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How to Develop Unshakable Confidence as a Writer: A Comprehensive Guide

The hardest thing in the world is to feel confident about the words we write. They sing in our heads when we read them but what about everyone else. Will they hear what we hear? Will they feel the way we feel? Once we start to worry we become halted, fearful and worried that we are wasting our time. The voice inside our head tells us not to bother, to give up, to stop following our dream, and we start to listen.

Does this sound familiar?

As writers, we face countless challenges that can shake our confidence and make us doubt our abilities. Whether it’s struggling with writer’s block, receiving criticism, or feeling like we’re not good enough, self-doubt can be our worst enemy. But as J.M. Barrie once said, ‘The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.’ In other words, if we allow our doubts to consume us, we will never achieve our full potential as writers.

Success, according to Coco Chanel, is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. In other words, those who have the confidence to try, even in the face of uncertainty, are the ones who ultimately succeed. But as Sylvia Plath famously noted, ‘The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.’ When we doubt ourselves, we limit our creativity and our ability to express ourselves fully.

The key to building confidence, then, is to accept challenges and embrace them as opportunities for growth. As Bette Davis once said, ‘The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.’ When we embrace challenges, we push ourselves out of our comfort zones and into new realms of possibility.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Fear, as Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. Fear can paralyse us and make us feel like we’re not capable of achieving our goals. But if we want to overcome our fears and build confidence as writers, we must first learn to see ourselves through our own eyes, not through the reflections we see in other people’s minds. As Edward De Bono once said, ‘The image that concerns most people is the reflection they see in other people’s minds.’ When we learn to see ourselves as worthy and capable, we can overcome our doubts and achieve our full potential as writers.

The final lesson of this series is all about developing your confidence as a writer. Writing is a journey and it requires determination, resilience and the ability to take calculated risks. Your writing journey is unique and it’s important to embrace your individuality as a writer and take ownership of your craft.

Writing is an art that requires constant practice and a certain level of confidence. Developing this confidence can be a daunting task, especially for those who are just starting. However, with the right mindset, tools, and techniques, anyone can become a confident writer. In this article, we will explore a series of lessons that will guide you in your journey to become a confident writer.

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From Doubt to Confidence: The Writer’s Journey to Self-Assurance

Identify Your Negative Thoughts

Self-doubt can be a major hindrance in developing confidence as a writer. It is important to identify the negative thoughts that are holding you back. Take a piece of paper and write down all the negative thoughts that come to mind when you think of writing. Examples include “I’m not good enough,” “No one will read what I write,” or “My writing is not unique.”

Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Once you have identified your negative thoughts, challenge them with rational thinking. For example, if you wrote down “I’m not good enough,” challenge that thought by reminding yourself of your strengths and accomplishments as a writer. If you are struggling to find evidence to challenge a negative thought, seek the advice of a trusted writing mentor or coach.

Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can help you overcome self-doubt and build confidence. Write down positive statements about yourself and your writing, such as “I am a talented writer,” or “My writing has value and meaning.” Repeat these affirmations to yourself every day, especially when you are feeling doubtful.

Exercise: Take 10 minutes to write down five positive affirmations about yourself and your writing. Repeat them to yourself daily for the next week.

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Unleashing the Writer Within

Explore Different Styles

Finding your writing voice is an important step in developing confidence as a writer. Start by exploring different writing styles, such as descriptive, narrative, or persuasive writing. Experiment with different styles to find what feels most authentic to you.

Write in Your Natural Voice

Your writing voice should feel natural and authentic to you. Write in the same way that you speak, using words and phrases that feel comfortable. Avoid trying to imitate the writing style of others, as this can lead to a loss of authenticity.

Use Emotion and Imagery

Emotion and imagery are powerful tools in writing. They can help you connect with your readers on a deeper level and make your writing more impactful. Experiment with different emotional and visual triggers in your writing to find what works for you.

Exercise: Take 20 minutes to write a short piece of descriptive writing using emotion and imagery. Share it with a trusted friend or mentor and ask for feedback on how it made them feel.

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Embracing Criticism

Accepting Feedback

As a writer, it is important to accept feedback from others. However, this can be difficult, especially when the feedback is negative. To embrace criticism, start by accepting that not everyone will like your writing, and that’s okay. Remember that feedback is not a reflection of your worth as a writer, but an opportunity to grow and improve.

Learning from Feedback

Criticism can be a valuable tool for learning and improving your writing. When receiving feedback, try to focus on the specific areas that need improvement. Look for patterns in the feedback and use it to identify areas of your writing that may need further attention.

Applying Feedback

The final step in embracing criticism is to apply the feedback to your writing. Use the feedback to make changes and improvements in your writing. Remember to thank those who gave you feedback, and let them know how their feedback helped you.

Exercise: Take 30 minutes to revise a piece of writing based on feedback you have received from a trusted source. Once you have made revisions, share it with them again for their thoughts on your improvements.

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Setting Writing Goals

Identify Your Writing Goals

Setting goals can help you stay motivated and focused on your writing. Identify your writing goals by asking yourself what you hope to achieve through your writing. Do you want to become a published author, or do you simply want to improve your writing skills?

Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable

To make your goals achievable, make them specific and measurable. For example, instead of setting a goal to “write more,” set a goal to write 500 words a day or to finish a first draft of a novel in six months.

Create a Plan of Action

Once you have identified your writing goals, create a plan of action to achieve them. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps and create a timeline for each step. Hold yourself accountable by tracking your progress and adjusting your plan as needed.

Exercise: Set a specific and measurable writing goal for yourself and create a plan of action to achieve it.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

Write Every Day

The key to developing confidence as a writer is to practice consistently. Set aside time every day to write, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will help you develop a writing habit and improve your skills over time.

Experiment with Different Forms of Writing

To improve your writing skills, experiment with different forms of writing. Try writing poetry, short stories, or personal essays. This will help you develop a range of writing skills and find your strengths as a writer.

Share Your Writing

Sharing your writing with others can be intimidating, but it is an important part of developing confidence as a writer. Share your writing with friends, family, or writing groups. This will help you receive feedback and build a community of support around your writing.

Exercise: Write for 30 minutes every day for the next week. Experiment with different forms of writing and share your writing with someone you trust for feedback.

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Unlocking Your Writing Potential

Developing confidence as a writer is a process that takes time and effort. By overcoming self-doubt, finding your writing voice, embracing criticism, setting writing goals, and practicing consistently, you can become a confident writer. Remember to be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey of improving your writing skills.

Building Confidence:

Trust your instincts: As a writer, you have a unique voice and perspective. Trust in your ability to tell a story in a way that is unique to you. Don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment with your writing.

Seek feedback, but don’t lose sight of your vision: Feedback can be a great tool for growth, but it’s important to remember that you are the ultimate judge of your work. Take the feedback you receive into consideration, but trust in your own instincts and judgement when it comes to making decisions about your writing.

Celebrate your successes: Writing can be a challenging journey, so it’s important to take the time to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrating your accomplishments will help boost your confidence and keep you motivated.

Embrace your individuality: Every writer is unique and has something valuable to bring to the table. Embrace your individuality and the strengths that come with it. Your uniqueness is what sets you apart as a writer and makes your work truly special.

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Are You Good to Go?

Keep learning: The writing journey is a lifelong journey and there is always room to grow and improve. Keep learning and experimenting with your writing, and don’t be afraid to take workshops, read books, and seek feedback from others.

Write every day: Writing regularly is key to developing your skills and building your confidence. Make writing a daily habit, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time.

Read widely: Reading widely and exposing yourself to different styles and genres can help you develop your own unique voice and style as a writer.

Writing with confidence is the key to crafting great stories. Trust in your instincts, seek feedback, celebrate your successes, and continue to grow as a writer. Remember, your writing journey is unique and it’s important to embrace your individuality and take ownership of your craft. Happy writing!

Would You Like a FREE Book?

If you would like to see how this works in the real world then why not check out my best-selling VIRO series on Amazon. The books tell the story of Jake, a boy with special needs looking for his missing mother. Jake wakes one morning to find his life is broken. His mum has gone missing. The world has fallen apart. Determined to find her, Jake is forced to comes to terms with what has happened to the world. Confronted by the horror, he initially struggles to make sense of everything. Helped by the new friends he makes, Ellis, kind and resourceful, and the twins, Amber and Abe, Jake starts to develop his independence. Forced to confront the apparent difference defined by his special needs, Jake realises that this difference doesn’t matter any more. This gives him the strength to keep going. As they fight for survival, the four kids meet a wide range of other people also battling to stay alive and with each encounter Jake and his new friends learn a little bit more about themselves and each other. Ultimately, Jake’s story is one of hope and determination in the face of complete and utter devastation.

Here are some real-world reviews for the VIRO series:

‘This review is for the series. Capturing the voice of a young character with special needs (I spent 25 years as a special education teacher/administrator), Taylor’s story of a group of young people coping with a world disintegrating in front of them; with the loss of structure and trust, and with betrayal by the adults who should be protecting them is both uplifting and horrifying. Do not be fooled by the simple language of the narrator: there are hard questions asked and realistic, unsentimental consequences to the apocalypse confronting the children, and an ending that you are unlikely to forget easily.’

‘Barnaby Taylor has a daring and rich imagination that transports you to new adventures in a re-imagined world, that are vividly written with a fresh and vibrant use of language. […] Barnaby can really write an action packed scene with fear inspiring characters such as the Tall Man. Baxter the dog who accompanies the children gives the story the delightful twist of feeling like an apocalyptic Famous Five. Genius.’

‘The writing style is beautifully compelling, and after the first couple of pages I couldn’t put it down. The author very skilfully creates a world and characters through deceptively simple prose that draws the reader right in. It is a fascinating blend of one-after-the-other edge-of-the seat scares, alongside a haunting narrative about what it is to be human.’

‘Barnaby is an exciting and passionate writer. There’s real depth of meaning behind his books. You emotionally engage with and care about the book’s characters. Barnaby’s books also have a strong visual sensibility. His stories particularly Viros I and II would translate superbly to television and cinema. I am a huge fan of all things zombie orientated and to see the zombie genre reinterpreted from the perspective of children is thrilling. I look forward to more books from Barnaby. He’s one to watch out for. Children, adults and I suspect the film and TV industry people will love this book. I highly recommend it.’

‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, ‘Viro’ packs a punch. Sad and haunting, ‘Viro’ is a new take on the zombie genre. The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’

Dear Writing Friends,

As a writer, it can sometimes be difficult to find the support and encouragement we need to keep going. That’s why it’s so important to connect with others who share our passion and can offer valuable feedback and advice. Leaving a comment is a great way to start a conversation and connect with other writers who are on a similar journey.

By sharing our experiences, challenges, and successes, we can learn from each other and grow as writers. We can offer encouragement and support when someone is struggling, and celebrate each other’s achievements when they reach a milestone.

Furthermore, starting a conversation can help to hold us accountable to our writing goals. When we share our progress with others, we are more likely to stay committed to our writing and make meaningful progress towards our goals.

Finally, leaving a comment and starting a conversation is an excellent way to build community and find the support and encouragement we need to keep writing. So why not take a moment to share your thoughts and connect with other writers today?

Also, as a thank you for reading this post I have created two free books for you to download. How to Journal is a handy guide to journaling and I hope it helps you get started. How to Unlock Your Curiosity will help you develop your creativity. You can find both free books at the top of the page.

Good luck with your writing,


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