Real Writers

Imposter Syndrome – insidious isn’t it?

I posted on Twitter that I wasn’t feeling like a ‘real writer’ so was pondering a post on imposter syndrome and got some nice advice from the lovely people of Twitter.

More than one person sent me this:

The lovely Frances Hardinge who I once had the pleasure of interviewing replied with this:

And a number of people reassured me that I was in fact a writer

Which was lovely.

But why do we suffer from Imposter’s Syndrome? There’s a LOT of info out there and some nice stories from many famous people who have suffered themselves from imposter syndrome. I like Neil Gaiman’s story for example.

But the feeling persists. But it’s comforting to know that it’s usual. My ‘Pete W Sutton’ Bookshelf has around 30 books on it – 2 novels, 1 short story collection, several books I’ve edited and comp copies of anthologies I have stories in. I need to remind myself of that occasionally. There does seem to be a link between writing and what some people call Brain Weasels and I’d love to know if it’s correlation or causation. But absent an answer I’ll just have to learn to fight them off!

drop me a comment if you’ve suffered from Imposter Syndrome and how you’ve defeated it (or need a cheerleader to help you fight it)

Published by suttope

Pete Sutton has a not so secret lair in the wilds of Fishponds, Bristol and dreams up stories, many of which are about magpies. He's had stuff published, online and in book form, and currently has a pile of words that one day may possibly be a novel. He wrote all about Fishponds for the Naked Guide to Bristol and has made more money from non-fiction than he has from fiction and wonders if that means the gods of publishing are trying to tell him something. You can find him all over social media or worrying about events he’s organised at the Bristol Festival of Literature. On Twitter he’s @suttope and his Bristol Book Blog is here: http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/ He's contributing editor of Far Horizons e-magazine which can be found here: http://info-far-horizons.wix.com/far-horizons-emag

4 thoughts on “Real Writers

  1. Constantly. I keep thinking ‘if I were a *real* writer I’d be earning a living at it by now’, despite knowing that many writers I regard as far more successful than myself still have day jobs/other income sources.

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    1. There is always someone to envy. Back when I was a teenager and learning karate my instructor said that there is always someone stronger than you, or faster than you, or better so you can only measure yourself against yourself and just try to be better than yourself last week, last month or last year. Good advice I think.

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  2. Having that shelf is a good idea, I do that too.
    I think you need to think about your own definitions of success, and not what other people or the business is telling you. You might not meet them all yet, but they are -your- definitions and that’s important.
    I also like to think imposter syndrome is the opposite of complacency, and as long as it is not paralysing you it’s maybe quite useful from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d like to think I am a real writer, having written for a living for eight years now, but I still think I’m fake for some weird reason.

    I used to think I was fake because I didn’t write fiction. And once I did, I thought I was fake because I wasn’t published. And now that’s in the works, I think I’m fake because my story is made up of a sorry excuse of a plot. It never ends.

    I think I’ll just make do with having crippling impostor syndrome.

    Liked by 1 person

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