I heard the phrase,“fake it ’til you make it’ when I attended my first AA meeting almost thirty-five years ago. What I came to understand by it was that you act as if… as if you are sober, as if you liked going to meetings, as if you weren’t completely nuts and craving a drink–until you aren’t those things.
For the writer, fake it ’til you make it means that you call yourself a writer, even when you don’t feel like one. It means you sit down to write when you’d rather be doing just about anything else. It means putting your ass in your writer’s chair, just as I had to put mine in that 12-step chair, even when you don’t want to. It sometimes means faking enthusiasm for your book when your inner critic is telling you it is rubbish.
Fake it ’til you make it is placing a sign by your study that reads, “Author at work.” It’s attending writers’ conferences and pitching to agents who look at you as if you crawled out from under a rock. It’s smiling when you get your first rejection, and your second…. It’s believing in your work and worth, even in the face of adversity.
Faking it helped me get sober and stay sober. It also helped me to keep writing during those times when I lost faith in myself and wanted to give up.
So if writing doesn’t always feel real to you–don’t worry. Fake it. And I promise you, in time, and over time, you’ll make it.
Let me know how it works out for you.