Let’s face it – every creative person feels like a fraud at some point, like they’re not good enough. And I’ve often thought along the same lines. What do I have to offer? Why me? Why should anyone care?
I think it’s the lot of the creative person to feel this way.
Amanda Palmer, Musician and Author of The Art of Asking, puts it more succinctly.
When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.
There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.
And on the Fraud Police she writes:
The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of ‘real’ grown-ups who you believe – at some subconscious level – are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:
We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY.
I can assure you the Fraud Police are out there.
But Amanda’s right – there’s no one to stop you. Not really. Just the thoughts inside your head.
To try and combat those feelings, I decided to do two things.
Firstly, to launch my own critique and feedback service. I really enjoy reading other writer’s work and giving feedback – whether you want help with your grammar and sentences, or just a fresh pair of eyes to look over a story. I’m happy to read your short stories, opening of a novel, or query letters. With my combination of academic and creative writing experience, I’m well positioned to give you insightful and helpful feedback. Find out more about what I’m offering here.
Secondly, to write and create my own creative writing e-courses. If you didn’t know, e-courses are big at the moment, and my course gives you a chance to re-ignite your creativity, inspired by the sea and coast. I hope you’ll consider signing up and becoming a student. If you’re not sure about it, you can sign up for my free taster course, Seascapes, which I wrote about last week here, before committing to Writing the Sea.
More information here.
I hope to see you there!
Oh – and don’t forget to write and post your Sea Story. There’s only a week to go until a new theme is announced. I’ll be looking out for all your stories and I can’t wait to see how you interpret the theme!
P.S. If you want to support my writing, you can check out my Patreon page, where I share a short story each month with my sponsors!