Stepping Stones Blog

Fear of Writing (Impostor Syndrome)

This will be the final installment in my series on the Fear of Writing.  In Part 1 I discussed the fear of failure (which demanded a definition of success) ; Part 2 focused on the inherent value (or worth) in writing; and Part 3 delved into the feeling of not being good enough.

In analyzing that idea, I uncovered a term that is new-to-me but is the perfect label for my affliction:  Impostor Syndrome.  The idea that I am not really a writer, I am just posing as one.

I recently read You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins that discusses the issue, although he does not directly mention this diagnosis.  He essentially says that we are writers when we say we are.  We don’t have to know the subject of our “breakout” novel… we don’t have to have xx number of Twitter followers… we don’t have to earn a dime from our words.  We just have to say we are a writer and then we have to write.  PERIOD.

For me, it is a matter of letting go of writing assessment – the qualitative rating of my product – the favorable comments (or lack thereof) – and instead focus on the writing process.

If I believe that everyone has a story to tell – and I do believe that with my whole heart – then I must believe that I have one as well.

And if I believe that I have been called to write – which I do – then I must have faith that what I am supposed to write will be revealed in time.

And if I believe I am called to write a certain story, then I must also believe that I will be properly equipped to do so when the time is right.

And I must have faith that the intended audience will read it – even if that intended audience is only one person:  me

Do I still have fears?  Yes.

Do I still feel like a fraud?  Yes.

But I’m going to write anyway.


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