There are a lot of things out there that mess with a writer’s productivity — boredom, procrastination, lack of inspiration, writer’s block or a crazy-busy lifestyle filled with kids and chores and, oh yes, that day job.
But perhaps the most destructive drain on a writer’s talent is a lack of self-confidence.
Feelings of inferiority can result in second-guessing your writing path, doubting your ability to deliver and truly believing that you are talentless.
Believe it or not, even the greatest of literary giants have experienced the same feelings of doubt about their writing.
The trick is to overcome the insecurities lest they quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy of missteps and anxiety.
Feeling worried about your writing? Consider the following tips for boosting your self-confidence from within for a better writing experience.
Put your blinders on
Mark Twain once said, “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” A healthy dose of blissful ignorance never hurt anyone, especially a writer who is attempting to sell herself to the reading public. Give little thought to what could go wrong and focus on the writing — nothing else.
Gather your courage
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle is credited with the following quote: “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” While it’s never easy, wrap a cloak of courage about you and move forward without fear. What is the worst that can happen to you?
Open up to others
Sharing your work with a trusted group of friends and family will help you ease into the process of having your work read and judged by others. Accept their feedback as constructive and served up with a heaping helping of love. Once you have a few sessions under your belt, reach out to a group of professional writers for their honest appraisal of your work.
Know the game
Feeling sad or stressed about an editor’s harsh critique of your work? Don’t be. That’s his job. Chances are — he wants to see your work improved and harbors no personal or bad feelings of judgment against you. How do I know this? Because most editors are or have been writers, too. They know your pain.
Hone your craft. It takes lots of practice. Resolve to improve your work by reading a broad spectrum of books. And write. Write every day to get better and grow your skills.
Get over yourself
Every writer worth his salt is going to fret over his tired words, his haphazard plot, his under-developed characters. Instead of trying to measure up to the “greats” or even the “really goods,” just worry about becoming the best writer that you can be. Your unique voice is needed in the writing world because there is a voracious reading public out there looking for something new. And that something new — is YOU.