Writing is a lonely business. Building a writing career involves tons of socializing, of course, but the actual act of sitting down and transforming your imaginings into a quality novel is very much a solitary act. At the end of the day, you need what I call a BKAC attitude:
- Believe you have what it takes
- Know that what you have produced is (to use an odd bit of recent jargon), goals.
- Assure yourself that your work is worthy.
- Convince yourself that people will (and should) want to read your work
This is why I can’t understand it when writers refer to themselves as ‘aspiring.’ I’ve read comments in book reviews where the reviewer will say, ‘as an aspiring writer I—’ that just baffle me. By saying this, you are effectively saying that you are not yet a writer, and that right now you are merely aspiring to become one.
You have to own your authorship.
I am a writer. I have not yet achieved the level of success to which I ‘aspire’ but I know I am on my way, and that in the meantime, I am a writer.
Confidence by Experience
Crafting and publishing numerous books and short stories in different genres will give you the confidence you need—I promise you that.
If you are not sure of your skills as a writer, then you have simply not written enough yet. GO WRITE MORE. The confidence will come. Don’t go comparing your work to others, either. This is a confidence killer, as writetodone wisely points out.
You have received rejections. Accept them and move on. Learn from your mistakes and identify your weaknesses. Don’t rely on your readers to give you your confidence, either. That’s a fool’s game. No book ever written, no bestseller, no award-winning Pulitzer-prize achieving tome, is universally loved. There are those who call out even Tolkien, on his failure to write quality female characters. Many critics knock George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, claiming the books are ‘well-written but boring’ or, the most common complaint, ‘too long.’ It is interesting to note, however, that everyone agrees that the SOIAF series is well-written.
Look at the Bible. More copies of that book have been printed than anything else in history, and yet we all know how much some people hate the Bible.
The point is that there will always be negative commentators, mean-spirited reviews. You have to accept this fact and believe in the quality of your work anyway.
TIP: It helps to always have another project lined up to keep you looking ahead, to a brighter more hopeful future.
You have what it takes. You can achieve your dreams. Just know that it will take years of hard work. But I promise, the longer you write, the better your work will become and the more confidence you will develop in yourself and in the quality of your work. Just read what some beloved authors have to say about this confidence spiel, here.
Soon you will have the skills and the ability and the confidence to put your work out there. No one else in the world is qualified to write that story you have in mind.
Now go and prove it to the world. BKAC the shiznit out of that book you’re writing!