December 8, 2021 | By Judith Culp Pearson |
One of the most common challenges for writers is to realize that you are good enough. It’s when you recognize you have enough confidence and skills to take on paying clients.
It’s ironic. You come to writing because you love it. Then, excitedly, you take a program or two, and suddenly, you start doubting yourself.
The best confidence builder is to write every day. Something. Anything. Just write.
It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. The magic happens when you start peddling, gaining momentum, and those actions set you in motion. Suddenly, you are flying down the street with the rubber tires singing on the pavement. You’re a superhero with your face to the wind.
You learned from your bike riding experiences that if things went wrong, you’d fall, skin your knees, get back up, and limp home. Mom would clean you up, put on a bandage, and off you'd go. You didn’t let the fall daunt you. You'd head back out, jump on the bike, and take off riding again. You learned from your challenges, and you never doubted your ability to ride.
When you write daily, you build your writing muscles ─ no different from building bicycle riding skills. The only difference is… it’s brain memory muscles instead of balancing and peddling ones.
Every time you finish a daily writing exercise, a program assignment, or write something for your blog or website, you build your “good enough” brain muscle memory and your confidence.
Being “good enough” is your self-confidence that we can do something.
To carry the analogy forward, you didn’t start learning to ride on a racing bicycle. Instead, you began with a kid-sized bike, no fancy gears, and pedal brakes. It was basic. Then as you learned and grew, you went on to a type of bike based on your interests. For some, it might be off-road riding, for others, cross-country touring or bicycle racing.
Consider approaching writing the same way. Maybe start with email copy, blogs, or social media messages. Build your confidence. Then take on the next challenge. Let each success bolster your skills and your confidence to take on something to stretch and lift you to the next level.
Use your strengths to build more confidence. Start with writing projects you feel good about. For example, maybe you feel good writing blogs on enjoying activities outdoors. So you write them, polish them, then share them.
Expand your blogs to write about how fitness and time outdoors are fundamental to wellness. Or switch it up and try writing a blog about something different, maybe finances, careers, or choosing a niche.
You’re using the same muscle memories you already have built, just stretching them in a different direction.
If you’ve conquered blogs, you have skills that can be used for emails, e-newsletters, or social media posts. Practice by taking blog topics you’ve completed and applying them to different writing projects. Then you’ll have conquered several types of projects prospective clients need.
Yes! Keep going — you are “good enough!”
Those abilities may nudge you to try something new, or maybe a more complex or challenging project. Go for it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Perfection doesn’t happen when we put pen to paper. Great writing work comes in the editing.
When I first heard of AWAI, the thing that hooked me was copywriting. I’ve written for years for my business, all sorts of copy. I could do that. What I didn’t realize was most of what I wrote was soft-sell. It was more content than sales copy.
Even after building my confidence with several self-study courses, what I submitted leaned to the content side. My client liked my work, but they needed a pure copywriter, not a content writer.
Splat. Facedown. Feelings hurt. Confidence crushed.
It wasn’t until I looked at the situation from an outsider’s viewpoint, I realized what I was missing.
If I wanted to boost my copywriting income NOW, I needed to lean into what I was already good at… content.
Recognizing that strength rebuilt my confidence and redoubled my ability to get clients. It took the self-imposed pressure off and allowed me to relax, write, and move forward.
By incorporating sales enablement writing into my skill set, it started stretching my sales copy muscles. The same thing happened when I included SEO content, which adds calls-to-action to content. So over time, as I’m working with clients, I keep adding more sales elements.
At the same time, I remind myself there is a huge need for content and I’m “good enough.” Content writing is a revenue path of its own without writing long-form sales letters.
Content and copywriting use different brain memory muscles. Lean into what you’re already good at and watch your confidence jump.
The best news? I have new clients in niches where I’m strong. And I’m now booked six weeks out.
So stop doubting yourself. If you’re not writing daily, do it. Start looking for ways you can help clients with the kinds of writing you’re strongest in. You can do this.
You are “good enough!”
Need more convincing?
Here’s a great article on how to move from “I Can’t to I Can.”
Here’s another on 5 Non-Scary Ways to Boost Confidence.
AWAI Reality Blog: Lean into your strengths you are good enough