Becoming more confident

by Kritika

Hi, I'm a little 15 year old and I love writing. I usually write stand-up poetry and I am also good enough at delivering them. But whenever I read other people's work (who are mostly the same age as me), I feel as if my writings are not so good even after knowing the difference in writing style we have. How do I become more confident in myself?

Answer: Almost all writers doubt themselves. Almost all performers doubt themselves.

A lack of confidence is a bad thing only if it stops you from practising your art. (Don't let it stop you). A lack of confidence can also be a good thing if it motivates you to keep learning and improving.

Some beginning writers are so overconfident they can't recognize problems in their writing. They can't hear criticism and they can't look at their own work critically. The result is they don't improve over time.

It's better to have enough self-doubt to make you want to improve.

It is also perfectly normal to be in such awe of your peer's work that you doubt you could ever write something as good. It is normal for them to feel the same about your work. You won't believe them when they tell you, just as they won't really believe it when you tell them their work is wonderful.

(Of course you might also have the opposite problem, where people are too critical of your work. You may be too critical of your work. And maybe your work is not perfect. But so what? The solution is still to keep learning, keep practising. You will get better with practise no matter how good your are now and no matter what your age.)

Many people would argue that the only way to gain confidence is to keep writing and keep learning. As your writing gets better and better you will eventually convince yourself you have talent. That works for some people.

Other writers never feel confident, no matter how many works they publish, copies they sell, or awards they receive. They still don't think of themselves as good writers. The important thing is that they don't stop writing. They learn to live with their lack of confidence and keep writing anyway.

I suppose what I am saying is that if you enjoy writing, keep writing. Keep learning and trying to improve. Don't demand that your writing has to be excellent now. Everyone grows at their own pace, and your writing may be better than you think.

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