Yesterday, a friend stopped by to pick up her boys. I’d been watching her tykes while she finished out her school-year duties. When she showed up, shoes stretched from one end of my seven-foot rug to the other. This line-up translated into eleven kids.
She joked about my revolving door and what that must cost in food (ten plates adorned our dinner table last night), laundry (thirteen beach towels were washed) and time cleaning (the broom is used only second to the toilet bowl scrubber). She ended by saying I was a good mom.
Yet, some days I don’t feel like I resemble a passable rendition of a mom. Period. Good doesn’t even enter my mind. Surviving, yes. Tired, sure. But good?
Somehow, I’ve earned my Mom Imposter Certificate. I’ve managed to fool the masses.
There are days when I feel the same about being a writer. At times, I have it all under control. I write. Edit. Learn. Hone. Read. Plot. Network. I’m a veritable whirlwind of Writerhood.
Other days I’m nothing more than a Writing Imposter Extraordinaire. Oh yeah, I can fool anyone into believing I’m actually a writer. Everyone but myself.
My keyboard time consists of idle fingers or poorly constructed sentences. I edit, only to refuse to save the changes I’ve made. I’m hit with a new fact about the writing biz that makes me feel like a newbie penning her first word.
A writer, I most definitely am not.
And yet, when someone asks, I smile at the shoes lined up along the rug of my life and feel satisfied. For even an imposter has a job to do. If we work hard enough at showing the world we are good moms and real writers, eventually we become what we practice. Even if we’re tired and our muses are on vacation.
Are you a writer? If so, how do you define this in the context of your life? Is a byline your threshold for success or is the act of writing enough? Are you an imposter? If so, why do you feel this way, and what will it take for you to believe that you are, indeed, more than what you give yourself credit for?
Imposters want to know!
I tend to go by the “Writer’s write” definition. I write. I HAVE TO WRITE. So I’m a writer.
And you are too!
But being a GOOD writer, like being a good mom, is probably highly subjective . . .
Oh, yes. Throw the word good in there and all sorts of quirky things can happen!
We all write.
*slinks off with pom poms still shaking*
“Fake it til you make it, baby!”
This is a good and valuable mantra for all of us. That, and sometimes, “Good enough is good enough.”
And one more, particularly applicable to your question, “Show up as who you want to BE”.
Haha! Love these mottos, especially the first one!
Great post. I recently wrote about the same thing, and came to the conclusion that if you live it, love it and have an incessant need to do it, then you probably are ‘it’. Nonetheless, there are always going to be days, at least for me, where I’m going to feel like an imposter!
Becca~Posting these by my computer! Great inspiration.
Katy~even if you feel like an imposter, never give up!
Posting these by my computer! Great inspiration.
I totally agree! Sometimes it feels like you shouldn’t say you’re a writer until you have something published. But if you have a couple books on your computer at least, then you are definitely a writer! Maybe just not an author – YET.
My rule of thumb is that I am the average of what I want to be and what everyone thinks I am. When no one knew I wrote books, I was a half-writer, half-scientist. Now when people introduce me, they say I write books, and I’m finally starting to feel like a writer for the realsies.
I love that you feel like a writer for “realsies”. That may be my new favorite word!
But you’re so right. There are two parts to being a writer: acting like one by writing and feeling like one by declaring that you are one. It took me many years to step out of the writing closet and declare my intentions.
Best luck and thanks for stopping by!
There’s nothing more destructive than self-doubt, I’ve learned that the hard way.
We do what we can, even if faking it is the only option. Think about how much worse off you would be if you didn’t fake it once in a while. I don’t think I’d get out of bed half the time.
Great post and I’m glad to be here!
Oh, yes. There are definitely mornings where bed seems the better alternative. Glad you got up this morning and stopped on over!
Thanks so much for the comment.
I’m a writer because unlike many (some friends included) I never stopped telling stories to myself, and 90% of the time I even write them down and actually finish them (1% is unfinished).
I might not write every day, have a hard time with a scene or a sentence, but I know I’ll get my job done eventually.
An so will you, Oh, Great Mum And Writer! 🙂
Your stats are simply amazing, my dear. I can only hope to be just like you when I finally grow up!
I adore you, btw! Your comments always make me smile.
I don’t talk much about my writing. Those near me know about it, and sometimes they bring it up, but it’s too personal for me to discuss in public or bring up to strangers.
I do some marketing, and a few people at work know it, but I don’t toot the writing horn when I’m not on blogger (this is dedicated to writing, so I unleash!). My wife embarrasses me sometimes by saying, Oh, Eric writes! You should talk to him!
Here’s the thing, though. You don’t toot your horn about being a mom, either, do you? You don’t brag on it. Sure, you mention it sometimes, but you don’t go around advertising how great of a mom you are.
You are simply a mom and people notice. You’re a good mom, people say.
I am? you answer.
Sure are. Look at your kids.
Yeah, look at them. They’re burning down the house. Great mom I am! (dad in my case, and they are not burning, they are playing in the ashes naked with dirty faces, but smiling, thank God!)
And so forth.
That’s how it is with me and writing. People notice. My coworkers notice when I send emails. Sometimes they quote me! Many tell me I should be a writer, and when I say, I am, they say, Not surprised, are you any good?
Not really, I say. I’m all right, I guess, but I just write. That’s it.
There’s the biggest flattery, Cat. When people notice you being you, even when you are too humble to mention it.
As always you have such a way with words. Very thought-provoking comment and beautifully said. Thanks for the response.
Also, I love the image of your babies playing in the ashes. You’re not camping by any chance are you?