Stop Impostor Syndrome For Writers: 8 Tips

Impostor syndrome for writers.

It’s the number one killer of your copywriting dreams and aspirations.

It’s what prevents you from writing a successful website copy.

And, it’s the bane of every writer’s existence that pops up from time to time.

…The moments of self-doubt. 

…The moments you don’t think you’re good enough.

 …And it makes you question if you’re doing the right thing.

Truth is – everyone undergoes it at one point or another in their writing career. Doubt doesn’t discriminate. The most successful and smartest professionals undergo these same moments you do too.

Well the good news is these are only moments. That means you will get back up on your feet before you know it.

What matters is how to deal with impostor syndrome in your copywriting career.

Let’s take a look at how to overcome impostor syndrome for writers.

Table of contents: Impostor syndrome for writers

First, what is impostor syndrome for writers?

It’s the fear of not being good enough within your work contrary to what is true. Or when you think your work lacks value. It’s what holds you back in progressing forward to tackling your goals.

In fact – it’s what breaks businesses apart. And it’s what leaves you in a dry spell.

Look at the psychological phenomenon as a form of self-sabotage.

But you’re not alone.

Research shows less than 3/4 of people will experience the phenomenon at least once in their lives.

The types of impostor syndrome for writers

There is only one type of impostor syndrome, the character trait of self-doubt. And there are five types of scenarios one can experience:

  • The Perfectionist
    Someone who feels their writing doesn’t meet their standards of perfection. Because nothing is perfect – the writer falls into a neverending cycle of criticism. This leads to feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
  • The Hero
    A writer who feels their work doesn’t meet the expectations of others. They feel insufficient because they have to always perform at a high standard. They often feel their work or themselves is a fraud because they can’t perform.
  • The Natural Genius
    This type of writer feels guilty of themselves for not understanding everything. They feel they need to know everything, so it causes pressure on them.
  • The Soloist
    A writer who thinks they can do it all alone. They don’t ask for help or questions when they need to. Soloists often compare themselves to other people’s work and look for reasons to chip at their work.
  • The Expert
    A writer who doubts themselves by their lack of knowledge or understanding of a topic. They focus on what they don’t know rather than what they could know.

How do you know if you have impostor syndrome?

Sometimes you don’t know if you have impostor syndrome without realizing it. 

Common signs you have impostor syndrome as a writer: 

  • Overthinking mistakes or not getting over the past
  • Having no motivation to write
  • Obsessing over perfect ability to write copy
  • Irrational comparison of other successful writers
  • Thinking your job and services as a writer isn’t valuable

How to overcome impostor syndrome for writers

1. Use it to motivate you

Self-doubt can be good for you to some extent. For example, it’s a sign of self-awareness. Look at it as an opportunity to fix the problem or improve yourself.

But unhealthy self-doubt is what crushes your goals and dreams. That’s called self-sabotage, an unfair practice no writer deserves. Even worse, can even lead to depression or misery.

How do you stay motivated?

  • Daily affirmations and mantras help in developing a winning mindset.
  • Set realistic goals and targets you wish to achieve. Though, don’t let your objectives bring you down if you can’t perform on them. Your goals serve as a purpose to put you back on track.
  • Write when an idea inspires you. Even better, journaling your feelings is a form of self-expression. You’ll find that releasing your emotions drives you to write better.
  • Once you’ve set up your goals, make sure you track them. There’s no good to set goals if you don’t see your progress. Be proud of yourself for how far you’ve come.
  • When you achieve your goals, reward yourself. You deserve it.

2. Engage with your community

This is when it is acceptable to seek validation for your feelings.

Instead of bottling your emotions, talk about your feelings with your community. Your friends, colleagues, and family are there for a reason, to provide support.

When you seek other’s insight, you’ll find people are uncertain as much as you are. You aren’t so alone after all.

3. Celebrate your successes

Pat yourself on the back.

You are who you are today because of your previous experiences. And a part of those experiences includes your successes. You wouldn’t be the wiser and experienced person without your wins.

By celebrating your wins:

  • You’ll feel motivated to get more wins.
  • Your brain releases happy chemicals.
  • Gives you a sense of purpose within your work.
  • Provides a different insight to the other side of the coin.
  • Makes you focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
  • You’ll feel more present in your work as opposed to feeling detached.

4. Don’t compare yourself to other writers

No one’s journey is the same. Nor do others have the same goals as yourself.

In the world of social media where perfection exists, lies another unseen layer. A layer of failure, tears, hard work, and a world no one dares to share. You don’t know the backstory of other writers and what it took for them to get to where they are.

Seek a sense of inspiration from others as opposed to jealousy or insecurity.

In this digital age, communication and connection are important to our lives. But unhealthy use of social media can be detrimental to our mental health.

To use social media in the best way possible, connect with pages that inspire you. Educational and informative pages are great to stay motivated. Whereas support groups allow you to discover others with a common interest.

5. Focus on what value you add

What’s beautiful about the art and science of copywriting is solving problems.

Can it get any better than that?

You write copy for people for the sake of making people’s lives easy.

You present your solution through effective copy to fix your reader’s problems.

After all, you are the bridge between the helpless and your solution.

Thus, you are valuable to your readers and you should be proud of that.

6. Keep a record of the nice things people say to you

It’s easy to forget sentiments when you don’t record them. When you look back at these positive sentiments, it reminds you of your value and worth.

  • Write down the nice things people say about you and your work
  • Print out positive emails or testimonials from customers
  • Take a screenshot of an uplifting comment from a friend
  • Capture the moments you’re awarded

Don’t forget to say nice things about yourself!

7. Acknowledge you have impostor syndrome

The first step on how to overcome impostor syndrome is acknowledging you have it. Whereas, if you don’t acknowledge you’re undergoing it, you will continue to feel doubt.

This is where reframing your thoughts comes into play.

The first step on how to overcome impostor syndrome is acknowledging you have it. So, if you don’t acknowledge you’re experiencing it, you can’t fix the underlying cause.

You’ll feel much better telling yourself it’s impostor syndrome and it will pass.

8. Focus on your purpose

Your purpose gives you a reason to wake up every day and live your desires.

Is it to be the best writer you can be?

Is it to solve people’s problems around the world through value-based copywriting?

Remember what your purpose or job is as a writer. Whereas, everything outside of your purpose is irrelevant.

Recapping impostor syndrome for writers

Experiencing impostor syndrome as a writer is only normal! It shows you’re a human with emotions and who is self-aware. It also shows you care about the quality of your work and that you want to improve it.

Look at it as a nudge that your brain is signaling you to keep on pushing forward. As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. Impostor syndrome is a temporary psychological moment you will overcome.

After all, that’s the art of writing. To keep honing on the practice to become the best writer we aspire to be.

Nothing is perfect. And nothing will ever be perfect.

To recap strategies on how to overcome impostor syndrome for writers:

  1. Use impostor syndrome as a motivator, rather than bringing you down. Setting goals and targets put you back on track. And when you fulfill them, there’s nothing better than a feeling of accomplishment.
  2. Engage with your surroundings and community with people who can relate to you. You will find you are not alone.
  3. Your wins are wins for a reason. To celebrate your accomplishments!
  4. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. No one’s career path is ever the same. And you don’t know what it took for that other person to get to where they are today.
  5. Remember the value that you add to this world as a writer. People need you to solve their problems.
  6. Record the nice things others say about you and reflect on those sentiments. Store them so you can look back on them.
  7. Once you acknowledge you have impostor syndrome, you’ll realize you’re not the issue. And that what your feeling is only a moment that will pass. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work or who you are as a writer.
  8. Always remember your purpose as a writer.

Your doubts don’t define who you are. And thoughts are only temporary.

Don’t let those fears drive you away from writing world-class copy your readers drool over. You know very well you are better than that!