On a recent walk, a rock caught my eye, and I dug it out of the red earth and brought it home with me.
At first, the rock reminded me of my friend Nancy, who celebrates the “beauty of the small” in a series of photographs.
But then this little gem made me think of you, the author-in-the-making. It made me wonder whether or not you see the beauty in your own story.
How to Write with Confidence
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing time-travel science fiction, an indulgent dessert cookbook, your memoir, or a bodice-ripping romance novel. Staying alert for the beauty in your story, your experience, or your knowledge will help you write with more confidence.
This can be harder than it sounds.
We’re so trained to believe that the expert, the person with something of value to share, is someone other than us. After all, you haven’t been invited to sit across from Oprah yet, and your friend has similar knowledge, and everyone knows how to do what you can do, right? Not really.
It’s just that your story can be so familiar to you that you take it for granted. Your body of knowledge may seem commonplace, simply because it’s so much a part of who you are.
If you can’t see the beauty in your book yet, keep writing anyway.
Give yourself to the material. Imagine your reader opening your book. What will she discover? How will he be changed? What will they connect with, remember, and want to share?
You may reach the end of your first draft and be well into revisions before you find the beauty of your book. It’s not necessary that you ever find it–though I hope you do. Just knowing that it’s there, somewhere in the words on the page, will help you commit to the work.
The beauty is there. Write your way to it.
Go write something!