For many new and aspiring writers, confidence is a major issue.
Whether it’s the confidence to show other people your work, or the confidence to declare yourself as a writer, overcoming the fear of failure can be tough. It’s something we all struggle with at times.
But if you’re going to make it as a writer, you’ve got to have faith in your abilities and focus on your writing.
Because if you don’t, why should anyone else?
The journey towards becoming a successful writer can be long and there are many steps along the way. Each one can be fraught with anxiety.
But each one will help you improve and grow.
I didn’t even realise how much more easily I was able to deal with rejection for years, until one day it occurred to me that I’d moved on from a failed submission without looking back. Sure it’s always going to sting when you don’t hear back from an agent or you don’t get through to the next stage in a competition, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
There will always be another opportunity to focus on.
When you first start to share your work with other people, it can be difficult to handle feedback. Not only on an emotional level, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to take those comments and use them to improve your manuscript. But it’s important to persevere, because those comments are the thing that will help you become a better writer.
Editing is something I struggle with. Knowing how to change my manuscript so that it stands out is something I find incredibly difficult, but the more I do it, the easier it becomes.
And the more I listen to feedback from others, the more I realise that, actually, I already know what the problems are. I know that I’ve overwritten that description, or that character isn’t human enough, or that scene doesn’t work.
I just need the confidence to listen to myself.
Our writing isn’t always perfect; sometimes it’s awful. But we need the confidence to push that feeling aside and keep going, until one day, we realise that we’ve achieved something to be proud of.