Many people don’t think that confidence has anything to do with writing a novel, but I do. You can be a talented writer, but if you don’t have the confidence to finish the job and believe in yourself, you’ll probably give up before the project is complete or you’ll never be able to sell the book once the novel is published.
Self-confidence is a necessary skill all writers should learn if they want to become successful novelists.
Why? Because a writer without the self-confidence will never be able to finish his work, sell his work or sell himself to agents or publishers. And if they do finish the project and decide to self-publish they’ll give up before they’ve made it all the way to the top.
Self-confidence is one of the most important skills we can learn in life.
I listened/watched a You Tube video of Dr. Ivan Joseph on a TED Talk yesterday about confidence that you might want to watch. (Click on TED Talk.) Many writers lose confidence along their writing journey. Dr. Ivan believes that confidence is a skill that can be taught.
As writers, we’re alone a lot, and sometimes the Doubt Devil can really get in our way. We start to think we’re not good enough. That our writing stinks. That we’re never going to finish. Or we’ll never find a publisher. Sometimes we think no one will want to read what we have to say.
I know because I have had similar thoughts. Here are a few tips that might help.
Ways to Gain Self-Confidence
- Write a BRAG sheet to yourself. On this paper, list all the things you’re good at–mom, wife, dad–whatever you do well. List all those things you do or have done that you’re PROUD of. Do NOT be humble. If you need help ask those who love you. They’ll tell you. You might be surprised by the things they say. You could be great at something you take for granted, something you undervalue.
- Stop the negative self-talk. You know what I’m talking about. It’s those things we say to ourselves about ourselves that we start believing.
- Compliment others when that Doubt Devil keeps trash talking your thoughts. Take the focus off of you and concentrate on building confidence in others. For instance, the next time your child or spouse does something that irritates you, something that doesn’t measure up–ignore it. Instead, find something they do well and praise them for that deed. Ignore the negative and reward the positive. If your child carries his plate to the sink–thank him. If your husband remembers to put the toilet seat cover down–thank him. Notice the good.
- When you’re having a down negative day, go back and read that BRAG sheet about yourself. Build yourself up. Remind yourself that Every human is imperfectly imperfect. That you rock, that there are many things you do well.
- Get rid of the naysayers in your life. There are enough negative people who will tear you down and never want you to be successful. Make a decision to minimize their influence in your life. Don’t let them bring you down.
- Surround yourself with others who are like-minded, who are positive people, who exude positive energy and build you up. They are your true friends.