John Scalzi wrote a really great piece about Impostor Syndrome and I think it’s something everyone should read if you ever questioned if you were a “real” anything. For myself, and other authors I know, this is a something we struggle with at times. For me, I think it’s in part due to how I landed my publishing deal (which I wrote about here), and also with my modest sales. He makes some important points in this, and gives a simple test. Do you write? If yes, then you’re a real writer.That’s helpful, but it might not always be enough. The way I deal with it is to look at what I’ve accomplished.
- I have three books (soon to be four) published with one of the biggest publishers in the world.
- I’m on my second contract with said publisher.
- I’ve been invited to conventions as a professional.
- I’m a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, which requires certain qualifications.
I’m also have a group of fellow authors that I can talk with. We all keep each other sane (or less insane). But I’m also lucky in that I have a group of very good of friends (a whole family of them in fact) that couldn’t me more supportive. They’re always there to celebrate every success and regularly remind me how proud they are of me, and to be proud myself of what I’ve accomplished.
Impostor Syndrome seems like the opposite of having an Identity Crisis. Or related to it, anyway.
I used to separate “writer” and “author”. Writer = someone who writes stuff; Author = someone who’s writing is published.
Probably not a good thing, but it makes me feel better by saying I’m a writer regardless since it will take a LONG time before I complete anything. 😛
That’s a fair comparison. I think at the very least they’re related and something I think a lot of struggle with in different roles in their life.
You’re not the only person I’ve heard of to make that distinction between author and writer, but really, if you’ve written something, you’re an author as well. For me, I just add the “published” to the front. Am I a writer? Yep. Am I an author? Yep, I’m a published author.
And don’t stress over how long it takes to complete something, but finishing it is a good marker and an important achievement. It took me near on ten years to finish my first full novel.