A few years ago, my wife got a big promotion. She went from being a worker-bee to being a queen-bee. The most amazing part about it was that very few people at her license level had been promoted to that position. And she is damned good at her job. The productivity levels of the buildings she has managed are good. Her teams make fewer errors than similar groups do, and they are a happier group than most in their industry. My ‘day-job’ is in a related industry, so I hear lots of good things about my wife, often from people who don’t know of my connection to her. In short, she is a great leader, a great boss, and a great manager. I say this so you will understand the part of this post that is about me.

One of the things she used to say back when she was new at the management thing was that she felt like an impostor. As if one day, someone was going to walk into her office and tell her to pack up her shit because they found out she was a fraud.

Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

I sort of understood, but not really. I’ve always been very confident about my endeavors. I assume I can do something, and I do it. What others thought of my work was irrelevant. That was, until now.

I want to be clear about something before I go on. I don’t write for money. I don’t write for recognition. I write because I daydream. A lot. All the time, every day. In the shower, in the truck, when I’m laying in bed, pretty much anytime I am awake, I daydream. If I write those daydreams down, I can move on to the next one. Otherwise they dominate my entire day, sometimes screwing with my concentration. So I write to clear my head. All that being said, I get paid to write. I ain’t giving you my daydreams for free.

My financial success as a writer depends very much on what others think of my work. It depends on reviews. It depends on sales rankings. It depends on phrases like ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’.

Two weeks ago, I freaked out because Warrior’s Scar showed up on a top ten list. Granted it was on a top ten list in a very limited sub-genre of science fiction in another English-speaking country, but I have been on that list for weeks now. I’m proud of that.

Today I had another one of those moments. A friend told me he finished my book and enjoyed it, so I told him to review it. I also emphasized that I wanted an honest review, not a that of a friend.

Wondering if his review was up yet, earlier tonight I went to my book’s Amazon page and saw something new. When I looked at that ‘Also Bought’ section I was talking about, two things jumped out at me: the names of two authors whose work I have on my Kindle. Writers whose work I have paid for, in one case repeatedly.

My name is up there with real authors! Holy Crap! And even better, when you click on one of those two books, mine shows up as a ‘Also Bought’ recommendation. When I saw that, my stomach did a little flip-flop.

So as I write this post, I am worried sick that someone is going to kick in my door and demand that I turn over my Chromebook because they have determined that I am a fraud.

They can have it when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

Because I keep seeing my name associated with real authors. Maybe I am an impostor. Maybe I am a fraud. But as long as I keep seeing my name next to those of real writers, I’m going to keep faking it.