I – like many writers – struggle with feeling confident about my writing, books and career as a whole. And as feelings go, this one is entirely unproductive. It makes me less likely to write, which makes me less likely to finish, which in turn makes me less likely to achieve my goal – and the cycle goes on.
But there are ways we can break this cycle and start thinking about ourselves as successful writers – even when we might never have had any success before. Some of these are techniques borrowed from Sophie Hannah’s brilliant Dream Author program. Some are from writing friends, and some are my own.
1) Stop expecting perfection. No writer gets it right first time. First drafts are meant to be awful – the point is to just get the words down.
2) Stop defining success as something you don’t have. Have an idea you’re excited about? Success. Finished a draft of a book – WELL DONE. Give yourself credit and stop moving the goalposts before allowing the confidence you gain from achieving a goal to sink in.
3) Stop reading your work back all the time. What you wrote yesterday doesn’t define what you will write today.
4) Stop telling yourself you can’t do this. You can. It might be hard, but everything worth doing always is.
What are your tips to feeling confident in your writing? Share them below!