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  • Writer's pictureMartha J Allard

The I-word

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

I just wrote a blog about selling books for the Flint Area Writers blog. Really, it was about selling my own books, and how uncomfortable that can be. (Read that blog here). But also, it was about Impostor Syndrome. Yes. I said it.

I have that. A lot.

So much so that I don't feel qualified to even write about it, but here we are.

For example, I have two friends that are also writers, that I inadvertently and constantly measure myself by. They are both full-time writers. One has come to this after years of working at a job that she hated. She is very productive. For the first year that she wrote full-time, she put out a book a month. She's also an expert at attracting an audience online.

My other friend writes slower but has spent years building a solid platform from which to sell books. She lectures, she writes non-fiction, she teaches classes.

I find that I fall somewhere between the two. I write slowly. My stories meander into their plots. And they both leave me in the dust with their understanding of marketing.

If I can't produce a novel a month, then am I even a real writer?

If I can't write, teach classes, give lectures on things that people are interested in, AM I EVEN A REAL WRITER?

I tell myself that everyone feels this way, at some point or another. Sure, we all come to our writing differently. Sure some of us can write things that have more appeal, maybe? How can I write more efficiently? HOW CAN I WRITE SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WANT TO READ?? WHY AM I DOING THIS??

Right. That was my monkey mind talking, as Natalie Goldberg would say. I try not to listen to it.

Sometimes I even succeed.

Look. I love my stories. I even love my writing. It's taken me a while to actually admit that though. My generation of girls was expected to be demure. It wasn't really lady-like. We were not taught to accept compliments unless they were about our appearance. It's a steep learning curve, but I keep trying to get out of my own way and write the things, trust that people are out there, waiting for my words. And believe that I am, in fact, even a real writer.

That's the only way to cure Impostor Syndrome

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