Three years ago, I quit my six-figure job to become a full-time writer.
My youngest daughter had just married, and I had fulfilled all my responsibilities. I could live my life my way.
I created a website (www.neeramahajan.com) and started writing blog posts.
But there were two big problems:
1) Nobody was reading what I wrote.
2) I didn’t know how to write.
It was taking me 7–8 hours to write a 750-words post. I was investing countless hours for no returns. My dream to become a published author was going to remain a dream. I was on the brink of giving up when I decided to join an article writing course.
It was a highly demanding, overpriced, three-month-long course with daily homework. It was my last chance to save my dream.
Three weeks into the course, and I couldn’t believe it — the course wasn’t even hard, and I was not a bad writer. In fact, I emerged as a star student. Suddenly, I was writing the same 750 words article in under 1–2 hours.
I learned the problem was not with my writing but with my thinking.
I had no self-confidence.
I needed external validation.
Lack of self-confidence was keeping me from realizing my dream.
After finishing the course, I made a 100 Day Article Sprint. I wrote 100 articles in 100 days on Medium.
On Day 24 of the Sprint, I was selected to receive a $500 check as one of the top 1000 writers on Medium.
On Day 65, I started writing a book. I wrote and self-published it in one week, writing a daily update of the progress on Medium.
In the past five months, I have written five books. I have already published three of them. The other two are in the publishing queue.
I have overcome the most significant hurdle any aspiring writer could face — lack of self-confidence.
If you want to succeed as a writer (or any other endeavor), conquer your self-doubt first.
Don’t let doubt ruin your passion.
Have faith in yourself and your abilities.
All writers struggle with self-doubt, even the established ones. But they all learn to manage it.
Follow the five rules to overcome your self-doubt.
- Retire the inner critic.
- Done is better than good.
- Don’t compare yourself with other writers.
- Concentrate on the verb not the noun of writing.
- Show the same compassion to yourself as you would to other writers.