5.3.14

#IWSG: Faking It

To quote something from my current WIP: the ability to pretend she knew what she was doing was often more valuable than actually knowing.

Do any of you feel that way with this writing thing? Like sometimes you're just pretending to know what you're doing instead of actually knowing? I sure do---in pretty much every step of the process: the actual writing, the querying, especially the marketing. I've taken every step forward that I needed to to get where I am, but not usually with a great deal of confidence. It's more like...m'okay, let's do this & see what happens.

Occasionally what happens is that I find myself in over my head. Like when Savvy Authors invited me to submit a proposal for an article, so I did, and they accepted. I sent out an excited Tweet and then thought...Aw crap, now I've got to write this thing.  And what do I know about Finding the Hooks Within Your Manuscript?

The only way I was able to get myself started was by faking it---writing as if I knew what I was talking about. And by the end, I felt like, hey, maybe I have been learning as I go along and maybe I do know just a little bit more on the subject than I'd thought. So I guess that's my pep talk this month: boldly go forth as if you know what you're doing...and maybe you'll find out that you actually do.

This post is for the March 2014 edition of the Insecure Writer's Support group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.


21 comments:

Jennifer Lane said...

Fake it 'til you make it, baby! I loved that Savvy Authors piece you wrote and that's great you stretched yourself to go for it. I totally have imposter syndrome when it comes to this writing thing. You do a wonderful job of encouraging me!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

He he Faking it. That's what I do most of the time. Great advice! I missed that piece. I was too busy with everything so I didn't read that issue. I didn't even open it. Oops! I'll read it now. That's a great topic!

Steven said...

When I very first started writing for clients, I felt like a huge fake-o! You have to start somewhere, so fake it till you know what you're doing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nicki, I fake it every single day, because I still don't know what I'm doing.
Congratulations on that article!

Julie Flanders said...

I also fake it all the time. I suspect lots of us do! Congrats on the article, that's awesome.

Liz Blocker said...

LOL, I love that quote from your WIP! It's so, so true. Confidence, no matter how fake, goes a long way - so let's keep on faking it, and I won't tell!

Feather Stone said...

Very insightful, Ms. Elson. I never faked anything until I got married. I was plunged into adulthood and not prepared for all the responsibility, including hubby's ego in a certain department, wink. I think everyone who fakes it, should be given a medal. They prove they're willing to step into the unknown, risk defeat, gain new ground through hard work and courage. They are the heroes. Just like you, Nicki.

Jay Noel said...

Yup, I'm pretty much just pretending to be a successful author. Maybe if I brainwash myself hard enough, it'll come true! Lol.

Johanna Garth said...

I felt that way when I was practicing law too. Like really, you're going to trust me to negotiate this huge deal?? Are you sure, cuz I'm not so sure! I think faking it is just part of the progression towards confidence. Sounds like your article will take you one more step down that non-fake path!

M Pax said...

Yeah, faking it until I'm making it. :) I'd be lying if I said I always know what I'm doing. I don't. Yet, I'm going to teach others that I know nothing in April. lol

Cherie Colyer said...

Great post and advice. I've done my share of faking it. But it's a great feeling when I figure something out and realize I'm no longer faking it.

Suze said...

'I sent out an excited Tweet and then thought...Aw crap, now I've got to write this thing.'

Chuckle. Babe, I loved this post. I'm revising right now and feel a little like I'm pulling a Chevy uphill ... with my bare hands. I don't know why this is so hard for me this time but I love the idea of just pressing forward until we get it right even though during it feels a heckuva lot more like faking it. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Such a perfect post! I felt and feel the same way. I'm totally faking it. Though, I'm improving. Either I'm learning how to fake real good or else I'm learning along the way. Thank you for the great advice to boldly go forth, I like!

geophf said...

Some positive, and sly, comments about the benefits of faking 'it' here, whatever 'it' is. For my part, I humbly acknowledge this post, but would like to put forward a defense of getting real.

Because, after all, the heart of the matter is in reality. When you get real with someone, you'll touch their heart. It is the faking it which hurts their heart, and yours. No matter what the 'it' you are faking is.

Janie Junebug said...

I always told students that if they couldn't get started to make a title page. That way they had begun, even if that was all they had. I quite often start writing by letting my thoughts go wherever they . . .

Love,
Janie

Caffe Maggieato said...

Thanks for this post. If we fake it well enough, maybe no one would actually realize we don't know what we're doing ... :)

LD Masterson said...

It's always a comfort to realize everyone around you is faking it too, about something.

Anna Tan said...

Yea, I think I fake a lot of stuff - including my day job sometimes!

anna
Have a theme for A to Z? Reveal it with us on March 21 during the #atozreveal!

Tammy Theriault said...

I never fake it. i'll straight up say what does plot mean? I'm more than willing to learn from the fakers though! LOL

Trisha F said...

I'm the opposite in that I don't leap in until I'm ready. With one exception - I entered a pitch contest and got a request, but though I got some very kind and encouraging comments in my rejection, it still was a rejection. For the most part though, I hide away in my writing hole. :P

Theresa Milstein said...

I know exactly what you mean. Everything we do new makes us feel like we don't know what we're doing. But as people say--you gotta fake it until you make it.