How to Know You Are Good Enough to Write a Book
“Sometimes showing up to write is more about believing that you’re the right person.” —Azul Terronez
In one of our previous episodes with Ann Maynard, Episode 198, she advises authors to be true and honest. This essentially means they need to be vulnerable on the page. But how can you be vulnerable if you don’t feel like you’re worthy? This feeling of unworthiness can happen even if you’re successful in other areas.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk about this feeling of imposter syndrome, something that seems to plague a great deal of us. It’s likely you’ve already heard of or experienced this because I must say almost every author I’ve ever met knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Loosely defined, imposter syndrome is doubting your abilities and feeling like you’re a fraud. It often affects high-achieving people who find it difficult to accept their own accomplishments. A lot of authors are high-performing people, so imposter syndrome grows in numbers as they start their writing journey.
I have helped doctors, lawyers, professors, dentists, pharmacists—all people you would think should feel confident. They’re well educated and confident in their own field of expertise, but when they show up to write a book, that imposter syndrome shows up in a big way.
Imposters Don’t Have Imposter Syndrome
All the feelings and fears that come with imposter syndrome more than likely mean you’re not a fraud or an imposter. Authorship sometimes shows up as the feeling of not being good enough. Your ability as an author to be vulnerable on the page shows that you’re true and honest, and people can connect with you because of that. They aren’t looking for a guru or an expert; they’re looking for this vulnerability from you.
Getting Rid of Imposter Syndrome
Now that we know what imposter syndrome is, we might be wondering how to get rid of it. But that is the thing. Stop trying to get rid of it or fix it. The vulnerability of imposter syndrome can lead us to feel like we’re either not enough or too much, which can lead us to fear showing up in our writing. I believe this fear is really fuel for authors. It allows us to be willing to be vulnerable with our readers. If we’re honest with them, they can relate and connect with us easier.
My friend Jadah Sellner tells us that there are no unique messages, only unique messengers. If you can hold this in your heart and trust that you’re good enough, you can let imposter syndrome start to slip away.
The Next Step
If you feel inspired to write a book, you don’t need to be an expert or get permission, or even be a good writer. Books are not words—they’re ideas conveyed through words. These ideas are important because they come from your unique mind and experiences. You can’t control what others think, so whether your book is good is not for you to figure out. Your only job is to capture the simple idea that no one else noticed—but you did.
Don’t give up on yourself. Trust that your reason for writing a book, your reasoning for being called to this, is important. You’re the unique messenger we’re looking for. If you show up on the page and be honest as you can about whatever you’re talking about, whether it be a novel or a leadership book, or a memoir, then you will have an impact on the world.
I hope you enjoyed this episode about imposter syndrome. What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Do you feel like you’re not good enough to write the book that’s in your heart? In the comments, share your biggest challenge in writing your book.
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside you that needs to be written, know that you can write the book that’s been on your heart. Don’t delay—face your fears, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and make a movement with your message!