Poser



The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Members of the group, like me, post on the first Wednesday of every month with the purpose being to share and encourage. In Alex’s words, Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

I’m not going to mince words today.  A great deal of the insecurity I used to feel, and imagine a great many of you as well, originated with the very real fear that someday I’d be exposed.  That Toto would yank back the curtain and reveal the ordinary door to door salesman whose fancy tricks and quick tongue had lifted him up in the eyes of others.  I would wake up to discover that the worth I had allowed myself to attach to my writing, my stories, my passion…was ill-placed, or at a minimum, overvalued.

Could I be a poser?  That’s the question that fueled my doubt, the insecurity.  Was I someone who leeched off of other writer’s popularity?  I had written short-stories, books, and this blog, but did any of it mean I was writer?  Was I like the teenager who wears heavy metal T-shirts and other cool clothes just to fit in, or even worse, a Kardashian, hanging with the cool people but having no actual talent. 

STOP! Before you head down to the comment box to leave that note of encouragement, that’s not what this post is about.  I’m not trolling for compliments or pat on the backs.  My intent is to point out where a lot of our insecurity comes from, and tell you it’s not true!

Poser’s intentionally deceive people into believing something they’re really not.  That’s not me, or you, because we know we are writers!  But how do we know it, when we are told our self-evaluations can’t be trusted?  Because we’ve listened to others confirm what we hoped was true.  People we trust, people with experience, people who are perfect strangers, they’ve all said it. I’ve said it to many of you.  I believe that none of you would be here right now, blogging, if somebody around you hadn’t confirmed your suspicions already.  The problem is that over time we allow ourselves to doubt, even block out, that input.  We need fresh validation and when it doesn’t come right away the insecurity seeps back in.  It is a disease with no cure, and all we can do is manage the symptoms. (How was that, Lydia?)  In a way, that's what the Origins blogfest is trying to accomplish.  Returning us to a day when our writing first started to draw attention and unsolicited praise made us start to wonder where it might lead.  Remember, compliments don't come with a shelf-life.

How far up the publishing food-chain we’ll rise, or seek, is yet to be determined, but regardless we are writers, not posers.  We are the real deal!  TRUTH!

34 comments

  1. Oh, what a good point! That "fresh" validation thing. It's not enough to be told you're a good writer by the people who already told you. How true! Validation from new readers is needed ...

    Sounds like an addiction, doesn't it? Yikes.

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  2. Compliments don't come with a shelf life - I like that!

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  3. Holy inspiring post Batman!

    TESTIFY!

    I'm not a poser!

    And neither are you!

    I like it!

    Thank you, HMG

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  4. Great post, I need to remember this. Problem is, I am slightly disbelieving of compliments - I need to learn to take it for what it is.

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  5. Sometimes it feels like compliments come with a shelf life. It's amazing how quickly they're forgotten.

    But at least I'm not a poser. I know that much. :D

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  6. I like that you defined poser because I really had no idea what that was. But, you're right, I think writers think they're posers more often than they actually are. Great post.

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  7. You are absolutely right, Don!

    And getting to the point where we can shut off, or at least learn to ignore, that damned internal "it's not good enough" self-criticism is HARD! But it goes hand in hand with learning to not needing continual compliments.

    Even if NO-ONE compliments us -- if we can get to the point where we're honestly happy with what we've created (not in a vain, ego-blind way), than we are "successful" writers.

    Still -- even if you don't need or want compliments, Don, you are a good writer. I enjoy what you've written!

    'Nuff said...

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  8. Wow DL... thanks for that wonderfully inspiring post. I'm super glad I stopped by today. :)

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  9. Ha ha, don't worry, no note of encouragement from me :) Though I do sometimes feel the same way. For me though, it's more like I question whether or not I have anything to offer this online writing community.

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  10. Wow DL... thanks for that wonderfully inspiring post. I'm super glad I stopped by today. :)

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  11. Great post, DL! Thanks for this one!

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  12. So true! We spend a lot of time talking about how criticism is important to our writing, but so is validation.

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  13. Hey Don, thanks for this post. Like Heather said 'Testify, Brother!'

    I've had a rough week (don't encourage me,I really need to work this out.) I am agonizing a bit over that Origins Blogfest. My post is written, I'm just not sure I can punch that publish button. I may end up more naked that anyone deserves to see.

    I got a better idea. Let's shoot Toto and then maybe nobody will know.

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  14. So, so true. We are writers. We write. :)

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  15. Good post, Don.

    Writers write. It doesn't matter how short of long the work is. It's the ideas the bubble up and won't leave you alone until you give them life.

    Just because a writer isn't published yet doesn't make them a poser, either.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  16. AMEN! It's taken me a while to realize that I'm not a poser. Now I just have to put my money where my mouth is!

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  17. Thank you! I needed to hear this! I just started writing more publicly and was shocked at how scared I was to actually share my thoughts and ideas. Who am I? NOT a poser :)

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  18. Nope, we are not posers. Not at tall. But it helps a little to say it out loud, or in capitals.

    WE ARE NOT POSERS!

    There, I feel better.

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  19. Great...you sold me, but the skeptical alter ego is hard to slay.

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  20. I've worked hard this year so I don't feel like a poser. Posers are the ones who talk about writing and NEVER write anything. ;)

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  21. Great post, D.L. Guess it would be a perfect world if we could block out all external comments and just write. It wold be interesting to see how different our work would be if no one else saw it.

    Also, on a side note, I agree with Linda's comment. Those who just talk about writing but never pursue it are POSERS, or maybe scardy cats would be a better description.

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  22. I wonder how different our work would be if we never showed it to anyone. Maybe we put too much emphasis on other people's opinions. That might change as we grow in the craft, or at least one can hope. Great post, D.L>

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  23. Excellent post/point. "Compliments don't come with a shelf life," is a wonderful statement. They also don't come with a lie. When we hear them, we need to say, "Thank you." And believe them. If we don't, we're calling the giver a liar.

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  24. What you said is so true, but I have found that despite how many people I have in my sphere who encourage me, it only takes one negative, snarky person to totally throw me off balance. Why is that? It's weird. Then I go around telling myself "I don't care what so-and-so said" fully knowing that I do care what they said.

    Good post!

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  25. Well said. I think a lot of us feel like posers, not just in writing, but in other areas of our lives, as well. But I'd have to disagree with you about compliments not having a shelf life. That compliment given in 1965, no matter how wonderful it was, is kinda starting to loose its pizzazz by now. It's always good to get refresher compliments from time to time to keep the insecurities at bay.

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  26. Here's to not being posers! I like that you're not and that I'm not.

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  27. This is a truly great post - I don't imagine any writer read that first part without nodding at the familiarity of the feeling. And then KAPOW! you lift us up. :)

    I tend to be fairly confident in my writing, but then I watch those...what's the nice word for it...less-than-stellar auditions by entirely too confident people on American Idol and I'm like "Oh" *commence fingernail biting* So this post is a very welcome thing. Thanks.

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  28. I think as writers there is too much truth to who we are to be posers. At least for me, anyway. I was the kid who refused to do or wear stuff in school cuz it wasnt who I was. Such a rebel. ;)

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  29. Okay, I'll bite. What's the secret to your blog title. Are you a pilot?
    Feather Stone
    featherstoneauthor.blogspot.com/
    See you on the A-Z blog challenge

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  30. I'm a cynic, and I'm always afraid people are complimenting me on my writing just to be nice.

    But sometimes; I know its really good.

    This was inspirational DL. Thanks for sharing it.

    .......dhole

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