Firstly, writers are typically way too hard on themselves. Our worst critic is ourselves, so to speak. Nobody can be really quite as hard on ourselves as we are. Not even the worst of the haters can really do as much damage as we can do to ourselves. Although sometimes, there may be an unusually fierce critic who really hits the nail on the head, it is typically us who takes away our initial confidence.
Of course, not everyone will ‘understand’ your writing. However, that is to be expected! Not everyone ‘gets’ Haruki Murakami, yet, he’s sold millions of copies!
So, here are some tips to gain confidence as an up and coming writer, fresh off the chopping board. Firstly, try your best to remember that this is just writing. Writing is writing, and that’s it. Nothing less, nothing more. You do not have to be the next C.S. Lewis. Instead, you should aim to hone in on your own uniqueness, and focus on what makes you, you.
Don’t share your writing with random strangers, or people who aren’t that close to you. It could be a very personal friend that you share this with, and it could turn out that your family is absolutely the wrong group of people to share your writing with. Who knows? When you do eventually publish your writing for the world to see, it will be quite the different experience. While you’re still in the process of writing, it is important that you only get the best, most thoughtful advice. There will be plenty of over-zealous critics, with multitudes of opinions and useless or useful words. It doesn’t matter, really. Find a close personal friend — someone who actually cares, to share your work with.
Don’t compare yourself to writers. Everyone is at different places in their life. Everyone is at a different level, and there is nothing wrong with that. It could be that trashy writers are receiving much more attention than good writers. Perhaps, you deserve more attention, but it just isn’t happening the way you want it to. The bottom line is, don’t compare yourself to anyone, even if they are better or worse. It does no one any favors. Why should you focus on another person when you are writing for yourself? It’s simply not beneficial. It is easy for such doubts to cloud your judgment. When you avoid any comparing, you’re already doing yourself a huge favor. You’re focusing on you and yourself alone.
Lastly, just write with strong, good-willed intention. Everyone gets ‘writers doubt.’ Writers doubt can cause us to lose inspiration, motivation, energy, and even time. The only way to overcome these floating emotions is to write with intention. Don’t write haphazardly. Write every day, with a strict goal. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to write five hundred or three thousand words a day. The length is irrelevant. As as you are writing firmly, and with intention, you are on the right track.