Why imposter syndrome is passé.
Just a quick note to let you know that your podcast heavily influenced my decision to quit my (pretty secure) tech job of 12 years, and return to writing full-time. 18 months in as a freelancer, and no regrets - thank you.
I’ve never had an issue telling people “I write,” but to say “I am a writer” is difficult. Because I’m so many other things, too (and my day job as an IT security analyst pays the bills!). I have, however, better defined my discipline of writing this year. I even had a chat a few weeks ago with my husband about how there are going to be evenings I am “on a date with my craft” and should not be disturbed. 🤣
Oh I loved this. I'm also a journalist but I struggle with describing myself as a writer, especially outside of an industry context or with friends/people I've just met. I didn't realise quite how much until I went on a writer's retreat last month, which I'd wanted to do for ages - and loved - but found myself making slightly apologetic jokes at my own expense when I told people where I'd been. The thing is, it's so silly! I write for a living. I have a book coming out. Yet, somehow there's still this part of me that thinks someone, somewhere is going to say: well, you're not a REAL writer.
I loved this, and agree wholeheartedly. How did "not taking yourself seriously" become a good thing?? I'm tempted to rewrite my dating profile with "takes self very seriously". And opening with Jessica Fletcher is the best.
" I don’t want to assume any more that everyone knows better than I do." Yes yes yes. Thats IT.
Love this. You’ve created something so wonderful with In Writing, excited to see where you can take it - which I think is very far!
I find it very embarrassing to say I’m a writer to non-writers - because it’s always followed by ‘anything I would know?’. Lots of published flash fiction but i don’t make a living from it so it feels like I’m not one. Even though logically I know that if you write then you’re a writer, it doesn’t erase the shame. Also came from a place where creative pursuits were seen as less useful, merely hobbies. I often say ‘I’m trying to write’ 😑.
As for online/in person workshops- affordable one day ones (preferably on Sunday so I can actually hand over children/family members). In person - London or surrounding area for me! Affordable for me- £70max - and I couldn’t do it very often. Wish it was more! I’d love a bit of craft teaching but mainly to come out with some writing done! Hope that’s helpful.
I love this! I had to really make the leap this year, not only to take myself seriously but to value and put worth on my work. Such a scary step, but so glad that I did.
YES!! I totally got this article, taking yourself seriously is cool, and liking what you like is cool. 🙌 Excited to hear about the new series.
Well, I’ve always thought of myself as a writer; whether I’m any good as a writer is a separate question!
I remind myself that to take it seriously means to care about it, to care about language and meaning, about communication, and thus about myself and other people. Then taking writing seriously seems not embarrassing at all but just like the right (in the Buddhist sense of “right speech, right effort”) thing to do.
This is such a lovely post. You’ve created such a wonderful community with In Writing. Btw. Your podcast inspired me to crack on, drop the imposter syndrome and start writing. I’m now mid way thru my ma abs still battle the imposter and ‘why bother’ demons but honestly I look forward to your in writing posts every week and they keep me feeling inspired to keep going!! 💛
"I feel I’m getting too old for it. I don’t want to assume any more that everyone knows better than I do; I’ve wasted a bit too much time on that. It’s a mind game, as my wise dad says." - Loved this and loved this whole reframe. Thank you!
Wonderful and bang on the money as usual. Can't wait for the new series of In Writing.
Really enjoyed reading this. It reminded me a little bit of Ethan Hawke discussing being pretentious. Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMdLnYewiwM&t=4s
I think he’s right that it’s a balancing act between challenging yourself (‘you have to set goals for yourself, and they might as well be lofty’) and focusing on the right things – the fun in the process, rather than some end result. I recently signed up to a novel writing course and it’s been so nice to be in a room of writers, calling ourselves writers, and being allowed to openly geek out over the process!
One of my favourite newsletters - thank you! Just found myself nodding and saying 'yes!' a lot. I wrote full time, called myself a writer, and took it really 'seriously' before I'd got an agent or a bookdeal, and I honestly feel like that mindset 'allowed' me to commit the time (and investment) if that makes sense.