Tuesday 15 January 2013

We All Need Confidence When It Comes To Writing...


What is it?

When it comes to writing, confidence (amongst numerous other things) is feeling happy with what you're producing.  It's the knowing that your story works, that it flows, that your characters are real.  Yeah, you still may need to edit a few things, but you're confident you can do this, you're confident where these changes need to be, and that your changes will work.

You know what you're doing and you're happy.

But take a wee hiatus from writing and things can change.

I read a blog post a little while back and they mentioned that the longer you leave writing the more you lose your confidence.  I've never considered this before, but having just taken a good few months off writing my WIP, I've found this to be true.  I've gone back to it with mixed feelings.  My characters are seeming 2 dimensional.  The story isn't as fantastic as it used to be.  Where's my enthusiasm?  Where's my love for these people?

My confidence in this piece has fallen dramatically.  Maybe it's to do with looking at it all through fresh eyes - minus the rose tinted glasses.  I'm seeing faults.  I'm seeing flaws.  I know it's a good story - one that I'm happy with, and despite losing my enthusiasm, I know I could make it work.

The trick is finding that enthusiasm again.  Which I'm working on.  I can't and refuse adamantly to a abandon it.  I'm so close to the end I can smell it, but can I bring myself to finish it?

That's the hard part.

But I will.  I will force myself on.  I will sit in front of that blank screen and write the last few chapters.  And then I will edit it and I will correct the flaws that I see.  I will make it work.  I will love it again!  It's all about having confidence in what you can do.  Every writer needs this confidence.  And it all starts by blogging about it.

First step to rebuilding that lost confidence:  Check!


  1. I take numerous breaks from writing. Sometimes you need to do that. I've taken up to a month off at a time.

    And thanks for stopping by and joining the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest!

  2. I've discovered that posting stuff for free online and getting feedback on a per chapter basis has renewed my confidence.

  3. Stephen: I don't usually take breaks. This poor novel has been put on hold so many times due to numerous reasons and now I have the chance to get back into it and finish it, I'm finding it harder than I thought. But I'll get there. And looking forward to the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest too :)

    Michael: Talking is a great way to renew anyones confidence. I was planning to meet up with my writers' circle last night to do just that but the evening was cancelled so I blogged about it instead. I can feel it working already :)

  4. I think it's about momentum. If you're writing every day, you're too excited about getting the next bit of the story down to sit back and consider the whole thing. I'm feeling a bit of this with my WIP, after only having taken a couple of weeks off over Christmas. It was started during NaNo in a blaze of enthusiasm, so I didn't have time to reflect. Now it's the ending, which I always struggle with anyway! Keep going - you owe it to the story and characters. I'm sure it's much better than you're thinking now!

  5. Thanks Nick. One good thing to come out of this is the fact I can now see the flaws and therefore know what needs changing to help improve it. I'll keep on going and it will work...lol

  6. I agree with Nick. I think a lot of the confidence I have comes from the fact I keep myself too busy writing to have time to stop and wonder why on EARTH I think I can do this.

    So, yeahh. Keep at it! One step at a time. :)


  7. I think it's about falling in love with your work. A little time away from it cools you down, but you can fall back in love with it again. I like to take a few weeks away from a finished first draft, but not too long. Just enough to fan myself, eat some chocolate, and prepare myself for the real hard work ahead. Just keep on going. You can do it!

  8. Mia: Thanks for stopping by :)
    Yeah, I think that's where the problem lies. I stopped and gave myself time to think...lol

    Christine: Yeah, I'm working on it. I usually do take a break before editing. It allows time for the rose tinted glasses to be removed. Thanks for stopping by :)

  9. Confidence is exactly what I need with my writing, and it can be hard to come by. I have Asperger Syndrome and that makes me feel that my mind and anything that comes out of it are not creative but pathological. I am resolved to work on building confidence this year, even if I have to resort to 'Positive Thinking' (Norman Vincent Peale), which is not easy for this negative writer.

    I also find that leaving my work weakens my confidence in it. Until I have left it for years and there is no getting back in to it, then I can see how good it would have been. This year I am committing myself to one writing project and will work on aspects of it every day (except Sunday).

  10. It is why I have mixed feelings about holidays - coming back to a blank screen/page after a two week break can be daunting, bringing back to life dehydrated or frozen characters really hard work. Great post.

  11. Nissa: Ah, I wish you luck with your confidence building this year. It's not the easiest thing to do at all. The good thing about blogging and surrounding yourself with other writers is that they all understand about confidence, and what lack of it can do to your writing. Because of this they can offer some fantastic support and make building it not so daunting and difficult. We're all here for you :)

    Mike: Frozen characters! That's what I need to do! Wait for this snow to thaw and them along with it ;)