Welcome to May's 'Writerly Witterings' blog post. Each month I blog on an aspect of writing pertinent to other writers.
Last month, it was around the power of 'Writing as Therapy' Thanks to everyone who took part in the free mini 12 day writing course I offered over the Easter period. The feedback was wonderful to hear.
I shall be offering another 12 day free mini writing course in August 'Writing from your Life.' If you haven't already, then please sign up to my 'keep in touch' list (below) to be offered the chance to join in with this.
This month, I am focussing on 'believing in yourself as a writer.' Other than finding the time, lack of self belief is often the second biggest obstacle to be overcome by many writers.
It is common to be plagued with self-doubt. Below are some typical depreciations.
- Who is going to want to read this?
- Am I wasting my time?
- There are so many novels/poems/stories out there already, how can I say anything new and exciting. Etc.
- I’ve just read a really good book. I’ll never be that good.
Writing is a solitary activity, where we are mainly only accountable to ourselves and have to trust our own judgement.
However, writing is something we can only ever get better at, whatever stage we are currently at. The more writing we do, the better we get.
- Read, read, read. You will automatically assimilate the techniques and structures of others and learn what to do and what not to do.
- Keep learning. Take courses, read about the craft, attend workshops, listen to other authors.
- Immerse yourself in the world of writing. Attend festivals, subscribe to a magazine, join writing groups and forums, on and off line.
- Reward yourself for your achievements. Whether it’s completing a short story or a chapter, be proud of yourself for doing it.
- Tell people about what you are working on. The more you talk about it, the more confident you will become.
- Carry a notebook everywhere with you to capture people, scenes and conversations.
- Write yourself an affirmation. This should be positive and in present tense. (e.g. I write engaging dialogue, or I am getting better with every word I write) Set it as your screen saver or stick it to a mirror. Write it on post its and stick all around your writing space.
- Set yourself a goal in relation to ringfencing your writing time. Write it down.
Make sure you say loud and proud I am a Writer! When people ask you what you do, make sure you tell them. The more you talk about yourself in this way, and the more you discuss your work in progress, the more confident you will feel. And believe me, people WILL be interested!
I'm going to follow up this blog post with a Facebook live on Saturday 18th May at 5:00 pm. Click here to connect to my Facebook page. It would be wonderful if you could join me and let me know what works for you in terms of improving your writing confidence. Or you can post into the comments below.
With best wishes, Maria
PS: Limited places left for 'Finish your Novel (or life story) and get it published! Early bird offer still on! Click here for more details of this exciting writing and spa retreat in the heart of the Chevin forest.