Tag Archives: competence

Attention To Detail Is A Must


Hello, World! I’m back with a short post today because I’m ironing out the revisions for Part 4 of Rue From Ruin.

In the meantime, something exceptional arrived in the mail today. You could call it an early birthday present.

I recently ordered some swag from K. M. Alexander‘s website, and this is the first day I got to hold it in my hot little hands. I haven’t reviewed K. M.’s books here, although I have on Amazon and Goodreads.

I can sum his work up in two words: READ IT.

The world of Waldo Bell is so wonderfully realized and beautiful. Upon reading The Stars Were Right I immediately despaired that I would ever achieve such mastery in the craft of writing. I asked K. M. how he got everything so perfect, and I’ll paraphrase his response: “My work wasn’t always this good. The books are what they are as the result of a lot of hard work and practice.”

The words had the intended effect and I continued to work on my writing.

It goes without saying that he is also incredibly attentive to details. Any work K. M. puts his name on is delightfully fantastic. To illustrate this point, I’m going to share some unboxing photos I took today.

My lesson for the day (mainly for myself) is that great art requires a creative, attentive, and detailed mind. It is inspiring to see what can be produced by someone who has honed these skills.

Enjoy the pictures and please ignore the fact that I’m a horrid photographer.

Envelope with the stamp of the City of Lovat.
Envelope with the stamp of the City of Lovat.
Look what's inside!
Look what’s inside!
The patch I ordered and a caravan employee registration form to go with it. It even has Waldo Bell’s signature!
Bookmarks, stickers, and pins. Such cool swag!
Bookmarks, stickers, and pins. Such cool swag!

Competence Versus Charisma


Yesterday morning (yes, 2:00 AM counts as morning) I read an article by David Farland. The clickbait on Twitter was something along the lines of: “All the Internationally Bestselling Authors I Know Use This One Neat Trick”.

Mr. Farland has mentored incredibly successful wordsmiths, including some of my favorites, so I clicked the link. In the post, he goes on to say:

Over the past three decades, I’ve helped a number of writers reach the point where they’ve become international bestsellers, and I’ve spotted a trend. Most bestsellers attract an audience in part because they are charismatic.

-David Farland

So, most authors who’ve achieved worldwide fame and fortune are very charismatic. Great. I don’t want to be a celebrity of any kind, although a little fortune might not hurt.

I don’t disagree with Mr. Farland’s statement. He also draws parallels between charisma and four characteristics he says comprise it: competence, willingness to show vulnerability, confidence, and friendliness. If you have the right minimums, he says, you can be anywhere on the scale with each. For example, super competent people don’t need to be as friendly and vice versa. Incredibly friendly people don’t have to show as much vulnerability, etc.

To me, this was the saving grace of the article; I’m not the most friendly person… I’ve been told that sometimes I come off like a jerk because I don’t regularly think before I speak.

It’s true.


Other times, my brain takes off in a wholly different direction from the conversation at hand, because someone mentioned a problem my cerebrum thinks it can solve. Yes, I have “squirrel syndrome”. The awkwardness sets in when I start to get excited about a side quest in my head, and I can’t stop myself from interrupting to tell people about it.

So, I will continue to practice writing, and hopefully I’m getting better. I need to get higher on the competence and confidence scales, because no one will think that buying my books is a good idea based on shining good nature alone!

This post brought to you by an animation of a few of the many pictures I took of a squirrel in Washington DC last year. Yes, surrounded by breathtaking monuments in our nation’s capital, I was taking photos of a squirrel.