I was talking to a friend who’s a writer and I was telling her/him that they have some serious writing skills. Believe me, they do. But it got me thinking about self doubt, and imposter syndrome. I think most writers and artists in general have it to a degree. I’ve heard a twenty plus year veteran hint that they’ve been lucky, when luck doesn’t play much of a part in it. It’s rare someone consistently gets published as frequently as this individual does for it to be luck. Yes, there might be a little of being in the right place at the right time, but if you don’t have the skill to produce something people are going to read, and be dependable then you won’t keep getting work.
I am at the very early beginnings of my writing career. I’ve been published in five anthologies as of writing this post. Was I a little lucky with my first piece being published? Maybe. One of the editors pointed me towards the submission call. Despite fearing only got in because I knew that person, our that there wasn’t many people who submitted don’t hold water. The editor is known for being brutal with the red pen, and I doubt she would accept a story just because she knows someone if it isn’t good enough. And if there wasn’t enough decent submissions, the publisher would drop the anthology. Which is something they’ve done in the past.
I’ve been published in four more anthologies since then. Each story had to stand on its own two feet.
There was one story that I thought was weak. But I had a little bit of good feedback from beta readers and an editor loved it (to the point where he invited me to another anthology that sadly fell through). When that anthology cam out my story was compared favourably to a Stephen King one. Yes, I may have been bouncing for a week after that one!
In a way, it doesn’t matter what we, the writer, may think of our work. It’s an editors choice if they are going to publish it, and that’s their job. What about self-publishing? I hear you ask. When it comes to self-publishing then it’s the reader who’ll decide. Does that suck a little bit? Yeah I think so. But for me it doesn’t matter because I’m writing what I want to write. One I might be working on pieces that I’m aiming at a particular market, but right in these early days I’ve got to write the tales I want to tell.
Trust yourself, and even if you still don’t then send it to someone you trust who’ll give an honest, but not mean, opinion on it. Don’t self-reject because of self doubt. It’s not worth it when the buzz of being published is as amazing as it is.