Getting Over Roleplaying Insecurities
This is an old post of mine, but I decided to make it rebloggable as others may find it useful as well.
Anonymous asked: I’m in a very very good roleplay and I feel seriously insecure. I typed up a self-para once and didn’t dare to post it. I’m really afraid that the people there would judge me because their English is just so good and I’m… not. It was a shock to get accepted and my activity’s low because of this fear. What can I do and do you have any tips? Thank you.
I understand you so very well. Feeling insecure in the company of other writers or roleplayers is something I’m fairly sure most of us have experienced at one point or another. There are a few pieces of advice I can think of right off the bat.
The admins accepted you for a reason
This is probably the most important thing I can tell you. Admins usually know what type of people they are looking to have in their roleplay, and everyone is accepted for a reason. If they had thought you weren’t good enough, or that you weren’t up to par with the other roleplayers, they most likely wouldn’t have accepted in the first place. Trust their judgment, as they should know their players better than anyone else.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is easier said than done, really, but still an important point. There are times when writers compare themselves to ones they consider better or more famous; and that is only healthy. But don’t take that comparison too far. You are you, and hopefully you have your own style when it comes to writing. Don’t worry about what everyone else in the group is doing, and instead, focus on being happy with your own writing. Challenge yourself, and strive to improve in comparison to pieces you have written before, not in comparison to what others have written.
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid to write something you think is terrible, and to let yourself make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to share your pieces, and to interact with other players. The only way for you to overcome your insecurities is by stepping out of your comfort zone, and to take a chance. I constantly write things I think are utter horseshit, but I still put that writing out there. Being critical of your own writing is only natural, but don’t be too critical to the point where it starts to hinder you. You can always ask a friend to read through your piece before you post it, and ask them what they think. Most likely your writing is much better than you think it is. And most importantly, don’t be afraid of being judged. There will always be people who judge you, and others who don’t even notice. The most important thing is that you are proud of what you have accomplished.
You learn by doing
The only way to get better at writing is—yes, you guessed it—by writing, writing, and writing. Chances are you will never develop if you let your insecurities take over completely. This kind of relates to the previous point, but don’t be afraid to write something you think is terrible. If you’re unhappy with the first draft, edit it. Then edit it again, until you’re satisfied. Let the words flow without thinking too much about it. Experiment, and have fun with it without worry. You’ll learn and improve by doing and being fearless; that’s a fact. No one is magically an amazing writer right from the start. You get there by practicing.
Read up on things you’re insecure about
You mentioned that the other players’ English is really good, and that you worry they will judge you. One’s grammar and language skills can always be improved, by reading up on things you’re insecure about. Expand your vocabulary by reading lots of books. If you’re unsure what a certain word means or in what context it should be used, look it up in a dictionary. If there are grammatical rules you don’t quite grasp, look up articles online. Make sure to proofread your writing and to run it through a spellchecker. Ask someone you trust to read your writing, and ask them if they notice any errors or discrepancies. Do your research, and expand your horizons.
Ask a previous writing partner to apply
If you’re insecure within the roleplay, and feel as if you’re not “good enough” to interact with the other members, why not ask a previous roleplay partner of yours to apply? Someone you’ve had fun with and been comfortable writing with in the past. Having a solid rock to lean back on might be a good idea in the beginning, and once you’re more comfortable in your own skin and when it comes to writing your character in the roleplay you can start broadening the spectrum of your interactions.
Hopefully this gave you some material when it comes to trying to overcome at least some of your insecurities. Just remember that you are just as deserving of being in that roleplay as any of the others. After all, you were accepted, which means at least the admins think you’re good enough, and in turn, that probably means your fellow players will think you’re good enough too.
Here are some additional links that might be of use to you:
- Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
- 34 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer
- 50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills
- 5 Ways to Get Out of the Comfort Zone and Become a Stronger Writer
- 10 Ways to Avoid Writing Insecurity
- The Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Insecurity
- How Can You Improve Your English Language Skills?
- English: Free Resources and Online Courses
- The Best Language Tools for Geeks
- Writer’s Toolbox
- The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers