Want to be a writer? Want to write a bestselling romance thriller but afraid you haven’t got the skill to pull it off? Then you need these tips to be more confident in your writing.
Don’t let low self-esteem stop you from achieving your dream. Perhaps this point should be the beginning of your writing career - self-confidence. You can learn how to write if you give it time and are committed to learning and aren't afraid of a little bit of criticism. Here are some easy tips to be more confident in your writing.
1. Be Diligent
One of the best tips to be more confident in your writing is to do it all the time. Like all other crafts, skillful writing comes from constant practice. It can be mastered, perfected and beautified, but there’s a price to be paid. How wiling are you to put your back into your work?
Don’t set your mind on the fame or fortune that could come from writing. That will happen afterwards. The first priority for a beginner should be practice, practice, and more practice.
2. Embrace Criticism
Of course, this is of utmost importance. Getting feedback from people around you, including publishers, editors and agents, is a great way to enhance your skill.
Negative criticism can take you back to the draft as you figure out how to develop your material. Positive criticism, on the other hand, will inspire and encourage you to keep at it, to keep writing, to stay the course. And depending on your approach to your writing, all criticisms are ultimately helpful and can shape your careers positively.
3. Be Tenacious
That’s right. A girl must know how to stick to her gun. If JK Rowling, Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer gave up after their first or second attempt at landing a book deal, why, we might never have read all the great bestsellers they’ve given us over the years.
This point deserves some emphasis. Succeeding as a writer "ain’t" for sissies, whether you’re a man or a woman. If you can’t commit to it, no matter the odds, or if you’re looking to hit it big instantly, then back off.
Think I’m joking? Wait for when the rejection letters start piling in, or when after 6 months on Amazon your book hasn’t gotten a single download.
4. Keep at It
You learn to be a good writer by writing. Not by wishing it or by daydreaming about it. The great writers you know of today didn’t start off that way. They got better over time and by staying true to their craft.
For example, if you picked up the earliest novels of a writer like Stephen King, and compare them to his more recent titles, you’re sure to spot a difference in depth and language. Of course, the writing style and tone may still be the same, but there would be a difference in delivery.
If writing isn’t something you can commit to, something that can keep you awake at night pondering a new idea, it’s unlikely that you can improve at it. Like old wine, writing gets better with time.
And I’m not just talking fiction writing here. Whatever kind of writing you do, whether it's journalism, non-fiction, article writing, blog content writer or reviews, a spark of creative genius is important for bringing life into your work.
Again, if you really want to be a writer, then you must pay attention to the craft. Devote several hours every week to writing – scribble your thoughts down, jot story ideas as they come to you, carry a notepad at hand (it’s easy to know a writer when you meet one), work on your draft and characters by making them come alive.
5. And Read as Much
The next important thing for every writer is to read as much as she writes, and I don’t think there’s any point stretching this. While you’re honing your skill, you must ensure you read voraciously.
Read anything worth reading – journals, newspapers, books. Just read them. It may not occur to you, but there’s actually a learning process going on as you read other writers. If you find reading tedious, it’s unlikely that you’re serious about your writing.
Writers naturally love the written word. They’re drawn to letters. They love to tell stories, to paint pictures with choice words. And one thing that reading does for you is that it improves your depth, your flow, your familiarity with styles of various writers. This will help you in your writing.
6. Choose Your Niche
What sort of books would you like to write? Romance? Sci-fi? Fantasy or historical fiction? It’s important to discover what genre works for you naturally. Of course, most successful writers have written across genres, but for an up comer, it’s best to locate a niche you can flow in naturally.
Or perhaps I should say, let your niche come to you. Because, really, you may discover that you’re more in tune with certain types of stories, either due to your makeup, personality or earlier exposure. You may prefer romance novels to crime thrillers.
If that’s so, don’t force it. Don’t try to write in a particular genre because you think it’s easier to make it there, when you know that you can flow better writing in a different genre.
7. Be an Inspired Writer
Writing flows from a deep place within you. Until you find your depth, there’s always going to be something missing in your work. You can be inspired by things, circumstances and people around you.
Essentially, you can take details from your environment to flesh out your story idea, but the real inspiration is on the inside. Ask the greatest writers you know. It just happens. JK Rowling got the inspiration for Harry Potter while she was in a commuter train, going home from work. Stories just come to you when you least expect it, in unlikely places. And guess what? It’s enjoyable when you write like this.
Therefore, it is my opinion that writing is innate. You need to develop the raw talent, of course, but it’s already there. If you don’t have it, then you don’t have it. And you’re just better off doing something else.