A secret writer trying to open up – an IWSG post #IWSG

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), a wonderful blog hop for writers of all kinds; those new to writing, those who are old hands at it, those who do it full time and those who just write when they can. For more details go to the main sign-up page, and make sure to drop by a few blogs while you’re there.

The co-hosts for the June edition of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose and Natalie Aguirre. Make sure you head over to see these guys and share some IWSG love!

Each month the IWSG posts a question that can be used in the next blog post, as a guide for sharing thoughts and advice to fellow writers. This month the question is:

Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

I’m not sure about my writerly secrets, but one thing that’s for sure is that I’ve kept my identity as a writer a secret from most people for a very long time. My reasons for this vary:

  1. I’ve never thought my writing good enough for me to earn the title of ‘writer’.
  2. I’ve not had the confidence to show my writing to more than a handful of people.
  3. My impostor syndrome prevents me from moving forward with my writing in any meaningful way for fear of being found out as a fraud.
  4. I worry that people will mock me and wonder how I could possibly think I’d be any good as a writer.
  5. I’m heading towards 40 and am now paranoid that I’ve left it too late to make any kind of success out of my writing.

I know I’m not alone in thinking these things about my writer self, which is one of the things I love about this online writer community. It’s a boost to be among like-minded people that I can bounce ideas off and spill all my worries to. Thank you for that, by the way.

And now that I’ve actually written these so-called ‘reasons’ down and removed them from my head space, I feel like I’m better able to tackle my insecurities and just get on with my writing.

After all, the bottom line is that I write for me; it’s something I enjoy and it gives me a sense of purpose and achievement. I’m sure that I will share my stories with more people at some point; in some ways it’s easier to send them out to people I don’t know (competitions, publications, etc.) than to have them read by people I do know.

A good first step for me towards this goal is sharing my words with you lovely folk, so thank you for reading my ramble.

How about you, do you have any writing secrets?

13 thoughts on “A secret writer trying to open up – an IWSG post #IWSG

  1. Hi Heather

    I can certainly relate to this. I have not been a writer for too long, but the only person I told about it was my partner. It was not until I self-published my first book that I decided to tell my closest friends, and that was a hard decision, and I felt guilty about doing just that!

    All I can say is, yes you can use the title of “writer”, because you have written! One thing I have learnt in my short writing journey is not to under-sell yourself. I know my writing is not that good – but I hope to improve the more I write. But I am still proud of what I have done, and proud to call myself a writer. So should you 🙂

    Take care
    Chris

  2. I’ve been writing a long time and one of the things I’ve learned is that the definition of “success” when it comes to writing has changed for me over the years. Am I a success the way I thought I would be when was younger? Nope. Am I a success in a different way now? I like to think so. 🙂

  3. Trust me, you’re not to old to write. I didn’t start until my 40’s and haven’t had much time to write until now 20 years later because I was working full-time as a lawyer and taking my husband and daughter. I can relate to feeling like an imposter too.

    1. As with anything age is just a number, and I certainly don’t feel like I’m nearly 40. I wonder if the impostor thing ever truly goes away or if it just lessens over time.

  4. #almost40 here! Writing takes a while to turn into a career. I’ve only managed to get my work into the hands of a few people. But it’s a process. Don’t rush it and don’t doubt. It took 20+ years in unrelated fields to figure out I want my career to revolve around literature. Sure, it would’ve been nice if I decided that in college. But I have plenty of time to learn how to write and turn it into something great. Just keep plugging along and put yourself out there. See where your passion takes you.

    1. Thanks Matt, this is a very timely comment for me. For years I’ve put the reading/writing aspect of my dreams aside to focus on other things, and every time I end up feeling unhappy and like I’ve let myself down. Another opportunity has arisen that would potentially reduce my writing time, but this time I’m going to head in the direction of my writing. I need to give it my best shot and see where it goes.

  5. My primary thought is that writing as a craft is one of the only creative forms that isn’t ageist like acting or singing because our image/physique is hidden. It’s all dependent on the mind. The older one grows… the more wisdom and life experience they’ve gathered, which usually makes for a much more interesting, informative read 🙂

    I’ve always had the opposite thought ironically enough. I’ve felt I’m too young (at 22) to know enough to write profoundly about any topic so, I went out and interviewed five priests to help me better understand the Catholic religion in order to write my novella, The Nobodies. Remember… there are a million reasons to convince yourself NOT to do something, but you have to drown out those voices and keep moving onward. Good luck!

    Xo,
    Laurel 🙂

    1. You make an excellent point Laurel, I’d never really thought about writing in that way compared with other creative outlets. It’s also interesting to know we have similar feelings but are at different stages in our lives. I guess there really isn’t any hard and fast rules in this writing business, and if you want it enough and work hard, anything is possible at any age. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Heather, when you write you become a writer. A writer writes. So, you can call yourself a writer. If someone asks if you are published, remind yourself and that person of what it takes to be a writer: writing. If you aren’t ready to tell other people yet, that’s okay. Just look in the mirror every day and say, “I am a writer.” You’ve got this!

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