Imposter Syndrome is a real thing. When it takes hold of you, it attempts to convince you that you don’t know what you’re doing, that you’re not really a writer, that everyone else is much more talented than you, that you have no business pretending you’re a writer, that you should just give up.
But you mustn’t listen.
What makes someone a writer isn’t that their books are bestsellers, or that they’ve published multiple tomes, or that all they do is write, and think about writing, and talk about writing. It isn’t even that they have a million ideas.
The only thing that makes someone a writer is that they believe they are a writer.
You say you’re a writer? Well, who am I to tell you you’re not?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never finished a manuscript, or if you’ve never redrafted one, or that you don’t think your work is any good, or that you don’t spend hours writing every day, or that you don’t sit in cafes and type away at a keyboard, or fill notebooks with plot ideas and character profiles.
You’re a writer if you want to be one, in whatever way works for you, with however many hours you spend writing a day, with whatever medium fits, and whichever genre you choose.
So here’s to you.
Here’s to the writers who spend all day writing, the lucky few.
Here’s to the writers who spend all day thinking about writing, with obligations that take precedence, for now.
Here’s to the writers who type up their stories, sleeping to the sound of the click-clack of the keys in their mind.
Here’s to the writers who fill notebooks with their stories, ink stained fingertips and cramped hands their signature.
Here’s to the writers who get stuck in plot holes, and take months or years digging themselves out.
Here’s to the writers who brainstorm and plan, waiting for the perfect time to write.
Here’s to the writers who’ve been dreaming about it their whole lives, who know it’s what they’re meant to be doing.
Here’s to the writers who stumbled into this world only when they were older, thinking they don’t deserve to want it.
Here’s to the writers who dabble in all sorts of genres, wanting to try everything.
Here’s to the writers who stick to one genre, and do it marvellously.
Here’s to the writers who have an immaculately designed workspace, where everything has a purpose and a place.
Here’s to the writers who know no organisation, and have to search high and low for a pen to jot down an idea.
Here’s to the writers who are pantsers, and find their story as they write it.
Here’s to the writers who plan every last detail of a story, and follow it to a T.
Here’s to the writers somewhere in between, who plan and pants and lose their minds a little with each day, but keep doing it anyway, because it works and it’s fun.
Here’s to the writers who see something seemingly insignificant, and a whole story unfurls in their minds.
Here’s to the writers who have to dig deep to find inspiration, who need all their words to have a special depth and meaning.
Here’s to the writers who put a little of themselves in each of their characters, pseudo-horcruxes.
Here’s to the writers who can detach themselves from their work, and move on soon as the story is done.
Here’s to the writers who dream, and hope, and wish that their words will be a help to someone, somewhere, someday.
Here’s to you.
And to me.
And to any writers who are one of these things, or all of these things, or some of these things.
Or none of these things.
You are valid.
Your dreams are valid.
You are a writer.