We all have those days when we just don’t feel like what we’re writing is good enough. It’s a natural part of the writing process; a little bit of doubt here and there helps us remember we’re not perfect, and we still have a lot to learn.
But when that doubt stretches on too long, it can make us want to quit. Do not save changes. Delete.
Here are three solutions to slowly building up your confidence and reigniting your love for writing—which is why you started writing in the first place.
Solution 1: Read More Books
If you’re already a writer, it’s pretty likely you’re a reader, too. Reading successful authors’ work, over and over again, might have been what started this confidence drought in the first place. “They’re so good at writing! Why can’t I be that good?”
Don’t forget even your favorite authors have agents and editors who help them take their rough drafts to the next level. They have help; you don’t. All you have is your brain and your hands and finished books as inspiration. Let those books motivate you to keep refining your skills, not the opposite.
Solution 2: Write More Words
Wait, that doesn’t make sense. I SAID I’M NOT A GOOD ENOUGH WRITER. Why should I keep writing?
Because the only thing that makes anyone not as good at something as they want to be is to stop trying to be better. If you’re not where you want to be in your own personal writing game, the worst thing you can do is take a break. Even if it’s the worst thing you’ve ever written, try.
Over time you’ll learn to catch and fix your own mistakes. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ll learn how to write more captivating prose—as long as you keep writing.
Solution 3: Find a Writing Community
Sometimes you just can’t do it alone. Writing itself is an individual activity, but if you feel you need moral support from other writers, that’s not only one hundred percent acceptable, it could help you identify your own weak points and what about your writing isn’t sitting well with you.
There are plenty of ways to find others. If you’re on WordPress, follow other ‘writing bloggers’ and comment on their posts. Wrimos are also a great way to meet writers who might have similar struggles to yours. A good old-fashioned Google search (okay, not that old-fashioned) can give you even more options to virtually connect and find the literary support you need.
As you grow as a writer, you’ll learn how to avoid comparing your work to others’. The truth is, no writer with enough dedication to keep trying is better than another. Everyone has their own voice, their own unique insight. Embrace that. If your writing isn’t just like someone else’s, trust us—that’s a good thing.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.