Zabowska's Blog

November 5, 2009

Does a writer build confidence or does (s)he just have it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — zabowska @ 10:26 pm

  That is a very difficult question for some writers to answer because many writers
don’t have confidence when they start writing. The confidence that I am alluding
to here is self-confidence. Writers who are self-confident tend to be confident
about their writing too. I know that is a generalization, but it is true in many cases.

  Thus, it is harder for some writers to become confident writers than it is for
others. People who are self-confident usually are confident writers, even if they
don’t get published all the time. That is because their worth as writers is not
dependent on publishing as it is derived from just plain writing.

  In other words, I think that the best way for writers to develop confidence as
writers is to write regularly. The rest will take care of itself in time. It is also
important, of course, to develop your craft continuously so that you feel as if you
are getting better as a writer. But other than that, pure hard work is the only way
to build confidence as a writer. And that is something that no one can take away
from you and it is not dependent on the outside world. It is merely dependent on
you and you alone.

  I guess what I am reflecting on today is very difficult to say in a way that won’t
trivialize some aspect of the writer’s life. The good news is that writer confidence
is built and developed for most writers over the years through honest toil. It
doesn’t come naturally to most writers. It is something that writers have to

  I know in my own case it took years to develop the confidence that I needed to
write regularly. But looking back, I think writing consistently helped me develop
confidence as a write more than anything else did. When publication came, it was
gravy for me. I didn’t and still don’t write in order to get published. I write
because I love writing. I find it cleansing and one of the most enjoyable activities
that I can perform. 



  1. Sunny,

    Confidence stems also from a belief that one is worthy of the attention garnered from whatever activity in which they are engaged.

    It can be built, as you say, through hard work and encouragement along the way. However, part of the difficulty is that nagging sense of competition which permeates this profession and most others. Especially young writers and older ones with limited self-confidence continue to view themselves as in competition with every writer they read. They look at the other writer’s work and see it only as being superior to their own without taking the time to discern what captured their continued attention to the writer’s words enough to completely read the work.

    Because they see only the final product with its colorful and lively cover, its acknowledgement page, etc., they cannot envision the months of grueling work that went into the pages between covers. Until they can do that and study the writer’s words for clues to the assembly, they can fail to understand that their own work is just as grueling, just as frustrating and just as raw in the beginning of any book’s life.

    Shoring up self-confidence is a full-time job that requires diligence. A writer always needs diligence and fortitude. Without these, most would never complete a project.

    Good subject. I enjoyed it.


    Comment by claudsy — November 6, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Reply

  2. This is so great! I really believe that a writer’s self-confidence can improve by writing regularly. Plus, getting published frequently helps us grow more confident in the industry. That’s why I always like to write for the no-pay/low-pay market because places that publish frequently but can’t pay NEED writers and are a great opportunity to build our confidence and self-worth as a writer. Good post!

    Comment by nancyisanders — November 6, 2009 @ 1:49 am | Reply

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