Growing Writing Confidence When You Feel Like Giving Up
You’ve been working on this draft for over four months. You’ve pushed yourself late at night when your bed was calling you. You’ve skipped breakfast to write a scene before work. This book has consumed you. Yet, when you look back over the last few chapters, you just want to take a match to it and give up.
Writing is incredibly hard and many of those closest to you can not understand what you’re going through. It’s a huge blow to your confidence when a loved one acts dismissive to something you’re so passionate about. It’s enough to make you question your very sanity. And that lack of confidence can be the death knell to an amazingly terrific book.
When one is ‘stuck’ in their bubble, things may seem disproportionately horrible. When you’re stuck with a blank piece of paper in front of you, everything can feel totally abysmal! But don’t keep deleting your draft each night. It’s hard to feel confident right now, but it won’t always be this way. If you’re reading this to avoid going back to your draft because you’re fed up, take a break and think about these areas you might explore to rejuvenate your writing confidence.
POSITIVE SOCIAL MEDIA
start a new social media profile but force yourself to say nothing but honestly positive things about yourself (no self-depreciating attitudes or pix!) Especially NO negative posts whining about ANYTHING! The atmosphere we often create when we think we’re just venting can often keep us subconsciously in a negative place. Making a conscious effort to put positive vibes out there will force you to rethink in a different way. The more you see yourself sharing positive things and speaking uplifting posts and tweets about your day, your self, and your writing, the more you will pull that positive energy toward you.
Make this new profile just as a way to help you start your day off on the right foot. If you love those endless cute kitten videos, share one daily. Grab a supportive meme from a Google search and share that too. Whatever you love to linger on and savor – post that. Give yourself somewhere to go that’s happy and full of smiles. It’s silly but making the effort to cultivate that in your life can start to spill over into your writing confidence.
LIFT UP OTHER AUTHORS
You’re not the only author going through this. Many new writers are out there just as frustrated with themselves, their draft or their marketing. Why not be the one person today that compliments them? Take some of that positivity that you’ve been working on and share it! Mingle on a message board and look to congratulate and support new people. Discover at least one awesome thing about them, however small. Their unique fashion, a funky tattoo style or their uplifting attitude in their blog, for example. Making an effort to at least set aside your critical eye for one hour while you ‘peruse for positive’ can end up coming back to you tenfold. That networking you’re doing can help spread the word about what a great author you are – and it will be true! Building that connection with an audience is what it takes to gain trust and generate sales!
You found yourself staring at your face in the mirror again this morning, didn’t you? Obsessing over that mark or wrinkle or imperfection again? How close did you lean towards the mirror? Were you within one inch of the glass? Now honestly tell me how many people will you encounter for the rest of the day that will get within one inch of your face and then stand there and stare at you? Seriously!
People who are connecting with you and your work are not pouring over your book just to stare at the one typo on page 46. Notice how these people don’t respond by saying “I couldn’t get into it because this one big word you used just ruined everything!” Be aware of the fact that, the tiny things YOU obsess over and are negative about are NOT the first things these new people point out or say about your writing. It’s a tiny thing and those people are liking the connection with you over everything else! Feel free to work hard to eliminate typos and structure problems, but don’t obsess to the point where you cannot enjoy the overall product because of picking apart the process.
WRITE YOURSELF A STORY
Grab some paper and sit down. Toss everything else aside for a moment. Give yourself ten minutes uninterrupted. Journal about what were huge issues for you in HS. Maybe you were silly on a first date. Maybe you had to wear glasses. Maybe your favorite show got cancelled or your favorite study partner was moved to a different group. Or that time you dropped your lunch or forgot your locker combination. Remember all those huge problems that ruined your life all those years ago?
Now look back with perspective. In today’s world, does it still matter that you were silly on that date in HS? Has that totally ruined everything for you now? Are those still things you’re negative about now? Are those trends even ‘in’ anymore? So how much of a big deal WAS it to be that upset about it then? How much of an impact did it have on your confidence to beat yourself up over something so trivial?
Now look at what you’re worrying over in the present. Are you repeating a pattern? Journaling about the past might seem silly, but patterns that occur can tend to repeat. Are you doing the same when it comes to confidence in your writing? Be kind to yourself in these entries and show some love. Venting in a journal can really help you to work through some things that then can help you feel better about that draft you’re working on.
How do you boost your confidence when your writing has you frustrated? Comment below – I’d love to hear your tips! Remember, you have wonderful insight and it makes all the difference!