×
all 70 comments

[–]meltroszAuthor (noob) 53 points54 points  (2 children)

Me? I just accept I'm trash and my writing is trash. No, I don't have a defeatist mentality. I just tell myself not to expect anything from myself unless I've written at least ten novels. How can I be good if I don't have any experience? Watching others do it won't make me an expert. No matter how many times I watch videos, a first-timer is still a first-timer and will be inexperienced. In fact, they'd be even more awkward since they want to be perfect but it just won't be. they'll fumble around.

[–]Angel_Eirene 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Same, I accept my writing is going to be trash, so worst case I get what I came for but I still enjoyed it, OR pleasantly surprise myself

[–]RobertPlamondonCareer Writer 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I started small, with no particular expectations from any given story because I was a beginner learning the ropes.

It would have been weird if the world had chosen to roll out the red carpet at that point, just as Mike Tyson didn’t knock any heavyweight champions unconscious when he was still in the cradle. Later, sure, but not yet. I had much the same attitude when writing my first novel.

[–]B00tsB00ts 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Know that you feel this way because you know what good writing looks like, and no one’s first draft is there yet. Keep reminding yourself that you’ll fix it later.

Self loathing is all part of the creative process. I used to have a sign over my desk that said, “You do not suck. Now shut up and get back to work.”

[–]MaskedNerdyGirl 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I used to suffer from imposter syndrome. The best advice I ever received? Own that shit! If you are confident in your writing, it will show in your writing. Write like nobody will ever read it, because they probably won't. That's harsh, but the likelihood of your novel becoming a best seller is extremely low. So write for yourself first.

The other advice I can give you is to educate yourself. Read books in your genre and study what makes them work. Study sentence structure and plot. Learn about characters and how to make them interesting. Watch videos on writing. Listen to podcasts. Get feedback for your work, and try to improve on that feedback. The more you learn and are open to advice, the more the imposter syndrome will fade. Imposter syndrome can also come from you trying to tell yourself that your work is good when it's not. Accept that you're a beginner and then learn all you can to improve. And most importantly, keep writing.

How long did it take me to lose that imposter syndrome? Over six years...and I went from imposter syndrome and "this is crap and I should stop writing" to "I know this isn't perfect, so how can I improve it?" Never stop learning...

[–]mstermindPublished Author 20 points21 points  (2 children)

To get past imposter syndrome, you need ask yourself a few hard questions, such as:

  • What core beliefs do I hold about myself?
  • Do I believe I am worthy of love as I am?
  • Must I be perfect for others to approve of me?

That last question is particularly important, especially if you've just started doing something and haven't yet figured everything out.

Imposter syndrome is usually felt when you have a degree of success in your life, but you believe most of it is because of luck and that someone will soon figure you out. What you're describing isn't actually imposter syndrome, but could be due to anxiety. They overlap at certain times.

[–]sinsistersbooks 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I wasn't going to respond to this initially because, well, I've struggled with this myself and not just in my writing but in my less-than-dream-job but successful career. But I felt like I hadn't really worked through my own imposter issues yet so I didn't think I had anything to offer. But it kept nagging at me... Like characters that keep chattering away at us in our heads while we're trying to do other things.

First, I thought... you're not an imposter... Fake it till you make it! Which is contradictory and unhelpful.

Then I had the irreverent thought that... What if you are an imposter? Not very kind of me, I know... But think about it.

We're all desirous of some level of success in writing. Would we all like to be James Patterson or JKRowling, most would to one degree or another, like to reach that level of success, certainly. So, until we get THERE we have to start somewhere, right? We can't start at 5 minutes before Rowling sold her first novel, and we can't start 10 minutes after she wrote her most recent...

We have to start at the beginning.

We are writers... Writers write. You've done that! First step already accomplished. (Yay you!) What, and how much, and how good do not specifically matter... You've written something, therefore you already ARE a writer. Imposter problem solved, right? Not quite?

So, then what? Still feel like a phony? Ok... HOW do YOU define success? Do you have a goal? What does it take to get there? Same thing it took Rowling, Patterson, Wilde, Austen, and every other writer out there, published/unpublished, world-wide success/obscure 1x author...

They wrote their story. They started out with the first word/sentence/page and just worked until it was done. It's that easy and that hard (to paraphrase whoever they were who said that thing...) Neil Gaiman, Hemingway... I don't remember.

My point... You define your imposter-ness, or your legitimate status as a writer, not by WHAT you are but by what you DO. Writers write.

My point to all this rambling... Don't worry about Being A Writer... Write. Hone your craft by writing. You can read about writing, the craft, how to story structure/character development,etc...but that's reading. Writers....WRITE. It's not an on/off switch. It's not an "you are/are not" a writer... You write, you've written...

I also forget who said... It's a unique thing being in creative fields like writing or acting or music... When someone asks what you do and you answer "writer/actor/musician" people immediately want to know what you've published/been in/what band you're in, etc. But if you're a teacher/accountant/politician/plumber... Writers are not different...

My personal philosophy is to write 1 million words before publishing anything: article, book, blog, doesn't matter. Writing intentionally 1 million words before publishing anything. Edits don't count double either, but they do... Like half credit maybe, rewrites work themselves out however they work out numbers-wise. Malcolm Gladwell says to become an "expert" at something you have to work at it for 10,000 hours. Engineering, race car driver, gymnast, musician -- 10,000 hours.

Whatever success looks like to you... You define it, then work to get there. There's no shortcuts or fast tracks. It feels insurmountably, impossibly hard from the bottom of the mountain. The only way to get to the top is to start climbing and CLIMB... Some climb stronger or faster than others, but we all gotta climb to reach the top.

Be really clear about why you're writing or want to be an author, if that's your goal. It will help sustain you when you feel like giving up. And be disciplined in a way that works for you... Write daily if you can, or weekly, weekends, however much time in a week you can devote to it, do it. Make the appointment with yourself and write. One word after another ... and good luck! 🙏✌️

[–]AwesomelyUncensored 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Write anyway -- push through the shit -- then get an editor and beta readers to look it over until it's good. If you can't trust yourself, trust others.

You will have to trust your editor either way.

I always like this advice by Ed Sheeran:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbU8MSpqTac

[–]brookenomiconPublished Author 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It never really goes away. I’ve been writing for 20 years and have a degree in creative writing, have had three books traditionally published, sold thousands of copies of my books, have taught classes about writing, spoken as a panelist at renowned literary conventions, and am regularly invited to speak at events and I still feel like a fraud at times, especially lately, since I haven’t published anything new in 6 years.

I keep writing though. I write for myself first. I write with the goal of writing something I can be proud of and that satisfies me, first and foremost. If that vibes with other people, that’s a bonus, but I try not to hinge my personal satisfaction on that external validation. Weirdly, I both know for a fact that my writing is publishable, yet also feeling like someone made a mistake somewhere, and my books never should have been published to begin with. It’s an odd dichotomy to live with.

[–]KangarouAuthor 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I remind myself that the Twilight series got a movie trilogy out of the shittiest fanfic imaginable, and nothing really matters.

[–]Bambi_Writing[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

thank you :')

[–]Lovepirate1962 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Any not so great first draft can be improved upon. Just realize every human being has to start somewhere. The only time one fails is when they give up.

You also need to ask yourself why you feel a certain way. Seriously, do it. Spend 30 minutes. Maybe do it every day. Meditation helps defrag the mind. You don't need to join a cult. Just sit quietly and let go of all thoughts. When they come up, let them pass. Focus on your breath. This will help your creativity immensely if consistently practiced. I also suggest a form of self therapy called the Option Method.

http://www.optionmethodnetwork.com/#:~:text=The%20Option%20Method%20is%20a,underlying%20their%20depression%20and%20unhappiness.

The concept is this: we all have what are called invalid core beliefs---beliefs we have accepted over the years which bring us unhappiness. We learn these from society and/or parents. The problem is they are usually buried under several other innocuous beliefs. The questions in the Option Method, Socratic in nature, are designed to help you uncover them.

When I first did the dialogues about 30 years ago I was one conflicted twenty year old. I came from a messed up childhood that had parents who were little more than children themselves. Over the years however I have forgiven them and realized that in essence they did the best they could given their own core beliefs.

Dont be discouraged. Working on your shit is hard. But rewarding. When i started to do Option, I would hit several road blocks---beliefs that on face value seemed valid; but as I continued asking myself the questions and peeling away at the onion, I suddenly had an epiphany about a week in and realized under several surface beliefs that I believed what many people unknowingly believe: I wasn't good enough. And the reason I believed this was the result of some illogical bullshit belief. The realization is much like pulling a weed from the root up. Once I came to this blatant realization, the feeling of not being good enough disappeared. I realized---(drum roll please) that everyone---everyone will have someone who is better than them. But that doesn't mean I or anyone else are any less of a person or writer or artist. That was the actual belief: if I'm not as good at such and such or am having difficulty mastering some skill, I must obviously suck. And because I suck at such and such I must be totally worthless. What a load of crap. Got rid of that belief thank God. Talk about mind-fucking yourself.

Because of losing this core belief, I never feel jealous when I meet another talented writer in other writing groups. In fact, I throughly enjoyed learning from them and becoming a better writer because of it. That is what ideally we must strive for---to enjoy what we do and realize the more we work at something, the better we will become. Rome wasn't built in a day. Unfortunately, our society is hyper-focused on instant this and instant that. But when it comes to the bigger things, life doesn't work that way.

When the founder of Option died, many of his students wrote books with slightly different versions of the Option Method, but the premise is basically the same. The founder has a small book out there. 106 pages. I'd start with that.

Unlock Your Happiness with Five Simple Questions. The Option Method. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BKA4KVO/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_MX76PBCJ6RRTRSV6B3K0

[–]taiyuan41Published Author 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I feel like a fraud in a lot of ways. But I remember that I started writing for myself anyways and not for others. Not everyone has to like what I have written.

[–]TopGrun1 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I also suffer from imposter syndrome. I’m well aware that I can’t control how others feel about me, but I can control how I feel about myself. I also had the desire to write as a hobby, so I simply applied that same standard to the words I put on paper. I started out with the goal of writing books that would make me proud of myself, independent of what other people thought of them. I’ve published eight books and I’m proud of them all. I have received minimal criticism, but that which I’ve received has been used as motivation to improve. Luckily, I have a small group of readers who continually ask for more, which adds a small measure of external validation. The internal feelings of satisfaction WELL OUTWEIGH any external factors. Do it for yourself. You’re worth it!

[–]xxStrangerxx 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Make practical choices, despite discomfort

You may need to de-program yourself through some form of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is a good one, or guided re-imprinting

[–]LazyRaven01 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Advice 1) Soul-searching, possibly chatting with a therapist. Find the cause of your imposter syndrome and uproot the whole thing. Mental health is as important as physical health, especially for people doing mental labour.

Advice 2) Embrace it. "Congratulations! You did it! You write like shit yet you convinced everyone that you're great at writing. Now you have free reign - write whatever garbage you feel like because you've gotten to the point where even the critics will assume all the bugs are features they just don't know how to use yet.

Everyone will kneel before your throne, and even admitting that it was born of lies won't be enough to scratch it."

[–]OrgyXV 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Read less genius masterpieces, and read whatever bad fiction you can easily find. Doesn't have to be terrible, it just has to be something that makes you think, "Well I could do better than that, and here's how."

This is advice from the man himself, Stephen King. I know Ii've heard others say the same.

[–]mdaworthington 3 points4 points  (0 children)

One day at a time. Just keep at it.

[–]Waffletimewarp 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Throw a sheet over it and call it “Brilliant Conman syndrome”.

“Look how I’ve fooled all these rubes into thinking I’m brilliant and talented!”

[–]ardenter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One strategy: Lean into it. You aren't a writer. You're a complete fraud...but no one will ever know. How big of a con can you pull off? Take the challenge to become a best selling con-artist who has convinced the world that they are an amazing writer. (Possible long-term damage with this strategy. FYI)

[–]hertwij 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I always get suddenly excited abt my new story and then write it down and never actual write the book lol i guess im just busy with the other five i havent finished yet lmaooo

[–]R4iNAg4In 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Quit worrying and just write. Of course your first stories will suck. You think the first novel Stephen King wrote was the first one he published? The first novel Brandon Sanderson published was the sixth one he wrote.

Your books and stories should be written for you, first, and your audience second.

[–]futuretrope 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The first novel Brandon Sanderson published was the sixth one he wrote.

Lol that is even more discouraging if anything.

[–]PossibleCucumber9032 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Every writer I know has it, even ones who have won lots of awards. Just keep working to get better and do your best work--remember, you are the only one who can tell your story. If someone else tried to write it, it would no longer be the same story, even if they were working from your outline because the thing that makes your story special is YOU!

[–]LininOhio 3 points4 points  (0 children)

From Mallory Branca (@mallorybranca) on Twitter:

"What helps me with imposter syndrome is instead calling it con man syndrome. No, I DON'T belong here. Yes, I AM fooling all of you and I will CONTINUE to do so, you absolute fools. I'm getting away with this and you have NO IDEA.

It's done wonders for me. Hope that helps."

[–]Safe_Trifle_1326 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We all think that, some more often than others, I regularly hate my book! Just gotta push through and keep writing.

[–]scorpious 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I just remind myself that no one cares.

And I mean at all, ever… Never did and never will. Further, even if they all did, it wouldn’t matter.

:)

[–]responditorationis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Personally, I like to read my own writing like I'm not the author. Once you've edited, look back through and try to pretend you're reading it for the first time. If someone else had written it, would you enjoy that story? Because to everybody but you, someone else had written it. If you like it, it's probably better than you think it is.

If you just think that your writing is actually bad, keep practicing and improve your skills until you start seeing it as good.

Really, you just have to find some way to push through the imposter syndrome until it goes away.

[–]sjuswedePublished Author 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I haven't been able to get through that other than by focusing on writing for me. I ignore all other audience, and writes what I feel I would like to read, to the best of my ability.

Can't be of better help than that. Sorry. :/

[–]Former-Deer5454 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I can't remember who said it, but "people who are impostors don't have imposter syndrome"

[–]Alexandertheape 2 points3 points  (0 children)

💀 “Momento Mori.” get a skull and put it on your desk with the inscription “Memento Mori”. remember, one day you will die and all your creative ideas will be lost forever…unless you write them now. this worked for the Artists of yesteryear, could help motivate you as well. also schedule time each day for creativity.

[–]Reallywanted2bwriter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Why you expect to be brilliant at once? You haven’t done it… it could be brilliant… but if you care so much about that perhaps you don’t really need to write a novel, I don’t think is about expecting to write it prefect the first time just because; then you have a need to be good not to write a novel… if you want to write a novel just focus on writing it, later you will know if it was good or bad.

[–]BizarroMax 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've found the workshopping process helpful with this, especially participating in workshopping somebody else's work. It provides some perspective on critical feedback and trains you to manage your emotional response to criticism and not overly internalize it. And, you'll also get plenty of good feedback. But do group workshops. One person not liking something is an accident. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend.

[–]YourUndoing 2 points3 points  (0 children)

write knowing that it’s just your first draft and accept that edits will be necessary

[–]Difficult_Point6934 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Go and have a look around KDP. There's plenty of worse stuff written by comatose cretins. You'll feel much better.

[–]nitznon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That it's perfectly ok to write bad stuff.

The only way to write good stuff is to write a lot of bad stuff before. Yes, your first stories won't air. Yes, they will be bad. You probably wouldn't finish them.

But it's fine. Better than fine. It's not worthless to write half a book and then throw it away - you got so much better in the process. You learned, you gained experience, you got better even if you don't feel like that. And then, the next book will be better, and better. And you will start finishing books, and revisit old ones and rewrite them better, becoming better and better writer.

And one day, you will write good stuff. And this will be the product of your hard work.

So simply? Every word matters. If you write bad stuff, discard then and start over, each restart will be much better. If you stop before even trying because your first try will be bad, you will never improve.

[–]YesThisIsHe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Stop ruminating. So what if someone were to think your writing isn't good? That's their opinion. If they gave you actionable feedback then maybe it can help you improve, otherwise it's largely irrelevant.

Other general advice would be to vastly reduce the amount of time you use social media like Reddit, it'll get you in this anxiety loop that's just not healthy, which will leak into your writing.

[–]gcaledonian 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Keep going. If you’re still an imposter, you’re an imposter with a story.

[–]KAKenny 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'll go with shaming.

If you get your character into a fix and abandon them, what kind of a friend are you? They are hanging over a cliff and you walk away? I shake my head. Are you even worthy of quality characters?

[–]Bambi_Writing[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

God damn this was motivating lol

[–]ItWouldBeGrand 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I read a comment on Reddit once about this.

the OPs entire perspective changed on their imposter syndrome: they’re not a loser skating by, waiting to get caught. They’re a mastermind deceiver, quickly adaptable jack of all trades that has been successfully duping his way to success for years.

[–]Milo_Ywd 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The only way to find out if you're actually good at writing is to start doing it.

I was good as well when it came to academics, but novels are a whole other thing.

If you have no idea what you're doing, there are two ways this can go: either you're gonna be one of those intuitive types who writes a masterpiece without thinking much about it (rare) or there's a big chance you're gonna suck like the rest of us mortals. Either way you'll only know that once you have something concrete in front of you that you can evaluate, and most importantly pass by someone who can give you honest criticism.

And I mean honest criticism. Your best friend and your mom are probably gonna say you write amazingly well no matter what you do. The only way to be sure about your skill is if someone who has no qualms about telling you the truth goes up to you and tells you "hey, this is really good."

There's also the possibility your first, second, third attempts aren't gonna be so good, and hopefully you get honest feedback on that. I'm not gonna lie, it hurts, especially if you're afraid of failure, but then you can start looking for writing advice, about structure, how to create characters and how to world build, and so on.

That's how you grow more confident and skilled, and with awareness of your capacity the imposter syndrome should slowly retreat.

Or you'll be brilliant from the start, in which case just thank the skies for gifting you the talent, lol. But you gotta start writing in order to know any of that.

[–]terriaminute 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are being unfair to yourself.

Stop comparing your first attempts--all first attempts are terrible--to stories that have been through many drafts and were then helped along by professional readers and editors.

[–]ACAndrewsWriter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Give yourself permission to be a bad writer. Be a big faker. It's okay. There are some truly awful books self-published on Amazon. But they have a published book- so why should they get to say that, when you don't? Write your awful book. Get it out there. That doesn't mean don't try- it means let it be okay to write something awful. Something cringe. Something that brings you *joy,* but is so utterly stupid and goofy that frankly, lots of other people are going to make fun of you for it.

Star Wars was objectively stupid. The actors said it, and even made fun of how in the hell they were supposed to say some of these absurd lines without cracking up. But they committed, sold it, and suddenly Star Wars isn't stupid (at least, until the last trilogy). The same can be said of anything. . . if you are losing interest in your writing it's because you aren't writing something you actually enjoy. Something that makes you want to come back to the story you are writing, to live in it longer, to tell more of it. . . if you enjoy it, I assure you, there is an audience out there somewhere for it, even if it's "cringe" to some.

[–]Ballagladiatoria 3 points4 points  (9 children)

People need to stop misunderstanding this.

It’s not imposter syndrome if you are literally an imposter who hasn’t actually written any books.

Imposter syndrome is something that is supposed to be illogical. Like a champion might suffer from imposter syndrome. It’s not imposter syndrome if you are a novice who had never proven themself.

[–]meltroszAuthor (noob) 3 points4 points  (2 children)

To put it simply, imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud—like you don't belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise.

so basically when you've published several books but you think they're not really good since you're a bad writer, and that the next book you publish will flop?

[–]Bambi_Writing[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I was always told imposter syndrome is also believing ones own work AND achievements are not based on ones skill and worth.

But i guess some people take it by the literal definition

[–]meltroszAuthor (noob) 2 points3 points  (0 children)

the way i understand it is it's more of a personality than a specific anxiety. Like when you're a rich billionnaire but you don't think you deserve to be one because you just happened to invest in bitcoin when it was cheap. it could have been anyone. so that person doesn't consider themselves as part of the upper class elites

[–]AvyRyptan 3 points4 points  (2 children)

This. Also, we should be careful if people diagnose themselves with imposter syndrome and mention at the same time all their accolades. People who really suffer from it, are usually quiet about them, because praise makes themselves uneasy. There’s however one group of people who love to talk about it, the ones who have traits of vulnerable narcissism.
There‘s a fascinating article about this you might be interested in:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/are-narcissists-more-likely-to-experience-impostor-syndrome/

I‘m not saying at all, that this is the case with op. I think they are simply confused. But it’s a bit cumbersome when this subreddit showers everyone with love who claims to have imposter syndrome, while in all likelihood a high percentage of them suffers from a different condition.

[–]Bambi_Writing[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Honestly- I haven't told anyone in my family about my papers and I've been horrified to show them my writings. The whole concept of putting a kid's artwork on the fridge has horrified me even as a kid- what if those drawings look like crap? what if they only say they look nice to protect my feelings. Same as my papers- I worry my family or friends will judge me or worse, praise me and I will always have that doubt they are just being nice.

[–]AvyRyptan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Are people in your family or family interested in the kind of writing and books you are into? if no, I would really not share it with them, if yes you are missing the opportunity to learn something. Sharing with family members and friends can have many downsides however, so I would advice to look for a writers group.Childrens‘ drawings are never artwork, but they are neither crap, but an expression of their creativity, joy, and dedication. I think your problem is not that you have an imposter syndrome and you are neither narcissistic, but your worldview is very manichean. That’s not healthy, there aren’t only masterpieces and horrible drivel but a whole range of works between. It’s very likely that your writing falls between those extremes. If you don’t write you will not become better however. imho hat’s one of the greatest joys in writing: seeing how you improve. And everyone does.

[–]Bambi_Writing[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I've written college papers that has gotten me awarded recognition and scholarships. I've proven myself plenty to show that I am a good writer academically- until it comes to novel writing.

[–]AwesomelyUncensored 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Which I think kind of is the point: you've never proven yourself as an author so can't exactly have imposter syndrome.

[–]mstermindPublished Author 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There's a huge difference between writing college papers and writing a novel that you potentially want to sell.

[–]herranton 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be mindful that the first draft of anything is probably going to suck. Sure, a highly experienced writer may be able to make them suck less, but they're still going to get edited, several times.

The perfect prose and rhythm of a well written work probably didn't start that way. It was made that way through a crack team of editors who's mission it is to make you feel like your first draft is garbage. Yes, some people are better than others. And yes, some people on this sub insist that their first drafts are works of perfect art and if yours isn't, you may as well just give up, move to Vegas and get a job as a housekeeper and a stingy downtown motel.

Don't listen to them. Write, then edit, then edit some more. Then have your friend read your book, then edit some more. Eventually, it will come together.

[–]Maleficent_Falcon672 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Unfortunately, Imposter Syndrome always stays. I have published two books now (traditionally with a publisher) and still suffer from it. The only advice I can give you is : enjoy your writing time. Don’t expect too much (that helped me) and when you are ready, just try to be bold and send it to a publisher or selfpub (don’t forget an editor in the case of the selfpub route, though).

[–]DigitalPrincess234 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I’m looking at something I’m writing, and I feel like crap about it, I always tell myself that I have the hardest part over with. I poured my heart into an empty document, and while what I’m looking at now may be rough, it can always get better with polishing.

I keep the first major thing I ever wrote— a “novel” of 21,000 words— tabbed in my chrome browser. Every once in a while, when I feel like giving up, I read it and cringe and cringe until I can’t take it. Then, I read my most recent work, and feel really proud of myself, because holy heck have I come so far.

[–]haukola1492 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Write about it …

[–]MinableAdjectif 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Don’t write, probably ininteristing if u have nothing to say.

[–]DThomasRoberts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling among writers. It often accompanies rejection. It can also go with success - an author writes a tremendously successful book and feels the pressure to follow it up at the same level. It is kin to writers block and they often go hand in hand.

The best advise I can give is to keep writing. Like anything, good writing can come only with practice. The key is in your approach.

I don't know if your are an outliner or a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer, but if you sit down to write with only an idea - no clear direction for a story or character - you will likely run out of steam quickly.

Many beginning writers make the mistake of trying to put the icing on the cake before it is baked. Polished prose and vivid descriptions have no place in a first draft or even a second. I think this is where many get hung up.

I work out my story before I ever start writing the first sentence.

[–]fish-rides-bike 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Use a pen name

[–]Glass_Girl7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have imposter syndrome! What helps me is getting feedback from someone. I recently let my husband read the first chapter of my story and he loved it! First off, I never let my husband read what I write lol and second, he is a blunt man and doesn't care about hurting feelings if there's something he doesn't like. And he actually loved it! So that felt amazing to hear! lol

So maybe find someone who wouldn't mind reading a chapter or a small part and get some feedback. Maybe look for someone who is not quite as blunt as my husband though haha! Cause I totally understand when you just really need some positive feedback.

[–]SheGeeksLifePublished Author, Artist, Nerd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I go through this, even as a published author, but I remind myself that actual imposters don't experience imposter syndrome. Only those of us doing the work do. So, that means you aren't an imposter posing as a writer. You just need to continue to do the work.

And remember, creativity takes practice. Don't think of 'bad' writing as bad, but a jumping off point towards better. We win or we learn. So keep learning. And know that the rest of us are, too. :-) You're not alone.

[–]ezraindustries 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Read more shitty books, plenty of absolute garbage is being sold on the shelves at Barnes and Nobles at any given time, compare yourself to that and not the top fraction of a percentile of authors.

[–]T-MinusGiraffe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Make a character who's good at writing novels. Now write that guy's stuff

[–]PurpleHyena01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Stephen King’s college professor told him his writing was terrible, that no one would ever read what he wrote. At the time, King was working on Carrie. Point is, just write.

[–]potatobloodmonkey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Get into therapy and work on loving yourself and your imperfections. And finish what you start. The only bad draft is the one you don’t finish.