Three Tips that Will Boost Your Confidence as a Writer – Guaranteed!
What is the biggest obstacle for those who love to write?
According to both my professional writer friends and the students of my writing courses, it's confidence. Or rather the lack of it.
“Is this good enough? Is this stupid? What will “the others” say? Nobody will want to read this garbage. And why should anyone listen to ME?”
You're not the only one to quickly have covered up your diary or shut your laptop when someone enters the room.
Imagine if someone were to actually SEE what you've written , or even worse, READ it!
But of course, your innermost desire as a writer is for people to both see and read your work.
If only you dared let the pages you’ve written see the light of day!
Here are 3 tips that will help you deal with performance pressure and boost your writing confidence:
1. Bad Writing is a Blessing in Disguise
Look at bad writing as a necessary step towards achieving good writing! It’s not only a horrible must-do, but a blessing in disguise.
Say this out loud to yourself before you begin: “I accept that this is going to be a little bad right now. It’s totally embarrassing, but I can tolerate it, because I know that it is necessary to clear away a bunch of withered leaves to find the most exciting path.”
When you know this, when you start to believe in this phrase, you can move on to the second stage of this reasoning:
“Yes, right now I am writing like crap, and that's good! Because that's how I will find the treasure. I MUST write badly to get all of the words ??and the debris out. These will become the building blocks for all of those golden formulations that only come through writing, writing, rewriting. Therefore I welcome every bad sentence warmly.”
Just think of Michelangelo, how much dead, gray stone he had to knock down, crush and scrape away to locate the elegant, well proportioned body that hid beneath.
Only because he worked on his rough draft for a long time, he got to the core of what was really good. But the result only accounted for a small percentage of the total work.
Useless junk is an essential part of all art. Does this make it feel any better to write rubbish as a part oft he process?
2. Your Text is not You
Go from looking at your text as an artistic masterpiece that is inextricably linked to your personality and soul, to simply looking at it as a TEXT.
A product that will make itself useful in a given context, whether it be an article, a blog post, a report, an email, a book or something else entirely.
The text is not you! And you are not the text. The text is itself. Let it be just that. This will give you much less reason to criticize yourself.
3. See the Humor in the Situation
When you are sitting there at your laptop with clenched teeth, trembling fingers, shoulders hoisted up towards your ears and the inner critic echoing in your ears – hahahahaha – make an effort to laugh along!
But don't laugh AT yourself, laugh WITH yourself. Laugh together with all upcoming writers around the globe who sit down and trudge along word for word, day after day, even though their confidence rattles like a Halloween skeleton.
Picture them on the map, dot by dot by dot around the world, and know that we are millions of people on the same planet that are actually trying to write something, think something, create something.
As writers, we have an unnerving urge to do try, no matter how nerve wracking it may be. And we know that every well-chosen word will eventually make a difference in someone's life.
You can cry your bitter, even solemn tears if you want, you can stress out and throw sheet after sheet in the trash while promising never to put your fingers on a keyboard again.
But you can also relax your shoulders, close your eyes and smile. Remember that this isn’t the end of the world — it's rather a new beginning. And sometimes, now and then, writing will even be a breeze!
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