Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Five Ways To Build Up Some Writer's Confidence

Alright folks, I'm back. I was away longer than I intended. The article didn't make it in on Monday. That's fine. Let's move on, shall we. This article is another piece of strong medicine for new writers and struggling veterans alike. All writers have confidence issues from time to time. (I certainly do.) This is all normal - except when it disrupts the writing that we all need to do. What can you and I do to build up our writer's confidence.

Thankfully, there are some simple tips to help build up your writer's confidence that you can use as often as you need to. In fact, it works better if you commit to these strategies for the long term. Confidence waxes and wanes in a cyclical pattern. The more equipped we are to deal with these bouts when they come, the less likely we'll get bogged down for too long. Let's take a look.

Tips To Build You Up

1. Be inspired by other successful writers. If you know one personally, that's great. Otherwise, take some time to read the biographies or profiles of some of the greats. What genre they write in doesn't matter as much as the quality of their thoughts and experiences as fellow writers. You can apply many lessons to the world of freelance writing. You may get insights into how they dealt with their own lack of confidence!

2. Be careful not to compare yourself to others. Now, this one can be very hard. It's one thing to get insights from others but it is quite something else to rate your own performance and ability based on what other writers can do. It's a foolish things, friends. The best comparisons you can make are those made against yourself today and your own past performances. You can rate your overall improvement so you have a sense of progress and accomplishment. Making a comparison to some other writer does you no good at all. Learn from them, but do not let their performance determine your abilities.

3. Have a proper view of rejection. Bottom line: It's going to happen. There's no way to avoid rejection if you're an active freelance writer or novelist. If you are putting your work out there, you are setting yourself up for rejection on some level. How do you deal with rejection in a way that does not undermine your confidence as a writer? First, remember that it's nothing personal. Magazines and book publishers have specific needs or a backlog of other work that needs to published first. It's not a personal slight against you. Don't let it become one. The second point to remember is that there are some valuable things to be learned from rejections. You may gain some insight or piece of information from negative feedback that will help you get published somewhere else.

4. Get better at what you do. What does this mean? Well, basically, if you want to be confident as a writer, you may just need to put more time into practicing the craft itself. Learn more about grammar or editing. If you have time, enroll in a class to help sharpen your writing skills. The better you become with your words, the more confident you will feel as a writer.

5. Set realistic writing goals. This is another tough one for me. (Maybe you have similar trouble.) It does make sense that the better you are at setting reachable goals and then reaching them, the more confident you will feel as a writer. If you're missing deadlines and making totally unrealistic goals, you may be feeling pretty low right now. If so, then stop it! Think about what it is you want and keep it simple. Break up those lofty goals and bring them back down to earth. Build your goals up, piece by piece.

A Bonus Tip

Okay, there is another way you can help build up your writer's confidence: You can help out other writers who may be struggling with writing or confidence as writers. If you offer some advice or a few valuable tips that make a difference for another writer, it can really make you feel good about yourself on a personal level. It also helps you feel more confident as a writer too. If you have something to teach or a lesson you learned, you should consider passing it on. Think about that one.

That's it for today folks. Have a good one. I'll be back here tomorrow.

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