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Author Imposter Syndrome

It has been almost two years since I've taken part in the Insecure Writers Support Group blogshop. I've missed it! Seems like this first month of blogging is about a lot of things I've missed. One of the reasons I love this group is because you can see others struggling through various aspects of what I like to call Author Imposter Syndrome (AIS). Published authors struggle with this as much as unpublished writers.

AIS can manifest itself in a couple of ways. For instance, "fake it 'til you make it" sounds in my head every day. I have fourteen published works! By telling myself to keep faking it, I'm saying I'm not an author. But I am. Why can't I accept that?

It's because insecurity says that everyone else is better than me. They must be making money doing this, and I'm not. They are better at turning a writing hobby into a business. When I try to do all the things I'm "supposed" to do with little return, then the only conclusion can be "my writing is awful." When in truth, there is a lot of competition for readers' attention, and I am not good at marketing. AT ALL. I hate doing it, so every effort is half-hearted.

My new goal is to stop self-sabotaging by telling myself to fake it 'til I make it.


Because my original goal was to write a book. I did that.

The next goal was to publish it. I did that.

Sell some copies? Check.

Have someone I've never met comment on how it touched their life in a positive way? Check.

That means I accomplished my goals. That needs to be enough. (It won't be. I'll keep setting new goals and one day I WILL make money selling my novels) But I'll never tell myself to "fake it" any more. What you see is what you get. The good days and the self-doubting, insecure, bad days too.

How about you? What are your writing goals? What obstacles are in your way, and do you know how you'll get past them?


Every month, there is a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

August 4 question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time your read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

This is really an impossible question. I can’t choose just one because ten years of devouring all kinds of craft books have become muddled in my head. So, I’ll share the books I’ve purchased to keep.

The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. This is more about the mental game of being a writer. It’s full of great tips on how to get your brain in the right place to write, and keep it there. I return often for different reasons. Now that I have the writing process under control, I look at the lessons on how to be an author business.

On Writing: A memoir of the craft by Stephen King. There is excellent advice in here, but mostly I find it comforting to read that Stephen King has to take the same steps the rest of us do to produce a book.

If you get a chance to take any of those Masterclasses, I recommend the one by Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin. I did both of those during a seven-day free trial and they were amazing!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

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