I decided to dedicate this post to only one writing tip, as opposed to my more typical list-format posts in which I list several writing tips or various forms of advice.
Today’s tip is one of the most influential pieces of advice that I think a writer should know. I wish I had heard it earlier in my writing process, and I want to share it with aspiring writers everywhere because it is a vital tip to keep in mind.
So here it is: Check Your Ego Because You Probably Actually Suck
Yep that’s it. Sounds disheartening doesn’t it?
Well, while a tip like this might make you look at your blog, recent essay, or in-progress book and say, “man, I’m actually not that good at writing, and I don’t know what I’m doing. What’s even the point?” that is actually what you should be doing.
See, I think all writers start out with some form of self consciousness. Once they actually begin writing things that other people might read, I think there is typically a small voice inside them that says, “you’re not good enough” or “you can’t actually do this.” I think that this voice is extremely important. Although you will naturally gain more confidence as you write more, and as more people respond positively to your work, there should always be a little something inside you that reminds you to keep improving and that you’re not the best writer there is.
Aside from keeping your head the size it should be, there are multiple reasons for this reality check. First, reminding yourself that you aren’t the best writer ever will allow you to continually improve and will prevent you from getting stuck when one day you realize you don’t have anything else to write or that you don’t know how to say something. This small reminder to consistently work on your writing will not only make your writing better, but it will also provide more opportunities for you down the road as a more experienced and toned writer.
Second, reminding yourself that your writing isn’t phenomenal will make it hurt less when it isn’t. I’ve even learned this within the first month of blogging: one day you have an amazing day on your site and get tons of views, like and comments. The next day you might have one or two people view your blog, and not have a great turnout on your post you thought was great. Reality check: you’re not always going to have success. Reminding yourself of this as you go will prevent you from getting truly depressed and discouraged when you do fail.
Finally, doubting yourself and questioning if your writing has a point is actually extremely healthy and can lead to a huge confidence boost. Asking yourself what’s the point requires you to answer that question, and, if you’re ever hoping to be a successful writer, you should be able to answer that question one way or another. At first, you’re answers may be a bit unsure and you may respond to yourself with something like “I honestly don’t know” or “I don’t know why I’m doing this.” Trust me, this is okay. Use those type of answers as motivation to find better ones. Eventually, you should be able to produce an answer that boosts your confidence, and justifies your writing in a way that you’re proud of. Once you find that answer, celebrate it. Celebrate the fact that you’ve checked your ego, questioned yourself, and that you were able to truly find a purpose behind what you are writing. After you’ve done that you might find that what you write means more than it used to, and how you write is more you than ever before.
Thanks for reading