Do you ever start writing and ask yourself why? Why am I doing this? No one will ever read it… People won’t understand what I’m trying to say… No one will like or appreciate it… And of course they’ll see that I’m just pretending to be a writer~~which of course, then makes me nothing but a fraud.
Sometimes I want to pull my hair out and scream it to the world to just back off–leave me alone. I’m a writer–a creator of stories, characters, and worlds–but I’m not a miracle worker who can stop on a dime and poop out a story. I wish I was. Do writers do that? Perhaps some do.
For the sake of my sanity, I thought I’d better look at the definition of fraud.
For me, the dictionary is such a great resource and it brings me comfort. That may not make sense for some as you imagine a big fat book gently stroking the back of my hand as I sit in a tear laden puddle of my own making. Consider this: A ten year old girl goes home and asked her mom: “What’s a slut?” (Older girls had been taunting her all day at school.) The quick thinking mom pulled out the dictionary and read the definition. “Does that fit who you are?” she asked holding her breath. The daughter said no and a discussion was started along with my love affair with the dictionary.
Okay, here it is straight from Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Definition of fraud
b: an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : TRICKautomobile insurance frauds
b: one that is not what it seems or is represented to be The UFO picture was proved to be a fraud.
I can honestly say that I don’t use deceit or trickery when I tell people I’m a writer. I speak the truth. I write a bi-weekly column, I do my blog, I have two completed manuscripts. Heck, I even have a literary agent. So I’m not an….
IMPOSTER! Can you see the flashing red and blue lights filling the space between you and your brain? An imposter is one who pretends…a liar, a cheat! This is where the term “imposter syndrome” comes from. Nope doesn’t fit.
I should be able to embrace and wear the title of writer. Hell, I have to OWN it. We all do.
Each of us is unique in our style, our story, and our voice and you can’t make that up. If you’re standing at a podium accepting an award know that you deserve it. You earned it. If someone compliments you on your writing–say thank you. Writers who are beginning are looking to learn from you–be proud and share your knowledge. Know too that self-doubt is part of the process of figuring out who you are. The trick though is to not get stuck and mired down in that spiral of negativity because it will suck you dry of creativity and confidence.
Now we have to have a bit of a sidebar because in an earlier part of my life I was a Fraud Investigator. Yes. Really. My university degree is in Criminology. I spent almost twenty five years in different segments of the Canadian criminal justice system….oh the things I’ve seen…
Alas, I digress once again. Sorry ’bout that.
Back in the day –In order for me to recommend charges of fraud to the court prosecutor, I needed to prove three things in order for a fraud to have occurred. There needs to be: DECEPTION, DEPRIVATION, and it must be DELIBERATE (intent). I used to think of them as the THREE Ds.
When I examine myself, my behavior, and/or my work as being found fraudulent, I don’t fit any of these categorical definitions. Do you? I bet not.
The moral of the story is that you need to stop beating yourself up! You need to push forward and work toward your dream of being a writer. It means being gentle with yourself and acknowledging that you may have a gift–dare I say talent?
The best test of any writer is the next thing he/she writes. Did you finish your book? I hope you started the next one. Writers write and that’s what we have to do.
I want to also put a link here to another blog called Pen and Paper Mama by Norma J. Hill. In her latest blog she asks Am I a Real Writer? because she writes nonfiction and questions whether it’s taken as seriously as fiction. Check it out here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/45188894/posts/2599981740