Have you ever read back through some of your writing and wondered who wrote it? Or thought wow…this is frikken amazing and then spent the next hour curled up reading it?
I know I can’t be alone in this–of course with my twisted brain–maybe it’s just me…please tell me it’s not just me…
One afternoon I was flipping through some files on my laptop and came across a short story I’d written a couple of years ago.
I clicked on it, started reading and was immediately drawn in–in fact, I couldn’t put it down. I know I wrote it but was still impressed with the skill and cleverness of the writing.
The whole idea of the imposter syndrome is real and creeps in all the time. As I read some of my old stuff I ask myself who wrote this? Where is that person? Am I that good? Is it okay (or is it arrogant) if I think of myself as a good writer?
The imposter syndrome is something I think many writers suffer from–the belief that any success is pure luck and not due to talent or skill. There’s always a feeling of not being worthy or a fear of being identified as a fraud as we constantly compare ourselves to those other highly skilled writers we admire (and who, by the way, probably also suffer from imposter syndrome).
I’m at a point in my life that I can now own my success even if it’s difficult for me to comprehend. One thing I had to do was get into the habit of putting “FWT” (Faye Wrote This) at the bottom of my typewritten page or at on the page of my many spiral notebooks where I scribble ideas, random thoughts, and clever sentences.
In doing this I’m able to own it all.
The FWT came about really for my notes–either on my phone, on paper, or on the computer. I scribble stuff down all the time including when I’m engaged in other things like watching TV, reading, or listening to a podcast.
While the different mediums may spark an idea, I don’t want to come back later and wonder if the words are a quote or representation of someone else–hence the initials. I have notes that contain great ideas but I can’t remember if they’re original to me (little imposter syndrome there–this is too clever to be mine–ugh) so I won’t use them. FWT solved that little dilemma because then I know they’re mine and mine alone.
I’ll never be confused again–pretty good for my twisted writer brain.
4 thoughts on “Did I Write That? Nah…it’s too good.”
Great article! Yes, this happens to lots of writers–yours truly included. My problem, though, is asking, “What happened? Obviously I was a good writer back then. But now–I feel like I’ve lost my creativity, inspiration, ability to communicate, yada, yada….” (And that just goes on to make me worry that maybe I’m developing dementia … which terrifies me). Hmm… maybe this is all fodder for a follow-up post on this topic, eh, Faye?
Hi Norma. Oh my goodness I so know and understand what you’re saying. The whole thing of “what happened” is huge. For me the answer is usually “life.” It gets in the way, affects my writing and my ability to write. Perhaps you need a retreat? I know you’re waist deep in work and family a lot of the time and that in itself can suck the creativity away. Keep going. I think that muse is lingering under the surface just waiting to be called upon when you have the time to put him throw his paces. Go forth and conquer!!
Love this. I felt the imposter thing decades ago when I was a PR professional never feeling as skilled as my peers despite degrees and accreditation…yet was doing great work, clients said. That’s carrying over now as I market my novel and am always thinking I could do this better, that better. Yet my PR colleagues keep being impressed. Go figure. Go forward head held high, I guess. YOU for sure. Look at all this great content you kick it! And workshops etc..
Thanks for commenting Mindy. I think you’re doing great on the road with your marketing. I see the pix and the crowds. That darn imposter syndrome can creep in at any time and we need to push it away…sometimes easier said than done but we need to believe in ourselves. xoxo Keep kicking it girlfriend. I believe in YOU.