The other day, I was reading the book “Becoming a Writer” (1934), by Dorothea Brande, undoubtedly one of the best books about the topic ever. She rightly emphasizes that learning how to write comes hand in hand with learning how to be a writer. Self-confidence is the key for the beginner writer to present his ideas to the world. Not knowing how to read critically their productions is part of the problem when it comes to the novice writers. The critical dialogue with one’s own work is never easy. One must remember that the toughest opponent he will ever fight is worry. Indeed, writers’ worries are many and varied. Obviously, some are real while others are sheer nonsense.
The truth is that beginners give too much credence to popular notions about the craft and the writer’s life. The lack of self-confidence is responsible for the failure to face the traps of the trade.
The most certain way to ensure safety on the writing journey is to accept faithfully the old saying: the day of man’s salvation is now. In brief: shut off, with a metal curtain, self-doubts and criticism from others. Beyond that, you must separate the different parts of the writing process. Then you are safe: safe for today. Remember the line: “there is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
You have a purpose and that purpose will take you forward. The first step is to believe that if you put your whole life into your work, you will succeed. When we work honestly and faithfully at our calling in life, life will reward us accordingly. That is a law of prosperity whereby all people can have guaranteed success in life.
Now, it is important to understand that writing is never mastered once and for all; it’s a lifelong mode of learning. You will separate two parts of the process: planning (inquiry) and turning plans into written language (drafting). There will be multiple drafts of editing and revising. Then, write down your ideas without regarding to organization, vocabulary, and grammar. Second, revise what you have written. Drafting and revising are different activities, and you need to get used to the writing movement. There is no fixed order. But you must separate both stages. Each composing part is really a very separate activity. Your writing becomes problematic whenever you forget this. For this reason, let me say it again: writing and revision are two completely different activities. I hope this simple observation might help you to grow your self-confidence as writer.