“Confidence isn’t something you have or don’t have. It’s something you build through practice and persistence.” — Terri Windling
I often found myself stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and creative block and I questioned myself for my abilities, ideas, and performance and often struggled to find the inspiration and confidence needed to produce quality writing. Later on, I found it important to recognize my capabilities and realized that these feelings were not unique to me as a writer — they are common experiences that many creatives face throughout their careers.
I want to explore how to overcome these obstacles and reignite creativity as an author. By examining different strategies for building confidence and finding inspiration, we can break free from the negative patterns that hold us back and produce our best work. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting, the tips and advice are my own experiences in the process of writing a dozen of books. My experience may help you push past doubt and tap into your full creative potential.
Most Common Factors Holding Back
Let me explain the hurdles which are coming on the way when a successful writer goes through a writing journey from doubt to confidence!
The most common factor for a writer.
Struggling to come up with new ideas always troubled me just like my hundreds of author friends. It was very much difficult to express thoughts in the form of words in the initial days. This was a major obstacle for a quite long time unless I made a habit of daily free writing. I read in the books that small consistent efforts on daily basis may increase your efficiency on large scale. This was proved during my grinding phase of two years.
Criticism And Rejection
Most of my friends disapproved of my initial journey of writing books and articles. But one of my friends advised me,
“You have gathered a lot of information and knowledge; you have graduated in philosophy and even you mastered the degree in psychology, but have you applied principles in real life?”
This was the turning point in my life. I approached some of the publishers even when I had not started writing but of course, I had read more than a hundred books on self-help and motivation. One of the publishers rejected the idea that libraries are full of these kinds of books and there are no further scopes.
I faced criticism from relatives and a few of my office associates when I was in a public sector bank as a manager. The rejection never bothered me because I was reading books on subject topics. I listened to one friend who was positive rather than attending nine friends who were negative about my desired interest.
After writing and publishing a few books also the financial position was not attractive for making living from writing as editing and the proof-reading
the process was not free of cost. Sudden illnesses of close relatives also hampered the journey of writing just like many of my friends due to my hand-to-mouth position despite a good job and handsome income. Amenities like housing, vehicles, studies of children, and related other expenses were quite manageable due to loan facilities available from the bank but the instalments on monthly basis resulted in a conservative lifestyle till the recent past.
The economic downturn is quite obvious for middle-class families but how you handle the situation is much more important.
Balancing Writing With Other Responsibilities
Family is always the priority. Our commitments on daily basis to our children and spouse sometimes demands significant challenges. Work-life balance is a vital issue to compensate for between your interests and responsibilities.
When I read “Million Dollar Habits” by Brian Tracy, I found that a good habit may give you a lot of benefits. I, therefore, started a habit of rising early at 6 am. But again, after reading “5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma, I started getting up at 5 am for the last 5 years. For a couple of years, I started writing a few words on daily basis randomly on subjects that came to mind as and when the good idea struck to mind. The habit of journalizing gave me a huge stock of raw material for my books later on.
A couple of hours in the morning did not disturb others and my writing journey also was not hampered by my family members. Early morning walking in nature did not give me only good health but a lot of ideas stored in my mind daily. I started recording even silly ideas in my diary.
Self-Doubt And Imposter Syndrome
I did not experience self-doubt and inadequacy especially when I compared myself with other successful writers. I had self-belief due to a few of my friends from the Armed Forces. During my active service in Airforce, I had a good association with engineers and flying pilots. We used to read a slogan on hangers before taking sorties in choppers,
“Flying is a serious profession, do not carry your worries beyond this point!”
Of course, our helicopters are so equipped with facilities of specific features that even engine is packed, a helicopter can fly for 15 more minutes with auto rotation.
However, it is a major setback for authors in their writing journey when there is self-doubt or imposter syndrome. By the way, Imposter syndrome refers to a pattern of thought and feeling where an individual doubts their abilities, skills, or accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud or “imposter” despite evidence to the contrary.
People with imposter syndrome often believe that their successes are due to luck or chance rather than their capabilities and hard work and may feel that they do not deserve recognition or praise for their achievements. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence in their abilities, which can affect their personal and professional life.
Imposter syndrome can affect anyone, regardless of their education level, expertise, or experience. It is often seen in high-achieving individuals, particularly in fields such as academia, business, and the arts, where there is a high level of competition and pressure to perform.
Writing often requires significant amounts of time and dedication. Managing one’s time effectively can be a major challenge for authors. Everybody has 24 hours. It is the art of managing time. Every little task demands time but how effectively you manage will decide your progress.
I had challenges of time reading books on self-development, but I found a way to read or listen when I used to travel from my home to the office. I used to read on public transport and listen to audio when I was self-driving. I made my car a ‘library on the wheel’ and a hub for listening to motivational speeches of experts.
I experienced creative burnout, particularly when I was writing for hours together for any project. I describe my book writing as a project even today because it is not less than any project as the book is going to pay passive income like any other assets created by businessmen.
But long-drawn projects affected my progress and led me to frustration and disillusionment.
Later on, I decided to undergo these kinds of activities once in a while but not on daily basis.
Health issues like eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain are common among authors, particularly those who spend long hours writing at a computer. But there are certain techniques for handling these kinds of issues. You can go on the topic search for specific problems and find the solution.
I had back pain in the past but I found some yoga and exercises which eliminated my pain.
Health should be given priority because if your health is good, you can devote more years of life to writing and energizing people. But if you have health issues, so many projects of yours may get stuck. Just like a daily habit of writing, you can devote at least one hour to your health in a day.
Isolation And Loneliness
Writing can be a solitary profession, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, particularly when spending long hours working alone. But one of my mentors told me that if you are not spending time with yourself, you are missing a very important person. You can think another way round,
“If you do not enjoy when you are alone, you are in bad company!”
Finding An Audience
Finally, one of the biggest challenges for authors is finding an audience for their work. This can be particularly difficult for new or unknown writers, who may struggle to attract attention in a crowded and competitive market.
One of the best ways to come out of this kind of issue is by building a list of readers and friends. Your followers may become your friends and your friends lastly become your readers. After sending two hundred thousand emails to my subscribers, I realized that only 20% of my subscribers open my emails. It was a good ratio according to my mentor. But think my friend, if you have ten thousand people in your list over a considerable period, 20% of them means 2000 people will open your emails. Again 20 % of them means 400 people will act in whatever way you want. This was a tip from one of my mentors from abroad. Give value addition sharing to your readers and subscribers and you will eliminate the issue of retaining an audience.
- To be a successful author, you must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of doubt and uncertainty. But with determination and a positive mindset, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your writing dreams.
- Creativity is a flame that must be rekindled every day, and doubt is the rain that threatens to put it out. But with perseverance, we can overcome our doubts and reignite our creative spark.