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Why Being Intimidated By Others Can Hinder Your Success As A Writer

This is a guest post by Thuy Yau. It addresses something I think is the most important factor hindering a lot of writers. If you find it difficult to get started as a writer but don’t know what’s hindering you, read this article!

Words cannot describe the sense of accomplishment I feel at being a guest poster here.

For the past fortnight, I have been in awe of Bamidele Onibalusi. To me, he is the epitome of success. The sort of freelance writer that you admire from afar, but feel too intimidated to talk to.

That’s how I had felt. Until now.

“Aspiring Writers”

It all began with one article. An article about people who referred to themselves as “aspiring writers”. The writer questioned the term, stating bluntly that you’re either a writer or you’re not: it simply did not matter whether or not you were earning any money.

But I had been calling myself an “aspiring writer” up until then, thinking it was a more accurate representation of what I was. I wasn’t a professional yet, so how could I call myself a “real writer”?

But what was an “aspiring writer” exactly? Going by the literal definition, it would’ve been someone who wasn’t writing yet. But was intending to write – someday.

But wait a minute, I was writing at the time! So how could I have been an “aspiring writer”?

I Am a Writer!

And then it hit me. I was a writer! I wasn’t getting paid, I wasn’t selling books, I wasn’t even getting more than 50 visitors a day. But I was writing. I was writing to help others. I was writing because I wanted to touch lives. That’s when my attitude towards writing changed.

I started calling myself a “writer”, I developed the self-confidence that every writer needs to be successful. I didn’t care anymore that hardly anyone read my blog; I believed in my talents and knew that someday people would believe in them too.

That is when I came across this article by Krissy Brady, a freelance writer in Canada. It illuminated the many fears of writers; one being their fear of failure.

And I thought to myself:

“Why couldn’t I be a success story?”

“Why did I fear people like Krissy, just because they were more successful?”

That is when my confidence started to increase, as well as my writing opportunities. I was interviewed by a German journalist for her book, had a post featured on a parenting website and in their newsletter, and someone offered to pay me for advertising space.

I Took the Plunge!

Feeling less intimidated and more confident, I decided to do something crazy. I tweeted Krissy Brady one of my blog posts. I didn’t think she’d care, I didn’t think she’d even respond to me. But lo and behold, she retweeted my post to her followers. She even told me that it was a great post. I felt absolutely elated. I was so proud of what I’d accomplished.

That same post was also retweeted by the Sydney Writers’ Centre:

Why You Should Never Give Up

The more I communicated with Krissy, the more confidence I had in myself. I didn’t let her writing experience get to me. I saw her as someone reaching for the same goals. She wrote to help others; she wrote because it was her passion. She may have been more successful in the professional sense; but in terms of who she was, she wasn’t any different to me.

 How I Landed My First Ever Guest Post… The One I’m Writing Right Now…

I then noticed that Krissy was following Bamidele Onibalusi on Twitter. As I valued her opinion, I was curious to see who he was. As it turned out, he was another person living their passion and writing to help others. But because he was well-known in the online community, I felt nervous at the prospect of contacting him.

But I told myself his position didn’t matter. I couldn’t let the fact that he was powerful, successful and wealthy stop me from achieving the same.

Using the self-confidence I recently gained, I had a conversation with him via Twitter. I even followed it up with a shameless plug about my website.

Days passed and I hadn’t heard anything else. I had given up on my networking going anywhere.

Then it happened. Bamidele retweeted one of my blog posts. He said it was a great post, and even told me that he agreed with ALL of what I’d written.

My jaw practically dropped to the ground. Knowing that two successful freelance writers agreed with MY opinion made me realize that I definitely had what it takes to be a professional writer.

Bamidele ended up retweeting another post of mine, then Facebook liking a few more. Feeling confident that he had enjoyed reading my work, I expressed interest in writing my FIRST ever guest post – the one I’m writing right now.

So why am I sharing my story?

Self-confidence is everything

Because I agree with Bamidele’s statement that self-confidence is the most powerful weapon that a writer can have.

I believe a person’s self-confidence can be severely affected when they are intimidated by those who are more powerful, successful and wealthy.

But everyone has to start at the bottom.

Don’t be intimidated by those “above” you

There will always be people more powerful, successful or wealthy; some of them may have been doing this for longer than you have. But in order to be a successful writer, you must look beyond their higher position. You must seize the opportunities given to you.

When you take writers off their pedestals, you are more likely to feel confident enough to contact them, show them your best work, or ask about opportunities you originally thought were out of your depth.

By being surrounded by people “better” than you, you are actually helping yourself to become a better writer. Through networking, you can share in their knowledge, wisdom and experience.

There is no reason to feel intimidated by people “above” you…. use that self-confidence and believe that you CAN be a successful writer too.

About the author: Thuy Yau is a writer, who likes to help others lead happy and fulfilling lives. She blogs about personal development at Inside a Mother’s Mind and is writing her first novel. Everything she writes is to inspire, encourage and motivate others.

27 Comments on "Why Being Intimidated By Others Can Hinder Your Success As A Writer"

  1. Lanre says:

    Hi Thuy,
    You’re not the only one in awe of Oni. And I completely agree with all you said.
    Successful people can be intimidating, especially when you take things like age, influence and accomplishment into consideration. Sometimes you start to feel that you’re not good enough to connect with them. I used to feel that way. Then I got an antidote, just like you!

    All I needed was to successfully connect with one of these people and my self confidence increased. The simple message I got from that was, “If I could talk with one of them, then I can talk with all of them. If I can talk with all of them, then I can become just like them”.

    Confidence is crucial to success and your post fully explains it.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi Lanre,
      You have adopted such a great mentality. You’re right – confidence is crucial to success. When you are confident within yourself, it shows in your writing. Thank-you for reading, I’m glad I helped.
      – Thuy

  2. George Ngosi says:

    Hi Thuy,
    I know the feeling of lacking confidence in your writing abilities. I have been facing similar challenges in my short freelance writing career. But after reading this post, i have learned that being being a successful writer requires confidence.

    Thanks for this post!

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi George,

      I know how it feels to lack confidence in yourself, especially with the challenges that writing brings, as well those from life in general!

      But every time I doubt my own capabilities, I tell myself to keep going. I try to stay focused on my goals and keep persisting.

      We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t doubt ourselves once in a while, but the fact that you still believe in yourself is what makes you very brave!

      Thanks for reading, good luck with your writing!

      – Thuy

  3. Hi,

    I knew one thing in this era if you have talent of content writing in yourself then no one can stop you through any other way because you can do your work well from anywhere in the world.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi there,

      That’s very true. Every writer brings their own uniqueness to writing and that is something that nobody can take away from you.

      When you believe in the things you write and the way in which you write it; your readers will be able to feel that.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. I’ve signed in with my ‘How To Build Confidence’ blog today because I write similar articles about believing in yourself and building up who you are and what you can do.
    This article rings true and does reiterate a lot that I write about. No matter who you think is ‘above’ you, there is something you can do a lot better than they can. This is the gem you have to use to start your journey of achieving.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi Anne,

      I completely agree with your point that we might have a quality that puts us above others. It’s all about realising what OUR own strengths are.

      I had a look at your blog & it looks great!

      Good on you for sharing the same visions as me. Keep it up!

  5. According to me it is all about destiny… A writer may have better skills may he may not have reputation or made money like some other writer who has less skills but made more…Sometimes some small things matter a lot. Some writers know how to find clients who can pay good for their quality post…We should never get intimidated by the success of others..

    • Actually, I disagree!

      What Thuy wrote about not being intimidated is on spot, but the fact that a writer has “better skills” or there is one kind of “destiny” that determines whether a writer fails or succeed is BS!

      Don’t get me wrong, I believe in destiny but the reason why most people fail is because they don’t even try.

      How do you know what your destiny is when you haven’t even tried?

      You don’t have to be intimidated by more successful writers, but admiring them secretly and thinking they are different won’t help either. Instead, use their successes as a challenge and provocation to help you take your own career to the next level.

      • Thuy Yau says:

        Wise words, Bamidele.

        Yes, I believe our future is dependent on OUR decisions. The person in control of our success is US.

        It’s easy to stand back and say that there’s another party involved, but if we want our lives to be a certain way then we have to MAKE it happen!

        Thanks for your comment, Techboy!

        • Thuy Yau says:

          Sorry didn’t mean to type “wise words” twice 🙂

          • Thuy Yau yes we keep trying but sometimes if luck clients come on own otherwise we have to wait…We can apply for new companies that provide article writing work…we all look for better rates and keep working hard….

          • Aha, no problem. I just updated that for you 🙂

  6. Rani says:

    Appreciating your words
    “I was writing to help others”.
    Nice article, not just an article but the source for others to promote the confidence.
    Thanks for such a beautiful article.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi Rani,

      Yes, all of us have different reasons as to why we write & for me, I love helping other people. It makes me happy to know that I’ve made a difference.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, thank you for your kind words!

      • Rani says:

        “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”
        Flora Edwards –
        Best of luck!!!

        • Thuy Yau says:

          Aww thank you very much. My friend said to me the other day that because I’m a good person, good things happen to me. Thanks, Rani!

  7. Rani says:

    “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”
    Flora Edwards –
    Best of luck!!!

  8. Perista Mamadi says:

    Hi Bamidele
    Writing is one extracurricular activity I always wanted to do. I really did not know how to start. Your posts really of great help. I enjoyed the tips. I find blogging of great help.

  9. Perista Mamadi says:

    Intimidation is a character of leaders and is always from them. Leaders do not get intimidated because they are busy doing what they are good at. They become so good that their behaviour unintentionally becomes intimidating to those that either have low confidence or have nothing to do. There are others that take it positively and I agree with Bamidele in his post and making reference to Thuy Yau’s post.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Yes, Perista, we can take the positive out of our intimidation and use it to our advantage. We may be starting from the bottom, but we are still very capable of climbing to the top.

      Thanks for the comment!

  10. Florence Nady says:

    Hello everybody,

    I consider myself as a quite easily intimidated person. I especially feel easily intimidated by groups of people. If I don’t know that they all like and appreciate me, I feel very uncomfortable, nervous, insecure and I never dare to participate in the group’s. I adress my issues about my difficulties to feel comfortable and to engage in groups of people to professional online coaches and I talk about it while getting some really helpful advices (for who might be interested: Your24hCoach.com) Similarly to this article they stress again and again not to avoid groups of people to prevent any fall-backs.
    We should all stop hating ourselves for everything that we aren’t and loving ourselves for everything that we ARE instead, right?

    Florence

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Wow, Florence, your last sentence was full of wise words. Yes, sometimes we become so focused on our weaknesses, we forget the strengths that we already have. Anyone who has viewed YoungPrePro has already made a big step towards their writing future.

      Good for you for addressing your intimidation. I used to have a big problem with voicing my opinion to anyone – now I’m a WRITER! We are all capable of overcoming our fears!

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Brian B.King says:

    I saw your title from Krissy Bady’s site, and I can definitely relate to your blog.
    I often ask myself. What am I thinking? Dude, you are 40 years old, no writing background and your grammar is shot to fecal matter.
    It’s a daily struggle for me almost every other day, but hearing and reading stories like yours is encouraging for writers like me. I can call myself a writer, but I still don’t really believe it. I probably won’t believe it until I reach that goal of SWFA membership or until I finish one of my novels.
    Thank you for creating your post. It’s very helpful.

    • Thuy Yau says:

      Hi Brian!

      I know how you feel. Even now, I still have trouble dealing with whether I’m a “writer” or not. But everytime I remember how determined I am, how my writing isn’t just a hobby, that’s when I know I’m a writer.

      I just checked out your blog and I loved it. I know you can do it!

      I’m glad my post helped you!

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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