For some, it doesn’t matter how many gold stars they collect, it will never be enough. And for them, I suggest collecting stories so incredibly bad they bring you to gasping tears from laughing so hard.
You know those days, when you’ve been staring at that blank page for what seems like hours because all your ideas seem dumb?
When you hate everything you write.
When you only have one review for your newest story. Or worse, none.
When you dread hitting the publish button because you’re terrified of what someone might think of your story. Or you.
You know the days when you question why you thought this was such a brilliant idea in the first place and are feeling like a failure?
Yeah, those sorta days.
I was having one of those sorta days.
I wrote 1,300 words for my WIP and hated the direction my story was going when I read over it at the end. Which of course meant scrapping it all.
I wrote a whole email for you, but when I went to send it I realized I hated everything about it.
I’ve been sick for a year and a half and not a single doctor or specialist they’ve sent me to can explain what it is—just what it isn’t.
The special anti-glare coating on my new glasses interferes with the tech in smartphones and apps so I basically can’t film or unlock my phone while wearing them.
I was having one of those days that turns into a cascade of terrible. An avalanche of why did I even bother getting up out of bed? And then my husband poked his head into the room.
“Can I read you something funny?”
“Sure. Why not,” I answered sarcastically.
And of course, because we were both in the same room Akimi our cat just had to join us.
After I had a meltdown of sorts, he read me the funny thing that did not disappoint.
I present Kristy Sedgman’s A Play in 3 Acts starring Giles Coren of The Times.
At first, I’m thinking ‘I’m not sure what he means by “write-offs” considering until very recently in history women weren’t even allowed to be authors. Furthermore, even today in certain genres like Thriller, Mystery, and SciFi women are STILL forced to adopt male pen names or publish under just their first initial to be taken seriously or widely read. But okay, I’ll see where he’s going with this…’
Oh wow. I just. I just have to know now. Also, what on earth is he inviting strippers to other than a bachelor party? Like, did he have strippers at his book release party?
Now that’s bold marketing.
Now, I don’t normally laugh at other people’s artistic attempts. I’m just not that sorta person. But dudebro was just so damn arrogant how could I not? I mean yikes. 😬
Even me, whose 6th-grade teacher told her, ‘You fundamentally do not understand the concept of brevity,’ never made a run-on sentence this egregious.
But Giles’ lack of prowess in bed scenes aside, I’m not really here to point fingers and shame another storyteller’s work. Really, I’m not. I’m here to talk about imposter syndrome, and how to combat it.
For some of us collecting accolades and praise can motivate us on those dark days. We can pull out those fan messages and awards and remind ourselves that our stories are quality, and that people like us and our creations.
But it doesn’t work for everyone. For some, it doesn’t matter how many gold stars they collect it will never be enough. And for them I suggest collecting Giles.
Collect examples of people who bombed spectacularly.
Truly terrible works of fiction that make you ask, “How…? Why would someone publish this?”
Stories so incredibly bad they bring you to gasping tears from laughing so hard. 😹
(And drive your cat from the room because she thinks you’re hissing at her)
Good or bad—squirrel these things away. So when you’re being sucked into that mire of imposter syndrome you can crack open your bank vault. And whether it’s filled with accolade stars or the epic fails of the arrogant, your collection should set you on the path of creation once again.
So I hope the next time you’re being stalked by the imposter monster you pull out whatever you’ve stashed away.