Stop it. Right now.
That voice telling anyone who’ll listen that you’re a bad writer? The one that needs to put down anything you’ve written before somebody gets a chance to make up their own mind about it? That one that stops you from moving forward on the work you need to do?
Separate it from yourself. Call it the voice of Insecurity.
Yes, with a capital I. Insecurity is its own being, like a parasite or a demon that needs to be exorcised.
Insecurity loves to waste your time. And it loves to make other people think they’re wasting their time with you. Insecurity will flat out tell people that your work isn’t worth their attention.
Insecurity will try to tell people that you aren’t worth their time.
But Insecurity isn’t you, and it doesn’t need to be permanent. You can quiet that voice. You can find confidence to supplant it.
Confidence starts when you stop using the passive voice to speak about yourself. Stop thinking “I am a bad writer.” like it’s a constant.
You build confidence through action, so adjust your thinking accordingly.
Look at what you did, not just at what you produced: I wrote today. I edited this. I found a different way to say this. I asked for help.
If you say “I am a bad writer,” you commit to that idea. You choose to accept it. You make it so.
Practice builds confidence. Write. Write a lot, but don’t only write. Immersing yourself in the written word, critiquing other writing, and listening openly and deeply to those who offer to critique your work are all part of the practice.
You focus on the practice, because some days leave you disappointed; so the good days come more often. But no matter the outcome, the effort remains the same. The momentum of actively working carries you through.
Focus on the practice to remind yourself that the writing and the writer both keep changing.
Practice until you stop saying “I’m a bad writer.” Practice until you learn to say “I write.” Then keep practicing.