How to Boost Your Confidence as a Writer by Lorraine Haataia

How to Boost Your Confidence as a Writer

When you’re writing a book, it’s important to nurture your confidence as a writer. Our book writing journeys tend to take us through peaks of exhilaration and valleys of self-doubt. When you’re going through one of those times of self-doubt, consider practicing one or more of the following strategies so that you can quickly get back on track.

Join a Supportive Writing Community

By immersing yourself in a nurturing environment and embracing feedback, you can overcome self-doubt and achieve publishing success. During moments of self-doubt, prioritize your time with fellow writers and authors who understand what you’re going through. Embrace their positive feedback and recognize the value of your writing style, experiences, and unique voice. Fellow writers are in a good position to boost your confidence as a writer. Writers are often their own biggest critics, so it’s helpful to work alongside fellow writers who can lift you up and remind you not only of the value of your book but also the value you have to deliver as an author.

Learn From Fellow Authors

In the writing community, you’ll encounter a myriad of stories – both successes and challenges – shared by fellow authors. Whether it’s hearing about their achievements or their setbacks, every experience offers valuable lessons.

Regardless of your peers’ experiences, there’s much to be gained by observing and learning from their journeys. Engaging with their triumphs and obstacles provides valuable insights that can inform your own approach to writing and promoting your work. As you learn from their experiences, you’ll gain confidence as a writer when it comes time to making decisions about your book.

Set Achievable Goals

Break down your writing goals into smaller, achievable tasks. This is especially important if you’re working on your first book and you don’t have a track record of how long it takes to write a chapter, for example. Adjust your goals and expectations so that they’re realistic alongside all of your current goals and responsibilities.

Practice Regularly

As with any skill, you get better with practice. Set aside dedicated time to write regularly, even if it’s just for a short period. Consistent practice helps to build your confidence as a writer.

Get Used to Trimming Away Words

When a carpenter builds a home, he trims away wood and drywall so that everything fits together properly. A seamstress does the same when she’s making a custom wedding dress. In order for the dress to fit properly on the bride, the seamstress must cut away material. The same is true for your book. When you’re writing your book, you will surely have words that will need to be trimmed away in order to make the content as clear as possible for your reader. Don’t fret over words that are edited out. Your book will be much better off when you trim off excess words, stories, and ideas that need to be cut.

Practice Self-Compassion

Every writer faces challenges, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. Prolific Writers Life Expert, Maya Carlyle, reminds us often—treat yourself with the same empathy and understanding that you would offer to a fellow writer. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion, especially during moments of self-doubt or setbacks.

Embrace Feedback from Fellow Writers

It’s helpful to embrace feedback from fellow writers as a valuable tool for growth. Take part in a writing community that offers you the opportunity to provide updates and share your progress. Appreciating constructive criticism, whether from critique groups, beta readers, or editors, is essential for honing your craft. While you may not implement every suggestion you receive, each piece of feedback offers insight into improving your work. Remember to consider the source of feedback, ensuring alignment with your target audience’s preferences and expectations.

View Comparable Books as Allies

When it comes to writing your book, one of the initial steps authors often take, especially when writing a query letter, is to identify comparable books. What are comparables? This involves searching for books that share similarities with yours. Assuming you find books that are akin to yours, your task is to explain how your book differs from (i.e., offers a new perspective) among other books on similar topics.

Some writers panic and start thinking that since there are already other books like theirs out there, then there’s no point in writing another one. Comparable books are not competition. These books and their authors are your allies.

Regardless of how many other books are out there, remember that you have a unique perspective to offer. It’s essential to shift your perspective and realize that you are not in competition with these books or the authors of these books. In fact, many readers who purchased those books might buy your book as well.

Set Your Writing Aside for a While

Many times, we underestimate the quality of our writing. However, it’s a common experience for writers to revisit their work after some time and find it surprisingly impressive. If you haven’t had this experience yet, you likely will as you continue writing. Sometimes you may initially dismiss your writing as insignificant, only to rediscover it later with a newfound appreciation. Trust in your work and recognize your accomplishment of having written it.

Your writing is likely better than you think. Allow yourself the opportunity to gain perspective by setting your work aside for a while. Returning to it after a week, two weeks, or even a month can offer fresh insights and a renewed appreciation for your writing. You may even forget the specific phrases and sentences you used, only to be pleasantly surprised by their impact upon revisiting them. So, trust in your abilities as a writer and acknowledge the value of your work.

Enhance Your Book’s Quality with Professional Editing

One of the most crucial steps in boosting your confidence as a writer is recognizing the importance of professional editing in enhancing your book’s quality. Your manuscript may contain errors or inconsistencies and need some polishing. Hiring a professional editor helps to ensure that your book is refined and error-free, regardless of your proficiency level. Even if you’re well-versed in language skills, the perspective of an editor can significantly elevate your work’s quality.

Visualize Success

Visualize yourself achieving your writing goals. Imagine yourself finishing your manuscript, receiving positive feedback from readers, or holding a published copy of your book. Visualization helps to reinforce your confidence and motivate you to work towards your dreams.

Click here to join Lorraine and other Prolific Writers Life members at Words Count writing sessions.

Click here to discover the benefits of joining Prolific Writers Life, where our community offers invaluable support for your book-writing journey.

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