A negative view of your writing abilities never will lead to a positive manuscript.

When writing, do you ever find yourself asking, “What if nobody likes my book?”

If you do, stop it! That’s really saying, “What if I don’t like my book?”

After all, if you truly felt passionate not just about your writing but your talents, you’d ask, “Why wouldn’t anyone not like my book?”

There’s a difference between being constructively critical and overly negative. When you’re the latter, you turn the critique into a personality attack on yourself. You’re putting yourself down as an incapable writer who doesn’t deserve to be read.

Granted, your writing probably isn’t perfect. No author’s writing ever is on the first draft. The key then is to identify specific problems with your story and to devise actionable ways of resolving them. For example, you might say, “My writing has too many passive voice sentences. I need to locate them in the text and revise most of them.” This is a constructive way of approaching your writing.

As you make those corrections, you not only improve your story but strengthen your writing skills and so will be less likely to write in passive voice on future drafts or books. The skill becomes natural.

Think of it like a serious weight lifter. If he says, “I need to improve my arm strength,” he identifies some specific exercises that bulk up biceps, triceps and delts. And then he does those exercises. After some time, his arm muscles grow larger.

Don’t adopt a defeatist attitude toward your writing. Instead, change the way you communicate with yourself and then bulk up on your writing skills!