As an aspiring writer, it is very easy (and common) to lose confidence in yourself and want to give up. You feel like your writing is not good enough, that you will never be successful, or your lack of skill prevents you from properly getting your story on paper. Are you constantly editing and rewriting your work, possibly throwing out the whole thing and starting over? Do you sit down at your desk to write, only to feel frustration or sadness? If this sounds familiar to you, here are some suggestions on how to get back on track to reach your goals.
Take a break
The extent to which you should take a break depends on the situation that frustrates you. If you are focused on one specific project, put it aside and work on something else, particularly something that will never see the light of day. The idea behind writing something like this is to simply get words on paper, to keep the writing juices flowing without worry of what others might think. And knowing that what you are writing is only for you should allow you to set your frustrations aside.
If you have multiple projects that you have been working on, you can approach things differently. You can either do the exercise suggested above by writing something only for you, or put all of your projects aside and take a break from writing altogether. That might sound drastic, but having multiple projects open can itself be stressful, so taking a step back for a few weeks to focus on any other hobbies you have may be the best thing to help you clear your mind so you can start fresh.
Remember your passion
Writers don’t just have a story to tell; writers have a burning passion inside them that draws them to the page and brings out the words from both the mind and the heart. It is important to remember that this passion exists within you, and to never let it burn out, regardless of how low your confidence gets. If you’ve chosen to take a break from writing, you will know when it is time to come back because that passion will push you to do it. Embrace that.
This is where the common suggestion of “write now, edit later” comes in to play. But that’s easier said than done; in fact, it can be one of the hardest things for a writer to do. Just stop and remember the passion within you and pour the words out. You can always tidy up later.
You are not alone
Nearly all writers suffer from a confidence loss at some point in time, whether it is due to rejections from publishers or their own conscience. If you are struggling with these emotions, it may be beneficial to talk with other writers. There are groups on social media platforms where you can discuss writing topics from the safety of your home, and you never have to share the writing that frustrates you. Many writers are friendly and open to helping others, and they may share things they have done to overcome the same obstacles. Try some of their suggestions and see what might work for you.
But no matter what approach you take to boost your confidence, follow this: don’t ever give up, don’t throw anything away, and let that burning passion lead you on your writing journey.