Hello there, writerly friend~ ♥︎
I have tackled this issue in the past, but only in parts. So, let’s deal with it as a whole. If you’re expecting to read this and find an ‘easy’ solution, then you are not going to find it. As always, these questions are not about the writing, but the writer.
Let’s take it from the top.
There is a conflict with your question, and that’s the primary red-flag that drove me to answer this publicly, because I feel that a lot of people are in the same situation you are.
By which, I mean you’re all wrong c;
Self-confidence is NOT the same as people liking your work or being interested in it. They are not related, and one does not bring about the other. This is true for all aspects of life. You can think you’re physically attractive, and yet no one around you may agree. Just like that people around you could think you’re physically attractive and yet you would disagree with them.
Let me say that again:
- Having confidence in your writing DOES NOT mean people will like your work.
- Not having confidence in your writing DOES NOT mean people will not like your work.
- If people like your work it DOES NOT mean that you have confidence in your writing.
- If people don’t like your work it DOES NOT mean that you don’t have confidence in your writing.
You’re talking about two entirely different things. Now that this is clear, let’s tackle your question.
How do I gain confidence in my writing?
My advice? Have fun. Enjoy the process. Stop trying to impress people, and focus on making good art. Writing is about telling stories. Lose yourself in the worlds you make, and — for god’s sake — have fun doing it. This is not about ‘gaining' anything, but instead it is about 'losing' the fear of being judged. That is the real meaning of confidence.
Write. Write recklessly. Write for yourself. Write and have fun.
Take it from the master of horror himself:
"Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
- Stephen King, On Writing
I know I’m going to get half a dozen questions about this, so I will tackle that now. If you read the quote above and you thought to yourself "How do I enrich the lives of people who read my books?" the answer is simple. You write a compelling story. You tell the truest story you can. Your stories don’t have to reveal the meaning of life— all they have to do is to make the reader forget, if just for a moment, that they’re reading a book, and in the process grant them a memory that they will carry with them the rest of their lives~ ♥︎
I hope this helps.
Keep writing, writerly friend!