Confident writers are strong writers. But finding the strength and purpose we need to do our work can be tough. Self-doubt comes with the territory – even the most storied of writers has suffered from it during the throes of creation. Sometimes we manage to fight through our lack of confidence and sometimes we respond by procrastinating or becoming discouraged. How can we do a better job of staying strong? How can we see criticism as feedback, for instance, and rejection as an invitation to improve our craft? A story, “How To Be A More Confident Writer,” from Writer’s Relief, a well-established submission service, offers some suggestions:
Keep your real goal in mind: Most of us write not only because we want to, but because we have to. We have a passion, a drive, to express ourselves through words and stories. When we have our passion and sense of purpose as a touchstone, we can tap into it during tough times for sustenance and inspiration.
Turn to your best work: Wherever we are on our writing journey, we all have writing we can point to with pride: Short stories that sparkle or chapters in a novel that we’ve worked hard on and feel really sings and dances. Writer’s Relief suggests that you gather pieces you’re especially proud of together so you can turn to them to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made and the work you’re capable of doing. Creating a “Success” folder – what a great idea!
Be yourself – with verve: You have your own unique writing style, ideas, background, support team, and sources of inspiration. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other writers you know or admire who seem to farther along the road to success than you are. Your road is your own: Travel it proudly.
Strengthen your resilience muscle: While none of us enjoy being rejected, some of us bounce back from setbacks more quickly than others. How we handle rejection can really affect our ability to keep writing and submitting until we hit pay dirt. When we’re resilient, we see rejection as a necessary part of the writing process – the price of admission to the publishing world. As Writer’s Relief puts it: “Rejection letters from literary agents and editors are evidence that you are submitting your work, plugging away at your dreams. A writer without a rejection letter is a writer who hasn’t had the courage to reach out.”
Use fear as fuel: Actors use stage fright to enliven their performances. In the same way, as writers, we can channel the nervous energy our fears and anxieties unleashes into searching for new ideas and new opportunities. As Writer’s Relief says so well, “Fear and anxiety are energy – energy writers can use to their advantage.”
Helpful strategies to boost our confidence – what a gift! For more advice, check out: http://writersrelief.com/ — and write on!