Improve Your Writing Confidence By Making These 3 Simple Shifts

My dog, Weiland, can jump high. One time I was standing straight up and he jumped into my arms from the floor. The bed we sleep on every night is raised off the ground and Weiland can jump up there and back down with no problem.

But then he’ll have days, moments really, where he won’t jump. He’ll come into my bedroom, and instead of jumping up on the bed like he usually does, he’ll sit there at the foot of the bed and cry. His little glossy eyes looking up to me, then over to the bed, then back to me, as if to say, “lift me up, I’m afraid to jump.”

It always makes me laugh when he does this, because from an outside perspective I can easily see that he can jump up on the bed. He’s done it a hundred million times before, and he’ll do it a hundred million more times in the future.

But it looks different to him. At some moments, the challenge in front of him—jumping up on the bed—seems impossible. It seems like he’d never be able to jump and make it. It seems too high of a jump.

Yet even when his confidence flails, inside him he still has the ability to jump high. His lack of confidence in himself doesn’t change the fact that he knows how to jump and is physically able to.

As a creative person, you are likely the same way when it comes to confidence. Sometimes you’re game on, feeling unstoppable and loving every minute of it.

And other times you’re curled up in the fetal position wondering why you ever bothered to attempt writing in the first place. It’s too difficult. It’s too impossible.

But these lack-of-confidence moments don’t change the fact that you are a writer, and that you can write.

What Are You Feeling?

How you feel emotionally is a huge part of having confidence that stands strong, even in the toughest challenges. If you’re constantly feeling negative about yourself and about your writing (or lack thereof), that’s the only experience you’re ever gonna have.

You have to shift the way you feel about yourself and your writing, so you are able to have a more positive experience. When you feel good about yourself and the work you do, your confidence will soar.

Action Step: Spend 24 hours living moment-to-moment. Don’t think about the past; don’t worry about the future. Just live from one moment to another all day long, watching how you feel in each moment. 

When you feel yourself going into a negative emotion, stop by acknowledging the negative feeling, and then telling yourself, “I choose love, I choose joy, I choose [insert positive emotion].” Doing this will bring you back to the present.

When you are feeling bad emotionally, it’s usually because you’re worrying about something in the future, or dwelling on something from the past. 

The past is over and tomorrow isn’t here yet. All we have in life is this moment right now. 

What Are You Telling Yourself?

The things you tell yourself or declare about your life are what will show up for you. Your subconscious is like a sponge, and all the negative things you tell yourself seep in, infecting it with what you don’t want.

For example, if you tell yourself constantly “I suck at writing” or “I’m a shitty writer,” that’s all you’ll ever be. If you tell yourself negative things like that, eventually you’ll give up writing.

On the other hand, it’s impossible to spend your entire life writing consistently and not get better at it. We can’t all be Stephen King or Sophie Kinsella, but writing is a learned skill. Which means anyone can be good at it if they want it bad enough, learn as much as they can and practice consistently.

So instead of telling yourself negative things, tell yourself positive things and see what happens. Your confidence will be a lot stronger when you tell yourself “Every time I write something, my writing improves” or “I’m a better writer every single day.”

Doesn’t that sound much better? Thought so.

Action Step: Spend 24 hours monitoring your words, no judgement. Whenever you notice you’re saying something negative about yourself or your life, immediately stop yourself and then say the opposite of whatever negative you said. (See example above.)

The more positive things you tell yourself, the more you’ll start to see the things you want showing up in your life. You’ll also begin to feel your confidence cementing itself inside you.

What Are You Focusing On?

What you spend your time focusing on is what you’ll get more of in your life, because whatever you focus on expands. That’s why when you buy a new car, you’ll immediately start to see people on the road with the same car as you. Or someone will tell you about something you never heard of before, and then a few days later you’ll come across the same thing again.

It came into your experience because you focused on it.

Same goes with your writing experience. You can either focus on what you want: finishing your first draft and publishing it, and take action steps to make it happen. Or you can focus on the fact that you’re not the best writer in the world and you’re never gonna be the writer you want to be since you never have time to write, etc.

Your choice. But focusing on what you want will get you there a lot faster than focusing on what you don’t want. 

Action Step: Spend 24 hours focusing totally and completely on what you want. When you find your focus drifting to things you don’t want, acknowledge what’s there and then immediately shift back to focusing on what you want.

Don’t dwell on the negative, no matter how much you want to. For 24 hours. See what happens.

Putting It All Together

When you are to a point where you’re feeling amazing about yourself and your writing; when you are telling yourself positive things about your life; and when you are focusing on what you want all the time, that’s when your confidence will truly be unbreakable.

Building a strong self-confidence is a life-long process. A moment-to-moment process.

Each little step you take in a positive direction will help you see results a whole lot faster.


What’s one negative thing you feel, tell yourself or focus on right now that you want to change? 


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