5 Writer Confidence Stages #writing #writers


Writer Confidence Stages

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Below are the 5 stages of confidence that I went through in showing others my writing.

Stage 1. I am never going to show my writing to anyone.

This initial stage lasted several years. My writing was kept hidden and never mentioned to anyone. Bit like a naughty secret!

Stage 2. I will only show my writing to my husband. 

I hid behind the sofa with a cushion over my head whilst he read an extract. He said I could write but he didn’t like the story. I was crushed.

Stage 3. I will only read out my writing to my Creative Writing class on a Monday night. 

This took some guts. The fact that they didn’t know me helped. It was the first time anyone other than my husband had heard my stuff. Sweaty palms and trembling hands. I read too fast and the tutor commented on how relieved I looked when I had finished. I got a mixed response and was mortified at the negative comments. Had lots of little weeping sessions in my car and ate a lot of chocolate during this stage.

Stage 4. I will start a blog but won’t post any of my own stories on there. 

This was ok at first. I happily published posts about writing techniques and advice but didn’t publish any of my stuff. Some bloggers started asking me why I wasn’t posting any of my stories. I felt like a fraud during this stage. Here I was loving the whole ‘writer’ title but not actually demonstrating that I could write.

Stage 5. I am going to publish my stories on my blog.

The ‘oh what the hell!’ feeling took over and I started publishing my stories. I have received constructive feedback on my writing, via my blog, and this feedback has helped me improve as a writer.

Even now when I see that bloggers have commented I still get the urge to run and hide behind the sofa with a cushion over my head.


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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

28 thoughts on “5 Writer Confidence Stages #writing #writers

  1. I think I speak for all your readers when I say I’m glad the ‘oh what the hell!’ feeling took over. 🙂 My new thing is I never show anyone *incomplete* work. I’m too nervous about having someone else influencing my story while I’m still writing it… And then there’s the novel-in-progress-whose-name-must-not-be-spoken; I realize it’s neurotic, but nobody’s going to read that thing until it’s written and in its second or third draft. Intellectual property is a strange thing to talk about in this age of Collaborative Culture, but hey, we work hard on these worlds we build, and people are not often good about giving credit where it’s due… That said, I give you props for being brave enough to put your work up for critique; you’re made of stronger (or perhaps less jealously possessive) stuff than I am. 🙂

  2. This sounds so familiar! I remember the first time I read my story to a group at a writer’s conference. I heard all the mistakes, and wondered how I ever thought it was any good.

  3. Oh goodness, I’ve gone through this same thing and I’m still shy about posting my stories! Oh sweet Blonde, Stage 2 & 3, I would’ve been so devastated by that (in fact, I skipped those stages altogether with my writing to avoid the pain). I admire how you pushed forward and made it to the next Stages. You’re awesome!

  4. Ah, the good old “oh what the hell!” feeling. So far I’ve only posted one story on my blog and I got zero comments, which tends to mean bad things. Still, I think I should post more, just for the heck of it. I haven’t read anything to a writing class but otherwise your stages sound similar to mine. Looking forward to Stage 6, when there’s no urge to hide whenever there’s a comment… if that’s possible.

      1. Thank you, that’s very nice of you! It’s in four parts on my blog, you’ll find them all under the category “stories.”

  5. To protect my ideas and future publishing, I NEVER publish an excerpt until it’s been picked up for publishing and I have approval to do so. However, I’m also highly protective of what I write. You don’t even catch a glimpse of it on PILD because I am not releasing copyrighted fiction to the masses. This is truly an individual choice and has never made me any less of a writer.

  6. I let my husband read a few of my first stories but he didn’t seem that keen so I haven’t put him through the torture again. My mum and sister have read a couple of my picture book manuscripts and so has my sister-in-law but I think I’d rather strangers read them than family and friends. Belonging to a writers’ group would be great to get inspiration and feedback. That’s why competitions are good too – lots of written feedback – no face to face!!

  7. I think it is great that you shared these. Even though there is a bit of humor to your voice, the stages still ring with the truth of the vulnerability that lies within them. I didn’t allow people to read my work for YEARS! The only way they could come to know my stories was if I and I alone read them out loud to them. Granted, I need practice orating. The biggest “exposure” for me has been sharing the growth of the first draft of Ascension Graveyard on my blog. It was like (and still kind of is) not just dreaming about standing in front of a room completely naked, but now the entire world. I have slowly become more comfortable in my “exposed skin,” but I do recognize the constant urge to want to apologize for the fractured state in which Ascension Graveyard reads, only to remind myself, “Candice, this is the FIRST DRAFT! RELAX!”

      1. You have a lot of knowledge/humor/insight/perspective to glean from. So it is totally a privilege I would be silly to neglect. And I am not just saying that for the sake of saying it.

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