Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Confidence is So Important for Writers

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Confidence is incredibly important for writing, but it’s hard to come by.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to just throw a manuscript in the trashcan when I had a crisis of confidence in it—or in my ability to tell the story. One of the last times was for the book that launched November 1. I got 1/3 of the way through it and seriously considered starting over with a new concept.

There are so many times when we rely on confidence in this business. We have to:

Believe in ourselves enough to finish the draft. Believe enough to spend the time to edit the crappy draft we’ve finished.

Be self-confident enough to have the courage to reach out to others for feedback.

Believe enough in our writing to spend hours researching agents and publishers or, alternately, epublishing options, formatting, and cover design.

Believe enough in our story that we aren’t defensive about it if we get negative reviews.

Of course, there’s hubris too, and that’s not helpful. We’ve got to listen to folks who are trying to help us improve our manuscript or future manuscripts. But it’s also true that it’s important to listen to our gut and carefully weigh the advice we get from others.

It’s the confidence that gets us through the whole process. Or maybe…it’s stubbornness. I’m not sure. :)

How do you talk yourself off the ledge when you’re writing?

Through the generosity of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi at The Bookshelf Muse, I’m giving away one of their insightful 1000 word critiques. Just send an email to me at elizabethspanncraig (at)gmail (dot) com with “contest” in the subject to enter. Entries accepted through November 21. The randomly-chosen winner will be announced here November 22. Thanks, Angela and Becca!