Imposter Syndrome, Creative Burnout, & Writer’s Block

by | May 28, 2024 | Behind The Scenes | 0 comments


I want to use today’s blog post to talk about something every author experiences in their publishing journey: the downsides to being a writer. The imposter syndrome is very real. As is creative burnout and writer’s block. It can be really hard and taxing, especially in this digital age where people can say anything they want without any apparent consequences.

Abusive Reviews

My number one advice to new authors is always to stay away from Goodreads and places like it. They are for readers, not authors! Those are not the places to get constructive criticism. Just criticism. The rules there for what and how you can write your reviews are non-existent. When I published my first novel, A Detached Raider, I religiously read my reviews, hoping that even one person enjoyed the story I’d written. That ended abruptly when I came upon a review consisting of blatant name-calling and even threats. I reported the review to Goodreads several times and–you guessed it–they never did anything about it, even though this was clearly someone who was abusive in all their reviews.

Hand holding phone showing bad reviews

The review got a lot of comments from people agreeing with her and despite how desperately I wanted to defend myself, I recognized that this was not a place for authors to interact with readers. It would simply have made the situation that much worse. Putting into words just how devastating this whole experience was is quite hard for me. I believe I was nineteen years old and barely two books into my author journey at the time, and I was so discouraged and distraught that I considered never writing another book.

I Know Better Now

Fortunately, I decided that this mean person’s opinion didn’t matter to me. That’s not to say that my readers’ opinions don’t matter. They very clearly do considering that I almost gave up my career before it could even truly begin. But I learned that there is no point in listening to someone spewing abuse at me because no matter what you do to try and fix it, they will never stop. It’s a them problem. Not a me problem. Their behavior is their own.

Goodreads is a no-go for me and I only read my ARC readers’ reviews now. I wish I could read all my readers’ reviews but I also know that one mean review might knock me down so hard it could be impossible to get back up. Because if someone can say such horrible things about what I’ve written, maybe they’re right? That line of thought immediately diminishes my desire to write and thus I enter into a bad circle of imposter syndrome, creative burnout, and ultimately writer’s block. That is not a road I want to go down again. Digging my way out of that hole the first time was extremely hard and I never want to do it again.

The kind words…

The readers who take the time out of their day to write and tell me about something they loved in a book, a part that made them smile or laugh, or to ask if a character will have a book, always make my day. Often, I find myself in disbelief that someone likes one of my books or characters enough to reach out and tell me. It always takes me a while to answer because I don’t want to say the wrong thing and I never know what the right thing is (the ’tism is strong with this one, ya’ll). I do hope that those people know that their kind words mean the world to me and that they are often what keeps me going on this bumpy and sometimes weary road that I’m on.


I got taught the hard way how this works. Being knocked down is never fun and sometimes it’s impossible to get back up without help. I’ve never been good at asking for help. I’ve always felt that it was easier and better for me to do everything by myself, but the truth is that no one can do everything alone. As hard as it can be for me to relinquish control, I am extremely happy and relieved to now have my bestie working as my PA. I have always been quite set in my ways but after over twenty years friendship, she knows how to push me the right way and I’m grateful for that. Remembering that things change with time is sometimes hard for me (I’m not the biggest fan of change) but that is life. That is growth. And we should never stop growing and learning.

 Thank you for reading this post! As hard as it was to write, I am also very glad to have gotten these words out. If you have any comments, questions or maybe even a personal story on this topic you want to share, please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!


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