5 Ways to Boost Confidence in Your Writing Ability
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
As a writer, vulnerability is a double-edged sword.
The ability to openly express ourselves is what makes our stories come to life. However, too often the sword turns inward, manifesting as a severe lack of confidence in our craft.
The truth is, most writers struggle at some point with a lack of confidence in their work. It’s par for the course. But you can move through the insecurities to find joy in the process and feel proud of your creation. You just need to adopt the right mindset.
Here are five ways to boost confidence in your writing ability, so you can get the words flowing and emerge victorious in your creative pursuits.
Free Write Every Day
Don’t become a victim of mental resistance. One of the best ways to cultivate confidence as a writer is to ditch paralysis by analysis and commit to writing a little bit every day. Like everything else in life, you can only achieve your goals through practice.
Set aside at least 20 minutes a day to free write, even if your brain feels completely devoid of creativity. Make sure this time is a sacred zone of non-judgmental thoughts and actions – be mindful of the nagging urge to hit the delete bar and allow yourself to write without restraint.
Free writing can be especially helpful if you’re in a slump with your current project. It’s a fantastic way to reclaim a sense of excitement, which will in turn boost your confidence and channel the inner muse who’s eager for self-expression.
Learn From Others
Even Michael Jordan had a coach. Why? Because people who excel in their field are always willing to learn from others. Keep this in mind as you continue on your journey as a writer.
The fact is, many people have walked this path, and have done so with prolific success. Learn from the struggles and the advice of those who have achieved what you’re setting out to accomplish.
The ability to apply consistent feedback and new techniques to your process will help instill a sense of confidence in the process as you move forward. We recommend finding a good mentor with whom you work well, or joining a writer’s workshop led by skilled experts who are ready to support you.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Confidence is inherently a creative force. It comes from feeling completely present, introducing flow back into the here and now so the inner world can pour out. When you get hung up in the vicious cycle of comparison, you remove yourself from the present moment and block this creative force from freely expressing itself.
Yes, you must learn from others. Yes, you must make it a point to read other works to sharpen your own tools. However, remember that there is no journey as personal as the self-expression of writing. You owe it to yourself to give your work the space to breathe and manifest.
There is no competition for a story that is uniquely your own.
Enjoy the Process
Most of us became writers because at some point, we fell in love with the process. We see words and language as a magical code, capable of moving mountains, exorcising demons, and bringing the recesses of our imagination to light.
Now, for many writers, something happens when they commit seriously to the craft. Instead of enjoying the process, writing becomes another task – another accomplishment to check off the list. Moreover, becoming a great writer gets tangled up in our sense of identity. And even the most passionate wordsmith will freeze in fear, questioning their worthiness of adopting such a title.
Put some space between your identity as a writer and the actual craft of writing, so you can fall back in love with the process that got you to this point in the first place.
True confidence comes from the act of writing, and not from the ego’s desire to identify with it.
Edit Once, Edit Again
The most confident writers have this one thing in common: they’re not afraid to edit their own work. Not only does editing make you sharper with a pen, it also turns the inner critic into a helpful one, who’s working with you and not against you.
Writing is an organic process, which means you’ll rarely be satisfied with your first draft. That’s okay. The more you engage with the work you’re producing, the more secure you’ll be with the evolution of your work.
The next time you sit down to write, use these tips to help boost your writing process and remember that we all struggle with confidence--it’s part of the job!