As with most things in life, your level of self confidence will dictate your success in writing. The difficult thing about that is, your mind is something that’s very difficult to change. Tony Robbins-type motivation will only go so far, and even then, only for certain people. For others, re-configuring the way you perceive yourself is an incredibly large hill to climb.
We’ve all seen people struggle with depression and anxiety – if changing their perception was easy, they’d be doing it. I’ve seen and heard of horrific stories of people who just couldn’t change the way they saw things, no matter how much logic was presented to the contrary. It’s heartbreaking. Changing your thinking is hard to do. Some find it impossible.
But as with most things, how confident you are in your work, how much you can make yourself believe in what you’re doing, will play the most significant part in your success. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t send your work out, you’ll second guess everything, you’ll think you’re not good enough. If you think that, that will most likely come across in what you do. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re already making it difficult for anyone else to do so. So what do you do?
If you believe in something, if you feel in your heart that what you are working on is the thing that fulfils and sustain you, the thing that you could do forever and be happy, then you have to work at it. If this is the thing that you can get lost in, that you can be doing for hours on end and not even notice till you look down at the clock, the thing you feel more at home doing than anything else, then you have to go for it. A lot of people never get the chance to find that thing, that perfect merging of elements that can make them feel that this is it for them, this is what makes them happy. Not everyone finds their thing., so if you do find it, you need to explore it, you need to work at it. You need to do it.
It’s not easy. It’s not easy to push yourself, particularly when you don’t have the self confidence to maintain motivation. People are going to tell you that you can’t do it, that you’re not good enough, people are not going to be universally supportive. You can’t expect them to. The supporter you need is you. It involves taking risks, putting yourself on the line, taking the hits. You’re going to feel lost, you’re going to feel down, you’re going to make mistakes and embarrass yourself (oh, the mistakes). But you take it, you learn from it, and you move forward. As soon as you stop taking risks, you stop, period – you have to put yourself on the line, put your heart into what you do. Only you put everything in can you produce something truly great, something resonant. When you can find that plain where you’re sharing emotion, not just words, where you can feel the tension within each breath of each character and every moment in the scene. When it feels as real as anything you’ve lived. Then you know, you know in your heart that this is it for you, this is where you should be. Then you owe it to yourself to push, to keep putting in the work. The more work you do, the better you get.
Self confidence is a key element of success. Believing in yourself will sustain you when nothing else is left. You have to have the strength and courage to follow your heart, and hope that your heart leads you in the right direction. You have to believe that you can, always.
Take risks, send things out, take in the negative. Make it all part of what you do.
You have to believe, you have to work, and you have to make it happen.
You. No one else.