Along their writing journeys it’s not uncommon for writers to struggle with confidence. We all wonder if we have the stuff it takes. As beginners we wonder if we have an inkling of talent. Once our talent is validated by other writers and readers, we still wonder if it’s good enough, if we have what it takes. It’s good to acknowledge that we don’t know it all and to have a desire to learn and grow, but doubt can hold us back. We shoot ourselves in the foot by creating and feeding feelings of inadequacy. One of the things we can do to build confidence is to recognize and overcome self-defeating behaviors, like negative self-talk. Negative thinking can be detrimental to our performance, make us doubt ourselves and inhibit our creativity. Don’t ever demean an accomplishment by saying or thinking, “I was just lucky" or "Anyone could have done it."
So I have a how-to-write book being released next month. It’s a pretty big deal. It was a lofty goal to write an instructional book, but I’d been leading workshops and teaching online classes for years, and I had a lot of encouragement from other writers, which built my confidence in my ability. Writing this type of book was something I’d thought about for a long time. It was as big of a step as writing or submitting my first book. My long term goal was to submit it for publication. My short term goals involved gathering my notes and thoughts, preparing the proposal and getting feedback.
After that happened several times, the scientist put mice without tied feet into the cage. The mouse who’d won repeatedly was so confident by then that it took on and defeated mice even larger than itself. Under ordinary circumstances, that mouse would have run when it saw a larger opponent, but it had been conditioned until it believed it couldn't lose.
Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict releases the end of November so it is not available for a giveaway today so, for today, leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a kindle copy of Cheryl St.John's classic romance Land of Dreams.
- Kelly L. Stone, author of THINKING WRITE: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind