Writing: Largely About having the Confidence to Do It! This title came from words heard on a TV interview. The person with the confidence to simply write has the capability to complete a great piece was the gist of the discussion. There are many reason not to write. Examples listed here:
- Lack of knowledge
- Uncertain of the facts
- Lacking confidence
- Don’t know the words to use
Do you posses the confidence to do it?
Many writers tackle subjects they have little knowledge of, this is where research becomes essential. That lack of knowledge may become an impediment to writing as can uncertainty of the facts. There are 4 stages to gaining competence on any subject:
- Unconscious incompetence
- Conscious incompetence
- Conscious competence
- Unconscious competence
Taking a person from knowing nothing about a particular subject, perhaps not even being aware for such a skill to need to exist, to taking on that skill that it becomes a part of everything that they do. It is about developing the tools to write with. The confidence to do it is just such a tool. Start a new job and you go through these stages, you will also do the same when writing.
In the first stage people don’t know the words exist or how to use them, this failure doesn’t matter. At the second stage an individual realises that there are words or phrases they don’t know the meaning to. This is possibly the start point for discovery. The third stage is about using the newly learned skills. They have to make conscious choices about where and when to use particular phrases, perhaps each time having to check spelling or usage. One of the reasons businesses give for limiting the use of training is that it doesn’t work. The reason people don’t put their new skills into practice. This third stage is the most important, it is largely about tackling fears.
By the fourth stage their confidence is riding high, the phrase or words are part of the writer’s vocabulary. At this time they should have the confidence to do it and continue doing it.
Repairing Your Failings
All of the failings or reasons not to write shown above can be cured through this approach. If you lack knowledge, or are uncertain of the facts, you research more, build the confidence to do it. This also accounts for not knowing the words to use, as they can be discovered, open the dictionary, use Google.
Can you describe the dancing girl? What moves does she make? Why is she blindfolded? Each situation gives us a unique way to describe what is happening, what steps must be taken, etc.
For writing to succeed it is best shared with someone else.
Lack of confidence is normally associated with poor knowledge, but it is true that some people are incredibly shy (even if they have all the knowledge in the world). Not every writer has to be an open book (the way I am). One of the aspects of writing on the internet is that it is possible to hide behind a pseudonym or fake persona. Only let others into your inner circle when you are comfortable doing so, cone at a time. All others are kept at arm’s length. It is all about connecting, if you don’t have the confidence to do it, then don’t. This way it is possible to build a writing persona and keep it distinct from the real you.
I wanted to add a special word here on literacy. particularly when it concerns writers who write in languages other than their mother tongue.
Being illiterate is not necessarily a marker of low intelligence. While there are literate people who are ignorant, an illiterate person is not necessarily ignorant. I know a few people who speak as many as six or seven languages, yet they are only literate in one or two. Languages like English, French, and German (among others) share a script. If you read and write English and you understand spoken French then knowing how to read or write in that language is relatively straightforward.
Speak English, Russian, Hindi, Hebrew, and Arabic you should be aware that there are very different scripts used by each of those languages. Russian uses Cyrillic script, which on the surface seems to have many similarities to the roman script used for French or English, jet it has significant differences. Hindi, Hebrew, and Arabic each have different scripts. It is possible for an English speaker to be able to speak Arabic, yet not know the script. It does not make them ignorant when they use Arabic, it simply means they have limitations in language use.
Lost in Translation
The same is also true, for example of Asian Indians who know how to speak English, but are not confident about the script. They are not ignorant, they simply have limitations in how they use the language. Even when a person knows how to write using the Roman script, does not mean they will translate the words into perfect English phrases. Different languages have different rules of construction. A sentence that is correctly formed in Hindi, or Arabic does not necessarily directly translate to English. This can be hard for a native English speaker to understand. It is often called broken English, but really it is the translation that broke.
To improve the translation requires patience both from the writer and the reader. In the modern era the reader all too often lacks the desire or patience to help as they seek instant resolution of their own problem. There is no easy answer. Reading classical works of English literature can help this writer understand how the great writers of history have crafted their works.
The Confidence to Do It
English being the most used language on the planet does mean we have many who are uncertain about the words to use or lack confidence to write. Truth is those that have the strongest desire to write just get on and do it. They do not let the preconceived ideas of others stand in their way. We should applaud such efforts even if they seem uncertain in their expression. Not everyone is perfect and perfection is not an ingredient of writing. Do you have the confidence to do it?
The following material may prove useful if you are looking at ways to boost your personal confidence as a writer.
- First Time Writer – “I want to know if I can write”
- Will you Unlock Your Potential as a Blog Writer?
- “Its Orange Glow” – Colours of Life
- The Case of the “Fake” Guru?
- Personification: A Special Type of Metaphor
Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee to thank him for questioning if you have the confidence to write. The images included here are from royalty free public domain sites, like Pixabay.