Today, I have one of my earliest blog buddies, Australian writer Lynda R. Young on my blog. Lynda was the first person to read the first chapter of the manuscript I am querying. I had won the first chapter critique on her blog. She urged me to find a crit partner. Its thanks to her critique and encouragement that I had the courage to seek crit partners.
Firstly, I'd like to thank Rachna for
inviting me to appear on her blog. I've known Rachna through blogging for a
couple of years now. It's a great honour. Despite the title, this post is not
only about writing, it's about gaining the confidence to do the things you want
to do in life, and do them well.
to Trust Yourself as a Writer
the Rules: Whatever it is in life you want to do,
you'll first need to learn how to do it. The same goes for writing. Sure,
anyone can string a few sentences together and call it writing, but not
everyone can do it well. Learning the craft will give you the confidence to be
the writer you want to be.
Support: Find a supportive writing group, a family
member who believes in you, a friend who will cheer you on. Keep going back to
these people to find the encouragement you will need. They will keep you
positive in the face of rejections. They'll hold you up and tell you the words
you need to hear, such as: Yes you made the right decision to pursue writing.
Yes you can do this.
stay in isolation: Writers tend to have a distorted
view of their work. We fluctuate from thinking our work is pure genius, to
thinking our work is dog's body. Critique partners, beta readers, editors, and
mentors will help to give us a clearer picture of our work. And they will help
to improve our work, which in turn will give us confidence. The more we share
our work, the easier it becomes.
Realistic: Give yourself realistic, achievable,
measurable goals and your confidence will remain high. The moment you start
getting unrealistic, like thinking you'll become the next J K Rowlings, is the
moment you've set yourself up for a fall.
compare yourself to others: because your work will
never measure up. Why? Because you'll
never be able to write like someone else, and neither should you try. Everyone
is different. Everyone will take their own time to reach their goals. Comparing
yourself to how fast others reach their goals will only hurt you.
everyday: The more you grow accustomed to the habit
of writing, the easier it becomes. And the more you write, the more you'll
improve and grow in confidence. If you can't write every single day, then at
least try to write regularly.
to enjoy what you do: When I enjoy doing something,
I worry less about the little things associated with it. When I remember to
enjoy my writing I don't get bogged down with worrying whether or not my words
will measure up. My writing is a gazillion times better when I let go and fall
in love with the process.
helps you to trust your writing?
P.S. For those of you who have not yet met Lynda, you can always meet her at her blog. She has a wonderful blog, full of great writing advice and tips.