Confidence as a writer

Top of the World… or not

There are some days I wonder where my confidence has gone. It could be anything from a story not going the way I would like it or simply having a really bad day.

Back in High School, I felt I was on the top of the World with my writing. I would write and hand it to my English teacher, and get great comments to help me improve. I got great results, and some of the pieces I wrote back then I have rediscovered – and they are pretty good.

Now, I don’t have that. I take part in challenges and put snippets on my blog and send work to critique partners, but it’s not quite the same… there are days my confidence is shot.

I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately, and I’m wondering how much of it is to do with the fact I haven’t had any formal training – at least not since I was in High School.  Having someone more experienced to guide me in my craft helped back when I was at school. With this in mind, I’m looking forward to staring my Creative Writing course.

One of my hopes is that by learning my craft, not only will it help me improve my writing, but it will also increase my confidence in what I write.

While I’m waiting to start, I would love some suggestions on how to keep the confidence in my writing up where it should be.

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  1. Very brave to share this struggle, Melissa, but I’m willing to guess a lot of writers experience it. I can’t say for sure that you’re correct, but I do have a degree in writing and occasionally give thanks for the extra boost when I remember something specific I learned. I think more than technique, formal training gives you instructors who do what you say your HS teachers did – give you validation that you’re on the right track.

    We look forward to having you in the Author Blog Challenge! You’ll get lots of support from your fellow bloggers!

  2. Working with a good developmental editor will help you shape your story for what really matters–readability and entertainment value. Keep writing and resist editing while you’re in the flow. You can always go back and make changes. I love that you are so open, which will serve you well as an author. Remember that your writing will not be appreciated by everyone, but someone will benefit from your message and that’s who you are writing for.

  3. Hi Melissa,

    Don’t give up, that’s what people keep telling me. And deep down inside you know that the fact you really want this is going to keep you going.
    Your course will definately put you back on track, make you feel inspired and give you the resources and knowledge you need to boost your confidence.
    Look at your manuscripts and really focus on the ones that have received the best marks from competitions, best feedback from critiques and the ones you think have more appeal commercially for a publisher.
    This is enough to kill time till you start your course and don’t forget to let s know how it is going!

  4. I suffer from lack of confidence in my writing too. I think most writers, no matter how much training we do or don’t get have moments when we lack confidence in ourselves. The trick is to keep writing anyway.

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