I was never very confident with myself. For a long time, for most of my childhood, I didn’t have that belief that I could ever get to a decent point in my writing. The anxiety surrounding everyday life took me down a lot. Worse, I created this hole when it came to my writing.
That was the part of my mind that took the biggest hits because writing is personal and an expression of the real me. Starting writing young, I didn’t have that buffer, not a single piece. Everything I wrote was private and only to myself. I never thought I would improve. I was a kid so, of course, I didn’t think about things like ‘getting better.’
It was fun. And for the longest time, I thought of writing as nothing more than a hobby.
I started writing small pieces when I was about twelve. I did it to cope, and as an outlet for my creative brain. The big kicker was an English class in grade school. The teacher had us all write stories, any subject, no limitations, and then over the course of the year, we would sit in a circle and read our stories to the entire class. We’d make comments on little pieces of paper and give them to the writer. We were kids so they were all nice.
I think that was really when I fell in love with writing. I remember enjoying every second of that class. So much, that I immediately started working on other things. I wrote every day for many years. At ten, I started creating a novel, one that I’m still improving to this day and hope to get published one day.
But, the interesting thing was that I still thought of writing as a hobby, and never thought of myself as any good. In college, I got to stretch my English knowledge. I received compliments just as I had when I was a inexperienced child. I even got some honorable mentions in contests, even won a poetry contest.
It was my last year of college when I accepted that writing, for me, isn’t a hobby. It’s my life. I spent so many years just doing it and never giving myself credit or believing I could produce decent pieces of work.
The confidence in writing is an interesting subject because I’m my harshest critic. I prevent myself from breathing that confident air, even though I get likes for my writing. I treasure even having one person look at any of my writing and giving it a positive thumbs up.
To me, it’s a little unbelievable because that doubt still grows inside me. I expressed for most of my life that I thrive on negative feedback because it makes me a better writer, but I never take the time to look at the positive.
I think it’s a hand up from my entire childhood of thinking I wasn’t really a writer until I took it seriously. I’ve always been a writer, I accept that now, but I still struggle with accepting that other people can enjoy my writings.
I think one day I’ll get there. And when I do, it will be because I love writing and because of you wonderful people who gave my writing a chance.