One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is when you tell people you are a writer. In many ways, you wind up needing to convince yourself as much as you do someone else that this is what you do. Do I support myself entirely with writing? No. Is the stuff that I write 100% creative fiction? No. But I am also an author. (Of one completed book. Which I published myself. When it comes to impostorship, that is some shaky ground sometimes).
I write a travel blog and I have had some recent success in travel writing, which has been outstanding. I have been featured in a university newspaper about these efforts, which in some ways almost makes impostor syndrome worse. How am I of all people worthy of a newspaper article?
I have been writing blogs for probably around 12 years. Maybe longer. One of my first forays into blogging was when I won $10 for Fantasy Magazine’s “Blog for a Beer” post. That was back when the new Millennium was still in its single digits. I had been a published writer before that (and since) with short stories. My first being in 1996, with my university’s fiction magazine, “The Crucible.” What an odd experience that was. Cheese and refreshments with a “publication party” of about six people. The parties got a little bit better during the next couple years, and the next time they accepted a story, I won Best in Fiction.
I can hardly read that story now. Boy was it rough.
Over the years, I have published short stories, newspaper articles, articles for online magazines, and one novel. Very few of those have earned me much of a paycheck. I have also written so much copy for companies over the years that I can’t even remember how much there has been. Everything from fake reviews for products on Amazon to travel guides for places I have never visited. I was also an editor for my university’s Academic Catalog for about three years. That was actually a lot of fun, but that wasn’t writing, that was just part of the day job where I got to fiddle with words.
So, last night, I was doing taxes and I had a neat reminder of my clout as a writer. I got to add my sales for my second job of writing content for company websites as income. I always used to hear that if you can pay bills or a large chunk of your rent with writing, then you are a writer.
So, I guess it’s official!
Weird that it took that to knock out my impostor syndrome. Hahaha!