Self-Confidence & Writing


coolwizardpaper said to fixyourwritinghabits: I write something because I want people to read it which I’m sure is the way to NOT go about things. When no one does, which is 90% of the time, my confidence takes a nosedive. How do I build my confidence in my prose without others?

You’re not alone when you say that you write something because you want people to read it. Most of us secretly (or not so secretly) want people to read our finished work and tell us how wonderful it is. 

I’ve been through that phrase, but with fanfiction. I took it a bit far though, and note of which ships were popular, which AUs and tropes were popular, and tried to write what I thought people would read and comment on. I loved the instant gratification of receiving praise for my writing. I judged the quality of my writing on how many comments I got, and I was pretty damn miserable. 

Then, I slowly taught myself to stop caring so much, and to write what I wanted to write. If other people liked it and commented, awesome! If I got no comments, it didn’t matter because I wrote it for myself, and I had still achieved that goal. This wasn’t an overnight process, it took time, but eventually, the number of people who read my work stopped mattering so much to me and I was much, much happier. 

Write Something You Want to Write

It’s okay to want people to read your work, but make sure that you want to read it too. Make sure that writing it makes you happy, and that you feel a sense of accomplishment every time you pass a milestone. 

Set Goals for Yourself

There’s two types of goals I set for myself: wordcount, and how happy I am with my writing. 

Wordcount is obvious, to write n number of words by x date. 

How happy I am with my writing is something along the lines of “I hope that I’ll be at least 70% happy with my completed rough draft.” This gives me leeway to sum up scenes that I don’t want to write at that particular moment in a paragraph, and throw in “Insert something inspirational here,” he said,” but still map out the plot and character arcs the best I can. 

Stop Sharing for Now

I know it’s tempting, but stop sharing your work on public platforms, especially WIPs. If you post chapter one and no one takes an interest in it, your confidence in the entire story and motivation to continue it may go down and you might stop writing it altogether. That’s a pretty awful scenario because your story might not actually be bad, but you might have bad a bad first chapter, started in the wrong place, or not many people saw it because of simple bad luck. 

Find Writing Buddies

Find some people you get along with and trust, and talk about your writing. Swap your writing and give each other feedback. These are people that you know will read your work, and give you honest opinions (and hopefully praise). 

If you want, you could check out our Writing Buddies List!

Understand that it takes Time 

Building an audience of interested readers will take time. Build up a network, leave thoughtful comments on other people’s work, get on social media, start a blog. Write more, get better, learn how to market yourself and your work, then wait for the readers to come to you!

Write something you want to write. Write something you want to read. Write for yourself.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

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