Sometimes we doubt ourselves. We give in to the lies imposter syndrome flashes into our faces. We’re not that great. We’re just trying our best. I’ve been struggling with this lately, thinking I’m not really that great of a writer regardless of how many clients have voiced opinions that differ.
And no, I am not the best, either. (Is there a best writer? That’s a question for another post.) But I spent a few hours editing this evening for a client, something I have not done in almost a year (how time flies!). Something happens when you proofread unpublished writings. It’s nothing personal and these were fairly well written articles. But they reminded me that I know what I’m doing … I’m not that bad of a writer after all.
In fact, I might even be a good one.
This is something that is very hard for me to say. It makes me feel icky. Or it did. Until I realized there isn’t anything wrong with saying you are good at something. We often mistake confidence for arrogance, which we really need to be careful about. Because here’s the thing: if you are good at writing, you are going to have to prove that to an employer or a client or an agent. And self-confidence is part of that. A portfolio filled with sample work means nothing if you pour gallons of doubt all over it.
What I think you may need to hear today is this.
Being good at something does not make you better, smarter or more important than anyone else. It just makes you more skilled and more experienced – skills and experience you have earned through long, tiring hours of storytelling. Saying you are a good writer acknowledges that you have taken the time and put in the effort to work your way up from nothing. You know how to make words flow like brush strokes, or music notes. You know not because it makes you superior, but because it is the truth.
There are ways to be classy about casually mentioning this, of course. Highlighting your accomplishments, at the appropriate times in the appropriate places, is the safe and far more traveled route. Confidence is striking, but it is something you need to build up if you want to use your skills professionally or turn writing into a fulfilling and successful hobby.
So go ahead. Say it out loud. “I am a good writer.” Say it until you mean it.
And if you are struggling to believe you are a ‘good’ writer – or even a writer at all – stay tuned. I have another post coming for you. Until then, get back to writing!
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
Image courtesy of pixabay.com.