Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Self-Confident Writer

We writers are an unconfident bunch. I love to write, and I think a lot of what I write is good. But sometimes as I get ready to send something out, it crosses my mind that it may not be good enough. Even though I wrote and rewrote it many times, I still have that nagging feeling of uncertainty.

Not being confident can lead to an unsuccessful writing career. Lack of confidence can also show itself in other forms. How about that novel you started and never finished? Or the idea for an article you had but didn’t think it would turn out well? All you need to start or finish a project is a little self-confidence and a lot of hard work. In this instance, the hard work is the easy part.

It’s easy to become unconfident as a writer, especially when rejection letters seem to outnumber the acceptance ones. It’s important to remember that everybody feels unsure of himself or herself at one time or another. Here are a few things you can do to rebuild your confidence and get back to writing:

Look back over other things you’ve written and feel good about. Try to remember how you felt when writing them.

Try using affirmations on a daily basis. It can be as simple as taping a note above your desk that reads, “I am a great writer.” Reminding yourself that you are a good writer through affirmations has been proven effective in changing attitudes and behavior.

Have a little faith in what you are writing. Whether it’s an assignment for a magazine, a novel, or just writing for yourself, believe in what you are doing. If it ends up being garbage and useless, remember that at least it got you writing. And don’t forget, many good ideas grow from things you’ve written and think are useless.

When I’m feeling low or unsure of myself, I call my closest writing friend and she reminds me of why I began writing in the first place. She helps me by boosting my self-confidence and I do the same for her when she needs a lift. Talking about what you’re going through with someone will benefit you. Sometimes the best advice will come from another writer. Chances are they’ve been through what you’re going through now.

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