Fake It Until You Make It – Seriously?

Fake It Until You Make It – Seriously?

We’ve all heard the expression. Urban Dictionary defines the phrase to mean: To act like you are something so you can, in fact, become that thing. In my mind, it all boils down to confidence. Or rather, the need for confidence. I also believe that the idea behind the “fake it until you make it” philosophy is not about fooling other people. It’s more about fooling yourself so that whatever self-reinforcing behavior you want to incorporate is made manifest incrementally.

So then the real question becomes does this thought process work? I suppose I could have gone out to the Internet and found some articles or studies that either proved or disproved the mindset, but instead I thought I’d share how this line of thinking worked in my life.

The setup: Me and the other WoC’ers just recently set new writing goals – our fourth since the inception of Write or Consequences, and part of my goal was to complete the first draft of book three in my serial.

What happened: I sat down to write, and then didn’t. I sat down again, and more non-writing. This lack of production started worrying me, so naturally I began to overthink the issue.

What was the issue? I determined that I couldn’t “feel the love” for my writing because I was not writing from a place of confidence.

What was my solution? Why avoidance. I’m famous for it, or should I say infamous for it. Avoidance is so easy. So simple. One week after setting our latest goals, I was asking my critique partners to change my goal. Their answer? A unanimous, though kindly delivered, No. Oh, they didn’t come right out and say that. “Take some time. Think about it. Ultimately, Lorinda, it’s up to you.”

Curses on passive aggressive answers. But once I got over my pout fit, I realized they were right. I get that no one feels jacked up on confidence all the time, but most people soldier on and push through their fears.

So, I tried that myself. I opened my WIP and started writing just like I knew what I was doing. Just like I already knew how the black moment would play out. Just like I knew my characters intimately, and knew how they’d react.

Just like I was a professional.

The result? After two non-productive weeks I have pages. Are they good? Maybe not, but its first draft. It’s okay if its crap. At least now I have a start. And going forward? Welp, I just plan to fake it until I make it.

 

Lorinda Peake

Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.

Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.

Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.

4 thoughts on “Fake It Until You Make It – Seriously?

  1. Yes!

    Some say, “Fake it till you make it.” Some of my friends put it another way: “Act your way into right thinking.” I’m a firm believer in the Just Do It idea. It’s not sexy and it’s not fun, but just getting on with the task at hand helps me act my way into right thinking.

    It’s one reason I keep inflicting Flowstate and The Most Dangerous Writing App on myself. Just this weekend, I had a solid half-day open to write and ended up stumped on one of the kinds of scenes I struggle with: There’s more than 3 people on the page at a time. I basically spent four hours saying, “I don’t know what to do here.”

    Not the most positive self-reinforcing behavior, eh? 😀 But the minute I turned Flowstate on the problem, I just hauled through so I’d at least have something to edit.

    So way to go, chica! I’m glad you acted and are sharing this experience with us. It’s hugely helpful!

    1. And a cool side benefit is I find that now I want to write, instead of dreading getting my butt in the chair. And well, some new thoughts have sparked about various plot holes and they are a’churning.

  2. I love this post! YEA YOU! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, well, if I act like I know what I’m doing, maybe no one will notice that I’m clueless! This has worked in my professional life and my personal life – and whether they admit it, or even realize it – this is exactly how new parents survive. I’ve never really thought about applying it to my writing. So, why the heck not! Now I’m off write like I know what I’m doing, energized by reading this! Thanks!

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