Saturday, July 18, 2020

I’m an Imposter ~ by S. Massery

Yep, you read the title right. I’m an imposter.

I’m just a girl who had an idea. I wrote it, and someone told me it was good, so I wrote another one. I liked the stories. I was addicted to collecting words on a page, smearing them into art and telling myself it was pretty. Isn’t that what everyone hopes their words are? Pretty? And it felt okay. I was meant to be there, because the stories were out in the universe. No one was really buying them. They just existed, and it was enough.

But… that was a lie.

It wasn’t enough.

A million years ago, my fiction writing professor in college told me authors have a weird mix of humility and arrogance. We accept feedback, make changes, acknowledge that our stories could be flawed the first time around. And yet, when the time comes, we’re its biggest advocate.

I began a hunt. Find readers. Write better, smoother, more poetically. A faster-paced story. Darker. Edgier.

Plot twists and cliffhangers.

And suddenly, my books were being read by more than just people I knew.

It was then that it hit me like a ton of bricks: I messed up. Somewhere between typing the first sentence of my first book (“We ran and ran until there were no more houses, no more signs of life.” The sentence that started it all, I like to think.) and now, I had taken a wrong turn.

Here I was! Lost and out of place, pretty sure this was all a big mistake, and no one knew where I actually was supposed to be. Because it’s easy to brush off the hard work. Nights and early mornings writing until my fingers cramped, reading critiques, learning how to market, how to write, how to function. Teaching myself graphic design and formatting and the best way to conduct myself online. What kind of person I am, even.

Someone had set me loose in the world and they forgot to give me a map.

It’s harder to accept that I earned a spot here. That I started in the proverbial mailroom and worked my way up the ladder of success in my own company, and here I am. A fresh-faced (okay, more like tired) CEO of a one-woman writing show.

And you know what?

I got this.

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