Fear is crippling no matter what arena you seem to put it in. So writing is no different. So many of us have amazing words, thoughts, and ideas that we are simply afraid to put on paper or into a word doc. Sometimes we even get as far as actually writing, putting together our outline, writing the blog post or whatever the case may be and we never hit publish. We fear that when we solidify an experience by putting it into words that something will happen, yet most of us can’t really articulate what we think that will be.
Listen, I get it. When I first held a draft copy of Dear Love in my hands, my first emotion was, “Wow, I am a published author.” Two seconds after that, the fear set in. “Who is going to really care?” “Are people going to think that the book is too short?” “What if people are disappointed?” Do you realize that fear is the anticipation of something that may never actually happen?
At the end of the day, confident writing, starts with a confident person. You will not write confidently if you are not already confident in yourself and in your God given abilities. And then after you find that confidence, you have to realize that not everyone is going to like your writing anyway! It’s subjective like that. Just like most other art, someone will think you are amazing, someone else will think you’re overrated. Yes there are some people that will try to tell you that Beyonce is not a great singer. I know, who would say such a thing? But literally, I have heard this debate. If that’s the case for someone as talented, then who the heck are you to think that someone might not trash your writing someday?
I’m not for everybody and I’ve had to learn to be okay with that. The same way every iconic writer is not necessarily for me. People are drawn to what appeals to them. Style, word choice, flow, all those things influence our decisions to either keep reading or close the tab or the book.
Although it is subjective and people will like different things, there are a few things I think you can do in order to boost your writing confidence.
Work on your weak areas. It’s no secret to you what you may need to work on, unless you just want to be oblivious for some reason. Take an account of the strengths in your writing and the weaknesses. For instance, I hate GRAMMAR! Ha! So sometimes I have to seek out proper composition and punctuation and all that stuff that annoys the crap out of me. And you know what? Sometimes I still get it wrong. The other day I had to refresh myself on the difference between having all commas with a list and leaving out the comma.
| i.e. We had eggs, bacon, and pancakes for breakfast vs. We had eggs, bacon and pancakes.
The latter implies that the bacon and pancakes were like one thing as opposed to two separate entities. Yes very elementary, but you realize how much I have forgotten about proper grammar?
In either case, stop fronting, you know what needs work in your writing. Practice and research makes perfect my friend.
EDITING. I hear a lot of people talk about writing pieces that they don’t re-read and I am thinking, “How Sway?” Be sure to self-edit. Someone asked me if I was editing my own book and I had to tell them “Uhmmm yeah.” I am going to self-edit before sending it to another editor. I don’t need them thinking I’m challenged. Make time to edit properly. Write it. Read it through without making any changes. Read it through and make changes. Then, read it out loud to catch the changes you more than likely missed. When you are confident that you didn’t just once over your piece, you will be a lot more confident in presenting it to the world.
Get over your definition of a writer. I talked about this in its own post so I will spare you all the details. But honestly. So many of us have it in our minds that “writer” is this big thing. As long as you think that bring a writer is some lofty goal, you will never be confident. A writer is someone who puts words together. You are a writer. Accept that and go forth and prosper.
Write MORE! I find that a lot of writers are not writing enough. You know me, I am a big advocate of journaling and writing prompts and expanding your creativity. If you are trying to write professionally, you need to write a lot. Now I am not sure about whether it’s actually 10,000 hours to master a craft or not, but I know from experience that the more I have done most things, the better I have gotten at it. Good or bad. So use your powers for good and GET TO WRITING!
Nike had it right when they said, “Just do it.” This has been such a reoccurring mantra in my life. We talk ourselves out of so many things, our writing included. There is likely some inner personal work that you may also need to do that will trickle into your writing. Pastor Toure from One Church LA talked about how small we are in comparison to the world, yet how significant we are to God. We are too often drowning in how small we are instead of appreciating our significance. Your writing voice is significant. It’s unique and only you will say it the way you will say it. Get over the mental stumbling blocks and walk confidently in your writing.
Click to Tweet/// We are too often drowning in how small we are instead of appreciating our significance.
So in review. Confident writing takes:
- Working on your weak areas.
- Editing. Lots of editing.
- Kicking your definition of a writer.
- Writing like your life depends on it.
Tell me, have you struggled with having confidence in your writing? Drop a line in the comments below.