What makes you a confident writer? Part 2

Has anyone ever said to you or someone you know “We have every confidence in you.” Have you ever wondered why people say that? Well, it’s a well-known fact that sometimes the perception of ourselves has a significant impact on how people perceive us. The more confident you are perceived the more sure people will be that you will succeed.

What about when things happen that are out of you control? Say you’re speaking and the sound system explodes, sending sparks everywhere behind you. This is when confident people shine. They will calmly decide to speak louder and carry on, or make a joke about the situation, helping everyone else in the room feel comfortable as the sound technician scrambles around behind them.

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Recognise what stops a writer from being confident.

The Comfort Zone

Stepping out of the comfort zone is tough.  I don’t like the old way of thinking when it comes to writing in set genres. “Only write what you know”  Even if you are not a writer I’d still say try something new. Step outside your comfort zone and you might be pleasantly surprised. If you “the writer” have a story bubbling inside you and it’s not in the genre you normally write I’d say, “Go on, have a go! Step outside the limits that can develop when you write what you know.” What is life if we don’t challenge ourselves? Yes, you can write and live safely just writing in the genre or doing the things you know well. But, are you really experiencing all that you can without challenging yourself in some new area? Yes, you might have to push yourself to learn new things, research a bit about the subjects you are writing about, but that’s adding to your own knowledge base, right?  And it’s worth it every time.

 Nerves

I suffer from terrible nerves when I have to speak in front of an audience.  We writers all know that we are often expected to speak at schools or functions. This comes with the territory of promoting a book today. It’s important to remember that almost everyone gets nervous at some time in their life. You may not be privy to their nervousness, but I can assure you there’s not a person on the planet who hasn’t felt nervous at one time or another. So what can you do? The techniques below can be done for almost any situation you find yourself in when you feel nervous about doing something new or challenging.

  1. Breathe. This is always a good place to start. A couple of slow deep breathes in and out
  2. Set aside all negative thoughts and replace them with positive self-talk
  3. Be grateful for the situation you find yourself in at this time of your life. Say it mentally. This will help your confidence.  “I am grateful for what I’m about to do.”
  4. Keep your thinking in a simple space. Don’t over complicate the situation by thinking too much. If you’re speaking, speak slowly, don’t let your nerves rush you through it. If you are conducting a presentation, be really well prepared, because this will help you to be more confident and less nervous about what you are about to do.
  5. Have fun and remain in a happy space. 

 I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite poets, Emily Dickinson.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes. The nerves sit ceremonious, like tombs.

― Emily Dickinson

Until next time, be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Christina Carson says:

    Indeed. Life, if it is to be worth the time put in is an on-going experience of pushing the envelope, not to be a hard ass, but because our potentialities are enormous and a life time is to short.

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