In this modern age, it seems like we really don’t need to develop our writing skills. We especially don’t need to write with a pen and paper any more, as technology has basically eradicated the need. Or has it? Although we may not need to be able to write large texts after leaving education, and we may not need a pen in order to communicate with our friends, there’s a lot to be said for taking up older forms of writing.
One of the best reasons to improve your writing skills is certain writing projects help you work on your confidence. Writing helps focus your mind on what you need in your life, and lets you work towards those goals every day. Here are some techniques to try, so you can improve your confidence and get ahead in both work and your home life.
Write down daily checklists on paper
You’re probably used to writing to do lists, either in an app on your phone or a program on your PC or laptop. You probably also ignore it whenever possible, as you find yourself engaged in unimportant tasks so you ignore the important stuff that’s sitting on that list. They’re ok for getting things done, but there’s nothing quite like a handwritten to do list that you can physically cross off when you get things done. Buy a notebook, and every day, sit and write down what needs to be done. As you physically have to write it down, you’ll find that you think about what you need to do. This way, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to say no to unessential tasks and save time for the things you really need to do.
Commit your goals and ideas to paper
In a related point, try using that notebook, or another specially chosen notebook, to write down all your goals. A good way of doing this is at the beginning of the year; as you start a new diary, you can write them in at the beginning. Lack of confidence can come from a lack of ideas about what you want from life, and ideas about how to go about it. Taking the time to think about your goals means you’ll then go about your day with them in the back of your mind, and so everything you do will get you a little closer to them.
Stretch your imagination with fiction writing
Try writing some fiction every morning to get your imaginative juices flowing. You can do this either by hand or in a word processing program, if you feel you’ll work better that way. You may have never written fiction before but it is well worth trying. Having to think creatively about your story helps you stretch your creative muscles, and so you’ll be better at thinking around problems that you’ll encounter in your everyday life. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to get started, think about your favourite genre of books or movies. What are your favourite stories from that genre? Work out what you liked the most about them and use those plot points to build a brand new story.
Write in a diary
Try writing in a diary or journal before you go to bed. It does seem as though diaries are something only children keep but they do have a lot of benefits. If you are someone who worries over the events of the day as you try to sleep, writing them all down before bed helps you deal with those worries productively. You’ll then have the confidence to confront any problems you come across, and find that you have less to worry about at night.
Send postcards to those you love
Postcards are fun when you’re on holiday, as they tell everyone where you’ve gone on your travels and let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them. Why not try sending them when you’re at home? It may feel a little strange to be sending postcards from your home town but there’s a good reason for it. Gaining confidence means gaining the ability to express yourself, and postcards are a safe place to start. As an added bonus, you’ll improve your relationships, and possibly make new ones. Nothing gives you a bigger ego boost than making new connections and having more people by your side when you need them.
Improve your email writing skills
In both work and our personal lives, we spend an awful lot of time communicating via email. It’s a very useful tool, as it lets us reach a huge audience in one fell swoop, send files and information around the office faster than anything else, and of course, lets us stay in touch with loved ones no matter where they are in the world. Part of being confident is being able to sell yourself to anyone, and knowing your worth. Email helps you practice that in a safe space. Soon, you will find that you can project a confident and can do attitude in person too.
Try your hand at jokes
Ever thought about becoming a comedian? The thought of standing on stage and telling jokes may fill you with utter terror, but that’s not what you need to do in order to try building your confidence. Writing jokes and funny stories means you’re thinking in ways that you’re not used to, making you more comfortable with unusual situations. Plus, stretching your funny bone means you’ll have a great stash of stories you can pull out of the bag the next time you’re at a party or need to impress someone at work.
Try writing essays
You may have left formal education a long time ago and were glad that you’d never have to write an essay again. However, it’s actually a good idea to write them in your spare time to improve your confidence. This tip works because as you construct an academic essay, you have to construct credible, clear arguments for and against your chosen topic. You also have to back them up effectively with evidence. Because of this, you’ll find that your confidence in expressing yourself—both at home and at work—will increase. Critical thinking makes you better equipped to deal with confrontation. If arguments fill you with dread, this could be a great tip to try for yourself.
Now you have eight tips under your belt that can help you improve your confidence, and—as a bonus—your writing skills. Try them all out. Maybe not all of them will work for you, but that’s okay. Pick out the ones that help you more, and stick to them. Building these habits means building your confidence bit by bit everyday. Before long, you’ll notice just how much of a difference it makes in your daily life.