As I told you yesterday, I’m participating in a painting challenge. Now, I feel about as confident about my painting as many new writers feel about their writing. I’m learning all over again what I learned as I gained practice in writing: that it just takes lots and lots of practice, with practice you’ll just naturally improve, and with improvement you’ll gain confidence.
Sounds simple? Well, almost simple with lots of hard work thrown in. Frankly, it takes guts to keep on as you go through those awkward stages where the painting/writing doesn’t look/sound quite the way you intended.
Here are some tips to keep going when your confidence is flagging….
1. Enjoy your mediocrity. I know that sounds silly, but I just recently moved into a studio. I use it for writing and for drawing and painting. When I first moved in, I didn’t draw anything or paint anything when others were around. But then I decided that the other artists knew that I was a novice at painting world and they’d just have to understand that I wasn’t going to be as good as they are for quite a while. Actually, they understood it quite well. I just had to convince myself that each painting, good or back is okay because with each one, I’m learning and improving. So give yourself a break and enjoy your mediocrity.
2. Ask for help when you don’t know how to do something. If you’ve never had experience writing for a magazine, don’t try to accomplish it on your own. You can probably figure it out eventually, but isn’t it better to ask someone to give you some guidance and flatten out that learning curve a bit? If the person you ask for help is gruff or impatient, that’s their problem. Ask someone else. As you learn the ins and outs of each kind of writing, you gain confidence.
3. Show your writing to others. Many of us hide our work. Giving your work to others to critique is one of the quickest ways to gain skills and confidence. Pick individuals you trust and who have the skills to give great feedback. Try to be as open and honest about your work as you can. Take their criticisms as they are intended… as helpful bits of insight into how your audience might react to your work. And remember to think through each criticism and use those that are helpful and don’t use those that are not. By approaching criticism in this way, you are in charge. And when you feel as if you are in charge, your confidence will increase.
I hope these suggestions will help you build confidence in your writing. I’m going to apply them to my painting in hopes of doing the same.
Painting #2: January 3, 2013
Thanks to my friend Kee for loaning me the picture of his cat. If you’d like more information or would like to purchase this painting, Click Here
Here’s my second painting for the Leslie Saeta 30-Day Painting Challenge. My theme is cats.Note: In case you haven’t been by and wonder why this painting is on my writing blog. I’m taking the painting challenge of painting a painting per day for the month of January. Part of it is that I need to post my paintings on my blog as well as on the blog of the creator of the challenge, Leslie Saeta. So, I’m just giving you a heads up that I’ll be illustrating my blog posts during the month of January with artwork that is totally unrelated to the topic of the post. Thanks for understanding.