1. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    how do you rate your own confidence levels?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by dave_c, Apr 6, 2011.

    personally i have low self esteem, nothing i ever write is good enough in my eyes.

    iv heard it said that most artists are like this (own harshest critique and all that) just wondering if its true for writers as well.
     
  2. Enerzeal
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    Enerzeal Member

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    When I'm doing choreography, or explaining a scene I am extra happy with what im writing most of the time. I can usually skip back and fix it if I am unhappy.

    Now when it comes to dialogue I am pretty sure everything I'm writing is rubbish.
     
  3. flanneryohello
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    flanneryohello Member

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    Hmm... I actually have a fairly high confidence level, although I absolutely do have crises of confidence at times. I think that's inevitable. If I'm having a bad day or the words coming out of me don't match the "incredible" scene I'm picturing in my head, I can get really discouraged.

    When I first started writing, I was really pretty confident (though still nervous about sharing with others). Looking back, I was making a lot of newbie writer mistakes and just didn't know enough yet to realize that I had a lot to learn. Once I got my first crash course from an editor, my confidence plummeted. But by the end of editing my first novel, I'd learned so much that even though I realized my efforts until that point were not fantastic, I was confident that I would improve, moving forward. And I did.

    I've gotten to a point with my writing where I feel very confident saying "I'm a good writer". I know my grasp of grammar, spelling, and various other mechanics may not be perfect, but it's pretty darn good. I've received incredible feedback from readers, my current editor, and my publisher. And when I go back and read something I've written after letting it sit for a bit, I'm always pleasantly surprised. lol. Not that I don't find things to revise, because there are always improvements to be made, but I'm pleased by the overall effort.

    I think it's important to build confidence as a writer. I'm pretty sure that most normal people will have their moments of doubt, but wallowing in thoughts of "I suck!" constantly doesn't seem normal to me. At least not once you've got some real experience under your belt.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am my own harshest critic at times, I go through times of doubt but I enjoy reading my books and stories. I like the characters and plots. My first book engrosses me and there is so much i forgot I had written/
     
  5. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I actually have a pretty high confidence when it comes to writing. Even though most of what I write is pretty crappy, I know well that if I only spend time and care on something, it will be great... eventually.
     
  6. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It really varies. I can be confident at times, other times I'm quite the self critic.

    The difference now is that I can ask for help or advice, and actually am able to share my work. Just a few years ago I wrote 'for myself' and didn't let anyone near it.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually don't have a very good self confidence and then comes periods like this when it collapses altogether. Normally I can admit (though without any real proof of the validity) that some parts of what I write are good, but in the down-periods even those seem like garbage. I think it's quite common and I don't think that those that really ARE excellent writers necessary have a good self confidence to match. So I don't know what it comes down to.
     
  8. ProwerGirl
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    ProwerGirl Member

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    I'm a little shaky, especially at night. I usually doubt my characters, not my writing, and I mostly worry they're complete Mary Sues. But, overall, I have pretty good self-confidence, which is good for a young writer.
     
  9. Cretin07
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    Cretin07 New Member

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    At the beginning of the year, if you asked me to grade my first essay I’d probably, objectively, put an LOL WTF!? at the end in bright, flashing, red ink. However, now after having spent about 15 weeks writing and reading extensively, I feel slightly more confident in what I am writing and I reached a point where I could possibly consider myself being worthy of entering a classical grade system.

    I think that the most important part in raising your confidence level is to be able to write about topics you are really familiar with when you start. That way you can be sure that you won’t have to wiggle around desperately clinging to facts or stuff you find on Wikipedia, Google, or from your neighbor’s late night drunk ranting. Once you made a first draft about something you really care about or know, you are in a better position to start opening the writer’s toolbox and start adding literary devices to make it look more comestible: metaphors, foreshadowing, allegories, symbolism, etc… A solid foundation gives you plenty of room and opportunities to start developing a style of your own – letting you find your literary voice!

    That way, once you start talking nobody will be able to stop you, not even your own insecurities :D
     
  10. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Very confident in my ability to write, but no confidence in what I write ever finding much success.
     
  11. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've always been very confident -- some would say overconfident. Especially after a few beers, haha. Anyway, if you're having confidence issues, I can recommend a few resources, as it's a major topic in the book I'm working on.

    The first is When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. It's about Buddhism.

    The second is The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. This book changed my life, and is in my opinion, the best book I've ever read.
     
  12. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I'm very confident that if I keep rubbing two of my books together they will start on fire.
     
  13. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    *points to username* :p
     
  14. alter-ego
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    alter-ego Banned

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    Very confident, on a scale of 10, I'm a 10. Well maybe that's too much, maybe more like a 8, and pretty confident. Come to think of it, I don't think I could even claim to always be a 8, more like a 6 most of the time with occasional visions of being a 8 and relatively confident. So to re cap. More like a 6 on a good day, and mildly confident occasionally.

    You know I don't want people to think I'm some pushy overly confident person. So after some thought I'm revising again and downgrading to a 4 and rarely confident. Oh hell lets face facts, I'm a big zero. Where's the number to my shrink.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Huh?
    How does those two go together?:rolleyes:
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha. Then put a refridgerator full of beer next to the desk ;) (it might get a totally different result though;) )

    Hihihi.

    I don't know which would be best - being overly confident or the opposite...
    Though I sure would like to have a strong self confidence. And I do-in some areas, or maybe one, or two, though not when it comes to writing.:rolleyes:
     
  17. K.S.A.
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    K.S.A. Member

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    I have a lot of confidence when I am showing people how to write or pointing out flaws in their work - it comes with being an editor. Problem is, though, that it doesn't apply to my own writing because I've never had anyone critique it. And I'm the harshest critic I know, so I'm not helping my own self-esteem levels much.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't...

    never felt the need to... i've known since my schooldays that i can write better than most, so don't even think about 'confidence'... writing has always been second nature to me, as automatic as breathing... guess i was just born that way...
     
  19. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Just because you write well, doesn't mean people want to pay to read what you've written.

    I often find myself not-quite literary enough for my academic crowds and goals, and then not-quite not-literary enough for non-literary crowds and goals. Basically, I end up writing literary bizarro, like my mans-wife-is-dying-of-cancer story that was totally literary, but with robots, that nobody seems to like. But shrug, I write what I want, people can sort out what to do with the manuscripts when I'm dead, I suppose.
     
  20. Bay K.
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    Bay K. Contributing Member

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    Perfection is an illusion that can NEVER be attained ('cause it keeps evolving).

    I'm sure if Da Vinci saw his 'Mona Lisa' today, he'd say: "What! I painted that crap?! ... It was supposed to come out differently."

    This might sound cliche, but do the best you can at that moment ... breathe out and let it go! If you hate it two minutes later ... oh well!
    Remember, you'll hate it again ... and again ... and again ...
    (It just can't be achieved).
     
  21. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha ha, I feel like that sometimes. In the end I spam out all the stupid literary fluff that accumulates in my brain from spending too much time around academics at university, and write artsy short stories that no one understands, and that allows me to keep the themes subtle in my crappy fantasy. :p
     
  22. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fairly confident. I'm not saying "I'm a good writer" or "I'm the best!" but I'm satisfied with my writing and I think I'm a decent storyteller. If a scene that completely bores me to write can bring out an emotional response it readers then I can't be doing too badly.

    My strongest points are easily character and dialogue. Although there is this stereotype that all writers can be shy and awkward people I'm a complete social butterfly; I get people and I've been told by my readers that it shows in my writing. However, I've also received a lot of positive response on setting and description too. I won't lie even it makes me sound arrogant: I've an interesting style; my characters are immoral jerks but at the same time people find them likeable; my plots are complex and dark but there's enough wit, fluff and light-heartedness to stop it being too depressing.

    I'm fairly confident with the individual components but I'm not confident enough to think the writing itself is fabulous or that it's good enough to be seen in full by others. It definitely has a long way to go but as long as I'm on the right track I'm happy with the progress I make with each story. Each and every full-length novel I write is stronger in style and has a tighter story than the previous even if it doesn't have the best plot. But I've decades still to work on my writing, to take it up to a point where I'm happy enough to see more than just short stories immortalised in print, so I'm going to focus more on improving the faults instead of feeling down and whining about how it's not yet good enough.
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everything Yoshiko says describes how I feel.

    I know my punctuation needs help but is improving and my tendancy towards too much plot needs curbing. However my dialogue is good, my characters are good and my plots are plain bonkers lol I also like reading my own work.

    My writing is much better than it was a year ago and if it keeps improving at the rate it did this year I know I can be good.
     
  24. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    I wish I could go on an ego-trip right now and say I'm confident in my writing, but I won't. At the end of the day, I wouldn't quit my current job to pursue a career in writing. Truth is, I know myself too well. My confidence takes a plunge every once in a while, and it is very hard to pick myself back up and write again.

    I'm crossing fingers right now that I won't chicken out of the upcoming interview sessions, as I'm working on a creative nonfiction piece, and I need to keep on charging ahead in order not to disappoint the people involved. :(
     
  25. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Normally after reading published best selling authors my confidence level sinks to the point I want to run a rusty blade across my wrist....In so far as other non published writers, I try to march to the beat of my own drum. Here to date I have avoided comparing my wormy apples to other's rancid oranges
     

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