Every author wants to leave behind a legacy. And with good reason. Words are the writer’s snapshot to what they have to offer the world, and they want to make each one count.
But being a creator, you’ve probably realized the impression you want to leave behind won’t be immune against its fair share of feedback. When you have an audience in mind, it’s a natural part of the process.
However, this critique can often originate from an entirely different place.
It happens in the process of writing, when you enter into that headspace where you open yourself to the free flow of your thoughts. From there you get confronted by ideas, reflections, and—more dangerously—judgments of self-worth.
Have you ever doubted yourself despite evidence of your writing ability? Has this doubt perhaps crippled you to engage creatively at all?
You have an intruder in your midst, my friend—your very own Iago. And you are suffering the lies, criticisms, and misdirections that come with what is called imposter syndrome.
Suddenly wondering how many of these doubts are nothing but deceitful whispers? Seeking a way to cancel out this noise? Then read on.
Imposter Syndrome: Being Your Own Unwelcome Guest
You would think that a list of merits and achievements eventually accumulate to some solid body of evidence regarding your worth. But many successful individuals manage to look past this and still question what they have to offer the world.
The Author’s Puberty
For writers, imposter syndrome manifests as a negative self-reflection on their writing talent. They question whether they have the skills to reproduce the amazing work that they’ve done in the past.
In fact, you may even be skeptical that your writing abilities produced the work that you are already proud of. You attribute that success to effort or luck instead of the talent that is so obviously present.
It is a common phenomenon in social psychology and shown through the attribution theory, explaining how perceptions influence which causes we credit for our success or failure.
However, this doesn’t classify you as abnormal.
Comparative success is a growing pain for any author, making you ask questions like: Will I ever be able to re-deliver the raw intensity of that debut novel? Was the success of my acclaimed series thanks to the context and circumstances it was released in?
Even novice writers suffer this downward spiral of thought, showing potential to only later be confronted with a crisis in terms of their writing identity.
The Overdue Self-Talk
Recognizing you have imposter syndrome is the first step to start dealing with it.
The worst thing you can do is to not validate the existence of your lack of validation. You need to tag your imposter before you can get rid of them!
This requires a recalibration of perspective and sorting through views of “self.” You need to set aside beliefs that are inconsistent with your success from beliefs supported by your body of work.
What we are trying to say is this: it is time to have a good old-fashioned sit-down with that inner voice of yours!
Taking a New Identity
Banishing the Self Not Recognized
Tagging your imposter becomes easy once you’ve established enough degrees of separation between the success you are and the failure that doesn’t exist. One surefire way to accomplish this is through balancing your feedback.
This requires you to reflect on the praise you’ve received in the past while also opening yourself toward accepting it. Positive feedback is meant to encourage you to keep doing what you’ve been doing so far.
Critique is, however, part of the mixture. However, just because it is given, doesn’t mean you need to accept it.
Carefully consider what feedback is actually meant to be constructive—input that allows you to improve your writing—and separate it from feedback that is nothing but criticizing.
Even negative feedback is never as extreme as the self-doubts that arise from imposter syndrome. So be aware of this.
You’ll seldom, if never, be told that you’re a bad writer. Instead, critique will pinpoint an element in your writing to be adapted—highlighting what can be fixed instead of what is broken.
As a rule of thumb: don’t seek attachment in your feedback; seek enhancement.
Not a Product, But a Legacy
As important as it is for you to overcome this roadblock to your writing, you are still concerned by what it is you leave behind.
The impact of your work is crucial, but how far-reaching is that impact?
Your feelings of self-doubt might be caused by remaining fixated on what you have created instead of capitalizing on the potential that it has of becoming more.
In other words, your self-doubt is also tied to your success.
Have you ever considered that it isn’t the quality of your work that makes you feel inadequate, but the way in which you sell it? For any aspiring author who strives for success in the modern age, self-promotion is key.
You are not only putting a product into the world, your work also represents your brand. And your brand ties right back in with your identity and legacy as an author.
To engage a devoted following, you need to advocate for yourself as a writer. This has led to the importance of becoming entrepreneurial to secure long-term success, on top of keeping your creativity going.
Looking for a profitable way to beat down your imposter? Then perhaps it’s time to become an authorpreneur!
Becoming an Authorpreneur
Inviting the Creator and the Strategist
Two is company, but three is a crowd. Getting rid of your imposter will require more than just your creative side. You will need your strategic side as well.
The author and entrepreneur merge to create an individual who not only writes books but markets a range of products and services based on them as well.
Creators know there are many sacrifices involved in achieving acclaim for their work, which equates to a lot of time and a great deal of effort.
Real strategists know that time and effort shouldn’t be sacrifices but rather investments to secure a future gain.
By combining these beliefs, you assume a new identity as a creative strategist! And this extends your time and effort in the right direction.
The Authorpreneur Toolkit
What is the formula for an authorpreneur’s success? It manifests into a list of qualities and outlooks:
Understanding your audience is key in pushing the right book into the market. Your product needs to reflect the needs of the time, the generation, and the context they find themselves in.
This can impact a number of elements, such as the genre of your novel and the angle at which you introduce your ideas to them.
Knowledge of Trends
Does your product reflect a dying fad or emulate a timeless fashion?
Perhaps it’s time to sharpen up on the latest writing trends to determine your brand’s enduring value.
For example, in an age where time is the new commodity, people may not actually sit down to read the next big self-help book. But that doesn’t mean they want to miss out on the content!
Idle time can easily be enriched by playing an audiobook or podcast in the background, giving your audience what they need in the format that matters.
Leaps of Faith
The savvy entrepreneur didn’t get anywhere by always playing safe. They took risks—something you may have wrongfully associated with failure.
There is a payoff to risk, even if it isn’t the outcome you imagined. Regardless of the result, there is an opportunity to regroup, rethink, and refine. In the end, you come back with a stronger strategy by learning from your mistakes.
Being Both Spokesperson and Seller
Becoming a famed writer has moved beyond the model of mere traditional publishing. An authorpreneur knows there are multiple avenues by which to get their book out there.
It requires a shift in thinking from being not only the creative force and face for one’s work but also the person who connects it to its intended audience.
Curious on how to curate your plan on becoming an author with a profitable career? Why not follow these tips by a writer who has started the journey?
Write Your Own Success
Ever heard of self-authorship? It involves taking ownership of your beliefs and the way you define them. Imposter syndrome can throw you off a positive path to this quest, skewing the perceptions you may have of yourself as a writer.
So why not create a legacy large enough to remind you of your capabilities?
Galvanize yourself to continued success by becoming an authorpreneur, and translate your creative investments into a household name.
Interested in becoming self-published and writing your own success story?
Here at The Urban Writers, we can amplify your marketing strategy with SEO, blog content, and even help you finish that first manuscript.
Contact us to set you up with one of our writing packages now!
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