really leave you, like riding a bicycle. I’m so tongue twisted in english, my own native language, that learning arabic has been a really discouraging dismal failure. I understand others when they are speaking pretty well, but my ability to reply is just miserable. I dont let it bother me too much, now that I’m understanding more about being an introvert, I hate making chit chat in any language! So great to be able to share with you and chris and others who are so understanding! ♥♥♥ ;^)

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  6. thank you for sharing your story of hardship and triumph. Your photos are always beautiful! Glad I found you and Chris as I can relate!!
    I have managed to survive through humour but I still find it exceedingly difficult to bare myself in any other way. Being introverted and having a mood disorder hasn’t made me the most confident person but sometimes I pretend and forge ahead!! so I applaud you!!!

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  7. Such an open post Cee .
    Life is full of obstacles some of which we certainly have no control over, but you’ve shown that with good support and encouragement and love of a partner it’s possible to see through the fog and shine once more . Isn’t it wonderful you found a way to express yourself through your photography and now the writing flows … 🙂

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  8. Cee, I’m so sorry that you’ve had the background you did, but I’m likewise thankful that you do what you do, for abuse and/or incest survivors, for introverts, for photographers and writers budding or otherwise. You and Chris are introverts, but you both connect with so many minds and hearts online—and, what’s more, change them for the better—that I think many would be hard pressed to say they’ve lived so well through the lens of their own introversion. In the end, I’m infinitely grateful that you kept up with writing and that you found photography. Keep on rockin’, Cee.

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  9. Hi Cee,

    I immediately thought of you when I read your post, “IBQ Writing Prompt: Confidence”, and thought what a tremendous and insightful post it was.

    I have been invited to participate in a Blog Tour. It consists of creating a post, answering four questions, and then asking three other bloggers to participate. Would you be interested in being one of my three? The questions, four in all, are actually really good, and give you the opportunity to talking about yourself and your writing, what you are working on, your genre, why you write, and your process. I don’t usually participate in these types of things, (I’m a bit shy) but I thought what the heck. I think it great way to share the insights of other bloggers, and their creative process, which is always inspiring. I would like to extend an invitation to you, please let me know if you would be interested, if so I will give you more of the details. It seems pretty straight forward. My hope is that you will be interested, I enjoy your posts and would look forward to knowing more about your process.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

    Pepper

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    • Pepper, you have just made my Sunday much more enjoyable. I would adore participating int he blog tour. Thanks so much for thinking of me.

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      • Cee,

        Thank you I am so pleased, I think it will be fun. I’m not a last minute type of person, so I would like to give you the information that I received and how it works, that way you can take your time with it. Please advise me as to how you would like me to communicate that info. I can post it here or send it in an email, which ever you would prefer.

        Thanks again,

        Pepper

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never look directly at the sun, instead, look at the sunflower, uplift, motivate, photography, Cee Neuner, ceenphotography.com, sunflower, macro, yellow

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