I was reading from the Psalms this morning, and it struck me how many enemies surround us on all sides. Of course our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our enemies are not Moabites and Ammonites, but we still do have enemies, who would love to stop us writing Christian books for children!
Over the next few weeks I thought I might mention a few, and how we can defeat them.
This week, I’d like to talk about Imposter Syndrome.
You may or may not have heard of it, but it is a real thing – and many of us suffer from it (my confession is below).
Do you suffer from imposter syndrome with your writing?
If you get nagging feelings of doubt in your ability, and wonder if your label (writer) is really a delusion of grandeur, you may be living with imposter syndrome.
Here’s another clue that you are suffering from imposter syndrome: you live with the fear that sooner or later someone’s going to find out that you really shouldn’t be a writer at all. You feel unworthy; insecure; a fraud.
You might be thinking:
- I’m wasting my time
- I’m not good enough
- I’m too old, too young, too something else
- There are so many people better at this than me!
- People who tell me my story is good are just being kind
- One day people are going to realise that I’m rubbish. (Part of Imposter Syndrome is worrying about being found out!)
The Big Problem
Here’s the big problem: If we allow ourselves to be defeated by Imposter Syndrome, our stories won’t get written.
Who then misses out? Your readers. My readers. All our readers.
Just imagine for a minute that you are an enemy, wanting to stop children reading Christian stories to encourage and inspire them in their faith. Sowing imposter syndrome seeds in the minds of writers would be pretty devastating, wouldn’t it?
So how are we going to fight back? How can we defeat this sneaky enemy?
1. Speak the truth.
I suggest you write out two or three positive statements in your writing journal, in capital letters if you need to! You might like to use these, or feel free to use your own:
- I have been called to write by God.
- Children will miss out if I don’t finish my story.
- I need to use my gift
This leads me on to:
We may never be able to completely banish all thoughts of what we conceive to be our inability, but we shouldn’t let that stop us doing our very best. It may feel to us as if we’re writing rubbish, but it probably isn’t. It might be just what a child needs to read. And even if it’s not the best writing ever, we all have to start somewhere – we can only improve by practising!
Pray and don’t give up – for you, for me, and for everyone in the Write for a Reason community. Prayer is powerful. Well, God is powerful, and he answers our prayers!
4. Get Support.
Please come over to our Facebook group for support (you can ask to join here). Fighting alone is hard. If you don’t do Facebook, get some support from family, friends and church family.
I still struggle with imposter syndrome sometimes. Aren’t there people so much more accomplished than me who could write, teach and publish?
Do you know what I have come to realise? There will always be people who write better stories than me. There will always be people who can teach better than me. There will always be people with more experience than me in publishing.
But the Holy Spirit is using me because I have been willing to step out in faith.
There are many flowers in the world – make sure yours blooms! We have a good reason for writing. We mustn’t let our enemies triumph over us.
May the Lord do more in and through us than we can ask for or even imagine!
P.S. What is your worst enemy when it comes to your writing? Please leave a comment wherever you are reading this, or ping me an email. You might get featured in the next blog post. 🙂