Monday, October 18, 2010

How do you regain confidence?

This question might have been more philosophical two or three months ago. Today, however, it's quite personal. Over the last few weeks, I've struggled with my writing goals and even questioned whether or not I should continue. I have gotten positive feedback from fellow writers, but as of yet have received nothing but negative responses from those in the industry who actually make the decisions. I've pressed forward as best as I can, but it's difficult to sell a product (even if that product is your own art) if you don't believe in that product.

So that brought me to ask myself, "How do I continue my work if I have no confidence in myself?" And my only answer is this: to regain my confidence I must push forward and create positive results. I must learn from every failure, continue sending out my work, and improve my writing every chance I get.

If anyone has advice on other ways to re-instill my confidence, I'm more than willing to hear them. Please share with my readers and me because I know all of us can, at one point or another, use the boost.


  1. Hey Giles,
    Man, confidence is a fragile thing in writers. We all have our bad days. (Something would be very, very wrong if we were supremely confident we'd be on the NY Bestseller list within the year. Uh, delusional disorder comes to mind.)
    This is just your good sense telling you that there is always room to improve and set high goals for yourself. At minimum, look back six months, or one year. Are you a better writer? Have your learned within your craft? If the answer is yes (and I'm sure it is) then you have succeeded this year. Period.

  2. Try and remember when you first got excitement out of writing. We all make up stories naturally when we're little; but writing a story down, having the words on paper, is special. It's an act of creation, bringing something new into the world. You had that feeling long before you worried about being accepted by agents and publishers.

    Write something new, without thinking about whether it might be commercial. Just a little story; set it down as it plays out in your head. Doesn't have to have a point or anything. Bring out that kid who was excited that he created something with words on paper. Nobody else controls that or can take that feeling from you.

    That'll help you remember why you're doing it. How to do it is a matter of gaining skill through practice. Hard work, worth doing.

  3. Goodness. Thanks for not tearing me and my bio apart. I totally understand how nerve-wracking it is now to submit your work to others. And man, mine was just a bio, not even a manuscript!

    Giles, honestly, I don't think you should let the publishing biz get you down. You write because you love to, right? Because it's fun and it makes you happy? And having fun and being happy should naturally lead to confidence in that project, yes?

    While I'm not a writer, I actually write music in my spare time. And I don't think my songs are good enough to get a record deal or anything, but I can't even describe how happy I am when I'm working on my music--despite the frustration of the occasional "musician's block." At the end, and even during the arduous process, I just feel so great. I'm sure producers would scoff at my work, but ah well. The songs are awesome to me and well, my friends and family ask me for mp3s too and that's always nice :) That's enough confidence for me, hehe.

  4. Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your input! :D

    I'm still working away, fingers crossed for some positive results in the near future.

    You all stick in there, too!