Nov 29, 2012

Impostor Syndrome - Leave It to "Best-Selling Authors" Who Aren't

Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent representing Christian writers, asked these questions on her blog post yesterday: 
  1. "What about you? Do you ever feel like an impostor?  
  2. What makes you feel that way?
  3. What reminds you of the truth about yourself?"

 This was my reply:

Regarding, “impostor syndrome”, I would imagine anyone who started from nothing and attained any measure of success may suffer from it.
Me too, occassionally, but then I remember these words,

“If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”
— Walt Whitman

If anyone should be suffering from “impostor syndrome”, it’s the many self-proclaimed “best-selling authors” whose books have sold only fifty, a hundred, or fewer than 1,000 copies. Even having a book sell 5,000 copies does not make it a best-seller in the U.S. As self-publishing guru Dan Poynter says, a true best-seller is one that has sold at least 40,000 copies.

I have checked out many authors calling themselves “best-selling authors” and have found that their books have only sold 100 or 200 copies or 500 copies through normal book channels. These are the true impostors. If they are suffering from severe “impostor syndome” — they likely should be!

Having said that, I wanted to give a great quote about impostors. There aren’t many — but here is one that will offers food for thought to all of us.

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.”
— Brennan Manning, in “Abba’s Child"

Some Alarming (and Questionable) Retirement Statistics from Economic Secrets Website

"I want you to take a look at these alarming facts:
  • 96 percent of Americans never achieve financial independence! (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they end up dependent on charity, welfare, or family … or are forced to work past their ‘retirement age’.)  
  • 85 percent of the people reaching age 65 years don’t have even $200 in their bank accounts! (That figure comes straight from the IRS!)
  • 97 percent of all Americans, according to the US Census Bureau, will be forced to scratch out their retirement existence on a paltry $10,000 – or less! – a year.
  • Americans aged 85 and older are now the fastest-growing segment of our population! (In fact, Hallmark sells TENS of THOUSANDS of birthday cards for 100-year olds every year!)
  • Within 20 years, there will be 70 million Americans aged 65 and older (That’s more than DOUBLE the number in that age group in 2000!) "
Question: Are these retirement statistics right? If they are, many retirees and soon-to-be retirees must be experiencing impostor syndrome.

Note: Check out Cliff's Moen Family website.