I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I was a weird little third-grader who would run home excited to write essays and worsen my ever-present writer’s blister. As I got older and started to identify with the term “writer,” I began to notice an interesting paradox: I loved to write and had a talent for it, but it made me extremely nervous. I was experiencing something every writer knows all too well: self-doubt.
Eventually, I went to college and found Grammarly. It did more than improve my writing—it made me feel supported throughout my creative process and alleviated my self-doubt.
My college experience before Grammarly was full of 3:00 a.m. moments with achy eyeballs and blurry vision as I struggled to proofread my papers. My self-doubt and perfectionism, which go hand in hand, reached their peak when I was writing sample pieces for my upcoming travel blog. I remember sending one to a group of friends only to receive a response that read, “this is so inspiring, but I caught a few spelling and grammatical errors.” DUN, DUN, DUN! I was mortified.
That’s when Grammarly became more than just a tool I used for writing papers. It became an integral part of my passion for writing and everyday life. I learned that no matter how well I write, mistakes are inevitable, and are a part of being human. It’s okay to need help, and Grammarly feels like more than that to me. It has become my ally. It allows me to focus on the writing itself and the emotion it is meant to evoke rather than worrying about potential errors.
The little green G at the bottom right of my screen doesn’t feel judgemental. Every correction, and the detailed explanation that comes with each one, feels like an opportunity to become a stronger writer. Through Premium’s style suggestions, I was finally able to understand what it means to write in active versus passive voice. I learned how to write for the modern world by using more concise sentence structures. Meanwhile, weekly Grammarly Insights help me acknowledge my progress and challenge myself further.
Being concerned with whether or not we are making mistakes, making sense, or whether anyone will like our writing, accomplishes nothing except stifling our creativity. Self-doubt is a natural byproduct of sharing our passion with the world, but overcoming it creates much more beauty. As a blogger, it became vital for me to push past that, relax, create content that would inspire and engage people, and do so from a place of confidence.
Here are my top three tips for overcoming your self-doubt:
1 Write a “crappy” first draft
Whether writing a personal piece, a blog post, a college paper, or even an email, get yourself to write a bad first draft. Allow yourself to write completely judgment-free, without concern for the outcome. Go into writing with the expectation that it’s not going to be the best, and accept that, and watch yourself miraculously let go of your self-doubt. The first draft will rarely come out terrible in this exercise because you’ll be able to express yourself freely. Try it! It works.
2 Read work that you are proud of
Allow yourself to feel inspired by your fantastic work. Remind yourself of your talent and passion by reading through one of your favorite pieces. When I’m feeling nervous about writing a new blog post, I go back to the post I wrote about my first time traveling solo. It is such an inspiring and moving story, with a smooth flow and style of storytelling. By the end of it, I am feeling excited, free of doubt, and confident.
3 Install Grammarly in your browser
Okay, this one might be a little obvious, but it’s also the most practical. I cannot stress enough how influential Grammarly has been on my journey as a writer—for writing on my blog and in day-to-day life. As a recent college graduate, I frequently send emails in search of new connections and potential job opportunities. I like knowing that I’m always communicating clearly and error-free. It’s reassuring to know that if I make a mistake, overuse passive voice (which I often do), or I sound basic by overusing words, Grammarly will help me fix it before I click Publish or Send.
How does Grammarly help you write your future? Enter our #HowIWriteTheFuture contest between now and November 7th for the chance to win one year of Grammarly Premium! Click here to find out how to enter.