Quick-Read Crafty Tips: Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is real. It’s real for pre-published writers. It’s real for published writers. It’s real for prolific writers.

But in the words of Florence + the Machine, “It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off.”

Well, I’m here to tell you that shaking off Imposter Syndrome isn’t as easy as it sounds.

And yet, it is so darn hard to write with Imposter Syndrome on your back.

What if instead of working against Imposter Syndrome, we find a way to work with it?

Believe Good Vibes GIF by Amanda Cee Media

Here are a few strategies to try:

I HEAR YOU: Okay, Imposter Syndrome. I’m not hiding from you anymore. I hear you.

Listen See You GIF by Awkward Daytime TV

You don’t think I’ve got what it takes? You don’t think I’m a real writer? Well, here are three writing tasks I’m going to do today to prove you wrong:

  • Read mentor texts and look for words I love.
  • Open a manuscript I haven’t looked at in a while and write notes about three ways to improve it.
  • Read an article about craft and write down something new I want to try.

TAKE THAT, Imposter Syndrome!

BORROW YOUR ENERGY: Hey Imposter Syndrome, you sure use a lot of energy yapping negative thoughts in my ears. I’m going to borrow that energy and turn it into something useful.

take a ride on my energy GIF

I’m going to:

  • Set a 15-minute timer and cull through a manuscript for words that I can strengthen.
  • Create a new character (or revisit an old character) and write out all of the expressions they might use.
  • Critique someone else’s work to help them on their journey.

BOOM! See! I’ve got this, Imposter Syndrome!

NEW DEFINITION: I realized something, Imposter Syndrome. In order for you to have power, I have to believe your definition of what a writer is. Well, I’m here to tell you that I have my own definition and I like it much better.

A real writer is someone who:

  • Puts words to paper, even if it isn’t every day and even if the words aren’t quite working yet.
  • Reads about craft.
  • Puts their butt in a chair (or stands at their desk) and attempts tasks to further their writing.

So take that, Imposter Syndrome! I hear you, I siphoned your energy, and I have my own definition of real writers.

You’re welcome to float around, if you must, but I refuse to give you power!

Dog Swimming GIF by The Dodo

Bye bye, Imposter Syndrome. I’ve got to go.

I have lots of writing to do!

We Can Do It Women GIF by buzzfeedladylike

Feel. Write. Risk.


8 thoughts on “Quick-Read Crafty Tips: Imposter Syndrome

  1. Thanks, Lauren for such a timely post. I literally sent out my first query in six months and got a form rejection exactly one hour later. Beginning to feel like I’m never going to get this right. I love the advise you gave about writing down phrases my character might say. Very helpful.

    • UGH! HOW FRUSTRATING and UPSETTING! I am glad my post was well-timed. Please keep on keeping on! Children will love your books, and I have to believe an agent is going to scoop you up soon! I hope you have fun playing around with character expressions! HUGS!

  2. This is great, Lauren. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. You see, Imposter (yes, we’re so close, I call him by his first name) is sitting next to me right now. I dream about him. He’s with me when I wake up. And he laughs at me when I write a query. So, I will stand up to him (for some reason, I feel like Imposter is a guy) and push him out. And when he comes back (and he surely will), I will do it again. Great ideas to quell Imposter Syndrome. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Lauren, I just cleaned out my manuscripts drawer and pulled out some older ones to rewrite and activate them but I won’t be writing them as 7-9 different pb forms. Maybe try one new way on each.

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