Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Faking It to Make It: The Power of Positive Thinking

Song of the Day: King of Anything by Sara Bareilles

     Hello all! It's no secret that I follow Writer's Digest Blogger Jane Friedman. Her Post yesterday was titled, "Fake It 'Til You Make It." It's a really interesting topic and I just thought I'd dedicate my post today to my own thoughts on the subject. There were two points I found interesting. First, Friedman makes the point that "Interviews with successful authors never get old," but she wonders if these interviews can have a damaging effect because many writers read them in "aspirational mode." To an extent I do believe Friedman is right. For many writers reading interviews with authors can leave them wishing that they were in the shoes of the given author. For me, I sometimes wish those things, but I think that I lean more towards the side of reading interviews for motivational purposes. Whenever I read about or see the success of other writers, it motivates me to be better. It makes me think, "What have you written today?" I sometimes even envision myself in the shoes of the author. Instead of whatever author is being interviewed, it's me, with my book, doing my interview with the Paris Review. This brings me to Ms. Friedman's next point.
     She says, "If we want to be different, we have to first (at least) believe OR pretend that we are, until we make it. We have to emulate or do all those things that we believe or think someone would do if they weren't faking it. And, one day, we're no longer faking it." I believe this to my core. This sounds crazy, but this is what I've been doing for the past month or so (seriously), and nothing but good things have come my way. And I'm talking about career things. Suzanne Vaira Workman writes this thought on Friedman's Facebook page:

"It's a neuro-plasticity thing. The more brain cells and motor function dedicated to a manifestation, the greater the subconscious and conscious acquisition of accompanying data, stimulating more dendrite growth connecting those brain cells and logarithmically multiplying that knowledge/understanding (much like compound interest hyperbola), making real what began as only desire."

    This goes hand in hand with the Secret. For those of you who don't know what the Secret is, it's the theory that "thoughts become things." It's based on the law of attraction. You attract everything, both positive and negative into your life (whether you intend it or not). If you know me, you know that I am always preaching about the secret. If you surround yourself with only the negative, and think negative thoughts, then that's what you are going to get back. Thus, if you fake it and pretend you are the best writer on the planet, then ultimately that is exactly what you will be. I've also been listening to the song I have listed for the song of the day. If I start doubting myself as a writer, I turn it on sing along with Sara Bareilles, "Who cares if you disagree, you are not me, who made you king of anything?" :)

What do you think? How do you feel about Author Interviews? Are you faking it until you make it?


  1. I've blogged before on a few aspects of this. One of the single most powerful moments in my writing career was when I changed how I referred to myself:

    I'm not an aspiring author.

    I'm not a wannabe writer.

    I'm not trying to write a book.

    I'm an author of psychological suspense and short, character-driven literary fiction.



    Thanks for spreading the word on positive self-thought, Racquel. I think every writer can benefit from reframing how they think of themselves.

  2. I enjoy reading author interviews, mainly because I'm always curious about another author's writing process. And I think to an extent we all have to fake it till we make it -- I like thinking of it as "Act as if". Act as if you're writing the Next Great Novel. Act as if people are going to love your work. Act as if your thoughts and opinions matter. Positive thinking is so important.

    Great post.

  3. I love reading author interviews. I don't get jealous at all. I like hearing about their journeys--how they actually made it into the biz and what road blocks were in their way. If they overcame them, it makes me believe that I can one day, too. :)

  4. I like reading author interviews, too. It just makes me think of all of the things that I might say when I get to that stage. Plus, I feel like it's a learning experience when I read these. Great post btw :)