Fraud Warning

Hey gang! Hope you all had great weekends. Mine was awesome, thanks in part to a heavy dose of cool and wet weather. (Don't get a lot of that here in South Texas...)

Thanks to everyone who made the author interviewees feel welcome last week! Had a lot of fun chatting with the two ladies, and hope some of that energy came through in the interviews. If you missed them, we had one rock & roller and one that was solid stone

Bury the Hatchet Blogfest & Giveaway UPDATE

Also, thanks to everyone participating in the Bury the Hatchet blogfest. I've read some really funny entries so far. (Who doesn't hate bathroom hand dryers?) The blogfest runs through the 19th of October, so there's still plenty of time to enter (and enter the giveaway). To make the blogfest easier to join, I've created a regular, link signup. (Think the Rafflecopter thing was a tad confusing for the actual blogfest.) You'll see the signup above, be sure to check the original post (link above this post, and the button to the right) for the details on participation.

New Adult Lit Twitter Chat Update (#NALitChat)

As many of you know, I host a weekly Twitter discussion on New Adult literature. We've been at it for a couple of months now, and I'm proud to say it is still going strong. If you've ever been curious about what comes after YA (for readers and writers), I think this chat is an entertaining 'must' for your week. It happens every Thursday night, 9 PM EST on the Twitters. Just search for, and use in your Tweets, #NALitChat --

This week will be a perfect jumping in point, as we're going to open it up to Q & A. There are lots of fabulous NA authors taking part every week (specifically, the chat is moderated by the ladies of the NA Alley Blog), and they're the perfect resource for getting your New Adult knowledge on. 

You can keep up with the chat goings-ons (as well as find transcripts of previous chats) over at the NA Lit Chat Blog

Weekly Good News!

Author Chantele Sedgwick is doing a massive blog tour to celebrate the release of her YA novel Not Your Average Fairy Tale. I believe she's giving away a Kindle--and myriad other awesome prizes--as part of the tour. Be sure to check her blog for the details and a list of stops.

Here's a little about NYAFT (via Amazon product description):

"Ash Summerland has it all–good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. 

When he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings. A.K.A. the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a "happy ever after".

But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father's death, Kendall doesn't want anything to do with him. And worst of all, she doesn't believe in happy endings."

You can snag a copy HERE

Want me to share your good news? (I'd sincerely love to!) Shoot me an eMail with the details at jezzell19 AT gmail DOT com and I'll try to get it into an upcoming post.

Fraud Warning

Photo courtesy of Lynn Kelley WANA Commons
A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog post from an author I keep up with, and she wrote about feeling like a fraud. It's a common feeling, one I believe almost every writer goes through. But also one very few talk about. So I decided to give it a go ...

The author/blogger who inspired this post certainly isn't a fraud. She is a former editor, she has an agent, she's been through the revision spin-cycle--in short, she's a veteran in the 'aspiring author' war. In our circle, she has accomplished a lot.

But our circle is a little ... different.

Our circle is full of fidgety, computer-blind book nerds. Our circle builds entire careers on things that never actually happen. Our circle believes in nebulous terms like 'muse' and 'process'. Our circle sees the complexity in seemingly simple assertions. Example: 

"That story was cute, and read very quickly," says our non-writer friend of her most recent read. 

To which we reply, "It probably took the author three years, an ulcer, loss of friendship, and financial ruin for you to be able to read it one sitting. But being labeled 'cute' is all the encouragement they'll need to write another fifteen stories." 

Did I mention our circle is full of masochists?

Ultimately, it's pretty easy to understand why a writer might feel less than 'real'. We dither away hours, days, and weeks on things we'll likely chuck out at some point. We look for signs of success like gypsy fortunetellers mucking through tea leaves for answers, often dismissing rational conclusions for a glimpse out our potential. 

"The agent hand wrote 'keep trying' on the form rejection! I'm getting so close now!"

Everyone around us seems to be doing what we're doing, but they're all better at it. We scrap two years for 100 blog followers, but that other guy with the genius blogfest idea has 300 in his first 6 months. We tweet 50 times an hour to 10 followers, Mike Tyson tweets 10 times a year to 50 million followers.

And the funny thing is, it doesn't really end after you publish something. If anything, I feel even less adequate now, and even more fraudulent. Everyone is better at marketing. My friends who once encouraged me are now scrutinizing me. My granny said she read my story, but hasn't taken my phone calls in two weeks. Basically, it feels like I'm far better at pissing people off than drawing them in. Which isn't really the goal when you publish something...

At least I can offer a 'link' to something I've written now when people ask about what I write, but most days I'd rather talk about sports, music, movies, and other people's books. In the end, I still feel like I'm pretending to be a writer. Just making it up as I go.

Then I write. That's when I realize what's real and what isn't. Real is feeling in control of my words. Real is pushing myself to be better with each paragraph. Real is working at a story, often for months, until I think it'll entertain a stranger as much as it entertains me. Real is being willing to throw it all away if it doesn't. Real is the passion I feel in expression. Real is being brave enough to share what I write.

So, as I've said before on this blog, keep writing. For a writer, I truly believe it's the only way to combat the feelings of being less than what we appear, and the key to actually being more.



  1. Being real is what matters.
    You aren't a fraud. And everyone has to measure their own success. We can all look to someone who 'further up the ladder' than we are, but that doesn't discredit how far we've come on our own journey.
    And after my first six months of blogging, I had a whole eighty-five followers. I didn't think I'd ever hit a hundred!

    1. 85 sounds like a lot to me! lol Seriously though, I think you're so right about not looking too far up the ladder. You just have to be where you're at.

  2. Yeah, it can be a dangerous trap to fall in when we compare ourselves to others. Really, though, the truth of the matter is that we're only in competition with ourselves. Yes, we need to make sure we know what's out there on the marketplace, but none of those already-told stories will have our essential voice, the one thing unique in each of us that will keep our stories fresh and crisp.

    1. I agree Jeff, we can only truly compete with ourselves. Which is altogether maddening and liberating.

  3. I think we all feel like frauds at some point. Even successful authors who've been multi-published still struggle with the "being found a fraud" syndrome at some point. Talk about writer insecurity. We are an odd lot sometimes. :)

    1. I think for non-writers, it'd be easy to question why someone like J.K. Rowling would possibly be insecure about her writing, etc. But I think most of us get it. Money, fame, and the like doesn't really give you WRITING confidence. It can give you personal confidence, sure. Maybe even social confidence. But at the end of the day, it's just you and a blank page.

  4. All you can be true to is YOU. You are real and you are a writer.

    1. I try to be most days, Kelly! :-D I do truly try to, as I think most writers do, but it gets hard with all of the feedback (noise) we have to subject ourselves to in order to get the work out there. You know?

  5. Excellent post. I agree all we can do is keep writing. Persistence is the key. I laughed when you mentioned your Granny. My Nana wanted a copy of my novella, and I asked my mom if my Nana read it. She did. I was horrified, but probably not as much as my Nana!

    1. Christine! That's hilarious, and so true. I'm just learning the joys of trying to explain to family and friends why I use the f-word in my story. "You don't have to use that word to express yourself." And I'm like, "No, but Jenny (the mc) did!" lol

      Just another one of those things that nips at the back of your mind, even if you feel you made the right choice for the story/character.

  6. Oh, I can so relate to this post. I often feel like an imposture, not a 'real' writer and I wonder when everyone is going to find out and start pointing and laughing at me. lol. Just keep in mind your accomplishments and the road ahead. You're a real writer, you've got your book out and that is a great accomplishment. And like you said, "keep writing."

  7. No scrutinizing from me. I'm just Eve, the same serious person who walked to school in kindergarten holding hands with my best friend. A huge German Shepherd made us run faster but we got there. It was my first taste of mortality. It taught me to live in the present and be real now. I hope Granny understands.

  8. Wonderful post! Way to keep it real EJ :)

  9. What a great post. And it's so true-no matter where you are on the "author" ladder, most of us feel like we haven't made it. If we're not Shakespeare, or James Patterson, we're just fakes. We're just struggling authors, fighting for every sale. I remember when I decided I'd consider myself a success if I finally got 42 followers on my blog. (Being a big Douglas Adams fan, I know 42 is the answer to life, the Universe and everything.) Now I have 1214 followers and six books in print and I still don't feel like a success. Not a fraud exactly, but I hate to go to parties and have people ask, "If you're a real writer, why haven't I heard of you?" Sigh. We're all in this together, EJ. I think that's the important thing to remember.

  10. Feeling like a fraud is a common feeling. "What do you for a living?" "I lie to people."

  11. E.J.>:

    This post brought tears to my eyes.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    Feeling a little better this evening.

  12. (((Hugs))) E.J.
    You are most DEFINITELY a writer.

  13. Great title for the book! I will definitely add to my to-reads! Exciting and I will check the blog out... :)

  14. I do think every writer probably has a moment (often more than one) where they feel like a fraud. I think that feeling most often crops off after publishing something. But as long as a writer writes and strives to be a better writer, then we aren't frauds.

  15. Everyone feels like this . . .the funny thing is, I stop feeling like it when someone backs me in a corner with a put down. Just keep writing. Believe in yourself.

  16. As much as I love being part of the blogosphere, and I definitely do, it is very hard not to compare yourself to others. For me, that always leads to feeling like a fraud. But it's interesting to know how common this feeling is, and it's easy for me to look at others, like you, and think, "what are you talking about? you're not a fraud!" I guess the trick is for us to learn to treat ourselves the way we treat other writers.

    Great post!

  17. It's a natural thing to look at what others are doing and measure them against yourself.

  18. My writing/blogging break of the past month or so has allowed me to also take a break from feeling like a fraud. I plan to do things differently - and think differently - as I come back to our circle.

  19. You are so right that the best way to combat the negative and worries is to just write. I think it is hard not to overthink things- because as writers it is in our nature to do a lot of thinking! :)

    NYAFT sounds like an interesting book!


  20. Great post! Being Brave is a nest of crows in your capillary bed!
    Nevermore, I mean mind, lol

    It is a game of guts and lot of no glory! There are many levels we have to get through and spin cycles! I think anyone who attempts this madness should receive a medal for their courageous acts!

    Yes, keep going, it is a marathon...
    I love this post-thanks EJ for injecting insight, as always! :D

  21. A very moving post EJ. Yes, we need to keep moving forward one little step at a time and not give up!

  22. Excellent post EJ; and so what I needed to hear right now. The more I learn about the process of writing the more it stresses me out to get it right. And to just find the time to write. My family used to tease me for spending all my time in front of the computer; after 3 short story publications they fuss at me for reading, or watching TV or playing games. Anything that is not writing that best-selling novel they're sure will make us all rich :) The pressure is sometimes overwhelming.

    But I do enjoy it when I write. My characters are my best friends, lol.

    I've scheduled my blogfest entry for Wed, Oct 10. I'm glad you put up the linky thing cuz I get so confused by the rafflecopter a lot of times I just don't fill it out. I'll be back on Wednesday to link to the direct post.

    BTW; those flash drives look awesome. My son will be so jealous :)


  23. Great post!! I think with all the networking, it's so easy to have those feelings. You're so right that the best way to fight it is to keep writing. Someone once told me that my negative feelings (and those of all creative people) build up when the creative energy has no outlet. This can have a snowball effect, but I've learned to push through it and create whenever I'm feeling stressed about writing. I've gotta say it's helped with my mood overall and my writing as well!

  24. I think we are only frauds if we are not true to ourselves and try to be something we are not. The fear of being a fraud can be a driving force that makes us want to keep achieving and becoming better at what we do. Or, as you've indicated, if we try to be the other guy then we are no longer valuing our own originality. Good things come to those who persist and recognize what they receive as the good things that they are.

    Tossing It Out

  25. I think that for creative types, like writers, we're always going to have times when we feel down or at odds with things, and we're going to feel that sort of sense- that we're a fraud, or that we're just not good enough to make it- on a regular basis. It doesn't mean that's the truth.

  26. Oh my gosh... I LOVE this...

    Love, Love, Love. You've got it, EJ. You've got the perspective down. I feel like whenever I read your posts, a part of me goes home... like you bring a comfort, or you bring me back to where I'm supposed to be. LOL, if that makes sense. You've always got such awesome, inspirational words. And I need to go check out the deets with the blogfest... it goes until the 19th? Will check it out. :D

  27. Oh, thanks! That's really awesome about the New Adult chat. I love the buzz surrounding this genre, since I think my characters - based on their ages - fit right in. Off to explore the blogs.

  28. New Adult chat sounds awesome. I'll have to check it out.
    You want salt in a wound? My son's band started a fan page on FB and had 600 likes in three weeks, I have 541 after a year. Dang kids. :)

  29. Hey,

    Dang, I'm late again.. so I'll keep this short.

    I look forward to reading your posts (they read as articles or features to me - I love that:

    You are now a published author. No one gets to *ever* take that away from you.

    You remain a Writer, learning his craft, working his WIP and anxious to see where his MC is going now. No one gets to *ever* take that away from you.

    You are following your dream - otherwise you wouldn't be here. Don't ever let *you* take that away from you.

    ((ManHug)) :)

  30. Great post, as always. Boy, you said it all in the paragraph that begins 'Our circle'. Still I love everyone in my circles of writers.


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