Imposter syndrome is a real thing. It is so real, it’s been named. And we don’t have to explain what it means, do we, because if you write, you have struggled with this.
Let me be the first to assure you, dear writer, that you are not alone. Working on the customer service desk at DIYMFA.com I have received hundreds of emails from people struggling with the confidence to put pen to paper. I thought I was alone but it turns out, this feeling of being ‘not really a writer’ is a common one.
There are three main reasons I can see for this. 1) Our society is built on the premise that success means money. 2) Our society is built on the premise that success means fame. 3) Our society needs to chill.
Let me show you ten famous authors with day jobs. From the New York Library blog:
Roald Dahl, famous children’s author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory among many others, was a war time fight pilot and a spy for the British army intelligence. Talk about wearing more than one hat. Did you know that Author Conan Doyle was a successful physician?
So what were you saying about not feeling successful because you need a day job? If Roald Dahl can be a spy and a fighter pilot and a children’s book author, surely we can work at Starbucks and write the next influential sci-fi.
It’s okay not to make enough money not to live in a gorgeous mansion and travel in a private jet. It’s also okay if you want these things. I, myself, was not built for poverty. I like fuzzy slippers and flannel sheets and $8 latte’s. I’m sorry, but I do. I tell everyone I work to support my writing habit and it’s true. But it doesn’t mean I can’t also enjoy my day job. And my latte’s. Writers suffering in poverty for their art is so 19th century am I right?
So embrace your day job (or jobs) pay your bills, live your life, and if you’re also a mom like me, you write in the margins.
I leave you with this book that I read and re-read a few times and that inspired me to take the first step to re-start my adult writing journey: Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path by Nicole Gulotta.
As always here is a link to Gabriela Pereira’s book DIY MFA – Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build your Community. that helped me write ‘A Dragon Rises’ draft zero in six months.