Levelling up as a writer

A few weeks ago (just before I went on holiday, which is why I haven’t posted about it sooner), I got an article published on The Mary Sue, one of my favourite websites. While I publish articles on a (week)daily basis for work, this felt different, like I had levelled up. Not only did I get to write about a topic I enjoy and feel passionate about – books – but also on a website I feel strongly about.

I read The Mary Sue on a near-daily basis; it talks about films, TV shows, feminism and many other geeky things I love. Sometimes it feels like it reads my mind, or at least my Twitter feed, as some of the things I think about/pay attention to are published as articles mere hours later. For my article, I talked about Naomi Alderman’s The Power in comparison to The Handmaid’s Tale. Have a read if you’re interested in that kind of thing. While books aren’t a big section on the site, a lot of its consideration of film and TV through a feminist lens can certainly teach writers a thing or two – especially about what not to do.

My point, I guess, is that this felt like A BIG DEAL. And now here I am, back to writing for the day job, feeling uninspired. After a moment of clarity, I’m back to where I was, and my imposter syndrome is preventing me from pitching any more articles at the moment.

The same thing happened after I got a story posted on Dear Damsels (except this time I got PAID). There’s a moment, maybe a few moments, of feeling on top of the world, and then it’s back to reality. Is this how everyone feels? I would love to know.

person typing on typewriter

A typewriter is definitely levelling down at this point, no? Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Of course, it could be because I keep posting these things under a pseudonym, with almost none of my real-life loved ones knowing about it. But I don’t have an appealing real name, internationally speaking, and I don’t want to confuse people with my scientific articles, which are under my real name, and I don’t want my current employer to know what I’m doing in my own time. So, at this point, I feel like I’m stuck writing as L.B. Zumpshon.

I don’t think writing under my real name would make much of a difference, though. There’s still the feeling of elation, followed by the crash back down to reality. So, what do I do? Hope I feel strongly enough about another idea to pitch it, and just keep writing in the meantime, I guess…

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