Over two years ago, one of the first blogs I published was about the need to write with confidence. This subject is so important to clear writing that it deserves repeating.
Many people complain that they can’t write well. Much of the trouble comes from self doubt about their writing ability. The development of confidence in writing begins with attitude, as with other things in life – if you believe you can write well, then you can. It’s as simple as that.
The secret to developing confidence in your writing is really no secret: you must simply write more. The more you write the better your writing will become and the greater your confidence will grow. Also, increase your reading experience. Read books, articles etc, written by experienced writers, and pay attention to their style of writing, sentence structure, and their selection and use of words.
Reading self-help books on self esteem and salesmanship is also helpful because good salesmanship depends to a large extent on having confidence in yourself, and any writing is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself. It’s a basic truism in selling that people will buy from you if they trust you. That’s true in writing as well. For your writing to be successful people must trust you, and achieving that trust will depend on the respect and credibility stemming from your writing. If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way towards accomplishing your goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about.
My book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com/kindle books and in print), explains that writing is an art form, which means it can be learned like any other art form. Anybody can write well, but you need the dedication and desire to do it. A now and then approach isn’t going to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve your writing dramatically. Writing guidelines and techniques can be learned through application and practice, even if writing is not your strong suit. But first you have to decide that you’re going to write well, and then work on your writing on a continuous and ongoing basis.
Start with a positive attitude toward your writing. Clear writing depends on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence it will show, the reader can see it. To obtain that confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing. You can’t write well if you are nagged by self doubts and anxiety about your writing. Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent. Remember what Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic work, “Think and Grow Rich,” that “thoughts are things.” Application of this principle to your writing can change your destiny by helping you on the road to becoming an accomplished writer if your positive thoughts about writing are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire to get ahead.
I’m also reminded of Tim Gallwey’s best seller, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” which is largely about developing the ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. It is more about solving life’s problems by learning the art of relaxed focus and attention to achieve peak mental performance, i.e., getting into a “zone”, than playing tennis.
Here’s the bottom line: whether playing tennis or writing, you must first develop confidence in your ability. The best way to develop confidence in your writing is by working at it. Practice your writing continuously, and refine it as you go. Study the style and technique of other writers. The more you read and write, the more your writing will improve and so will your confidence. In this age of global communication, the ability to write clearly will stand you in good stead more than ever before. Because of the explosion of computer technology, the written word has reached new heights of importance. If you can write clearly you will not only enhance your ability to improve your earning potential but will improve the quality of the nation’s work force, which will benefit the country.
So by learning to write clearly, you can help yourself and also help your country. That’s an unbeatable combination!
Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.