When Imposter Syndrome rears its Ugly Head

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. It’s been a heck of a week with Hurricane Harvey dropping a ton of water down on Texas and wreaking havoc on almost the entire state. I’m glad that most people are safe including my friends and family, and I’m sending prayers to people who’ve been hurt or lost their lives in the hurricane.

 

 

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Visual hunt / CC BY

On a much less dramatic scale, I also started back to work this week after a summer of running my kids all over and writing. So I am tired, but I did manage to keep up with my writing goals. 🙂

Anyway, today I thought I’d talk about something that many writers deal with and that is  Imposter syndrome. We don’t feel like authentic writers until we get that major book deal, or award, or win that contest. I’ve been there and so have many of my fellow writer pals.

Photo credit: Douglas R Witt via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

It’s a horrible feeling to not feel authentic, so I thought I’d write a post on the things you can do when that feeling strikes, and from what I’ve heard from the big authors that feeling can hit them, too. None of us are immune.

 

  • First and foremost, keep writing. The feeling will soon dissipate as you immerse yourself in your writing once again. Writing for me has always been an escape and a way to deal with anxiety. Use it now to fight the Imposter syndrome that is attempting to take over your brain.

 

Photo via Visual hunt

 

  • Take a break and read. Reading is a great stress reliever for me and I believe Imposter syndrome is really just a bad case of nerves. So take a break and read one of your favorite authors, then get back into it. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo via Visual hunt

 

  • Chat with other authors. The writing community is full of kind-hearted people who’re willing to lend a hand to help another author succeed. Trust me on this, I’ve run into many of them.

Photo via Visualhunt.com

  • Get on Twitter and connect with other people in the community. There are so many opportunities and ways to connect with authors, editors, and even agents. I’ve met some incredible people who’ve helped me grow as an author and you can, too.

 

Photo via Visual hunt

  • It’s important to develop a group of friends who can cheer you on when you’re wallowing in the fires of Imposter syndrome. I’ve done this and when the going gets tough, they’re always there to give me what I need. Whether it’s a quick critique, or help with a difficult scene, or just a quick pat on the back. They are there.

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

These are five ways I’ve dealt with Imposter syndrome. I’m sure there are many more. Are there ways you deal with it? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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23 Responses to When Imposter Syndrome rears its Ugly Head

  1. Ritu says:

    So.much great advice here thank you!

  2. Great tips. Reading is my solution to everything x am glad all your family and friends are safe. This is an awful time for Texas x

  3. sharonledwith says:

    Thanks for your tips, my friend! Yes, it takes a village to raise an author! LOL! Sending prayers to Texas. Hugs and welcome back into the working world! Wink.

  4. Good advice. It is easy to feel you don’t measure up. Surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in you is a must. A good read – always! Thanks for the reminder that “I AM a writer”.

  5. Gary says:

    Firstly, I’m pleased to learn your family and friends are safe after the hurricane. That must have been a very anxious filled experience outside looking in and waiting for news!

    Secondly, so with you on this post. I’ve got three books in my slush pile; as yet I’ve not published and the whole process can paralyse me if I start overthinking things; hence my group posts linking back to my work rather than the top of the blog role which is all spotlights on other authors. I’ve done exactly what you mention in this Imposter Syndrome; firstly letting it adversely affect me and now engaging with other authors where, as you rightly say, solace can be found along with support and understanding. That has to be because you all totally empathise with how it feels and the extraordinary way it can suddenly appear out of nowhere. This summer I’ve been well out of the writing zone and have lapsed even blog posts. Luckily, reading other author blogs is now putting it all back in perspective so thank you for this 🙂

  6. angelanoelauthor says:

    Hi, Lisa!
    Do you think Imposter Syndrome is part of that old blanket term, “insecurity?” Feeling like people may discover my true identity as a writing hack, versus the gifted creator I style myself as, is more specific than just saying I’m insecure about my writing. But maybe it’s the same thing?
    I have the occasional bought of doubt that I’m any good at this thing. I think, as you suggest, having a community and just plain doing the work makes a huge difference when I feel low. I also try and keep in mind that my “success” as a writer comes in part from circumstances beyond my control. When I focus on the things I can impact, I find the Imposter Monster stays in check.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Ahhh…good answer, Angela. I agree with you, it is part insecurity and I also think it’s partly how we measure what is success in our writing. You do bring up a very good point about circumstances beyond our control. Focusing on what we can control is a very good point that I should have added. Thanks for the extra pointer! 🙂

  7. Really interesting post Lisa – although admit to only writing the blog! Are you on “The Book Club on Facebook” TBConFB? Great community of writers and readers – I think we are very supportive of each other, review books and even gathered for a birthday party in London last year!

  8. susielindau says:

    I wish we could hire a manager like they have for actors. Someone who could take care of everything; the editing, querying, and the moral support!

  9. drallisonbrown says:

    I think this affects many people, not just writers…especially those who try to step outside of their comfort zone. We feel like a fraud and that we will be ‘found out’ any minute! With regard to writing, I’m just now writing my first book, but as far as I’m concerned, the fact that I write a weekly blog makes me a bona fide writer (so there!) 🙂

  10. Gill Hubbert says:

    I so identify with Impostor Syndrome and I’m not a writer! I’ve always suffered from the feeling that I do my admin job by luck rather than skill and that one day I will be found out. Never realised I had a ‘syndrome’ for many years. I was delighted to know that others felt the same as me!

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