writing tips

How to Build Confidence as a Writer

Man at computer, confident as a writer
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

One of the biggest reasons why writers give up on their craft is a lack of confidence. Something as simple as a single piece of negative feedback, or even a lack of response altogether, can make writers wonder, “What’s the point?” I’ve been there. I’m probably going back there at some point in the future. However, before we all slump our shoulders and throw in the towel, let’s pause to think about some ways in which we can build confidence in ourselves.

Subjectivity Is the Name of the Game

Ask a hundred people what good writing is, and you’ll probably get a hundred different responses. Some people might place a huge emphasis on the mechanics of writing, while others love unexpected verbiage. The only common response you might get is that it has to make you feel something, and feelings, well… As far as writing goes, there’s no such thing as a right or wrong feeling. If your work doesn’t resonate with someone, that’s okay. Let it roll off your shoulders.

Continue to Improve

Perfection does not exist in writing; there’s always room for improvement. You can build your confidence by continually looking for opportunities to educate yourself about your craft. Of course, you’re going to come across some conflicting advice. Don’t let that confuse or discourage you. Again, many aspects of writing are pretty subjective. Take in information, analyze it, and decide whether you can apply it to your own writing or if the advice is better suited for someone else.

Find a Fan

I love to write fiction, and I think my original ideas are pretty brilliant. However, my most widely read work is not an original story. It’s a fanfic. For a while, I let that put a damper on my confidence — but why the heck did I do that? I used another author’s genius and added to it with my own brilliance. Plus, it connected me with a lot of fans of the original work, who in turn became my fans. Their positive feedback, and the joy they derive from my writing, is always a boost.

That fanfic is still on Wattpad, and a lot of the people who were reading it while I was publishing it come back to read it again and again. That feels amazing.

Where can you find some fans? Maybe it’ll be on Wattpad, or maybe it’ll be in your circle of family and friends. Open yourself up by sharing your writing, and you might be surprised by the flood of support that comes your way!

Writer for Yourself

There are some instances where you must write for your audience. For example, that’s true if your job is to write web content or other copy that is going to become someone else’s property. However, when it comes to creative, personal endeavors, you should never judge your success by how many people read your work. Writing is an outpouring of the soul, and it can make you feel great even if no one ever reads your work. When I was a teenager, I was terrified to let anyone read my fiction. But I still wrote for the pure joy of it. Don’t lose that joy.

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” — Cyril Connolly

See How Far You’ve Come

Sometimes, I dread the thought of reading something that I wrote even a few years ago because I’m afraid of the imperfections I’ll find. However, I find that once in a while, it’s good to look back at my previous work. It helps me reflect on my journey as a writer. Maybe I’ve made some improvements since then — or maybe I’ve become a little lazy in some aspects of writing. Such discovers motivate me to continue to move forward.

Confidence is a fickle mistress. What do you do to build your confidence as a writer? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or get in touch with me directly. I would love to hear from you!

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