Featured Images - Confidence. Woman facing the world, arms open. Image from Pixabay

Why you need to be confident about your writing

How many of you talk with confidence about your writing?  Writers, in general, are often introverted and struggle to discuss their work.  Not to mention, when we do, many of us find it hard to speak with confidence or pride.

Instead, we divert attention away or mumble something incoherently, or sometimes just blurt out bits about our writing and then collapse inwards as if we have no right to feel good about what we do.

So today we’re talking about confidence.

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Why you don’t feel confident

Why you have no confidence. How to get confidence.  Image from Depositphotos

It’s no surprise that many writers have little confidence in themselves or their work.  Our society has never really put much stock in the “creative arts”.

Those around us, even family and friends, often think that one has to be born into it or have a certain level of “special talent” for anyone to take such a thing seriously.

Yes, some people have incredible, natural talent.  But no matter how much natural talent you have, you still need to work hard.  And if you don’t have loads of natural talent, well you need to work twice as hard, but that’s okay.

You’re meant to work hard for what you want to do.  You are meant to write drivel in your first draft.

Just like when you want to be an Olympic weight lifter, you have to start our with small weights to build your strength.

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A blinkered vision

Disapprovement from others. image from Pixabay

When I was growing up, I heard a lot (from my parents and from other people’s parents) about how pursuing creative careers was ridiculous.

After all, being a writer was not a real job (oh? tell that to Stephen King), being an actor, was not a real job (tell that to Helen Mirren), that being a dancer wasn’t a real job (tell that to Darcy Bussell), being an artist wasn’t a real job (tell that to Jenny Saville).

The fact that there ARE people in the creative industries, doing what they love full time as their permanent jobs, tells us yes, it IS possible and it’s not ridiculous.

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Weighed down by negativity

Feeling weighed down by negative. Image from Pixabay

The sad truth is you will always get someone who tells you that pursuing a creative career, such as writing, is a pipe dream.

Family, friends, colleagues and even random strangers who find you online and have nothing better to do, will share their thoughts about you and what you’re doing.  Because everyone has a god-damn opinion.

Which means we have to be ready.  Armoured and ready to survive that.

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Be your own Cheerleader

Cheer yourself on. Be your own cheerleader. Believe in yourself. Image from Pixabay

The simple truth is, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either!

So it’s time to stop putting your work down, time to stop looking at your work as bad, and instead see it as just unfinished.  That it’s potential that needs to be worked.

Maybe your work stinks right now.  If you’re new to writing, it probably will.  Great!  Then the only direction you can do is up!  We all stink at the beginning.  It’s laughable when you look back and read the stuff you wrote from years before.

But then again, remember when you were learning to read?  Was hard, right?  It took practice and experience to develop until you could read well.

No one would have thought less of you for struggling to read when you were a kid?  (I certainly hope they didn’t).

So suck it up, Buttercup.  Yes, your work can suck at times, at the beginning and sometimes even if you’ve been writing for a long time.  But you are doing great, you are driving forward and you should be damn proud of yourself.

However, being a cheerleader for yourself and appreciating the great things about yourself does not mean becoming arrogant o having rude manners.  We are talking about inner confidence.

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Dream, Plan, Win

Dream big, plan, win. Image from Pixabay

Decide what your dream is.  Plan for it.  Then go out and get it.  Might take a whole lifetime, but that’s ok.

When you dream big, you sometimes need to take risks, accept sacrifices and work hard for a long time.

You will feel disheartened, but this is why you need confidence.  So when things wane somewhat, you can keep that little voice in the back of your head whispering positive, motivating words.

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Haters be hating

Quote by Winston Churchill - "you will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks"

If you have any kind of success, big or small, you may get haters.  Or, “jerks” as was the original name for these people.

Hate comes from many places, jealousy, fear, insecurity and so people who feel this, lash out at others.  Ignore and keep going.  They aren’t worth your time or energy.   Save that for yourself.

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Affirmations, positive thinking & personal praise

Believe in yourself. Positive thinking. Image from Pixabay

It’s time to start being positive about our writing.  If someone asks you about your writing, talk about it confidently.  It doesn’t matter how they react, talk about it as if you’re talking to your number one fan.

Get used to being okay with discussing it.  One of the reasons I set up #TheMerryWriter game on Twitter was to encourage people to talk more about their work.  To share it on Twitter and in doing so have a whole writing community supporting and encouraging them.

If you need some encouragement, pop over to Twitter and join the game.  Just follow my profile as I post the questions daily.

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Create positive affirmations to repeat every morning and evening.  These really work.  It’s almost creepy how repeating positive thoughts can really start to sink in and make you feel different.

Remember, if you want people to be interested in your work – talk about it with gusto, with passion and see how infectious your energy and confidence becomes to others.

 

So, do you talk with energy and confidence about your work?  If not, try it now.  Leave a comment and tell me what you’re writing about and why the hell you love writing it!

Share your Thoughts image.

Happy writing

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen

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Why you need to be confident about your writing. Image from Pixabay

25 comments

  1. I’ve gotten better at this. I find it easier to talk about my writing to strangers than I do people I know. I think this is because I’ll never see the stranger again, so what do I care what they think? It’s tough because there is some backlash to being a writer, an entrepreneur, or a creative in general. I even wrote a blog post on it because I was getting backlash for joining Patreon. But it’s just something we need to push forward with and, as you said, be our cheerleader. It gets easier the more you do it. Thanks for the read, Ari.

    1. You are so right, creatives always get a lot more backlash for some reason. It can be hard to keep pushing forward. I see it with professional artists who receive comments asking for free work often with the claim “you enjoy doing art, so you shouldn’t need paying.” But they would never say that to a mechanic who enjoys working on cars.

    1. Thanks so much for reading, apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve fallen behind a little recently. I am so glad you enjoyed it

  2. Veey true, i generally start by saying I’m not any good and wait for people to agree. The fact is that before i surrounded myself with fellow writers, i knew no one that wrote so taking negative critisism was easy. The fact is my response should be ‘ thank you for your imput, now tell me, what have you written?’ People can laugh all they like. Just like when i started working on my fitness and people told me id never stick it out. My reaction was: watch me! Same applies here

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Laura. Apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve fallen behind a little recently so am just catching up on comments.

      Sadly, those of us who deal with creative endeavours are often given negative criticism, often without us asking for ANY at all. People do love to share their opinions whether we want them to or not. I think your attitude is great, people can be so negative but to stand tall and say “Watch me” as you do what they say you can’t, is awesome

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Lynne. Apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve fallen behind a little recently so am just trying to catch up on comments.

  3. If I was to say what’s my reason for writing… There’s some special kind of joy and fun in taking what was a tiny spark of an idea long ago, and actually nurturing it into a story that… well, looks like a story, with a beginning, an end, and much between that. I know, there are many stories in the world, but this one is mine. And just like some people find joy in watching a plant grow, I find joy in doing the same with my story.

    1. Thanks for reading. Apparently those in the creative arts are often considered more susceptible to moodswings, self-doubt so it wouldn’t surprise me if we are more likely to have mental health issues. Then again, with 1 in 4 people having depression, with that figure sure to rise, maybe it’s not because we’re creative.

  4. Love this post, Ari. This line gave me chills: “When you dream big, you sometimes need to take risks, accept sacrifices and work hard for a long time.” I’ve been starting to doubt my work lately (will I ever be ready to query???) and I needed all of these lovely reminders. 💛

    1. Thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoyed it Madeline. I am sure you will definitely be ready to query, never doubt yourself, you work so hard, you pour your passion into your writing and we’re all behind you, cheering you on 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading, Renard. Apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve fallen behind a little recently, so I’m just catching up on comments. lol I love your answer 😀

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