We’ve all been there. That paralysing thought that we’re not good enough. It can be fearful and crippling all at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I love reading self-help books or biographies where the author admits to their own failings and mistakes. It makes me feel “normal.”
Occasionally, there are those books where the author never seems to stumble, never falls short of their goals, and this seems so far removed from reality that it’s hard to really believe in their story. There may be some perfect human beings out there—but I doubt it.
So, what is writers’ self-doubt?
It can be a combination of our fears, getting stuck in the comparison trap, or a lack of self-confidence. It’s our inner critic that whispers in our ears, “you’re not good enough,” “your writing isn’t worthy of being published.”
These feelings are normal. And the hard truth is that self-doubt will never completely go away—sorry.
As writers, when we refer to self-doubt, we also need to consider the counterbalance to doubt: the concept of self-efficacy. Bruning et al., describe self-efficacy as the confidence we possess to perform consistently. It’s a willingness to engage and persist in the process of writing even when we are confronted with difficulties or distractions.
The act of writing takes effort and reflects our own unique writing experiences. These experiences can range from self-judgement about our success on tasks to feelings of anxiety and frustration.
As humans, we will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep on learning, growing wiser, and taking action, even when we don’t feel like it or don’t believe we can.Continue reading
The art of writing is considered a natural thing by many. For the most part, we are all taught to write at a very young age. We go through the process of learning letters to make words and then combining these words to make sentences. It is something we do every day. But, writing as a craft is something that is not natural. It takes practice. Over and over again.
In Bad Ideas about Writing by Ball and Loewe, one chapter written by Holbrook and Hundley states that “The belief that writing emerges, Athena-like, fully developed from the writer’s head minimizes both the labor involved and the expectation that writing is a skill that can be improved.” The authors go on to say that, “The view that writing is effortless and done on the side by extraordinary people dismisses the real effort writers put into their work….”
The truth is, writing is hard. It takes time, effort, and the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. And still, writers write.
Why, you may wonder.
Writers write for many different, often personal, reasons, and they learn to take rejection and criticism as part of the life-long writing process. Perhaps writing is best summed up by poet and writer Daniela Perfetti R, “I write to create words in which I want to live when it’s difficult for me to inhabit my own skin. I write because, by writing, I build a path towards myself and connect with my essence, with my being. I write because by doing so, I return to myself.”
Let’s take a look at the various reasons that might motivate a writer, and, who knows; you might discover a thing or two about yourself—or the writer in your life!Continue reading
We’ve seen it before. The beginning of a business prospectus that goes something like this:
No person has been authorized to give any information or make any representation herewith other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this joint proxy statement/prospectus. And if given or made, such information…
You’ve stopped reading, haven’t you?
What if I wrote:
You should only rely on the information contained in this document. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different.
Plain English in business writing is essential when you have a limited amount of time to engage your audience and convey a message. Plain English uses everyday words, short sentences, active voice, and personal pronouns that speak directly to your audience.
The principles sound simple, but it’s surprising how easily long-form copy can slide into the myrrh of plodding verbosity, forcing readers to cry out for something more palatable. I hear you!
What we are talking about when we use the term “plain English” is functional writing. Writing that is easy to digest, easy to translate, and free of jargon. Writing in plain English is not always as easy as it sounds, especially in the world of business where new catchcries and the latest trends can give us all a headache while we try and work out what is actually being said.Continue reading
Storytelling has been part of human activity for many thousands of years. It is a fundamental part of our human condition. We tell stories every single day because they have the power to inform, persuade, elicit emotional responses, and build relationships. These are lofty achievements for any medium.
The power of storytelling can have both positive and negative effects. The stories we tell ourselves about our goals, achievements, and perceived flaws can facilitate limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs that hold us back.
On the other hand, stories that tell of success and overcoming challenges can be inspiring. The power of a great story can be limitless.
But it’s not enough to simply tell a story to engage an audience. Storytelling is not a tool of information dissemination, rather it is a tool that uses rhetorical strategies that have the power to move people. It is in the nuanced crafting of stories where you create a willingness to receive the message.Continue reading