As writers we’ve all been there before, feeling that we aren’t really true writers, that our stories aren’t good enough or that we’re just plain old phonies. Well, we are not phonies, our stories are good enough (better even) and as long as we put words onto paper we are true writers! There I said it and I hope you are paying attention but just in case I’ll say it again…We are not phonies, our stories are good enough (better even) and as long as we put words onto paper we are true writers! Repeat as needed.
But on a serious note (the above is serious too), this whole impostor syndrome is real and it creeps into our brains to tell us these horrible things. Of course this does not have to be limited to writing but it can strike with anything within our lives. It is on par with thinking that you don’t deserve something good in your life. Stop it, because you do!
I’m not a self-help kind of guy but I am an advocate of supporting others. So, I am writing this blog post to give other writers, artists and creators (and anyone wanting a pick me up) some support. It takes guts to put yourself into a piece of art. It takes even more guts to show it to someone you love. Now, we want to earn a little money to help put food on the table and we want to use that piece of art? That is like explorers venturing into the unknown for years on end and possibly never coming back type of guts! You now have to show your art to strangers and say “would you like this?” Of course people might say no or they might give a not so great review but in the end that is life. You made something! Not everyone in the world can say that.
As a creator we try to make new things that are more often than not dreamed up while we are in an emotional state of some kind. This makes it personal. Hell, the fact that it is coming form within our own minds means it is personal and that means that we are putting something at stake. Ourselves. As a creator you put yourself out into the world and say look at me and that is scary. It is difficult to imagine at times. There is no time limit to showing something to the world and there is no set way. There are not too many commonalities with it either, except one. We all start with a first step; a decision to do it. That right there is what makes it real and why you are not an impostor. You tried and as long as you don’t give up you will succeed. Success does not mean you will have endless riches or fans but instead it means you reached the finish line that you made for yourself. If your goal for the coming new year is to begin a project and you, do then you’ve succeeded. If your goal is to reach a word count or completion milestone and you, do then you succeeded. If you find that you aren’t succeeding too often then maybe it’s your goals that need readjusting, not you. Try to make small goals to get started and then bulk them up for the future.
I often cringe when I know someone is reading one of the first two books I’ve self-published. Why? I know that I’m a better writer since those books came out but I also know those two books are part of my journey as a writer. Still, the idea of those books fill me with a since of being an impostor more than anything. I have come to accept and love those books and even find a place for them in the timeline of my works. I’m sure that my 100th book (a long way off) will be better than my current works but that is for time to tell. What I know now is that I am a writer and I am not an impostor. I put word to paper, I make maps and I make videos that I want to enjoy and I do enjoy it. That’s all it takes.
We are humans and that means we succeed and fail like the waves rise and fall but like the waves we can keep moving. Nothing about that is being an impostor. The waves are not impostors and neither are we.
We are not phonies, our stories are good enough (better even) and as long as we put words onto paper we are true writers! Repeat as needed.