As I leave the wonderful Melbourne and head west, it only seems fitting that this week's guest post is by Melbourne-based freelance blogger Jackson Anderson, who reveals how to create concrete confidence in your writing abilities. Cue Jackson...
“The only way to confidence is through consistent action” – Jackson Anderson. (Yeah, that’s me.)
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been writing for months, years or if you’re just starting out – every good writer is on the look-out for that perfect “how-to” formula that will lead to more confidence in their writing abilities.
Well, I’m about to take the cat out of the bag on this one so you might want to prepare yourselves…
Ready? Here it is:
There is no secret “how-to” formula for 100% writing confidence.
Mind-blowing I know, but it’s time for you to understand that the only sure-fire way to creating writing confidence is simply to participate in more of the following…
Just write more
It always sounds a bit too simple when people advise this doesn’t it? But the truth is, if you want to be a better writer you need to practice your craft.
The more you write, the more writing becomes a habit and, like with all habits (good and bad), the more you participate in them the better you get at them.
Start small – set yourself the goal of a minimum of 100 words a day and take it from there. For each milestone, increase your daily words and before you know it you’ll be writing 7,000+ words per week!
Stop looking for compliments
I’m not that cold. I get it – it’s always nice to hear that you’ve done a good job or even that you look good, or whatever. It’s not an inherently bad thing, but it does become a problem when you become crippled with fear and can’t ‘ship’ your work until you get the two thumbs up from your mum, partner or whomever.
You need to be able to write for yourself. You need to read the pieces you create with pride, to have an understanding of why you’ve written them that way and know that they will land well with your audience.
This is writing confidence.
Read, learn and reuse
You’re a writer, so I’m going to make the assumption that you read. And I will also bet my next paycheck that you tend to read work that you enjoy – which in turn leads to inspiration for your own words.
This is where you can set a benchmark for your own work based on your idols and influences – like musicians, artists and athletes do. Aim to create better work than your idols and you’ll never need that pat on the back from Mummy to have confidence in your work again. I can guarantee that.
Ensure your own writing inspires you
Freelance writers and bloggers are the creators of content. Content that aims to serve an audience and a purpose. One final way to create confidence in your writing is to ask yourself one simple question – “Does reading this inspire me?”
Think about why you constantly come back to Freelance Writers Online – or any blog, magazine or book. It’s usually because the writing you read in these places inspires you. You can be damned sure the authors know this too – because they were left feeling inspired when writing it.
You must aim to do the same.
But if you’re looking to change your audience’s lives for the better, it will shine through even brighter.
And guess what happens when you’re inspiring lives for the better? You can’t help but feel confident in your writing – and yourself. That’s just a fact.
So while it may not have been the big reveal you were hoping for, these are the real-world steps you need to take to ensure you create that concrete writing confidence in every word you write.
What holds you back from feeling 100% confident in your writing abilities? Let me know in the comments section below.
Jackson Anderson is a Freelance Blogger for hire who is on his way out of the mundane 9-5 lifestyle. Follow his blog and journey at Not Another Rat for advice, tips and stories that will help you do the same!
(Note from Kirsty: If you want to gain confidence as a freelance writer online, you may be interested in the Freelance Writers Online course. Click here for full details: Earn a Full-Time Living as a Freelance Writer Online.)
Image courtesy of Pete Simon via Flickr.