I lost my confidence as a writer during the fall semester of my senior year of college. Creatively and academically I got very self-conscious about my thoughts and ideas, stalling the creative flow altogether.
It was the emptiest feeling I ever had in my life. Not being able to tap in to your craft, let your passion come out on the various topics of interest for classes and creatively made me feel so numb and lost. You feel like a part of yourself is missing or buried under your doubts, fears and anxieties about how great your ideas are, or how amazing your writing is.It wasn’t the first time either. During my first two years of college, I really questioned a lot if I really wanted to write or if I was making a mistake. I always read a lot and creative writing courses helped me keep the flow going. But, the Internet, school, life and more took over and my work was neglected. Books I bought collected dust on my shelves and writing folders and notebooks weren’t acknowledged.
When I lost my confidence, it was like a wake up call. I really had to decide and realize what was more important as a writer: the craft or everything else in my life that took away from that. Plus, advice from professors and connections I’ve made helped me give some perspective. Smith College’s English Department holds these talks called Literary Lunches every semester, and the ones I attended my final semester helped me find my confidence again, as well as receive great tips from current authors! Fiction Writer in Residence Ruth Ozeki, in response to my question about holding on to your confidence and faith suggested this: go to a section in a library (your genre, such as fiction, poetry etc) and look at the names of every award-winning author there, flip through some books and remember they have gone through the same struggles that you have: fear, doubt, loss of confidence and faith.
That piece of advice has stayed with me ever since I graduated.
That’s why I’m writing this blog. This is me going back in the saddle after a number of months. Taking a chance, now that I’ve finished college and have the world open before me to embrace and enhance where my passion goes next. I actually wanted to do a blog a few years ago, but again life distracted me. It was thanks to a blog from someone else I started following I felt a spark, and I began to create this blog.
Today is promising. I worked on a short story for a writing contest I recently entered and realized what time is best for me to sit down and write. It’s a good start, the key is to always keep it going.
So take time, a few minutes or just an hour a day, looking for helpful writing books. Don’t just look for books pertaining to your genre or type of writing (they are still just as helpful for your writing niche). Look for books giving you tips to keep your craft going, to unleash your authenticity and confidence and so on.
Here are two examples:
A Writer’s Guide to Perseverance by Jordan Rosenfeld (can be found on Amazon and Writer’s Digest Shop)
Writing with Quiet Hands: How to Shape Your Writing to Resonate with Readers by Paula Munier (Amazon and Writer’s Digest Shop)
What are your stories about losing your confidence? How did you overcome the dry spells? Leave your stories in comments!
Also, any fellow bloggers out there, leave suggestions for improving the site!!