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How To Write With Confidence And Say Goodbye To Self-Doubts

Updated on November 18, 2013

Who Is This For?

This is for all of you who don’t feel that your writing is good enough. This is for all of you who break out in a cold sweat when it comes time to “publish” your next article. This is for all of you out there who find endless reasons not to submit an article to magazines, and this is for all of you who have a novel inside of them but just can’t find the courage to begin it.

This is for the shy teenager who has never believed in her ability, and for the adult who remembers that teenager all too well. This is for the middle-aged housewife who struggles with self-confidence and has been told in the past that she has no talent. This is for the brow-beaten, the cast-offs and the social rejects.

I know who you are. I know how you feel. I am one of you.

I understand the oppressive weight of self-loathing. I am the kid who sat in the corner at school dances and prayed that no one would notice my aloneness. I am the adult who perspired blood at the thought of speaking in front of any group. I am the writer who was comfortable writing in obscurity for years because there was great safety in anonymity.

I know how you feel. I am one of you.

Just like everyone else, I had to find confidence
Just like everyone else, I had to find confidence | Source

Searching for Answers Where There Were None

Maybe I was dropped on my head as a child, and as a result I suffered some brain damage that hindered my confidence. Maybe I lack from proper nurturing, or maybe I am missing the “confidence gene” so necessary in order to develop as a public persona. Hell, maybe that bullying during childhood really had an effect on me.

The one thing I know for certain is that water under the bridge can never be used for irrigation. It has already flowed swiftly by and serves no purpose for my immediate needs. What does solve a purpose is to take positive steps forward, and that is a process that has no time limit.

To move from that frightened child of the past to this confident sixty-five year old writer of today, certain steps had to be taken. Please do not think I sat down at the age of twenty and mapped out a strategy for success in life because that simply is not the case. What I do have is the benefit of hindsight. What I do have is the ability to look back over the landscape of this extraordinary, ordinary life and see what steps I did take that brought me to this point.

So I share that hindsight with all of you who were also dropped on your head as children, in hopes that some of it, or all of it, will help you to move forward one step at a time.

Why do I care? Because I believe the world needs writers. I believe the world needs more artists and musicians and photographers and sculptors and poets. The world desperately needs the beauty that we can provide, and I think it would be profoundly sad if the beauty inside of you was not shared with the rest of humanity.

So shall we begin? Follow along on a whirlwind trip through my past and perhaps you will find whatever you need in order to move to the next level.

My number one fan and supporter
My number one fan and supporter | Source

PIPO

What the hell? Yes, PIPO! Positive In/Positive Out. Inhale positive thoughts and positive actions will eventually occur.

I am a big believer in the process of osmosis. If I do not have confidence then I need to hang with people who will provide positive input for me until I believe in their message. How can any of us live in a vacuum of negative thoughts and input, and expect to find a positive outcome?

Surround yourselves with supportive, positive people who will help you to be the best writer possible. It worked for me seven years ago and I guarantee it will work for you. And if you don't have any positive people in your life then get in touch with me. I'll have you believing in yourself very quickly.

A pep talk for all of you

Helpful book with important tips

Are You Lacking the Skills?

Well then work at your craft. Simply stated, if you are not a good writer then make yourself one. Writing is not like a tone-deaf singer trying to navigate through an opera. Writing is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. No, not every writer will be great, but certainly every writer can reach a level of competence. All it takes is work. Learn from others. Read often. Join a writing group. Take a course. Do whatever it takes to reach a level that will inspire confidence in your skill.

When I made the decision to take writing seriously, I did all of the above. I read books on writing. I joined groups. I took an online course and I read like my tail was on fire and books were extinguishers. Have I reached the level of great? Not by a long shot, but I am one heck of a better writer than I was four years ago, and you will be too.

Leave nothing on the field when the game of life is done

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

Four years into my teaching career I was asked to be the keynote speaker at graduation. Can you spell terrified? I loathed speaking in front of people. I loathed leaving my comfort zone and sticking my neck on the public chopping block of opinion. How in the love of God did they expect me to stand in front of 500 people and give a five minute speech?

And so I wrote the speech, and I practiced the speech, and I re-wrote the speech, and I practiced some more, and the sickness in my stomach increased to the point of vomiting the day of the speech. I knew that all the preparation in the world was not going to prevent me from making a complete fool of myself that night.

But what could I do? My students were counting on me. The staff was counting on me and the parents were counting on me. Not showing up was not an option, so I had no choice but to face my fear and get my butt up on that stage.

Today I have no problem with public speaking; in fact, I am quite comfortable with it, and it is all because I finally faced the ghosts of my past and said to hell with it. Life is just too short to be wasting time with fear. Pick up whatever backpack of courage you have and move into the fray.

A Willingness to Succeed As a Writer

Two years ago I was comfortably settled into a life as a freelance writer. I was making enough money to pay the bills and the future as a freelancer looked bright.

The key word in that last sentence is “comfortable.’ My wife one day asked me when I was going to take my writing career to the next step. She asked me if I was willing to do whatever was necessary to become the writer I wanted to be. She suggested in a very loving manner (he said tongue in cheek) that eventually I was going to have to publish my work online and leave my comfort zone. It was all well and good that I was making money writing for content mills, but that in no way was advancing my career as a serious writer who wanted to be published.

She was right of course, and so I joined the writing site HubPages. There I was forced to publish articles and risk the opinions of other writers.

Two years later I can say with all conviction that her suggestion was the best gift she could have given me. My confidence has grown like crabgrass and today I write with confidence and passion.

It all begins with that first step
It all begins with that first step | Source

Yes, Writing Can Be Scary

Once we put our name to an article and publish it, we are stepping into the chasm. We are risking critique. We are inviting others to surgically remove our confidence and toss it on the junk pile.

But by not putting our name to an article….by not publishing an article….we are risking something far greater. We run the risk of never being complete as a writer and as a human. We have a limited number of years on this planet, and I for one plan on living life like my hair is on fire. When they finally toss that first shovel of dirt on me, I will have held nothing back. That is how life should be lived.

As writers, we have a responsibility to society to advance our craft. Beauty needs to be shared. If there is a story or poem inside of you then you owe it to others to release that story or poem so that others can gain joy from it. I believe that with every ounce that is in me and I know you believe it too.

So sit down at that computer and get started. You are writers! You have a passion to write. You have a need to write. You have a responsibility to write.

So write!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Monis; I invented that one and I love it too. :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I like the idea of PIPO!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Doc!

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      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Thank you Bill. This means a lot to me coming from you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Deb! I have nothing to add except thank you! :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Along with confidence, we must also possess vision, clarity, and the willingness to give to others. That's what writing is all about.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Dianna, I think you can look back right now and see that. Those of us who read your work already see it. Thank you as always.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing from your experience. It is comforting to know that someone with such professional talent had similar beginnings. I look forward to the time when I can look back and see how I progressed.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alise, I have a special bond with writers. I understand the struggles, and I understand the dedication it takes to succeed. I'll always be the coach/cheerleader. It's in my blood. Thank you for your kindness.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      You make a great Writer's Coach, Bill. Always appreciate your encouragement for us to move forward and share what's in ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      slackermom, if you love writing that much and have for so long, wouldn't it be sad if you didn't do it? We need to break you out of your cocoon and shoot for the moon. :)

    • slackermom profile image

      Lisa Palmer 4 years ago from Attapulgus GA

      Wonderful hub.. I am guilty of self doubt. I've loved writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil ( the big fat kindergarten kind) but I am terrified of rejection which holds me back from sharing what I write. I am really trying to overcome that fear. Thanks for another great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Joe!

      I heard from a Florida bird that you were now at Bubblews. If that is your fit then that is your fit. We must all do what we must do; life is as simple as that. I miss you but I understand. Maybe one day you will find me over there for a visit of prolonged stay. Right now I am much too busy to even consider taking on something new.

      Parallels for sure my friend, all lessons to learn from and grow from, and I am happy I had the chance.

      Yes, I miss you....take care, brother, and I'll catch you down the road of life.

      Aloha

      bill

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      My dear friend, Bill!

      Wow! It's amazing, the parallels in our lives. In high school, I was bullied by a rival school's HUMONGOUS pure Hawaiian middle linebacker. He challenged me to a fight in front of my little brother, and I cowered. Little brother told Dad, Dad harangued and maybe even slapped me around a bit, and that stuck with me for years--the self-loathing and all the accompanying crap...until, finally, in my late teens and early twenties, I exploded...Don't want to cover that part in these comments, but it wasn't good.

      Decades later, barely crawling from the top of the dungheap back into respectability, as foreign as that was to me, I find myself speaking to civic interest groups on a couple of occasions at Whitman College from all over Washington state about my unique life experiences. Like you, I was painfully shy as a youth, and so this was a remarkable scenario that the universe had presented to me.

      I survived...and I even had a bit of fun.

      Writing has made--and continues to make--the difference. It has been a healing catharsis, and it has bridged the way to beautiful friendships with genuine and hard-working people like you, Bill.

      Thank you for this excellent literary piece. I read it, thoroughly enjoyed it, and then asked myself what was it that was so very special about Bill's personal essay this morning? The answer, a familiar one by now, is that it was a mirror of my soul.

      Aloha, bruddah! I have been away, but I have been productively busy with my writing and eBay. HP has not been a good fit for me in terms of what I want to accomplish in terms of helping my loved ones, and I know--again, with the confidence of which you eloquently write about here--it's not because I'm a crappy writer. Yes, I have been away...but I think about and miss you every single day.

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, it is always a pleasure. Up and at them my dad used to say; push the doubts aside and do what you love to do....write!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I find some comfort in knowing that there are others who feel the same way…my self-doubts can become paralyzing. Thank you for this non-nonsense pep talk…it’s just what the “doctor ordered,” Billy. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...drbj, what a great slogan. I need you as my one-person marketing department.

      Thank you of course.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      With all your inspiring, encouraging and realistic messages for writers, Bill, I believe it is now time for you to advertise: 'Wanna write and try your luck? Then read the words of billybuc.'

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JPSO138, I thank you for the kind words and following. Best wishes to you my friend; get out there and rock with words.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi Billybuc, you certainly are the kind of person that everyone should follow. This is the reason why I am following you. You definitely rock man and reading your hub has definitely give me encouragement to improve and do more. Best always my friend... Voted up and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt, Kathleen; same here only longer. :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      billybuc: In 37 years +7 it's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, there is nothing wrong with a run-on sentence when it serves a purpose, and yours did. Interestingly that is how billybuc got its origin...safety in anonymity. Well, I'm done with that nonsense, although at the time it was not nonsense at all. :) Thanks as always my Tillson friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always, Sheila! I love encouraging and motivating.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      As always you make us smile while kicking us in the pants! I started here as Tillsontitan because I was afraid if I used my real name people would find out how bad a writer I am, but, after two years on HP with friends like yourself, I found I'm not so bad. (THAT is a run on sentence.)

      As you've suggested I continue to keep making my writing better and reading your hubs to lead the way.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      "Wrong place at the wrong time" is probably the great truth of the matter. Thanks for always being so encouraging.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok; I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, Pax vobiscum to you as well. I studied Latin for four years so at least I understand that much of a "foreign" language. LOL

      Blessings of friendship to you my friend. I hope you are having an enjoyable week so far.

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Great advice, Bill!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      Up, useful and excellent. You've hit a home run, by openly exposed "Self Doubt" as unnecessary personalized asset. Aren't we born with it?

      A recent " is there a why" in one of my comment to your admirable hub, you've said yes, you will find it. After analyzing all of my inadequacies , the top self doubt's name I've recognized as ' transition' from previous languages into English. This hub has brightened my understanding , giving more security direction to follow. Thanks for most efficient tutelage.

      May God bless and prosper you.

      ' Pax vobiscum '

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, what a lovely comment to come home to. Thank you so much. I want everyone to succeed and feel good about themselves; that may not be possible but it is my hope. :)

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      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Bill, for doing what it took, to put yourself out. Because you did that, I was able to do that, and so many others as well. Because you took that step and faced your fears, you have become an advocate to many others who have had to do the same thing. Your personal touch has affected the lives of millions, and will do so exponentially more in the future! We appreciate you! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cheeluarv, you are very welcome. Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, thank you a ton. I can remember that frightened writer of a couple years ago, and I don't want anyone else to be afraid to write.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do for me as well, Faith; in fact, my hub tomorrow is about exactly that. Thank you for you constant feedback and encouragement. You are appreciated.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I love your story. Yes, there are lots of first ladies here and everywhere, and how wonderful that your husband loved enough to risk his life for you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE....inspiring is what I love to do.

    • cheeluarv profile image

      cheeluarv 4 years ago from INDIA

      Awesome article with brilliant ideas to overcome fear,doubt and how to be determined to reach our dreams.Thank you billybuc.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Another excellent and encouraging article. You are the best writing coach on the internet. I have visited your web-site and you are truly inspiring. Keep up the good work! And it is good of you to share your own doubts and experiences with us. I chuckle now, because I can't imagine billybuc ever without the confidence you have today. Enjoyed reading this.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Great pep talk, Bill! Life is short and if writing is our passion, then we need to get busy doing so, for the more we write, the better we get, and then those fears will dissipate for sure! It would be so sad to get to the end of one's life and not do what is in our hearts and then we would never know! It is great to get feedback, and that is why I love comments, as those are exactly that, even if they do not matter in the grand scheme of things here on HP, but they do to me for sure!

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Like you, I came out of my writing closet about two years ago after decades of writing poems, short stories, and even a novel that I had no intention of anyone ever reading. My spouse was also the one who encouraged me. He asked me how many people I'd ever heard say, "I'd like to write a book someday"? And if I never wrote another word, I could say I'd actually finished one.

      The thing that kept me in the closet was lack of feedback. As long as I kept my writing to myself, yes there was no one to be critical, but there was also no one to be encouraging.

      Risking his life and our marriage, my husband had a couple of his co-workers read my first novel. I could have killed him until he told me one lady said, "This author didn't just write this story, it reads like she lived it." Of course, the other lady didn't get past the second chapter because she said it was trash! I've found, that ratio is about average! But now, I write for that first lady.

      There are lots of "first ladies" here on HP to encourage us. I now have two books on Amazon and more than a hundred hubs. Whodathoughtit two years ago!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How To Write With Confidence And Say Goodbye To Self-Doubts awesome and so brilliantly thought of your work inspires all thank you

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, you are a good writer. Believe that and keep writing, and thank you very much for the kind words.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Bill, you're awesome! thanks for the words of wisdom. You encourage us writers to be the very best. I feel more confident now after reading this. Voted up useful. thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are always welcome, Alicia. Thank you as well.

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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You offer so much inspiration in your hubs, Bill. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suhail; I try my best to inform. :)

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      An article that is full of advice and practical suggestions, as usual.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bat115, how about this....until you find someone, I'll believe in you. The teacher in me never refuses an eager and willing student. :) Thanks for visiting and email me if I can be of assistance.

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Now I see why everyone is saying so many good things about you, billybuc! I am very inspired by this!

      Wish I did have someone in my life who believed in me!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I have a hard time picturing you a blubbering fool, but I understand the spirit of your statement. I love it here and I love this community. I will help as long as I am able to. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Brandi! Wishing you a positive evening from Olympia.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cygnetbrown, I am laughing because I am exactly the same way. I take the weekends off now but I can hardly wait until Monday when I can write again. We are writers my friend, and writers write. :) thank you!

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Someone pushed me into HP too and I did not have your expertise; in fact I made a blubbering fool of myself mostly, lol. But that's OK, there were one or two more like you who although they did not help everyone, took pity on a few, thank goodness and encouraged me to do poetry instead of bellyaching all the time. lol. You deserve a metal for all the time and advice you give for free! But may you be blessed at the very least.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Wonderful Hub Billy! This phrase spoke to me, "How can any of us live in a vacuum of negative thoughts and input, and expect to find a positive outcome?" Oh, so true! I really enjoyed reading this.

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      Cygnet Brown 4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Hi Bill,

      I have a lot of writing friends, and I don't know a single one who doesn't have self-doubts from time to time. The way that I deal with self-doubt is to simply push on through, finish my current project and start the next. Sometimes, I'll just take a few days off. I just took off this last weekend and today, I was back to work. I love writing! (Like you couldn't have guessed!) I had some friends this morning who said they hated Mondays not me! I get to write again! What can I share today!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I thank you for those kind words. I was gifted with a writing voice people can relate to...it has developed over time and I'm grateful for it. As for you, you are a very good writer and I'm glad you are finally feeling good inside your writing skin. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I should have pom poms. :) Glad to be of assistance my friend and Happy Monday to you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      word55, I will indeed. Thank you!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I always know where to go to get a pep talk , HERE..Your encouragement is needed and appreciated. Thank you Bill..

    • word55 profile image

      Word 4 years ago from Chicago

      Wonderful hub. Keep up the encouragements!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy

      It is people like you who make people who make me feel more confident about my writing - nearly a year of toil and my first faltering steps are a thing of the past. I suddenly realized that I am comfortable doing what I do. If it brings others pleasure, that is a bonus.

      Yikes - you just reminded me that I too have to do a little public speaking next year - perish the thought.

      I love the way that your writing comes across so relaxed and confident - you have a lovely evening Billy.

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I do see the problem and I recognize it. Because we don't get affirmation in the way of sales we think there is something wrong with our writing when in fact, it is most likely a situation of wrong place at the wrong time. You are a good writer; believe that and keep trying.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lifegate, I thank you Sir! You are right of course; we all need encouragement. I hate to think of where I would be without it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LK, that means a lot to me. Thank you so much. I'm just doing what I was raised to do, and what I believe in doing....we are all in this together my friend. If I can ever be of any help in your writing career, be sure to holler.

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      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      Awesome as always! I know I'm a good enough writer to put the words on paper or at places like here at HP. The area I struggle in is marketing and because of that, I don't sell a lot of books which in turn makes me think I'm not a good writer. See the problem there? However, with all of your very inspiring hubs, I've been working harder on the marketing and even learning more about becoming better at the writing part. Thanks.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      If someone can't find encouragement somewhere in your hub. They better read it again - and we all need encouragement from time to time. Thanks for being the supplier. On my way over to check out Artistry with Words.

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Bill,

      You have an amazing soul. You are an extremely talented writer and artist who has the gift to motivate others. Ever since I joined this community you have been supportive and I already consider you a mentor and friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, in truth here is my secret: nobody will ever be able to hurt me as much as I hurt myself in the past. Once I realized that it gave me the freedom to stick my neck on that chopping block of opinion. :)

      Thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, I'm smiling because I had someone tell me exactly the same thing. For God's sake, Bill, just get over yourself. LOL I'm glad I finally listened.

      I hope you are well my friend. Thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I really do believe that. We have been given a gift; it is our responsibility to use it.

      Thank you and have a great Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you can hang with me any old time you want. I would be in exquisite company.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Graham, you had me literally laughing out loud with that comment. Well done, Sir, and thank you!

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. A great and inspirational hub today. I think it has been written by 'Kick ass' Holland. It's like the Sargeant Major said, I tell's em, I tell's em Iv'e told em' and I tell's em' again. Tip Top.

      Graham.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      This is the first hub I've read of yours in a while that didn't try to get me to stop reading in the introduction ("Don't read this if . . . )!

      Every time I think I have confidence, I'm mistaken. I'll just keep hanging out with you and maybe one day it will kick in.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      This is an absolutely fantastic and motivating hub, Bill. I like your statement that if there's a poem or story inside of us, we owe it to others to write and share it. Yes, we also owe it to ourselves. Each of us has probably had the naysayers in our lives. Set them aside and just write.

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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Billy, this is extremely encouraging. Really, all young writers need to hear all of this from more experienced writers. The more you do it, the better you become; we grow from strength to strength.

      I love this saying: Put yourself on the public chopping block of opinion.

      Even experienced writers and public speakers always regard this as a challenge to meet. They are merely more able to conquer their own fears and doubts. Practice makes perfect. Although perfect we will never be.

      Excellent!

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, well you have me pegged for sure! I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about trying to craft an article for a client. What if I don't get it right? What if I completely miss the mark? What if I can't deliver what they want? All those nasty 'what-ifs' are cripplers.

      My friend told me to "just get over yourself, you can do anything you truly want to do". So I am trying mightily to conquer those 'what-ifs'!

      Awesome information shared by an awesome guy ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      "Art must ship"....I love it, Heidi, and so very true. Thanks for sharing that.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, so nice to see you again my young friend. Congratulations in advance for finishing the student teaching. Whatever you choose to do I am sending best wishes to you. As for writing, you are good enough and you will be better. Keep writing and that's an order. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My Cook Book, thank you very much. That's what I aimed to do. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Jo! Good luck on the night shift; I hope it is a quiet night for you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I hope this helps here. I want her to write and set her soul free....keep encouraging her, Mom!

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      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I believe this "failure to launch" behavior is even a little more insidious than lack of confidence. It is actually obsession with perfection. As marketing genius Seth Godin says, "art must ship." Great stuff, as always. Have a great week!

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Hi for the first time in forever!! Yep, I'm almost finished student teaching and finally have a minute to breathe again. Or look at the Internet, rather. I've been thinking a lot about writing recently and look forward to writing more in the winter, and this is particularly timely for me. I found myself thinking a lot last night about 'am I good enough?' when it comes to writing.

      I hope all has been well with you this fall!

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      Dil Vil 4 years ago from India

      Hello Bill, good hub that builds the motivation to write with confidence. Thank you for sharing. Voted UP and useful.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, this article is powerful and passionate, although we've come to expect no less from you, this one is special. I'm just about to go tackle the night shift and I'm running out of time so I'll catch you later.

      Excellent work my friend.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I'm going to have my daughter read this. She is always nervous about her writing and I wish she wouldn't be. Of course she's only 11 years old. I hope one day it will come for her, because when she does write, she's quite good.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      catmalone, it really is my pleasure. Best wishes to you and your writing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I don't know what I would do in your situation. I need peace and quiet to write; without it I am worthless. Good luck with that television my friend, and thanks as always for being here.

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      catmalone 4 years ago

      Very inspiring hub! Thanks for sharing such positive information and reminding us who we can become as a writer.

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Great article, Bill.

      I really am writing on my novel. Only rarely am I inspired to publish

      on HP.

      I listen and learn and put your suggestions to work.

      I work with ear plugs in my ears because our home is a small

      one story place, here in Florida, and I cannot get away from my husband's TV. Yes, he has TV ears, but does not like using them.

      So, my work has slowed to a crawl, but I am not deterred.

      Thanks for all your positive encouragement.

      DJ.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you bring up such an important point. We all need positive feedback. Like your memory, I was a sophomore in high school when Mr. Jahner told me I had writing talent but I would have to work hard to take that talent somewhere. That one instance of encouragement has stayed with me for fifty years.

      So very important indeed.

      Thank you my friend; much-appreciated.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. I think she is pretty beautiful too. Have a wonderful week, Dora!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I am smiling...hooray to you my friend. The world will be a better place because of your writings.....I believe that of anyone. I am so very happy that you are writing. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, tell those vultures "not today." This is your day to shine my friend. We find success one small step at a time, and there is no substitute for hard work and determination. Dust yourself off and get to it. :) And thank you!

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      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Your bride is beautiful. Thank you for this confidence booster. Great especially at the beginning of the week!

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      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers.

      Great pep talk, Bill. It applies to many others besides writers. Maybe to everybody.

      As in your examples, when the steps to gain confidence work and one is comfortably confident at a given skill and achievement level of writing, acting, arts and crafting, dancing, public speaking, selling, managing, or whatsoever, then it is time to ask for a promotion, seek a higher level position, or give yourself an even tougher challenge. Your steps from freelance assignment writer to hubber to blogger and E-booklet writer to novelist while continuing the previous levels is an inspirational example.

      I like what you say about surrounding oneself with positive people. It follows that one should be such a positive person for others. What are the opportunities?

      My wife for a while some months ago, until she had to drop out because of increased work hours at her job, was a volunteer in a program in which prisoners read study materials, such as about philosophy or history or literature or whatever and write papers about the readings. Volunteers, at home, correct the papers and write comments on them, suggesting improvements but emphasizing what was written correctly and well and effectively expressed. All she got was gratitude, and all the prisoner got was a bit of a study and writing challenge. No names, locations, biographical details, or contact information were exchanged.

      I have been writing critiques groups in which one of the agreements is to begin each critique with what in the submitted story in progress is strong, well expressed, moving, effectively developed, or otherwise praiseworthy. Only then mention what might make the story even better.

      Do high schools provide students with give it a try and get some positive feedback opportunities? It was in high school sophomore English class that I learned how to construct a sentence and a paragraph, and it was after class, when the teacher commented favorably on my verses and prose sketches (he said some of my poems reminded him of A. E. Housman, and I have loved the poems of Housman ever since) that I decided to be a writer.

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Water under the bridge can never be used for irrigation...I love that! Sometimes I find myself looking back and thinking about what might have been or what I did wrong...But moving forward and gaining your confidence is crucial. And I totally relate to surrounding yourself with positive people, it is so true! Thank you again for this great pep talk. After talking about writing for many years, I'm finally getting the confidence to do it. You inspire me!

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Great hub today, Bill. My life at the moment is a little hectic as I am making zero dollars and have unpublished fiction collecting dust and the vultures are definitely closing in. Every day is a poop-or-get-off-the-pot day. And it's nice to visit your site and gain some much needed inspiration. Thanks.