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What Confident, Successful Writers Know About Impostor Syndrome

Have A Ritual

A lot of the writer's best work is produced when they are at a certain time and space. There may be certain external factors, the morning freshness, the outdoor greens, or the hustle-bustle of the café that gets the creative juices flowing, and it is unique to all.

Get to know what stokes your fire and recreate that setting as a ritual.

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What Confident, Successful Writers Know About Impostor Syndrome

What Confident, Successful Writers Know About Impostor Syndrome

https://writingcooperative.com/what-confident-successful-writers-know-about-impostor-syndrome-9744607863ad

writingcooperative.com

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Key Ideas

The Impostor Syndrome

  • A feeling of being unworthy and secretly cheating your audience/employer or followers is common and natural, especially in the field of writing.

  • 70 percent of millennials have reported that they have experienced impostor syndrome.

  • Underestimating yourself is actually a better strategy than to overestimate your abilities, and exaggerating your efforts.

Illusory Superiority

This is a form of false confidence, when we believe that we are above average in just about everything.

Some people form a ‘halo’ around themselves at being extremely competent while being the opposite, as they are unable to measure or even see their shortcomings. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Realistic Goals

Writers who are confident set realistic and controllable goals to overcome the impostor syndrome.

Focusing on days or weeks of progress, with regular review/tracking gets us to know our productivity with supporting data, as opposed to our feelings that are unreliable.

The First Draft

The first draft of any writer's work needs a lot of improvisation. There is a feeling of ‘whiplash’ that takes place when writers navigate and come in terms with the rework. Writing regularly makes this a normal occurrence, and not something to worry all night.

Have A Ritual

A lot of the writer's best work is produced when they are at a certain time and space. There may be certain external factors, the morning freshness, the outdoor greens, or the hustle-bustle of the café that gets the creative juices flowing, and it is unique to all.

Get to know what stokes your fire and recreate that setting as a ritual.

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The first draft

The first words you write are the first draft. Writing is thinking. You'll rarely know what exactly you want to say when you start writing.

The time you put into editing, reworking and re...

Common errors

Most writing mistakes are widespread, but good writers just get better at spotting them. Some things you'll learn to watch for are:

  • Overuse of jargon and business-speak, like "utilize" or "endeavor" instead of "use" or "try."
  • Clichés are stale phrases that have lost their impact and novelty through overuse. If you are used to seeing it in print, don't use it.
  • The passive voice. The subject of the sentence should be the person or thing taking action, not the thing being acted on. "Harry wrote this article," is better than "This article was written by Harry."
  • Rambling. When you are not sure what you want to say, it is easy to phrase it in three or four different ways. A single concise sentence is generally better.
Give it some space

When you write something, you get very close to it. It is nearly impossible to distance yourself from it straight away to edit properly.

The longer you can leave a draft before editing, the better. Half an hour to two days is enough of a break to edit well. When you do edit, read your work out loud. You'll catch more problems and get a better feel for how everything flows.

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Make The Readers Feel Something

Honesty is the most important ingredient. You don’t have to be or have gone through something to write about it but you must have a heartfelt feeling about it so you can expose that emotion thro...

Structure And Revise

You need to have a beginning that builds to a middle and an ending, or at least an idea of where you’re going, as it is key to explore your themes and foreshadow things properly.

Another important thing is to revise your writings. Your first draft is likely to contain multiple errors, poorly phrased sections, and inconsistencies.

Surprise The Reader

To do it, you must know what your audience expects from the type of writing you’re doing and then defy it.

Without the surprise, without the twist, if you don’t pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be memorable. It’s precisely the fact that things are not what they seem that makes a story interesting.

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Impostor Syndrome

Is a psychological phenomenon that reflects the core belief that you are an inadequate, incompetent, and a failure, despite evidence that indicates you're skilled and successful.

Impos...

Causes of the Impostor Syndrome

From a psychological standpoint, it may be influenced by certain factors early in life, particularly the development of certain beliefs and attitude towards success and one's self-worth.

Signs You Have Impostor Syndrome
  • You don't think you deserve success.
  • You think you're a fake and you're going to be found out.
  • You attribute your success to luck.
  • You think you're not special, anyone can do what you do.
  • You can't internalize your success so you credit others for it.
  • You can't accept praise.
  • Failure is not an option.
  • You use "I'm pretty sure" or "I kind of think" because of lack of confidence.
  • You discredit your achievements.
Inability to distinguish

We tend to assume that confident people have more potential for leadership. 

However, there is little overlap between how good people think they are at something, and how good the...

Charismatic individuals

We seem to want leaders who are charming and entertaining, but a stand-up comedian is not the same as an effective leader.

The best leaders are humble rather than charismatic, to the point of being boring.

Narcissistic individuals

We've always admired famous people, but our admiration for people who admire themselves is on the rise. But true leaders keep their narcissism in check.

Popular advice focuses on loving yourself above all else. And this creates leaders who are unaware of their limitations. They see leadership as an entitlement. 

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Output comes from input

If you want to have a lot of good ideas, you need to expose yourself to good ideas.

This means reading books, having conversations with interesting people, seeking out new experiences,...

Have a capture mechanism

Creative ideas often come to you when you’re not deliberately trying to solve a problem, when your mind is relaxed.

That's why your creative process must include a system to capture ideas when you have them, so you can work on them later. The simplest mechanism is simply to have a list where you keep ideas.

Incubate your ideas

Regularly review your ideas lists. Incubation helps because just as a spontaneous connection can generate an idea, an incubated idea can spontaneously mature into a plan of action if you take care of it.

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Impostor Syndrome

It is a psychological phenomenon that reflects the belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.

The Perfectionist

They set the bar excessively high for themselves and when they fail to reach their goals, they experience major self-doubt. For this type, success is rarely satisfying because they believe they could’ve done even better.

But that’s not productive. Learning to celebrate achievements is essential if you want to avoid burnout and find contentment.

The Superwoman/man

Impostor workaholics are actually addicted to the validation that comes from working, not to the work itself. They push themselves to work harder, to measure up with their colleagues.

Start drifting away from external validation. No one should have more power to make you feel good about yourself than you.

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Putting your knowledge and skills in perspective
Putting your knowledge and skills in perspective

When you're feeling notably uncertain about a something, take the time perform an audit, in the objective terms possible.

Ask yourself: What is my knowledge base, and what are my pr...

Playing the part

Competency requires practice. It doesn't get easier overnight.

Playing the part doesn't mean to just fake it, even if there are some benefits to that, too. Instead, by diving in and doing the work even if you don’t feel 100% prepared, your skillset will start to improve as you get more practice.

Clarifying questions in uncertain situations

When you’re really unsure, asking questions may be last thing you'd want to do, because it could feel like turning on a spotlight when all you want to do is go unnoticed. But masking uncertainty tends to amplify it.

In many situations, questions are an important tool: the more comfortable you get asking for clarification or help, the smoother the path is down the road.

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