What the heck is “Impostor Syndrome”? I had no clue so trusty Google filled me in.
It is: A psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
I can’t fathom why an Author would feel this way. Unless the Author is adept at plagiarism, why would they feel like they are a “fraud”? They feel they don’t deserve to be called an Author?
If that’s true, that’s the kiss of death right there, and if you are an aspiring Author, it’s time to banish the term, “Impostor Syndrome” from your vocabulary.
You’ve heard of self-fulfilling prophecies? Or: “What you think, you will become”?
You will never see your dream come to life if you are afraid of it. If you pen a novel (short story, etc.) those words have come from a part of you that is untouchable. They ARE you. What’s fraudulent about that? What is there to be afraid of?
This brings me back to having confidence which is the number one key to good writing. If you don’t believe in yourself and your stories, no one else will. To be a good Author, you must portray yourself as one.
Too often, I see aspiring young writers worry about how the world will see them, and worry about being harshly judged. I’ll tell you right now that both those things come with the job description.
“Don’t worry” may sound simplistic, but truly, DO NOT WORRY. The very essence of an Author allows you the freedom to pen whatever you choose. To write what you love. The world can judge all they like, they are not you. You have to live with yourself and even if Joe Blow hates your book, Jane Doe will love it.
The world is as vast and mysterious as the stories you tell.
The only impostor in the room is fear itself, disguised as the devil who will trade you whatever you like for your soul. We all know how that story goes.
Believe in yourself.
You are not an impostor. You are an Author. Whether self-published or traditionally published, you have something to say.
If you believe it, the world will too.
There would come a day, when news will pass away, (thank you David Lee Roth), what do you want the world to say about you?
Self-doubt will kill your passion faster than any one-star review ever could.
Here’s the thing though: You must want it. You must truly, without a shadow of a doubt, want it so bad – that you live, eat and breathe words. If you don’t want it badly enough, you’ll hide behind psychological idioms that will eventually define you. Let your passion define you, instead.
Life is short. Be you. Everyone else is already taken.
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Barbara Avon is a multi-genre Author. She has written since she was young, pursuing her dreams and vowing to write for as long as she can. She has worked at several different media publications and will continue to publish novels until “her pen runs dry”. In 2018 she won FACES Magazine’s “Best of Ottawa” award for female Author and Spillwords “Author of the Month”. She believes in paying it forward and you can read about this belief as the theme is given voice in most of her books. Avon lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, Danny, their tarantula, Betsy, and their houseplant, Romeo.