The Most Important Thing a Writer Can Have

It isn’t a room of one’s own (though it certainly helps). It isn’t a fancy Mac or the nicest pen (not that I don’t love those things). To quote Huey Lewis and the News: “It don’t take money; it don’t take fame.”  It is something that is free, but it is hard to obtain (the rhyme was totally unintentional).

What is it?

Belief in yourself.

Look, as a writer today (or maybe always), the cards are stacked against you. Your parents might want you to stop writing and take up accounting (which will only lead you to wanting to be a producer). Your friends will never beta read your novel because they are too busy (in that case, hire an editor). You will get terrible reviews on Amazon (because trolls don’t only live under bridges). 

You have to believe in yourself anyway and keep writing.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and give you this gift of confidence. But life isn’t a Disney movie (which would be amazing because I could break into song in public like it ain’t no thang). 

I can only give a few tools that might help. One of them is to save all the positive feedback you get from people and review it when you are feeling low. Also, as cheesy as this sounds, journaling about WHY you are writing and how your book will positively affect people will help you get out of your head and back to writing. Finally, this is one will definitely make you roll your eyes, but it works: you can recite “I am an awesome writer” in front of the mirror. It feels a bit ridiculous (okay, a lot ridiculous), but if you do it enough, you will start to believe it. 

How about you? How do you gain confidence in your ability as a writer? Let me know in the comments.

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