Inspiration,  Self Talk

10 Things I Can Do To Build Up My Confidence

I’m not in a very good place to write about confidence. 

I’m in a place where my expectations of what could have been are paralyzing my current choices. But if I’m going to go any further in what I do as a writer, I need to get over myself and grow in confidence. 

Today I have to return to the most important element in my writer’s toolbox: confidence.

I have lots of tools there that are important. Grammar is important. Storytelling is important. Connections are important. Reviews are important.

But the most important thing of all is self-confidence.

I have to believe, at least most of the time, that my dreams are worth pursuing. I have to diligently call out the lies that have been told to me (or that I say to myself) about what I really want. I must strengthen my own confidence. Unlike editing, proofreading and tweeting, I can’t outsource this. I have to find it in myself. 

1. I can be vulnerable. Now this sounds counterintuitive. But I have to show the world my best and be willing to handle whatever reaction I get from it. The more I practice this, the easier it gets. 

2. I can separate my mistakes from my identity. Instead of freaking out over my technical issues, I just need to learn from them. I will get better. 

3. I can remember that art is subjective. What’s valued and praised by one person is rejected by another. This is what makes art art. This is why there’s a place for me. 

4. I can ask for help. I need to be honest with myself about my weaknesses and get instruction. I can never be better if I’m not teachable. 

5. I can knock on new doors. There have never been more opportunities for writers than there are right now (and there’s never a bigger competition for readers!) If I stretch myself to submit to new publications or opportunities, I just might have new rewards. 

6. I can try new things. Writing is an art, just like painting or drawing. And I should take advantage of its flexibility to see what I can do with it. I may find a genre or a style I love. 

7. I can stay focused. My art really is about pleasing myself first. If I’m having fun doing what I’m doing, it will show and others will be inspired. 

8. I can stop comparing myself to others. My happiness and confidence levels will take a nosedive if I’m wondering what the writer next to me is doing. The more I focus on my work, the more I’ll grow in confidence. 

9. I can choose happiness in this work. Writing is hard work, no doubt, but the more I remember why I am doing this, why I’m not doing something else or why I picked up my pen in the first place, the more my confidence will grow. 

10. I can be involved. The more writer friends I have in my life, the more I can depend on them for encouragement and help. A strong community is also good for walking with me in the struggles and laughing at my jokes. 

 Writer in this current market are nothing short of poetic masochists: we constantly have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try over and over again. We have to create our own confidence.

Without it we’ll never succeed.

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.