Writing takes confidence, just like any creative endeavour. I’ll use writing in this case, but you could probably substitute it for any other kind of creative work you’re involved in.
Creativity all comes down to a little self-confidence. If you don’t have at least a scrap of confidence in the first place, then you’ll never get any of your writing out to the world.
If you can’t get your writing out there, then you’ll never get honest feedback from the marketplace. You’ll miss out on countless opportunities to find out what readers actually think. Not just friends and family who’ll tell you you’re brilliant… but total strangers who can give you a true feel for your writing and its place in the market.
The worst thing you could do for your writing is to work in an echo chamber. You need the beats and hammer-blows of the real world to pound your writing into shape. You’ll hurt, you’ll rejoice, and you’ll evolve as a writer. You’ll reach more readers and establish an audience of people who like to read what you write – so long as you stay committed to improving your craft tirelessly, every day… and every hour you can spare. That’s just what it takes to make a living as a writer, or indeed as any kind of creative.
I know it may seem like a tall order, when you’re starting out. But it really isn’t all that bad once you get into the swing of it. You can, and you must, train yourself into the habit of getting your work out there. You’ll have to roll with the punches of the negative reviews, and go back to the drawing board accordingly. Your readers, your marketplace, will tell you exactly where to tighten up and improve.
In return, your readers get better stories from you next time around, while you become a better writer every day. It’s a win-win situation… and it’s essential if you want to make a living wage from what you create.
The trick’s in building up a well of creative confidence to draw upon. You can’t create without the right mental fuel, so make sure you’re absorbing the ideas you enjoy. Pay just as much attention to your mental diet as you do to your physical diet. Keep the creative well topped up every day.
Finally, pay close attention to your daily routine. I’ve said before that finished books are merely the side effect of an effective writing routine. They don’t get written at the weekends, or when we feel like it. Books come about as a result of daily efforts; pushing the whole thing forward a sentence at a time.
There are tons of great apps, as well as the trusty old paper checklist, to make sure you’re staying on track with your daily routine. Establishing a routine that works for you, packed with beneficial habits to keep you in your creative zone, is the best step you can take towards writing and releasing books into the marketplace. It’s really all in the process.
I’ve found that creative confidence isn’t something you can force on-demand. It tends to come about when your passion and joy, your enthusiasm for a topic or an idea, far outweighs the fear and negativity that might stop you from creating it and sharing it with the world.
So watch the movies you love, listen to the music that gets you right in the chest, and fill your hungry brain-sponge with all the insane visuals and wordy goodness it can take. That’s where creative confidence comes from.
So go on – get to it. Set up a routine that’ll get you churning out a thousand words or more every day. Use your downtime to fill up your creative well to the brim. And get your work out into the world. Your writing will be sharper, tougher and more efficient once it’s taken its beats and put in some miles on your readers’ minds. That’s the only path there is to becoming the writer you’ve always dreamt of being.
Don’t waste another second. It’s time to get your creative work out there, into the marketplace. See it as resistance training for your creative muscles. In time, those muscles will be strong as all hell.
Creativity is a practised skill. The more you can put out there, the more effective, creative, and skilled you’ll become.
You can do this.