Author Topic: How to Write With Confidence  (Read 1500 times)

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Offline evilgrin

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How to Write With Confidence
« on: Tue, Mar 10, 2009, 10:03 AM »
*this was written with blogging in mind but what the hell, it works nicely for what we do too, doesn't it?
This writer gets at the incredible courage I've always believed that it takes to write, no matter what you write, because you are putting YOURSELF out there. That takes guts...enjoy!*


How to Write With Confidence
from Copyblogger by Steve Errey

Writing sounds easy enough, right? Just slap some words onto a page, spell-check, sense-check, job done.

Piece of cake.

Or at least it would be if you didnít start second guessing yourself.

ďWhat was the point I was trying to make here anyway?Ē

ďIs this article working?Ē

ďWill anyone read this, or will it slip into spectacular insignificance?Ē


And then thereís the big question.

Is it good enough?

Do you think that Stephen King doesnít have a bad day of writing? Does Stephanie Meyer think every word she writes is peachy first time round? How about McEwan, Rowling or Kawasaki? Irving, Huffington or Coelho?

Every writer writes rubbish, because writing requires it. Itís part of the process of great writing.

The trick then, is to find ways to keep your confidence going during the times when you can see that youíre in a writing funk.

1. Donít take it personally.

Got a crappy comment on your blog saying what youíve written stinks more than a dozen dead frogs in a bag of over-ripe stilton? Got a bad review that highlights the fatal flaw in your oh-so carefully constructed and carefully worded argument?

What are you gonna do? Invite them over for a glass of wine to apologize? Send them a basket of muffins and a sincere letter of apology? No. Of course not.

There will always be people who disagree with you and there will always be someone out there who doesnít like what youíve written. Writing to please everyone who reads your work is writing for the wrong reasons, and itís something thatís never going to happen.

Itís all too easy to start doubting whether your words are any good, and to extrapolate those doubts as personal failings. Iíve done this myself in the past Ė I write a crappy article, realize that itís pretty crappy, and then conclude that Iím a crappy writer.

Wrong. One thing does not equal the other.

2. Youíve gotta go from 0% to 100%.

To finish a writing project youíve got to start with nothing and go all the way through until itís finished. That sounds obvious (and I do have a remarkable grasp of the obvious), but itís significant for one important reason.

It means that you need to go through the process in order to end up with some great writing. It means that along the way some of what youíll write will be good and some wonít be good Ė thatís just how it goes.

You need to trust yourself to go from 0% to 100%, from nothing to everything. You might hit writers block at 24%, you might write some killer copy at 68% that youíre insanely proud of, and you might write a super-stinky paragraph at 82% that youíll never speak of again.

Every word and every sentence adds to the whole, whether itís good or not. You need to trust that you can spot the gold along the way.

3. Be ready to push yourself.

Iím sure Iím not the first one to draw a correlation between writing and giving birth. There are some big differences (writing doesnít require stirrups, for one) but there are some important similarities Ė the pain, the wonder, the fear and the joy.

Writing requires you to externalize whatís internal, and that can be an awkward, painful and frustrating process.

Sometimes great writing requires you to go to places in your head or your heart that you donít normally go.

There are times when great writing requires you to put your experience on the page and times when it requires you to make leaps of faith that make you feel vulnerable or scare you half to death. Which is why, even though you need to consider your audience, you should write like nobodyís reading. The content might be the same, but the style will be more natural.

Confidence isnít knowing how things will turn out, itís trusting yourself to do what youíre best at. Trust yourself to make those leaps and youíll not only be a more confident writer, but youíll be writing some of your best work.

About the Author: As a leading confidence coach with clients right around the world, Steve Errey has a reputation for talking sense and getting results. Get more from him at The Confidence Guy.

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Furyan Goddess

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Re: How to Write With Confidence
« Reply #1 on: Tue, Mar 10, 2009, 11:01 AM »
yep, I got to push myself.. big thing for me.. push and I"m gonna try to stick w/ shorter stories too.

Thanks to Sil for siggie!

Offline silver

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Re: How to Write With Confidence
« Reply #2 on: Tue, Mar 10, 2009, 10:23 PM »
Shorter stories...good idea.
Short, complete, situations...I like it.

And outside the comfort zone: more challenges.

I NEED it.  I just AVOID it because I'm lazy.
 :hit2


...insatiable...

Offline evilgrin

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Re: How to Write With Confidence
« Reply #3 on: Wed, Mar 11, 2009, 07:46 AM »
Picture This and the Surprise Me stories are tailor made for that, the Picture This ones even more so. A max of 2500 words, based on a picture and it doesn't matter what the hell you write about. People have written series, which are great, but there's nothing quite like distilling something into 2500 words and just walking away from it.
Elaine:)

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It was a rainy night in the big city. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the scum off the streets. And I'm stuck in it without an umbrella. What a tool.

Offline Bitten

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Re: How to Write With Confidence
« Reply #4 on: Sat, Apr 11, 2009, 07:29 AM »
This is a good article. I agree about PT helping to jump start your creativity, and I love the way you can write a short story and then move on. It gives you time to experiment with lots of different types of stories, quickly.