How do YOU stay confident??

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discussion

#84

This might be terrible advice, but this is how I go about it when I’m more…mentally stable and emotionally balanced.

Confidence is largely irrelevant.

I wasted years because I kept looking for the ‘perfect’ novel to start my writing career, and I deal with confidence issues every day, but when it comes to writing, this is what I ultimately learned: confidence doesn’t matter. What you do matters. What you write matters.

Learning how to keep writing even when you don’t feel like it is one of the most valuable possible tools you can forge. Great Stephen King quote: “Keep writing, even when it feels like all you’re doing is shoveling shit from a sitting position.”

Although it might be ridiculous and even somewhat juvenile, the greatest piece of advice when it comes to dealing with problems like confidence and worrying if you’re good enough came from Rick & Morty. “The answer is don’t think about it, Morty!”

The professional writers that I’ve read about and had the opportunity to talk to largely have the same advice when it comes to any form of hesitation about your writing: “There’s no magic bullet, no easy solution. You just sit down and do it.” The only way out is through.

Hope this helps, sorry if it doesn’t.


#85

I keep myself confident in my somewhat lackluster skills with one simple phrase: I will get better. I’m not going to write the next bestselling novel if I don’t practice and hone my craft. Both of which take time. Whenever I’m feeling really confident, I’ll have people/critics read my stuff for me and tell me how to improve. It might hurt being told what’s wrong, but I know that it’s all to help me get better. I come out knowing that I am better than I was before I read the sometimes harsh comments.

And if it gets to be too much, I take time and just read other people’s works. It helps me get inspiration and become encouraged again. If they can struggle and get better, then I can too.


#86

This is great advice. Thank you! I know in my brain that’s what I need to do… but my heart usually gets in the way, lol! I just need to keep trucking and force myself to make serious progress on my own without constantly waiting for validation. That can come later when I actually have more to work with.


#87

Thank you<3


#88

Happy to help.


#89

To be completely honest?

Reading and watching popular boring books and movies/shows. If these guys, with all their most clichéd and boring stories, can still be watched and read, the story that I write to be different sounds pretty good in comparaison. :smiley:

In that, I agree with @theanaleao :smiley: :smiley:


#90

Work it out of spite, and turn it into art!!! :smiley:


#91

Oh my, can you teach me? :flushed:


#92

@OnlyJustImagine I’d be willing to share what works for me in greater detail. Go ahead and send me a PM.


#93

When I have an especially low day, I go back and read the comments from my beta, my AO3 readers, and my bookclub partner here. If several people, who know nothing of each other, all think I’m a damn fine writer, it has to be true, right? LOL


#94

I don’t think the lack of confidence will fully go away. Maybe it’s part of the process, or maybe some aspiring authors or accomplished ones never feel that way, but either way it’s fine. It’s only natural to be hesitant when we still need to mature and get more experienced (if that’s your case giving that you worked as a journalist).

I focus on pleasure and having fun while writing. If I enjoy it, one way or another, it’ll be good enough for me even if it won’t become the next Nobel Prize. We should never give up, even when we feel discouraged or not good enough sometimes. We can only improve if we keep on writing, eventually we’ll learn how to avoid beginners’ mistakes and such.

I laugh when I go back and read my first drafts/something of a book. In five years, I will probably have a good laugh about the one I’m writing right now and that’s perfectly fine cause I’ll be busy writing another one and hopefully, feeling the same absolute joy when writing it. If I improve enough to feel proud about it from a professional point of view, it’ll just be a big bonus. But my main focus is to always enjoy what I do, otherwise it’s not worth it.


#95

I remind myself that even if what I write is bad, it’s really no big deal. And remember that being passive and leaning into fear wont make me improve anything. If it’s bad, that’s alright. No one expects it to be perfect.


#96

I was the same way for a long while. Honestly, it was because I posted my chapters online before the book was completed. I ended up getting a lot of feedback (which isn’t a bad thing, I love feedback and still hunt for it) before my book was ready for it, and it left me feeling like everything about my writing was terrible, and left me feeling that the little bits of positive feedback I did get were things people made up so that their comments weren’t so negative XD

This past year, I’ve moved to writing offline where people couldn’t see it.

I joined a small writing group, and we would do word wars and word sprints together. I even started dabbling in a weird, co-written project.

Something about being in a community that didn’t read my works, but would still be invested in the idea of it (they would help me solve issues with my plot and characters without even needing to read large chunks of it! I could send off a paragraph or two, and that was all they needed), really helped me gain strength and confidence from what I wrote. It was a whole new experience for me, that I’ve never really had before, and somehow it has helped me really grow as a writer and overcome my past hatred for my writing.

I’m actually at a point in life, after probably… 6 years… where I enjoy writing, and that it’s all I want to do, and I’ve done it so much these past few months because of this writing group that I’ve injured my hands from typing so much. Lol! It’s made me feel confident enough to try uploading my most time-worn story onto this site again, of which I will be doing in January.

So, my advice based off of this personal experience, is to join a small writing group, take your creative fiction off of the internet for a while, and try to relish in the experience of it without having hundreds of people able to click on your works and critique it.

If you would like, and if you have a Discord account, I’m willing to add you to our writing group. We’re pretty friendly, although things have slowed down a lot now that NaNoWriMo is over. There’s only 10 of us right now, so we’re pretty small.


#97

I second this! I’m part of a writing group of only five people (we ‘meet’ on discord, too, and we found each other via NaNoWriMo, too :smile:), and without them, I don’t know if I’d still be writing at all. Wattpad really isn’t the right kind of environment for this kind of encouragment and camaraderie, at least it hasn’t been for me.


#98

The trick is to just do it.
I know it’s a struggle (believe me, I haven’t posted anything in 3 years because of fear). But at some point, you’re going to have to come to the realisation that you’re not going to accomplish anything in writing or in life unless you jump into the deep end and try.

Just find something that inspires or excites you and just write. It doesn’t have to be much, and you don’t have to show anyone. It can be just one sentence that you scribble out immediately after. And then you try again the next day. And keep doing that until you get something down that doesn’t feel unbearably horrific.

It takes time and it’ll probably be cringy and you’ll want to bang your head against a wall. But just try anyway, and I promise that after a while it’ll get easier.

Good luck!


#99

I have this weird reverse logic thing going; I mean, you’d think that reading something amazingly good would make me feel insecure about my own writing, and reading something bad would make me feel better - “look, they are struggling too”.

But it’s usually the opposite; good literature assures me that it’s possible to be better. It’s a goal that motivates me to keep working on it.

Bad literature - especially if it’s then successful - I just find depressing. Makes it feel like it’s a waste of time; that there’s no point in bothering with improving ^^;