This came up in conversation with one of my friends, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of weeks.
I think this is probably something that most writers struggle with at various points. We spend a lot of time scribbling away on bits of paper or typing like madmen, and I think most of us get patronized by others for our goal. It’s not even the people that say you’re never going to get published- hopefully those are few and far between. It’s more the people who don’t regard it as a serious goal, the ones who think that as an accomplishment, writing a book ranks up there with trying to chug a gallon of milk. They’re not trying to insult us, but they just don’t understand that this is an actual Thing.
And when we’re at the point where we have a stack of projects beside us and not much else to show for it, it can be pretty easy to fall into that mindset. I mean, who are we kidding, really? There are millions of people out there writing- who’s to say our book is better than all of those others?
And then the amazing happens! We sign with an agent, we get our book deal.
Suddenly we have a legitimate reason to be scribbling like crazy. Our deadlines are real, not just things that we set for ourselves. We have responsibilities to other people and expectations to meet. We’ll have a real product that other people will be seeing, and judging.
But every now and then, you still feel like a fraud.
You say “my agent” or “my editor” and feel like the world’s most pretentious ass, even though it’s just a matter of fact. You skip out on a movie because you need to work on a synopsis, and you feel like an absolute killjoy. The fears set in, and the doubts, and all the panic that comes of feeling like, despite all the hard work you’ve put in, you’re still a fake.
No matter where you are in the process, you are NOT a fake or a fraud.
Just repeat that to yourself as often as needed.
You have to put in the work long before you get anywhere, and once you do, there’s still more work. There are going to be moments where you don’t feel as sure of yourself or your books, when you still don’t feel legitimate. That’s a fact. But what’s also a fact is that the only thing you need to be legitimate is the drive to write. Everything else will work out or it won’t.
Just keep writing.
Until next time~