You suck. You’re not a writer. Your work is terrible.
These are just a few of the negative voices writers have floating around in their heads. You may think you are alone, but you’re not.
The issue of confidence is one of the biggest struggles every writer faces.
“Fake it till you make it” is the popular answer, and honestly, it just sounds like being fake, right? It’s not remotely helpful.
So here’s a new game plan with five steps you weren’t expecting:
1. Abandon All Social Media.
“What about my platform?” Obviously, you’re burning it down. Just kidding. That is fear-based and simply not true. Stepping away will only help you in the long run. Every moment you spend on social media is draining your mental energy. When you spend the most valuable asset you have as a writer and use it writing tweets instead of blog posts and books, you sabotage yourself. Reading about what some famous author you don’t personally know is doing or what another author says is almost always not going to help you finish your own work. You don’t have to abandon social media forever. Just until you have something to say—but that’s not until step five.
2. Quit Reading.
Popular advice is to be a writer you have to write a lot and read a lot. While reading is very important, it will not help you boost your confidence in your own writing. If anything, when the writing is great, it will make you feel lousy. If the writing is terrible, it will make you feel lousy too. So put down the book. Focus on your writing and put your words on a page.
3. Get Ripped to Shreds.
Well, at least go get some honest feedback on your writing. Not from someone you are dating or from someone related to you. Not from another beginning writer in a Facebook group. If you can find a cranky editor, rumor has it that they are typically the best. Someone who will give you a real, honest, raw opinion. You can take it. If you can’t do this, honestly, you aren’t ready to grow as a writer. Does this stink? Absolutely. Is it scary? Absolutely. But as you know, growth often hurts. Do it despite being afraid. You should be afraid. This is completely normal. But it will totally be worth it.
4. Put Your Rear Back in the Writing Chair.
You didn’t die, did you? Good. Now fix the piece that now is covered in red marks. Rewrite. Edit. Revise. Take out all fluffy words that have no meaning and be sure your piece is interesting, clear, helpful, and inspiring. This is a tall order, no doubt. The majority of posts online don’t have impact because they do not meet these high standards.
5. Revisit Your Picky Editor Friend Again.
Show your revised work and ask for more punches in the face. Again, you can take it. Get up off the mat. Dust yourself off. Stand proud. Each punch that doesn’t knock you out is something to be proud of—and this, my friends, is the beginning seed of writer’s confidence. After round two, publish your work. Just by spending this much time in the revision process, you are proving yourself to be the exception to the blogging world.
Only the best of the best have an editor—most push the publish button entirely too soon.
Once you go through this process more with your work, you will become a better writer. Once that happens, your confidence will grow.
So What Can You Do Today?
To help you as a writer, I want to give you some hands-on attention. Now I’m not usually too cranky unless someone tells me they love Nickelback. But I digress. Here’s how it will go down: just leave a comment with a link to your blog and fire me an email and I’ll will give you great feedback on a piece (up to 1,000 words). No strings attached, other than I’m limiting this to the first 15 people.
I want to help you build your confidence as a writer and this is impossible to do until you have your work edited and critiqued. It’s time to improve your writing. Ready? Let’s do this!
What have you found that helps boost your confidence as a writer? Any other tips? Share them in the comments!