The Confident Writer
When I first began to take this journey to write for publication, I still viewed it through
the lens of an unsure writer. I lacked discipline, a regular schedule, and knowledge of my craft. I was ready to grow, I just wasn’t sure how. That’s why writing in itself is so hard to teach to another. It takes a drive, a confidence in yourself that builds over time through experience. What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa.
Something happens as you practice putting all those words together, into forming
sentences, and developing your writing. There’s no style at first. The story part is not quite there. You have the passion, but not the know-how to breathe life into your stories. Don’t give up. There’s untapped magic there waiting to be brought to the surface. Each of us will approach the study part of writing just like the journey itself.
I started with craft books. Tons and tons of them. A writing course here and there. They
helped but I still wasn’t seeing what I wanted to in my stories. I studied my favorite writers, even first-time novelists to find the key. What I discovered was this: there is no key. No one can tell you how to do it. Because the trials and tribulations we all experience are like life: no two paths are alike. They diverge at points sure, but the getting there happens different for everyone.
The next part of my journey involved cps (critique partners). I had some bad and good
ones. Those were more lessons that helped me grow. I was still unsure of myself at this point, not trusting myself to go with my gut about things. Along came one of the best things to happen to me as a writer: I met a wonderful cp who introduced me to a writing group called yaff (YoungAdultFictionFanatics). These ladies took me under their wings and taught me how to write a story, queries, etc. Some of which I didn’t realize were necessary in my earlier efforts.
Under their tutelage, I have seen my writing go from shoddy to better. I won’t say I’m an
expert. I doubt any real writer ever thinks their work is good enough. But I have seen the potential for telling a good story emerge over the last year. I can look at something I wrote a long while ago and something current and see a vast difference. The growth I was seeking is there. I’ve learned that I don’t ever want to stop learning. Perhaps, in truth, there is a key to be learned after all. It comes in having a confidence in yourself, in seeing a truth to what you put down on your paper.
You have to learn to let go, to let your writing happen, to trust that you’re doing what the
story needs, when it needs it. Talk to your characters, build those settings, but don’t forget: everything begins with you. Your life lessons, the study of your craft, and building writing relationships. Don’t try and be some other writer. Be yourself. You’re unique. No one will ever approach the story you’re writing the way you do. That’s where you find your voice, that’s where your path widens to draw in the things you’ll need to continue your journey. Confidence will grow inside you and that will help you face the rejections, the pitfalls, and the bad breaks then when you reach the horizon, everything before you will be blessed. Good luck on your journey.