What do people mean by writing with confidence?
When your writing oozes confidence, your audiences don’t find out that your workstation is a couch and your office wear combines a Deadpool t-shirt, a pair of boxers, and pink flip-flops.
(Go on. Quote me on this one.)
And when you lack confidence in your voice, your punches lose momentum mid-air. Boy, that’s embarrassing as hell!
So yeah, if you are a writer or a blogger, you want to make an impact. You don’t want to be ignored or buried deep under the endless pool of lame content.
How to do it? How to sound more confident to your readers?
A typical answer that everyone will throw at you is: “Just be yourself!”
Here’s what I have to add.
Stop fooling yourself and boring your audience.
Just think about a moment. Everyone writes. Let it be WhatsApp texts, Tinder bios, or a formal email. And in many ways, all of them are being themselves.
Do they all express their thoughts well? Can they all capture your attention from the get-go? Most importantly, do they all leave a lasting impact on their readers?
So yeah. Being yourself alone doesn’t make much of a difference. To create the lightning in the bottle effect: one must learn to write well.
Don’t worry! You will get there. If a Bengali medium Indian guy with a stammering issue can do it, earning a full-time living in the process, so can you.
Know What You Are Talking About
If you don’t have absolute mastery over something, you won’t sound as confident as someone who has.
That’s exactly why most aspiring writers lack confidence. It’s because they are not well-versed in the topics they are trying to write about — and they know it.
So when they try to fake confidence that’s another sorry sight to behold.
The easiest fix to this issue is to write about something that you are good at. But this approach comes with two significant limitations:
- There might not be a broad enough market for the things you love
- And if you only depend upon what you already know, you will quickly run out of things to talk about
So it’s a much better option to find something with a market demand that you can learn over time. When you get better at learning newer things, it helps you grow and adapt according to your audience’s needs.
Adapt Your Writing Personality (Make It Your Own)
“Write as you talk.” That’s a piece of popular advice floating around all over the internet.
No, there’s nothing wrong with the concept itself. If you are a skilled conversationalist, writing as you talk is a great way to fuse your words with your unique charm.
But what if you aren’t as talkative? What if you find it easier to write more than you find it to strike up a conversation with the girl next door?
Believe me or not, you are at an advantage here. You are free to choose and build your narrative style and tone.
It doesn’t need to conform to your personality.
Here, you can sprinkle in your dark sense of humor, witty expressions, and carefree spirit that you are too shy to display in the real world. It will give your writing enough weight and character to stand out for all the right reasons.
The only thing is, you need to be smart about it. Many writers go so excessive with their stylistic choices that their work becomes absurd. Remember. The goal is to make it relate to your audience. And to do so, you must…
Practice Writing and Re-Writing
Once you have figured out what to write about and how you want to present it, now it’s time to hone your craft by practicing like a professional athlete.
And it’s not that complicated. It only has three steps. 1. Write → 2. Read → 3. Re-Write.
Yet, most newbie writers don’t follow this simple framework. It’s because they want a shortcut. “Why waste time writing and rewriting something when I can write the best thing on my first attempt?”
Then when they fail along with their half-baked writeups, it’s not their fault. The average audience was too dumb to get it.
Don’t let your ego get to you like these people. If you do, you will set yourself up for a devastating failure.
Do it the other way around.
Instead of trying to be impressive from the get-go, allow yourself to be terrible.
✓ Write: It’s okay. It’s only the first draft. Who else is going to read it? No one. So, pour it all out. Let it stink!
✓ Read: Then, you read it carefully; read it as your reader. Be as critical as you would of other writers. Now, edit it into a different beast altogether.
✓ Edit: Re-shape paragraphs. Rewrite sentences. And cut out everything that doesn’t impact the overall message and quality. Say the same things in fewer words. Inject emotions.
Make the read more enjoyable for your readers.
If you follow this simple method over a few months, you will see substantial improvement in your work.
Remove Uncertainties by Removing Unnecessary Clutter
You can’t come across as hesitant or unsure to your readers. Your readers demand conviction. Why would they buy what you have to say if you are not convinced yourself?
All you have to do is make some little changes. Here’s how to do it.
⛔ Timid: In my opinion, it’s too late and I should head home.
In my opinion, It’s too late and I should head home.
⛔ Timid: I was somewhat annoyed.
☑ Confident: I was
⛔ Timid: The situation was a bit awkward.
☑ Confident: It was an awkward situation.
Another way to go about it is to replace qualifiers or intensifiers with stronger words. For example, instead of being very hungry, be famished. Don’t say, “John was so happy to see you.” Say, “John was delighted to see you.”
That’s how easy it is.
Relax and Enjoy the Process
You can’t follow a process if you let the pressure get to you.
Sure, it will be stressful. There will be roadblocks. You will get rejected. And most importantly, you will have to deal with your imposter syndrome from time to time.
But you cannot let your readers know that.
One of the reasons why most aspiring writers mess it up is because they focus more on instant rewards than the process. They let their lack of immediate compensation hold them down.
Guess what! It gets in the way of their current work, keeping them in a loop of disappointing results. As James Clear rightly mentions:
You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.
That’s exactly why you are better off enjoying the process.
When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.
Hey. You have made it this far! I hope you have pieced it together by now. It’s easier to earn your confidence as a writer than to fake it.
No one else can tell your story. That does give you an edge. But you have to figure out why others would want to hear it.
That’s where this article will come in handy — long after you have read it for the first time.