It’s quite simple. To grow and be more confident as a writer, you have to keep writing. There’s just no other way.
For many years, I didn’t feel confident enough to call myself a writer—even after I had published my first book. I guess, in my mind, having a day job meant I wasn’t ready to go pro. The writing was fun, but it didn’t feel like work; that changed a few years ago, during a particularly eye-opening encounter.
I had just started a Master’s program and turned in my very first class assignment to the Professor. During the next class, the Professor called out my name (I was absolutely startled!) and asked if I was a professional writer. I swallowed the huge lump that suddenly appeared in my throat and croaked, “It depends on what you mean by professional.”
Lame, right? I know.
He went on to ask if I had ever been paid to write. He said my writing was excellent and my choice of words, impressive. I had indeed worked as a Managing Editor for a magazine and had also been paid to write content for other publications. How I never made the professional writer connection in my mind, I’ll never know, but that encounter made me realize something; I had to be more confident in my skills.
So how can you be more confident as a writer?
1. Keep writing, and always do your best work. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for school, for fun or at work; give your best every time. The more you write, the better you get and the more confident you become.
Unbeknownst to me, by simply writing every chance I got, I had started on a journey that culminated in a career I didn’t choose as a child (I had always wanted to be a doctor), and I’ve never regretted it.
2. Step up and own your space. If you have a desire to write, do the work and be bold enough to call yourself what you really are. It doesn’t matter if you work as an Accountant or a Nurse. If you’re a writer, you’re a writer. It’s crucial that you make that mental shift.
So, my writer friend, it’s time to stop playing small. Own your space. Hone your craft. Do your work.
Rooting for you!
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May all your dreams come true, with pomp and splendor!