1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Are you a fraud?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by deadrats, Jul 9, 2019.

    Ever feel like a fraud? How do you get past something like that? I've gotten lucky a few times and I don't have nearly as much potential as I've convinced some people I do have. I just feel like I can't deliver the goods. I feel like it would be easier to call it quits than be exposed as the mediocre writer I really am. Yes, I'm a complete fraud. Are any of you also frauds or ever feel that way? I just don't know if I can really keep this going, knowing it's just a matter of time before the truth comes out. I can't meet deadlines or earn back advances. What the hell an I doing? I'm a fraud. Are you?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  2. Luxri

    Luxri New Member

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    Considering the only one who really critiques me is myself I wouldn't say I am a fraud. I normally get praise from my writing, but I think that is more for the plot than the grammar. (Not that I haven't got critique from others, it is just rare for some reason. Maybe not enough critical thinkers read my stuff or maybe I am just better than what I think I am. Not that I am a great writer, but maybe I'm not shit.)
     
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  3. thiefacrobat286

    thiefacrobat286 Member

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    No
     
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Every time I sit down to write. Which is...*looks at my watch* probably as soon as I finish this post. But you know, there is only you to tell this story. No one else can. Even if you are a fraud and others could do it better or have more experience or more knowledge... they don't know your story.

    Just go on. Says a fellow fraud.
     
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Active Member

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    Nope. I finish books. How can that be a fraud?
     
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  6. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    This is called "Impostor syndrome".... definition: "the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills."

    I feel like this all the time in my job, but never about my writing. At work, I'm one of the youngest (i was the youngest one working here up until about 3 months ago, then someone my age got hired in a different department). Until this job, i've always been the youngest where ever I worked and i've always been the only black person in the department I work. Even though i've studied hard and got good standings in both high school and university, and i interviewed like everyone else AND have done my best in my jobs, but i still felt like a fraud.... like i couldnt believe that i was hired for my abilities and achievements, but to fill a quota. no matter how many people tell me I'm doing a good job, or that I'm a hard worker, there is that little nagging thought in the back of my mind that i dont deserve to be there.

    THIS feeling, however, I DO NOT feel in my writing because i'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. I am alone in my own head. i am not competing against anyone. I write because I enjoy it. Publication ist my goal, though it is nice to get published and I do submit to places. It doesnt matter if people dont like my writing because, like art, it is subjective. There are some books i've hated and others have enjoyed. Some books and writers i like and others abhor.
     
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  7. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    this sounds more like stress and anxiety. this effects a lot of people, especially in the art fields (my brother is a musician and he's like this all the time.... i felt like this during college for my advanced painting exam. It took me a whole month of working every day on this massive paining and i felt stressed and anxious, and crying, and felt like taking the F rather than completing a painting that i felt wasnt up to par); you are not alone.

    However, I dont suggest you quit, because "it becomes a habit" (something my coach said to me), and "trust the process" (painting instructor said to me).
     
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  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I read somewhere that even james patterson has moments when he thinks 'really, people will read this tripe ? ' Impostor syndrome is normal
     
  9. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    I'm a roller coaster in how I perceive myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm the greatest thing ever, then five minutes later I compare myself to others and think that I suck. A fraud, though? No. I might not think I always earn all the things I've achieved, but unless I ever earn something through illegitimate means (such as plagiarism) I wouldn't call myself a fraud, and neither should you.
     
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  10. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I spent my whole life working mostly in aerospace waiting for two people to come and walk me out.
    I have what I call pseudo intelligence or I’m a master of the spurious. The reality is that I’m more of a Cliff Clavin than Stephen Hawking.
     
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  11. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    I never feel like a fraud. It's a waste of time and energy. People view you in the way they do for a reason. So unless you haven't been the person behind what they are judging you for then they can't be misled as to how you write since you are the person who wrote it.
     
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  12. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Depends on how much you're getting paid.
     
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  13. RobinLC

    RobinLC Active Member

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    I guess I felt this way when I say "I'm a writer". Especially since I
    1) have only self-published on a blog which probably doesn't even count
    and
    2) I've taken a break from my stories to finish my degree.
    Now that I'm weeks away from graduation, I'm getting back into the swing of things and actually did finish a short story.
     
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  14. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Gohd, I hope so! It would totally suck to be me, for real.
     
  15. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Member

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    Some days! But that doesn't mean the writing stops. When I feel like this, I generally step away from the work for a bit, or else play around with something else I have written. That and antidepressants, often gets me out of this funk!
     
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  16. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    Yes, I think so. While I know I can write moderately funny stuff (which is great, considering I'm trying to write absurdist humor), I have a hard time putting it into a good plot. I read books like HHGTG, Dimensions of Miracles, and stuff by Christopher Moore, and wonder how they do it so well, while I can't think of a damn antagonist.
     
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  17. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Top of the buzzing to you. :) Supporter Contributor

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    No, sure don't.
    Mainly because I try to be as original as I can be, and don't flood
    the market with the same shit by just changing the names, setting,
    and similar factors. People who do that in any genre are frauds,
    because they don't push past the same formula that gets them
    the muns. So never really trust an author that has too many books
    that are almost a mirror of the one(s) before it. I am sure it can
    happen by accident, but not for most. They just pump out the
    same thing with minor changes, and act like it is a whole new
    story, when it is the same thing they have written several times
    before.
    So I guess what I am saying is that a fraud is one who has no real
    imagination, yet manages to make a living on the fact that they are
    caught in a stagnate loop.
     
  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe that's part of it. You might have been making a joke because you're a funny guy, but maybe I feel like this because there is money involved and I've been paid for things I haven't yet written. I'm used to failure more than success. And I've already spent all the money. I have so much debt that it's all gone to that pretty much. I don't know why people thought I had it in me to pay me in advance. I shouldn't be complaining about being paid for my writing or advances. I have a feeling there is more money coming. I'm trying to convince myself I deserve this and worked hard to get to this point, but I've been making more money than I expected. Don't get me wrong. I'm still quite poor and I do cash those checks as soon as I get them, but I haven't earned them yet and maybe my work isn't worth as much as I'm making. Now with the whole novel thing, that advance could be more unearned money. I haven't even sent it to the publisher who requested to see it yet. I feel like I'm just fooling everyone and stopping at the bank on my way.
     
  19. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to Corporate 'Murica
     
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  20. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    Meh. Your theory holds up until you consider AC/DC, and see that their winning formula that they've used on every album since 1980 doesn't make them stagnant.

    If a formula works, why change it?
     
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  21. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Active Member

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    I'm not sure it's even possible to be a fraud (as a writer) since the value of any work/piece is subjective. If someone wants to pay 50 dollars for a piece of work great, if they want to pay 500, even better. The fact you are receiving checks at all should be a boon to your confidence as a writer.
     
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  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Top of the buzzing to you. :) Supporter Contributor

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    Cause I am in the camp of not wanting to read the same story from
    an author who is incapable of having or showing the potential they
    had when they started.
    A formula means the author has no true talent past their beginnings,
    and therefore are not worth more than what they started with.
    Start out strong and finish strong, not start off strong and finish meh. :meh::bigmeh:
    So the use of a formula might be great for sales, but I am not the average
    reader, so I like to see evolution in an author's style and variance. :)
     
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  23. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Why haven't you earned it? They wanted a story and you gave them a story. You produced a product somebody needed, and they paid you a fair market value for it. Nothing fraudulent about that. I mean, maybe you feel like you jipped them by providing an inferior product or something, but you're still poor, so you couldn't have rooked them too badly.

    This is the business side of writing, and there's nothing artistic about it. It's a product like anything else. Doesn't matter if it's stories, sandwiches, or butt plugs. People pay for what it's worth. That's it. You wanted to sell it. They wanted to buy it. Bing Bang Boom. Nothing to be ashamed about there. I know that you're really passionate about what you do, but now that the hard work and perseverance and reams of rejection letters are starting to pay off, I think you deserve a fist pump or two. You're getting paid for writing. Enjoy it.
     
  24. The Mink

    The Mink Member

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    I often get praise for stories that I know are badly written. I often get praise for my production rate when I know that I could be a lot more productive.
    So I discount all praise, because it makes me feel like a fraud.
    I'm not sure that this is exactly what you are asking
     
  25. Cirno

    Cirno New Member

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    For me, the way I dealt with this is sorta by letting go of the whole self-importance getting into a passion brings, which, no matter how contradictory that might seem, makes my confidence go way up.

    I'm an amateur writer, but that's fine, I'll take that title in stride because it's neato that I'm doing something at all. I'd like to reach the level of success it takes to become a full time novelist, but so what if that's probably never going to happen? I'm having fun! I'd like people to end up reading the books I published, but so what if only ten people do? That's still ten people who didn't have to give me the time of day, but they did!

    You're not special, you're one of millions of people doing what they love--and that's fine, keep doing it and maybe you'll become that great writer you want to be.
     

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