Putting Confidence in Your Writing: Guest Post by Alex Fayle

Think about your writing a moment then finish the following sentence:

“I’m frickin’ awesome at _______________!”

Say it out loud. Really. Right now. This blog post isn’t going anywhere.

Ready? Go!

Did you do it? Woo hoo! Did you feel embarrassed saying it? Or did it fill you with excitement and a sense of power?

And if you didn’t do it? That’s okay. No one’s around. You can admit to skipping the exercise. No one (except yourself) will judge for it.

The other day I was watching the castings for Operación Triunfo (the Spanish version of Pop Idol). Most people got up on stage and let their nerves rule them and then they left crying, even if they later got into the next level of casting. Then a 16-year-old girl came on stage with only a few signs of nervousness and an amazing voice. As she walked back to the waiting area she said

“That was awesome. I felt alive. I want to do it again!”

That’s how you need to feel about your writing, or at least the part of it that you know you rock at. Because if you don’t believe that you’re a good writer, no one else will.

All writers are sales people, and yet fiction writers think they can’t sell anything. We need to sell people into reading our writing and then the writing itself needs to sell people into reading right through to the end.

That requires confidence, both in ourselves and within the words we put on paper. We need to proclaim our strengths and to feel secure doing so.

We can’t say “I’m kind of not bad at ______…”

We have to say “I’m frickin’ awesome at _____!” — with the exclamation point!

Here’s mine:

“I’m frickin’ awesome at discovering patterns especially in human behaviour!”

I say it with confidence and since I use it as the basis for my coaching business, I’ve learned to say it to anyone within earshot.

What if you don’t know? What if you have no idea what your writing strengths are? Then start paying attention to your writing. What parts of it do you read later and say “Wow, that rocked!”? For me, I love to reread the parts that explore patterns, especially patterns of behaviour.

So that’s how I write. When I approach something that I find a challenge, like pure physical description, I go back to my strength and I find a pattern in the description, a way to naturally tie the physical world into the behaviours of my characters. And then suddenly I find that I’ve not only written two full pages of description, I’ve written two awesome pages of description.

Many of us were taught that declaring our strengths is boasting and therefore rude, so we hide behind modesty. Writers, however, can’t afford false modesty. There are millions of people and things vying for the attention of the people we’re trying to draw into our writing. If we don’t think it’s frickin’ awesome, they won’t either.

Most days it feels like the odds of achieving any level of writing success equal those of winning a huge lottery jackpot — next to nil.

So, if you don’t proclaim your skills, who will?

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Alex Fayle from Someday SyndromAlex Fayle, of Someday Syndrome, is a writer who has learned that his writing rocks and is working at letting enough people know until the right person offers to publish his books.

He also uses his amazing skill of uncovering hidden patterns to help people break the procrastination obstacle so they can finally find freedom and start living the life they desire.

Alex’s previous guest post here was on Allowing Ourselves to Be Successful.