Discipline,  Motivation

Top 10 Things I Can Do To Build Up My Confidence – By Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

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. 

Top 10 Things I Can Do To Build Up My Confidence by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelist

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.

These are the Top 10 Things I can do to build up my confidence.

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.


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I am a fiction writing and time management coach. I help time crunched novelists strengthen their craft, manage their time and gain confidence so they can find readers for their stories.

Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day. Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement and community. 


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.


  • Michele Mathews

    Great post, Katharine. I’m working on my confidence with the help of the 10 Minute Novelists, and I’m changing my own attitude and opening new doors. I have a good feeling some great things are going to happen to me soon!

  • Sandy Stuckless

    I needed this too. I’m in a funk of my own and it sucks. I feel almost lost. I’ve switched projects and genres, hoping to spark something, but I think I might need to prescribe to items 4 and 10.