Wednesday, October 01, 2008

When A Writer's Confidence Is Shaken

I was reading through a 160-page research report I did in August, when it struck me that I actually wrote the words that I'm reading. Yes I know it sounds obvious - afterall I am a writer! But the report sounded good, and I was faintly shocked by the idea that it was actually a product of my labour.

Working on the report was a difficult, stressful process, because there was a nagging feeling that I had finally bitten more than I could chew, and was going to disappoint a lot of people who were counting on me to deliver according to specifications.

I spent a lot of time crying on a friend's shoulder during the writing process, and she read through the document to double-check that all was in order before I submitted it. Quite frankly, I was terrified to read the final product, because I thought it would be a case in point that I'm a bad researcher and writer.

To be fair, other eyes and hands went through it, tweaking, improving etc, so the report is no longer just my product. But a tiny voice is whispering in my ear, telling me that being humble is good, but as a writer, I need to see myself as a writer more clearly, and have confidence in my skills. If I'm constantly second-guessing myself, how will I actually get large projects done?

My take-away lesson from the process is that I read some of my published work when my confidence is shaken. At worst, it reminds me that someone was willing to publish and pay for it. And maybe, just maybe, they liked it. A lot!


Melody Platz said...

I'm glad you had this experience. There have been a few things I've written that later I've thought, "Jeez, I'm a decent writer. Wow." It's a fun realization.

Thanks for sharing. More writers need to have confidence in themselves, and I'm sure your post will help them.

Melody Platz

Unknown said...

a 160 pages thats tooooo much for me i loose concentration

Damaria Senne said...

Hey Rush; thanks for coming over. Losing focus was part of the problem. Working individually on the chapters was easier, but I also had to make sure that they flowed well together.

Tina-Sue said...

Thank you for this wonderful post.

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