5 Ways to Boost Your Writing Confidence in Big Ways
When you’re a writer, it’s not unusual to struggle with your confidence. Writers are creative creatures who aren’t always as resilient as they’d like to be.
We doubt ourselves and our talent, and we regularly talk ourselves out of attempts to grow. Every failure or criticism knocks us. And if we don’t make a concerted effort to spot this behaviour and do something, we’ll slide down the negativity spiral. And who knows what we’ll be missing out on.
But don’t worry. It’s not all doom and gloom, I promise. Confidence can be fixed by making some simple tweaks. Let’s discover how to boost your confidence and take your writing and author journey to a new level.
Know your value. Confidence breeds success. Act like the person you want to become, and people will start seeing you as that person.
- Mark M. Ford
#1 Finish Something
It’s a given that you’ll have tons of unfinished projects and book ideas if you’re serious about writing. One of the best ways to boost your confidence is by finishing what you start. Not only will you feel good about getting something done (and if it’s a book you’ll get to hold it in your hand – double-booster) but in doing so, you’ll be able to kick your stress levels and self-talk into touch.
#2 Acknowledge the Small Successes
Time for a mind switch here. You know those days when you feel like you can never do anything, right? And you give yourself a hard time for the slightest thing? Instead of getting stuck in your head and keeping up that negative aura, grab a pen and paper and start writing. Make a list of all the stuff you do well and add some of your accomplishments, too. If you’re really stuck and can’t think of any, you can either ask your nearest and dearest what they’d say are your best achievements, or you can strip things back to basics.
Let me share an example of ‘strip things back to basics’ from many years ago when I first became a mum.
When my husband went back to work after his paternity leave, and I was in sole charge of a 17-month-old and a newborn, I felt overwhelmed and hopeless without his support. Thankfully, I got tired of dwelling on the responsibility, chores, and keeping two babies safe, fed, watered, clean and alive for the next 8-10 hours until he returned home, and I eventually switched my perspective. I focussed on one hour at a time. And at the end of each hour, I’d make a point of acknowledging what I’d done, and gradually these little celebrations of ‘I dressed the baby’, ‘we went for a walk’, ‘I had a full cup of tea’ and ‘I fed them both!’ were enough to bolster my new-mum confidence.
Do you see what I mean now? Your ‘achievements list’ doesn’t have to be big things. Acknowledge and celebrate the small successes, even if you have to live from one hour to the next like I did. Once you’ve made your list, keep it handy and when you’re having a wobbly day, pick it up and read it aloud. You’ll quickly feel better.
#3 Silence Your Self-Talk
If you listen to your inner critic, your confidence will never soar. So stop being hyper-critical and don’t let your (untrue) innermost thoughts run riot. The next time you catch yourself saying, ‘I’m a terrible writer’, ‘I’m no author!’ and such like, just stop. Flick your negative to positive. Remind yourself why you started writing in the first place (because no matter what, once you catch the writing bug you’re in for the long haul, despite your self-talk!) and go re-read your ‘small successes list’ like I told you!
Live in your hopes and not in your fears.
#4 Be Kind to Yourself
Inner critic aside, if you can be kind to yourself in other ways, you’ll reap the confidence rewards. Schedule some self-care regularly. Wear your best clothes on ordinary days. Eat the cake. Buy the new notebook. Read when you feel the urge. You know where I’m coming from here, don’t you?
Something that also works for me is ‘I AM’ affirmations. You’ll find heaps of them on YouTube. Look some up and let them run in the background quietly as you work. They filter into your subconscious and, believe me, they do work if you need to bolster your mindset.
Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.
#5 Set Yourself Small Challenges
Instead of your to-do list saying, ‘write more of my book’, break it down into smaller tasks. It may look like this instead:
- write 500 words
- research for half an hour
- edit for half an hour
That feels much more doable, doesn’t it? A little success goes a long way toward improving confidence. Assign yourself a task you know you can (and will) complete and get cracking with it. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you can tick off a task is enough to give your confidence a boost.
Has that helped you to see how you can take small steps to improve your confidence in big ways? I hope so. We all need a booster every now and again, so if you’re regularly questioning your worth as a writer or author, bookmark this blog in your ‘favourites’ and come back and read it when you need a positivity fix.
Have you found other ways to help you with your confidence? Feel free to share them in the comments.
RECAP: Small ways to boost your writing confidence in BIG ways
- Finish something.
- Acknowledge the small successes.
- Silence your self-talk.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Set yourself small challenges.
My book recommendation to help you boost your confidence is:
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
By Jen Sincero