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What Confident Writing Means to You

Back in April I asked you for a favour: to share some of your thoughts on what Confident Writing (the blog) means to you.

In particular, I asked you to think about this question:

Could you tell me what one thing you do, or have done differently as a result of reading the Confident Writing blog?

I’ve finally got round to compiling your answers, and, in the interests of having the courage and confidence to toot, sweetly, wanted to share the results.

Here’s what you said:

I’d never before considered that writing could be confident or not. Your slogan “Because our words count” makes me think about the importance of writing and words. (Lillie Ammann)

As a newbie to the blogosphere I found lots of clear and precise tips of how to approach writing for the internet on your website, which was an invaluable tool on the journey to creating a blog. (Janette Currie)

Reading the Confident Writing blog was my key motivation to start my own blog, and the lessons here have indeed given me the confidence to write a blog that, although new, is already showing signs of becoming a success! (Matt Hayward)

Since I have been reading your blog I have gained Courage and Confidence: courage to write and confidence in growing writing abilities. (Ulla Hennig)

The  best thing is you surely have a big heart and always listened to your readers’ thoughts…(Wilson)

What I have learnt is that Confidence can be achieved and Clarity as well as Listening skills are a must. (Patricia)

The biggest impact for me has been the way reading your words has changed my perspective and approach to writing. I have grown in my appreciation and application of the craft. I began reading writing books as a result of your recommendations and applying the learning. I stretched my writing muscles as you gently encouraged me through your words to play with style, rhythm, words, timing, headlines and more. Finally, you have had a tremendous impact on my view of community. (Karen Swim)

One thing I’ve learned from coming here so regularly is that my words do indeed count, and it’s important to choose them wisely - then send ‘em on their way into the world! Confidence is what you’re all about, and you’ve inspired me in many ways, drawing out the best there is within me. (Robert Hruzek)

The thing I now do differently is think about the community that every blog post speaks to: Who are the people with an interest in the subject? What are their priorities? What joins us all together around this topic? and so on.  My posts have become much more relaxed, accessible and enjoyable to write as a result! (Paul)

Besides being the launch pad for our friendship, your blog has inspired me to take my writing to a higher level, to experiment, to put more of myself in my work. Not only that, I’ve gotten to know many other bloggers whom I’ve come to treasure through conversations on these pages. (Brad Shorr)

Your insights at the Confident Writing blog remind me that writing is more robust than I was taught as a journalist. You’ve helped me see writing isn’t just a product, but rather a convergence of my own history and personality with the interactions of an audience. (Lori - Space Age Sage)

Confident Writing is a place with a unique mixture of academic writing tips to make bloggers stand out from the crowd and an informal community atmosphere to learn, contribute, and grow as a blogger. (Damien Riley)

Whilst the writing tips and guidance are invaluable, the one thing I get most from Joanna and Confident Writing is a shining example to follow! Every visit you inspire me with your ability to build community and make everyone feel so warm and welcome. (Karen)

Discovering Confident Writing has done just that…brought more confidence and courage to my writing. (Kathleen)

Our recent connection through Confident Writing and Twitter has helped to change the way I view my writing. Through you I have begun to access a new community which has raised my motivation and self-belief. (Jan Scott)

Confident Writing has taught me that writing isn’t just a job, nor is it a hobby, nor is it a skill to be used as and when I need it. Rather, it’s an intrinsic part of me, and something that I really shouldn’t try to deny. (Naoko)

Confident Writing shares wonderful, helpful content. Also in friendly fashion, your blog has introduced to me, your fellow bloggers who offer a treasure trove of great content, too. The community you’ve created exudes warmth which is impressive by itself.  The biggest personal gain that Confident Writing has given me is confidence. It’s a huge deal for me that I now click the publish buttons, the send buttons, and the submit buttons with much less hesitation than I once had.  (Shari Smothers)

In reading this blog I have learned to take more risks as a writer, and bring some “dragon fire” to my writing. Confident Writing sizzles and it will help your writing to sizzle, too. (Robyn McMaster)

You are about writing with confidence. But you don’t stop with, “Be confident.” Your insight in breaking confidence into parts which then become monthly themes teaches us 1) how to analyze, 2) how to break desirable attributes into actionable pieces, and 3) how to talk together about those actions. (Jon)

I believe CW is a wonderful resource for new bloggers like me and a great place to be inspired and to learn that blogging can be a rewarding experience. (Nithya)

Confident Writing has taught me to be bold with my creative voice, to try out new styles of writing and is full of common-sense, practical and creative advice. Thank you for helping to nurture my writing technique which had been neglected for so long! (Jasmin aka Wonderwebby)

It’s been extremely useful to see how you relate to your readers and build/communicate with your community. And that’s what it feels like, here. Your comments sections are more than just comments sections. They’re places to interact, like a civilised and useful forum! It’s tricky to achieve that, I reckon. And it’s part of what brings people back for more. (Iain Broome)

I think the one thing that’s really different is my approach to the Universe. Whether we realize or not, we’re all cosmic antennas.  Your site has helped me realize that it’s ok to listen in to the airwaves and report back what I pick up. (Jamie Grove)

As you were my confident writing coach, it is difficult to separate reading your blog from the very kind suggestions and nudges you continue to send my way.

So choosing just the one thing, I would say that…

BJ (before Joanna) I stuttered, sputtered and hid.

AJ (after Joanna) I skip, I leap, I fly!

And sometimes I fall flat. But not flat back. (The one and only Cat Wentworth)

I’ve learned so much from your blog and it has helped me in many ways with my writing. The one thing that comes to mind at the moment is numbered lists. You’ve mentioned this more than once and it really does make sense. Everytime I use them I think of you and smile (Debbie Yost)

~~~

What can I say? So much precious feedback here.

Words that I can learn from, and build into the way I develop this blog.

Perspectives and reflections that will inform the teaching and coaching I do in the future.

Words that I will keep, savour, and treasure.

Thank you.

Joanna

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Comments

  1. Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic
    says:

    What amazing comments… in a dark world, you are one of the light-bringers.
    .-= Emma Newman´s last blog ..Warning: this is not a real query letter =-.

  2. Robert Hruzek says:

    Great words from great folks - well worth rereading, and yes, tooting sweetly!

    Tip o’ the hat, Joanna!

  3. Brad Shorr says:

    Hi Joanna, Can’t argue with a single word!
    .-= Brad Shorr´s last blog ..Different Audience Temperaments Require Different Presentation Styles =-.

  4. Bo says:

    What a precious treasury you have collected.Whenever you experience moments of darkness, re-reading these will surely light your path.
    .-= Bo´s last blog ..Opening =-.

  5. Wilson Pon says:

    Joanna, although I’m the newbie around, but I can feel that you’re really a caring and light-hearted person. I knew you’re always putting your readers in the first place, isn’t it?

  6. Shari Smothers says:

    Joanna, this is a great collection. I’m glad to be a part of it, and in such good company. I’m sure that there will be many more who benefit from the work and care you put into your blog. I very much appreciate it!

    Shari
    .-= Shari Smothers´s last blog ..5 benefits of keeping a personal journal =-.

  7. Lillie Ammann says:

    Joanna,

    You should be proud to toot what a difference you are making in the blogosphere and the world.

  8. Catherine Wentworth says:

    Thank you again Joanna, for being there for me. And I can’t thank you enough for this precious gift.

    Having the confidence to write is heady stuff :-)
    .-= Catherine Wentworth´s last blog ..Let’s Talk Thai: How the Brain Learns =-.

  9. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe
    says:

    Joanna,
    I can only repeat what I already said in April: Reading your blog is giving me courage and confidence!
    .-= Ulla Hennig´s last blog ..Up in the Sky =-.

  10. Lori Hoeck says:

    You. Make. A difference.
    .-= Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Self defense and kids — how-to for parents =-.

  11. Robyn McMaster says:

    Joanna, you have touched so many writers in so many ways. And, you’ve only just begun… Thanks.
    .-= Robyn McMaster´s last blog ..Faculty Brainpower for Teen Achievement =-.

  12. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Thanks for the follow up comments everyone :-)

    @Emma, what a precious thing for you to say. Thank you

    @Robert, one of the great things about the blogging journey is learning how to do that tooting, don’t you think?

    @Brad, the perfect comment, thanks!

    @Bo, I hadn’t thought of it like that, but yes, that’s it entirely. Sometimes it is hard to hold on to the belief that what we do makes a difference. The words of others - words that come from the heart - can really give us what we need to keep going. It’s why feedback, even things like saying thanks, are so important. Thanks.

    @Wilson, my friend, I do try, I really do :-)

  13. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    @Shari, thanks, and for all the contributions you’ve made along the way :-)

    @ Catherine… you do manage to hit the nail on the head you know. Heady stuff indeed.

    @ Ulla, thank you.

    @ Lori. You really do know how to write like a black belt, don’t you? Thanks.

    @ Robyn, your words mean such a great deal to me, as they have done each time you’ve taken a stretch with your own writing. Thanks.

  14. Sara Healy says:

    Joanna,

    I enjoyed reading all the comments and agree with most of them, even though I’m kind of newbie to your site. I find your writing challenges to be fun. Visiting your site is kind of like taking a writing yoga class — you make me stretch myself as a writer in ways I haven’t tried before. Thanks:~)

  15. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Sara thanks for taking the time to read those comments. I loved your own addition - really, it just made my day!

  16. Ray Randall says:

    Confidence means acting with faith. We do what we do well when pleasure, accolades, and affirmations encourage us. What we do well comes from our sense of self, our gifts, and belief that what we do and the way we do it matters.

    Confidence begins when parents nurture us to take chances. What works and feels right is where we belong.

    When research, thinking, and writing bring joy, even pleasing laughter to your heart, you’ve got the first steps to acting with faith.
    .-= Ray Randall´s last blog ..“Do You Have To Have All The Answers?” =-.

  17. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Ray thanks for sharing those perspectives on confidence. Learning more about confidence helps me figure out how we build it into our writing, and become more confident through the confidence we express in our words.

  18. elmot says:

    Confident writing for me is being true to oneself…expressing oneself with what he/she writes not because of what others will eventually say or judge but basically because this is what I want to say.

    I really want that one point you shared about being responsible to what one writes. Expressing oneself is I think not only the sole reason for one to write; one should also be responsible for over what he expresses. If he does not want to be held accountable for it then he should just better drop it off.
    .-= elmot´s last blog ..Noynoy Aquino, People Power III and Coffee =-.

  19. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Elmot thanks for those reflections that you’ve shared. I agree with where you’re coming from. One of the themes I explored a while back was on responsibility - I think we grow as writers when we’re willing to take responsibility for the impact of our words. If we don’t, we need to write just for our selves, quietly and privately.

  20. Irene Watson, Blogging Authors says:

    Confident writing is knowing within oneself that what you have to say is important and needs to be heard.
    .-= Irene Watson, Blogging Authors´s last blog ..Unlikely Heroes: World War Two - 70 Years Ago =-.

  21. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Irene thanks for that contribution - I agree that the knowledge that comes from within is key to that sense of confidence.

  22. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Joanna
    Noted your comment about good writing… “Writing to be read: writing that is clear, simple, and easy to read, and looking for ways to connect and engage with your reader”
    Ironically, my blog is about Public Speaking, so I spend my time teaching people to write to be heard not to be read.
    I get people to write a speech and then rewrite it for the ear.
    Guess writing for any reason is good if it connects and engages with the reader or listener.
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Practice, practice, practice… =-.

  23. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Keith, sounds like there are lots of similarities in approach - writing that’s meant to be read has to work for the ear too, doesn’t it? The more I learn about writing the more I notice its musical qualities - rhythm, repetition, refrain, and how our words can sing when we use them

  24. Patricia says:

    I want to write a book Can’t seem to narrow it down to what, where, when or why?
    I like your blog and would truly love to come to Scotland for one of your writing retreats.

    Davina at Shades of Crimson says I should just start it…I journal daily but it does not seem like a start

    Frances Mayes says in her new book: Everyday Tuscany that for her writing is play - I am a failure at play…so I want to start with the attitude that I am learning to play…???

    Thank you for your much appreciated comments on my blog…Not ready for a picture yet….as I heal I will be ready.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Arm Chair Traveling =-.

  25. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Patricia I very much hope you get to Scotland some day. Re the book, if you’re not ready to narrow it down yet, how about taking Davina’s idea but widen it so you start writing several books, just start writing them (not necessarily at the beginning, just a chapter or a page) and explore what it is you’d like to share. You might find different ideas emerging that way, and different writing voices. That way you’ll get a chance to see / hear / feel which feels most compelling or fascinating, which one moves you most, which one you want to keep writing. (And you might have other book ideas you can then pick up again later.)

    By the way I don’t believe you’re a failure at play, you’re just still figuring what it means to play your way.

  26. Patricia says:

    Joanna,
    Thank you so much for the tips…and suggestions. I just started a new journal….with you idea…
    I just read a piece in Frances Mayes book Everyday Tuscany in which she describes her cooking, traveling, art, relationships and home remodeling as her living and when it comes to writing she is purely at PLAY…

    I can get to living with many things in my life, I can not seem to get to even moments when I feel at play…..I am very intense.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Arm Chair Traveling =-.

  27. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Patricia I’m sure there’s a play diva waiting in the wings somewhere… maybe you could start by playing imperfectly, definitely not the way that other people do, and definitely not up to the way it should be done, but maybe, just maybe, something that would make you smile? ;-)

  28. Vangile Makwakwa says:

    To me, confident writing is accepting your inner self for what it is, and allowing it to have free reign of your creativity no matter what others think or say. It’s about accepting what your strengths and weaknesses as a part of who you are and what makes you the kind of writer you are, without judging yourself or allowing others’ judgmental comments to get to you. Confidence period is about knowing, accepting and loving yourself and the love of your talent. It’s about knowing the risks of the talent or career you choose and moving forward because it is a dream and not because it’s about the money. True writers may make money from writing, but they don’t write for the money.

    I cannot imagine a confident writer who does not accept themselves or their work as being an expression of their inner self. It wouldn’t even compute to me…
    .-= Vangile Makwakwa´s last blog ..I.T. I BE: Rhyming Resources Online =-.

  29. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Vangile thank you for joining in this conversation. I agree very much that confident writing is about accepting your inner self. I believe that writing is also a way in to recognising and understanding your inner self… a route to inner confidence, like you say, not just in writing, but in life.