Confidence through writing a lot. This can’t be sidestepped, avoided, or half done. By writing lots, you’ll discover confidence grows in the way you string words together and form a cohesive story that speaks to the reader. By writing a lot, you’ll gain the courage to write those stories begging to be let out. Often quality is far more important than quantity, but in the case of building confidence to write those special stories only you can write, then quantity is just as important. When we strive for only quality, sitting on one paragraph to rework it a billion times in the hope of perfection, we blinker ourselves. We stop our vision and narrow it into a focus that’s far too tight to see the story as a whole. Often it will cause us to delay the completion of the manuscript. This is why writing fast first drafts works. Once the manuscript is complete, with a strong story to build on, we can then polish the words. Write and keep writing.
Confidence through knowing the rules. This doesn’t mean you need to stick to the rules, but rather, know the most effective way of breaking those rules. By knowing what you can and can’t do, means you have the skill and confidence to write the best story you can.
Confidence through passion for your work. Find the passion for your story. If you are writing something you believe others will like, rather than the story that’s whispering deep inside, then you’ve compromised the integrity of what the story could be. If instead you hold onto a powerful passion for the story you want to write, then you won’t help but feel confident in it, even if the story heads in an unexpected direction. The confidence to travel that unknown route will make your story stand out.
Confidence through support. Every confident person has a great network of support behind them. Writers need this network more than most since writing—and anything creative--can be such an up and down pastime.
Confidence through sharing your work. Don’t write in complete isolation. You’ll grow in confidence when you let others read your work. The more you do this, the more you’ll realize your work isn’t all bad and those inevitable rough patches are fixable. When you step out from your safety zone and let people critique your work, you’ll learn more than you could at first imagine. Not only will you gain confidence sharing your work, but the learning experience is a huge confidence booster too.
There are many ways of gaining confidence. How do you find the confidence to write those stories only you can write?
Lynda R. Young