So you've written a book. Congrats! But now what?
You want to know if it's any good. You want to know if people will like it. You want to know if you'll get published.
And then your brain starts asking the questions: "Do I really belong here?" "Am I good enough?" "What if people find out I'm not as smart as they think? Or as talented?"
Welcome to imposter syndrome, everybody!
It's a common phenomenon among writers and authors of all sorts who are just starting out—or even those who have been at it for years.
Imposter syndrome is defined as feeling like an imposter because your accomplishments don't match up with how you see yourself or how others see you. It happens when we start thinking that other people are smarter than us, or more talented than us, or more successful than us—and then we start feeling like our accomplishments aren't really worth anything at all. It can happen when we're working hard on something but don't feel like we're getting anywhere—or if everyone around us is getting ahead while we stay stuck in place. And it can even happen when someone else does something amazing that makes us feel like nothing
Everyone has felt it. The fear of not being good enough, the fear that you're a fraud who will be found out. Even if you're an accomplished author, writer, or poet, imposter syndrome can sneak up on you and make you feel like a phony.
One of the biggest things we've learned over the years is that this feeling is normal. It's something everyone experiences at some point in their lives—even famous writers and authors.
But what happens when it starts to affect your writing?
Imposter syndrome can cause writers to struggle with their confidence and self-esteem, which makes it harder for them to create great work. If you find yourself battling this problem, here are some strategies to help you get back on track:
• Try writing down all of your achievements so far—it might inspire you! And if it doesn't, at least it will remind you that there's no need to be so hard on yourself!
• Find someone who believes in your talents and ask them for support! They'll help keep you motivated and focused on your goals without feeling like they're pushing too hard or being too critical of what doesn't work yet because they believe in YOU (which means they should probably be your biggest cheerleaders, right?!)
• Think about what makes you feel good about yourself and do more of that (like, for example, writing!)
• Set smaller goals for yourself—it might be easier to accomplish one goal at a time than trying to achieve everything all at once!
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating well. If you have a hard time sleeping or worry about being able to take care of yourself, it can be harder to feel good about yourself and your goals. And trust me, as a mom to a three year old who is not sleeping well, I often struggle with my mindset when I'm tired.
• If you’re feeling discouraged about not being able to reach your goals, talk it over with someone you trust. Sometimes just getting things out in the open can help you see them from a different perspective or find a solution that works better for you.
Make friends with failure.
Failure should be embraced and celebrated because it means you are moving forward, because without failure we would never achieve success.
Remember, you are not alone.
Be careful not to compare yourself too much to other authors who might appear more successful than you—you can't know what their background is or what they've been through. There is no right way or wrong way to write a book.
Thank you for reading.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know how imposter syndrome has affected you.