Imposter Syndrome. Definition.
“Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”
What does that mean?
Well, it means that rather than feel like you’ve actually accomplished something great, you feel like your success is a product of luck and not actual skill. That any moment, you will be called out as a fraud, as someone who doesn’t deserve the praise or benefits of that success.
Is that something you have? I know I do. And I struggle with it daily.
Before I ever picked up a pen to write a book, I was a reader. I’ve read thousands of books over my 38 years, so you can imagine all the amazing authors I have to compare myself to. Kresley Cole, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Victoria Ashley, Tess Gerritsen, Sybil Bartel, Alison Aimes–the list goes on and on. I’ve read and enjoyed their work and because I am also a born writer, I internalize their artistic abilities, learning from them, get inspired by them and their talent. And when it comes time for me to sit down and actually write my own books. . . well, I can’t help but allow the fear of inadequacy to overwhelm me.
What if I can’t write like her? What if the story lacks the depth that his stories have? What if readers don’t respond to my books like they respond to theirs? Daily, I have to set aside a few moments to remind myself that I am not them. I will never be them. The beauty of literacy is that every book is different–it has to be. What would the world be like if every book was the same, written with the same cadence, voice, flow, and style? It would be a sad, gray world.
Well, I know all that, but that doesn’t stop the voice of doubt and the internal shouts of “imposter!” from rising over the voice of my Muse. It frustrates me and makes me angry because I have so many stories just begging to come out. Characters who want their HEA. Worlds that want their foundations sketched out. But there are also readers who are waiting patiently for what I can offer them. They are amazing, patient readers who deserve all my love and all my books. Do they compare my books to the books of more successful authors? I don’t know, but should that matter? As long as they are reading and enjoying what I’ve written, does it matter that it isn’t as engaging or wonderful as an international bestselling author?
No, it shouldn’t.
These are all things I’ve told myself, going over and over all the truths I’ve read on the subject. Still. . . the doubt remains.
I am human, I have failings, but I know I am also an excellent writer (humble confidence) as well. I know I have an ability that not everyone can claim. So, I want to share it with the world, despite what the inner voice says.
So, I sit before the computer screen, remind myself that I am worthy of the praise and successes I’ve earned and that I can do so much more. Then, I put fingers to keyboard and write.
I say all this so that if you are like me, feeling like a fraud in an industry of successful people, know that you aren’t alone. That you can push through, ignoring those voices, so that your readers—and more importantly yourself–can enjoy your uniqueness, your voice, your story plots, your genre-bending, and your brilliance.
Women of Daring #1
Richard Downing may be a viscount of impeccable character, but he’s bored beyond belief of dancing at balls, faking smiles, and making dull conversation. So when he stumbles upon a housemaid with defiance in her striking blue eyes and a dagger hidden in her skirts. . . well, color him intrigued.
Raised with a rather. . . peculiar upbringing, Lady Victoria Daring is full of secrets and surprises. As part of His Majesty’s personal homeland spy network and as a master of disguises, Vic is charged with infiltrating high society to uncover the enemies hiding in plain sight.
But Robert is the first man to see through her disguises–and infiltrate deep into her heart. Too bad his family is at the top of her list of suspects. . .
Romance Historical [Entangled: Amara, On Sale: September 23, 2019, e-Book, ISBN: 9781640639140 / eISBN: 9781640639140]
About Lynn Winchester
Lynn Winchester is one of the pseudonyms of a hardworking California-born caffeine addict, now living in the wilds of Northeast Pennsylvania. Lynn has been writing fiction since the 5th grade and enjoys creating worlds, characters, and stories for her readers. When Lynn isn’t writing sweet historical romances, she is writing spicy paranormal romance as Jackson D’Lynne, and YA Sci-Fi/Thrillers as DJ Sorber. When she isn’t writing at all, she is running a successful editing business, reading whatever she can get her hands on, raising her four children, making sure her husband is happy, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.