Living the Writer's Life: Jim Wright
Veteran Writer Shares How to Conquer Impostor Syndrome
What are some of the best things that have happened in your writing career over this last decade?
I think one of the most profound things has been a mindset shift in terms of my developing money-earning skills.
It wasn’t that long ago that I thought a job was the most secure thing ever and freelancing was really risky.
Now, it’s almost the complete opposite for me.
Another thing that’s been great is getting to work and collaborate with really cool people.
While it’s true that writing can be a rather solitary endeavor, there’s also a shared bond and a strong sense of community and collaboration between writers.
And of course, you really feel that when you attend live events like the ones AWAI hosts where you get to meet so many like-minded people who share similar goals and dreams … That’s been a blessing as well.
What was the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others, dealing with impostor syndrome and self-doubt … As much as I love this line of work, it is often fraught with these assaults on your confidence.
But after a while (hopefully), you learn that you’re not the only one who deals with those feelings, and that they’re perfectly normal … and, that those things don’t matter!
You need to take those chances … put yourself out there, take those opportunities, and take imperfect action.
What kind of projects do you enjoy working on these days?
I really am blessed in that I love everything I do. I tend to be a bit of a generalist, so I could be writing emails, doing SEO work, editing, critiquing, building websites, teaching, coaching … and thankfully I enjoy all of it.
I’ve always enjoyed both the technical side and the writing side, so working online opens up both of those avenues for me, and with it, a lot of learning, fun challenges, and a lot of variety.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in terms of your writing career in the past 10 years?
You know … I don’t think there’s too much I would have done differently, but 100 percent for sure, there are many things I would have done sooner!
Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have waited nearly as long to get started, or been as apprehensive. I wouldn’t have waited until I thought I was “ready” (whatever that means!). So yes, I would have gotten off the sidelines and jumped into the game much sooner.
What do you enjoy most about your writer’s life?
I think what I enjoy the most about my writer’s life is the freedom and autonomy that comes with it. To be able, as much as possible, to structure my work around my life rather than the other way around.
It may sound a little cliché, but to be able to attend school events during the day with my kids, or take an afternoon off to go sailing when the weather is good … It’s nice to have the freedom to do those things.
It’s kind of fun when people who see you at those events, or sailing in the afternoon, ask you, “So what is it you do, actually?”
What’s next for you?
I read a piece by James Altucher once where he talked about having and living by themes rather than goals … which I thought was rather interesting.
So for me, it’s about continuing to learn, staying open to new challenges and opportunities, and continuing to see where that takes me.
I’m doing a lot of things now that I couldn’t have imagined myself doing 10 or even five years ago. It’s been, and continues to be, a very fun and interesting journey, and I aim to keep at it!
Jim's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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