There isn’t a big secret really to this one.
The answer is as obvious as you’d think it is. We are going to cover exactly how you can become more confident in your writing.
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. — E.E. Cummings
The one thing that can help you the most to build confidence in your writing is to share it.
But I don’t have the confidence to share it!
I understand that feeling. It’s the same feeling that I had when I first began. My suggestion to you is to write something and find someone you trust to proofread and edit it for you. Have them tell you what they think about the flow, the tone, and anything else you’re not confident in. Have them dissect the piece and give you feedback. Then make the changes you think are good.
The hardest thing to do…publish it! Take a leap of faith and publish the piece.
If publishing your article makes you nervous then that’s normal. The feeling will go away eventually. All it means is that you care. You’re passionate about writing so you care what people say and their feedback.
What else can I do?
I’m glad you asked!
This is a golden rule anytime you’re creating something. People are going to hate your work. It might be because they’re arrogant or it might be because they’re jealous. Their reasoning is entirely irrelevant. They’re dicks so don’t give them the time of day. More importantly, don’t let them get in your head. If you let a hater get in your head then you let the hater won. Move on with your day and move on with your life. Don’t dwell. It’s not worth it.
The best thing you can do around the negativity is to expect it and not feed it. If someone comments in a professional and respectful manner then feel free to talk it out with the person. People disagreeing shouldn’t be a negative as it makes you, the author, think harder and explain your ideology further. Doing this will allow you to see more than your own point of view.
If you struggle to not respond to negative comments then I’d suggest not reading them. Once you’re more confident then begin reading and responding to the positive comments. You’ll want to do this because engagement helps you grow on your platform.
No joke, write more. It’s said that after you write your first million words you’re finally a ‘decent writer’. Another million makes you a good writer. Then to become a great writer it’s a lifetime of work.
Do you remember the first time you did something you cared about in front of others?
I do, it was my Freshman year of high school. I was on the varsity soccer team and I had a Penalty Kick (PK) to take. If you don’t know what a PK is, it’s a 1v1 with a goalie in soccer. All other players watch until you touch the ball. The ball is on a spot a distance away from the goal and when the referee blows a whistle you shoot with the goal of scoring. The goalie is defending the goal to stop your shot. All the attention is on you. The attention of your team, the opposing team, the coaches, and the fans. Hundreds of people watching you at once to see if you succeed or fail. I hit the shot.
I was so nervous about taking my first PK as a Freshman. By the time I was a Junior I’d taken so many I didn’t get nervous. I walked up to the mark, waited for the ref to blow the whistle then put the ball away…or didn’t. The pressure stopped phasing me after a while.
The same will happen to you with writing. I know because it happened to me when I first started writing. I’ve published 60 articles on Medium. I’m coming up to almost 100,000 published words on Medium alone. It’s a good feeling. I’ve written countless paid articles for brands and companies. I was nervous having my first article published by a company. So many doubtful thoughts swirl in my head but in the end, everything was okay. They even asked me to stay on and keep writing for them weekly. To this day I still write for that company.
My point is, what makes you nervous now will eventually subside and you’ll get over it. It’s something that is well worth getting over. You could be the next Stephen King but if you never publish your work you’ll never get recognized.
Read Your Articles Out Loud
Something people don’t realize is that reading out loud will help you edit a lot. This is because when we read something to ourself we ignore the clunky sound of it. Yet, if we hear it then we have an easier time discerning those clunky sounding sentences.
I do this with every one of my articles before I publish it. I also run all my articles through Grammarly to make sure everything is good to go!
Usually, when you read out loud and edit accordingly it will let you rephrase and tweak sentences to make them sound much better to others. I’d suggest doing often when you write as it alone can build confidence.
Wrapping It Up
These are the ways to build confidence in your writing. They’re three practices I’ve followed since I began writing. They’ve treated me very well and helped me get my first paying gigs as a freelance writer!
What tips do you have to help grow confidence? Which of these do you use the most? Let’s talk about it in the responses.