In psychology there’s a term called the Confidence – Competence Loop. My way of interpreting it in the terms of a writer is that when you boost yourself up on your current level of confidence and write slightly outside your comfort zone, you develop your skills and gain competence, which in turn boosts your confidence. Eventually you end up in a virtuous cycle of reaching higher and learning more until suddenly you look up and see the mind-blowing things you’ve achieved.
I’d also add another C-word into the loop – Conviction. Without conviction, building confidence and competence in that certain skill seems a moot point. On the flip side, alongside of confidence and competence, conviction grows and strengthens; a certainty that writing is what you want to do every day for the rest of your life.
Writing is hard. In theory, it’s simple. But it’s never easy. Being a writer, you need to have confidence and conviction to keep you pushing yourself and moving forward when you get rejection after rejection, crushing feedback, horrible reviews and even unwarranted opinions.
Pushing yourself to write every day will build your confidence, competence and conviction like nothing else. Even if you think what you’re writing is garbage and needs heavy editing before you let it out into the world, you still have to admit to yourself that you can sit down and you can write. Because you want to. And because know you can.
Sure, there’ll be times when it feels like you’re getting nowhere. Or doubt and all its friends will start to creep in under your skin. But knowing that you when sit down and write you’re building your three C’s, thats all you need to keep your ass in the chair and your head in the game.
Confidence. Competence. Conviction.