Hello, fellow readers, writers, and YouTube watchers!
Welcome to another episode of Write On In!
I’m your host, Mr. Andrew J. Stillman, and today we’re going to cover something every writer feels, and potentially never stops feeling:
If you do not know what imposter syndrome is, stick around. We’re going to talk about how it affects you and ways to get over it in today’s post.
If you haven’t already, please hit that subscribe button so you’re notified for every installment of this series and beyond.
All the side stuff out of the way, without further ado,
Let’s get Write On In.
First thing’s first:
It is essentially feeling like a fraud, usually in your career of choice.
For this post, we’re obviously talking about being a writer suffering from imposter syndrome. No one is safe, though.
But imposter syndrome holds back a lot of potential first time novelists.
They don’t feel like a writer.
They don’t feel qualified to write a book.
The idea of writing a book scares them. They think the people who read their work are going to deem them some sort of “fraud.”
Like they didn’t deserve to put the words out there in the first place.
I’m not necessarily sure every writer feels that way when they’re just writing for themselves or as a hobby. The moment the idea of either charging someone for your words or people paying you a set price for them, however, is terrifying.
That’s, for me, at least when the idea of feeling like an “imposter” started.
I’ve been scratching out story ideas since I was seven. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t write as much as I felt like I didn’t deserve to take it to something more than a hobby.
We’re not focusing on my character arc here. But I hope you’ve been focusing on the ones for the characters in your books!
The idea of imposter syndrome is, of course, not just subject to writers. A lot of would-be writers do suffer from this feeling of fraudulence before they’ve even written their book, therefore finding excuses to talk themselves out of writing it.
Here’s the thing:
You’re only a “fraud” if you say you wrote a book and you didn’t.
Therefore, if you write a book, especially if you do join me for these tutorials in October and stay with me through the National Novel Writing Month seen throughout the entire world, you’ll be able to say that within a few weeks.
The moment you have a first draft out — whether it’s good, bad, thought out or just penned as you go, the moment you’ve written a book… you’ve written a book.
It just becomes a true fact.
And, out of all of the things you will experience throughout your writing career, the one thing that remains fact by the snap of the finger is that every time you type the last period of a manuscript, you’ve just finished a book.
The idea of the fraudulence, especially in the writing world, then comes from the idea of not having sold any books. Or, perhaps not having sold enough to have made any type of “name” for themselves.
Every journey is different, so let’s start with that.
If you’ve written, released, and sold twenty books — you’ve still written, released, and sold twenty books.
If there’s someone else out there who’s only done two or three and has a more “successful” career than you — it doesn’t make you any less successful in your path, either.
The idea of “success” is also subjective. There’s one “end all be all” idea of what success is.
Personally, I also think the idea of success should constantly be changing and raising throughout your life. You should always set realistic goals and take steps toward achieving them.
Every step you take counts as some sort of “success” toward moving toward whatever larger goal you have in mind.
Some people only have to walk over a couple of little mounds before they find what they seek. Some have to climb Everest and take a gondola to the moon after.
And it’s only been six weeks since the creation of all this “Get Write On In” stuff.
Having gone through what I have in my writing career, I’m more willing and able to face those feelings of fraudulence.
But they’re there.
Even when I write books, I still have the same thought.
Or anytime I sell a blog post or anything like that.
I think a lot of creative people have this inherent idea that their margin of success is determined by what other people think of their creative work.
Despite everyone’s desperate-ass attempts to not give a crap about anyone’s opinion.
It’s honestly so hard to not care, but you have to make that separation.
Especially if you are just writing this book for yourself, because maybe your idea of success is to simply be able to state the fact “I wrote a book” and have it be true.
That’s why I’m trying to guide newer writers through this process. I know how intimidating and challenging it can be to feel like you’re just one of a billion voices trying to find a way to be heard.
I’m still right there with ya.
I would just try and suggest that perhaps you don’t limit your own successes because you refuse to accept them as they come.
And, like the grand majority of advice I give in these posts:
I’m talking to you, Editor Andrew.
Yes, I give myself little messages, so when I edit these I remember the biggest pieces of advice that would mark me hypocritical if I did not practice what I preached.:)
And while I’m still terrified to share my writing, I’m also pushing that boundary for myself by literally writing a book on YouTube and essentially publishing it to my website as a first draft.
So, I promise I do things that make me face my fears, too.
Even if I get a little scared sometimes.
I’ve purposefully avoided talking much about the business side of the writing world over the last couple of weeks, because I don’t want you to put any focuses on that — even if you’re already a published author — until after you have that first draft.
That’s the first success:
Taking “I wrote a book” from a false statement to a true one.
That’s all I want you to focus on, for now, because if you’re feeling fraudulent simply because you don’t have a book, now’s your time.
If your imposter syndrome has come once you’ve hit the business side of this whole crazy career we’ve landed ourselves in…
I’ll get to you.
This Thursday, we will finish up the last of our in-depth tutorials with a focus on crafting dialogue.
We’re just over two weeks away from starting National Novel Writing Month.
A month from now, you’re going to be at least halfway through your novel.
Or 50,000 words of it, anyway.
I hope you’re all finding value out of these videos, and I hope you’re as excited as I am about my novel for this year.
Anyway, lovelies, that’s all I’ve got for you today.
Imposter syndrome becomes something that’s easier said than done over time:
Just accept that you’re not a fraud, and move forward.
Or, just work harder until you meet margins of success that make you shed those feelings of inferiority.
And, for now, just remember:
“I wrote a book.”
All you’re trying to do right now is make that statement a fact.
See you on Thursday!