I guess this is a combination of Mental Health and WIP Talk.
But here it goes:
Daniel Kwan the co-writer and co-director of "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" spoke about Imposter Syndrome in his acceptance speech and how it affected his confidence in himself. I, too, experience Imposter Syndrome on the daily. Am I really that great of a writer? I ask myself all the time. Sometimes, I go to write some sentences for my many WIPs and I always stop myself and just stare at the pages, is this really good? Am I joking with myself right now?
I know the accomplishment of self-publishing my work is there. I've done it, I put in the effort and created the covers, etc. But just because my work is published -- does it mean that it is good? And I know a lot of my readers are my friends and family and majority have given me feedback that they either liked, enjoyed, or was entertained by my writing. I'm really grateful for that feedback, but I think what would help me get over my Imposter Syndrome is if a complete stranger came up to me and said "Hey, I read your book and it changed my life."
Okay it doesn't have to change your life, but at least have something to say about it to let me know that my work is being reached outside of my personal bubble. I recently requested a copy of my book to be put on the shelf at a local bookstore in the new city I am in. I had done this in the previous city and was so excited to just see it on the shelf. I had an acquaintance see if they could find it in the store when they were close by and unfortunately it wasn't there or readily accessible. I was a bit disappointed. I know they only bought one copy of the book, so I am wondering if maybe there was a small chance that someone bought it. Someone that I don't know. I will have to go in myself soon and see if I could find it.
This is me at Malaprops (Asheville, NC) in 2019:
I tend to get the "I can't believe you wrote a book! TWO! That's so exciting," comment whenever I talk with new friends or meet new people. I'm always saying, "Yeah, it's incredible and that I feel very lucky," but on the inside I'm cringing. Yeah, I have two books published, but I did it. I didn't reach out to a literary agent. I didn't query many publishers. I bypassed all of it and did it myself.
So am I truly an author? It's a rhetorical question, don't answer it. Yes, of course I am an author.
I have a fair I'm a vendor for this weekend. I will be selling my books and my notebooks I designed. I hope some people buy them. This will really put my Imposter Syndrome in full swing. It's sort of what prompted this blog post. I'm currently freaking out about all the work I'm putting into this.
There's a very clear possibility that I will sell nothing. That frightens me so much. But doing this will help me get out of my comfort zone. I did this. I published these books and designed these notebooks. I need to be the one to get the word out. I need to put these books in people's hands.
It's on me. I can do this. (I hope)
Currently, I'm working on revamping my senior thesis screenplay into a novel. It's been a fun ride going back to this story. It's my baby in a sense. I've crafted this story from Freshman Year in college to now. The story is just begging to be known. I hope that I can continue this process and publish it soon. I'm thinking of maybe actually attempting some queries before I publish it on my own this time.
I also have a Fantasy/Fae book I'm writing. It's been a long process, since I graduated from college actually, to get this story written the way I imagine it to become. I know it can be a GREAT trilogy. I just have to work out the kinks to make it successful.
I always find that I get stuck on my characters and their wants/needs and what their conflict is. I know the story. I know what I want to do get from A to B. I'm always like: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO HAPPEN. Then my characters come along and they're like "Actually... I want to do this," and suddenly my whole "outline" is thrown out the window. I put outline in quotes because I don't really outline. I'm just sitting there writing my butt off and pulling scenes out of my head. It will all make sense later, I tell myself.
Sometimes I don't like what is driving the character to do what needs to be done, so I always end up stopping and walk away until I can figure it out. That can mean stepping away for months or even years.
I truly don't want that to happen to me this year. I really do want to finish a piece of work before the year is over. Now that my child is growing independent and can withstand being watched by someone else other than me, I can find more time to go back and do the things I love. Which is creating some magic.
Thanks for reading!