Writing Self-Esteem (a.k.a. Confidence fluctuates…)
One thing that I’ve noticed in my writing career so far is that my confidence in my own abilities constantly wavers. Some days, I’m certain that The Spirit-Hunters is top-notch stuff. Other days, I want to cry at the certainty that I’m just wasting my time.
I’m not just wasting my time – no one is when you enjoy what you’re doing. But some days, it’s a battle to keep reminding myself of that fact.
So, to be an über dork, I’ve made a rough graph displaying the fluctuations in my writing self-esteem.
Here’s the Ranking System:
- It’s back to marine biology for me. Bye-bye, Books; hello, Fish.
- Everything I write is total crap. I shouldn’t even bother.
- I will never be good enough. Everyone else is better than me.
- Why is this so hard? What’s the point? I need more coffee.
- Er… I’m not so sure that changing careers was a good idea.
- Hmmm… Some of this manuscript is okay.
- It’s getting close, but I’m not quite there yet. More time, and more coffee, please.
- Hey! People like my book – they really like it!
- Hey! I like my book – I really like it!
- I got this. I am the BEST. Fish, it’s officially over between us.
Notice the downward trend in my self-esteem over the last two months. The slope is -0.12. That means my confidence is steadily dropping? Oh, poo…
Okay, okay — to be statistically accurate, I’d need to get snazzier with my statistics. You know, I would need to insert other variables, other aspects of my life that potentially affect me writing (e.g. money worries, exhaustion, weather effects, etc.), but that’s just too geeky. I’ve already maxed out my Geek Quota for today. Besides, you get the point:
It’s never constantly high, nor is it constantly low. It averages out in the middle.
I know I’m not the only person who suffers from this roller coaster, and I want all the struggling writers (and other artists) like me to remember: just because we may not see the silver-lining today, we can do this.
We can do this.
My goal is to keep a record of my daily “confidence” and track how much it rises and drops on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. AND, more importantly, my goal is to try to keep that self-esteem high!
As my mother (and a lot of other people, too) always says: “Ask, believe, receive.”
We don’t hope to be published one day, but rather we will be published one day. And it’ll be sooner rather than later. 😉
July 5, 2010 @ 9:47 pm
Your mom must be very wise!
July 6, 2010 @ 5:19 pm
Bravo! My writing confidence definitely fluctuates as well, and it seems to follow pattern with my productivity. When I’m bursting with ideas and flying through revisions, my confidence is through the roof. On the opposite end, when I’m having a hard time with a chapter — that’s when I plummet.
That’s the moment I pull out my determination, set a goal, and remind myself of my dreams. You’re right, we CAN do it!
July 6, 2010 @ 7:59 pm
This sounds frighteningly familiar. Though I’m impressed with the granularity of your analysis. My writing confidence has only two modes. (1) I am marginally competent. Woo! (2) I am illiterate, smelly, and the most foolish person to ever take up writing.
It’s so difficult to see your own writing objectively. Frankly, I think it’s impossible. That’s part of why writing communities are so valuable. Working with writers whose feedback you understand and trust can be a huge boon.
October 4, 2012 @ 6:11 pm
It’s called being an artist, welcome to my world.
September 24, 2013 @ 2:37 am
You have awesome advice, and you caught my attention with your books. I’ll be buying at least 1 or two of them. 🙂
I’m a writer as well, not a published one, I’m still trying to write out the many drafts. 😛