Indie Author Weekly

106: Dealing with imposter syndrome

April 06, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 107
Indie Author Weekly
106: Dealing with imposter syndrome
Chapters
Indie Author Weekly
106: Dealing with imposter syndrome
Apr 06, 2021 Episode 107
Sagan Morrow

Have you ever wondered how to deal with imposter syndrome as a writer… or, whether established authors ever have confidence issues? That’s exactly what we’re discussing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! 

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to find out how your host Sagan Morrow got a bad case of imposter syndrome, what that might mean, and the process of overcoming it...   

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered how to deal with imposter syndrome as a writer… or, whether established authors ever have confidence issues? That’s exactly what we’re discussing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! 

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to find out how your host Sagan Morrow got a bad case of imposter syndrome, what that might mean, and the process of overcoming it...   

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow: a productivity strategist and author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever wondered how to deal with imposter syndrome as a writer… or, whether established authors ever have confidence issues? Well, that’s exactly what we’re discussing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

For our new and returning listeners, you can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share about a huge obstacle I recently faced with writing my current work-in-progress, Small Town Stilettos: a modern marriage of convenience.

As you’ll know if you listened to Episode 105 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, I’m pressing pause just for a short while on that novel—but, before I decided to press pause on it, I was really struggling with writing it.

It was the strangest thing: I wanted to work on it. I was excited about the story, I loved the characters, and I had my awesome feedback from beta readers. 

But. I was having such a hard time sitting down and writing it. Finally, I decided I needed to take a step back so I could really analyze what on earth was going on. And THAT’S when I realized that I was going through a really bad case of imposter syndrome. 

I was questioning everything about myself and my skills and abilities as a writer and storyteller. I felt ridiculously insecure about my books. Somehow, I’d lost my confidence.

The timing wasn’t great, because I had a few podcast interviews to talk about my Polyamorous Passions romcom series. The first couple podcast episodes I did really didn’t turn out that great, to be honest—I was feeling so much imposter syndrome that I had a hard time talking about my novels.

But then I had an interview on the Read It With Whiskey podcast, and the host Laura had actually read my most recent novel, Her Bad Idea. So we could have a conversation on her podcast about my book from that perspective of her own experience actually having read the novel. 

That was awesome. It was fun to talk about my book with someone who has read and really enjoyed it. It definitely gave me a boost and contributed to me getting some of my confidence back!

Now, part of the reason why I had avoided admitting the imposter syndrome to myself for so long, in this instance, is that it felt embarrassing. I don’t like needing to admit that a part of me craves external validation. I’m the kind of person who likes to keep my head down, focus on doing my work, and just keep moving along. I don’t want to want external validation. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me until this whole experience that I’d even thought of *the need for external validation* as a weakness. So, that’s a whole thing that I’m going to need to work through—because it should be okay to want other people’s approval. We don’t need to do everything on our own. 

Sometimes, I think that when we are authors, or solopreneurs, or even just introverts, we get so used to doing things alone that we feel as though it is where all of our strength is. Maybe we want to be more independent than we are. Maybe we get to the point where we want to be self-reliant, because it feels easier. If we only have to rely on ourselves, then we never had to worry about what anyone else thinks, and we don’t have to *give anyone else our power,* as it were. 

This means that if or when we get a bad case of imposter syndrome, it feels that much more vulnerable, because we don’t feel as much as though we are in control, and we don’t feel as independent, and we maybe even feel like we let ourselves down. We aren’t as strong as we thought we were, perhaps. 

Again, there’s a lot more that I’m going to need to delve into and unpack with my own preconceived notions and feelings about this stuff. Pretty sure all of this is going to be the inspiration for a character in one of my next novels, ha!

Do you feel this way, too? Are you struggling with imposter syndrome? Share your thoughts on Twitter or Instagram and tag me, @Saganlives, so we can discuss it.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly how or when or why the imposter syndrome crept up on me. And I don’t know exactly how or when or why I got over it. I do think that besides the external validation, it had a lot to do with finally admitting to myself that I was feeling that insecure: once I had labelled it as such, I could face it, and walk myself through why my feelings aren’t facts.

By the way! Labelling our feelings is something I teach inside Productivity Powerhouse: If you want to learn about how to accurately label what you’re going through so that you can start to work through it, then that program can help you a lot with that—and then you can get back on track with making progress on your projects and goals. Join Productivity Powerhouse at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse.

Now, normally in these episodes, I like providing you with practical, actionable tips or step-by-step guides for how to overcome these kinds of obstacles. But honestly? I don’t really have an immediate solution for you. Imposter syndrome is hard. It’s something we need to work through. 

I guess what I really want you to take away from this episode of Indie Author Weekly is that no one is immune to imposter syndrome. I have published seven novellas, and prior to that, I made my living as a freelance writer. I am a professional writer—and imposter syndrome still came at me.

When I was talking this through with one of my besties, Alana (@arboriphile on Instagram), she shared with me a quote that she’d recently stumbled across, which went something like this: “The undergrad says ‘I know everything!’ The Masters grad says, ‘I know nothing!’ and the PHD grad says ‘No one knows anything!’”

“So, maybe you’re getting to the point of being a Masters grad as an author,” Alana told me. I don’t know about that, but I do find some comfort in the idea that *if we feel like we aren’t very good, maybe that’s a sign that we actually are pretty decent.*

And that, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.