How To Be The Boss Of Your Creative Life

googleimages2Has everyone heard of impostor syndrome?

It’s that feeling we’ve all experienced where, despite our accomplishments, we’re unable to feel like we’ve earned our spot. Like we’re a creative imposter and someone is going to find out we don’t belong.

I don’t know any creative person who has never internalized this feeling.

But the truth is: we’ve all earned our spots, because the only opinion that matters is yours. So shake off those insecurities and learn to be the boss of your creative life.


  • You are your harshest critic. Don’t beat yourself up. Treat yourself like you’d treat any other critique partner.
  • If you don’t respect your writing time, no one else will. Make those quiet moments count.
  • You decide what your idea of success is. Don’t let anyone tell you who you should be.
  • If you want to write for you, that’s okay. Getting published doesn’t define a writer. 
  • Give your life breathing room to allow creative thoughts to come in. When you schedule your day down to the minute where will inspiration come from?
  • If you want to be a writer you must do two things: call yourself a writer and write.
  • Imposter syndrome means that people overcompensate to outwardly show like they belong. But what matters most is quietly chipping away at your goals in a way that is meaningful to you.
  • It could take months, or it could take years. Don’t stop when the going gets tough. This isn’t a craft you learn quickly. Read this Writer’s Digest article by my author Karen Katchur.
  • We spend our lives writing, talking and also non-verbally communicating. Listen and look at what’s happening around you: those are the honest parts of life that need to make it into your writing to make it come alive. Desk time isn’t the only writing time. 
  • Give yourself permission to make mistakes. As long as you learn from them they’re all part of your process. And give yourself permission to break routine. As long as you know the difference between a routine that’s no longer working and taking a day off.
  • A “no” only gets you closer to the “yes” that matters. And all it takes is one yes.


Looking to take the next step with your writing? Join my Sept 3 webinar with Writer’s Digest.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

15 thoughts on “How To Be The Boss Of Your Creative Life

  1. Does imposter syndrome ever go away? It seems to recede a bit with each “yes,” then creep back in as we move toward the next milestone or plateau. It is a challenging, motivating, sometimes confounding force.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just got home from a meeting with a writers group. Out of the seven, I am one of the only two women in the group. When one of the members, a younger guy, started going on and on about how he was going to self publish and not give any money to publishers or agents, that writing was money to him and he wasn’t’ going to give it away for free, I asked him if he saw writing as an art, a craft to be developed. He slowed for only a half second. He went on to talk dollars and cents.

    Something about the way he was talking about writing, as if the sole purpose of it was to make money, well it didn’t enhance his personality ( and to think, I was attracted to him).
    I am happy to say that I drove home feeling like a writer for the first time.

    I’ve been published, my peers in the hospital call me a writer, my friends ask about projects, and the thing that finally made me feel like a writer was standing up to someone who thought the only purpose of writing was to make money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on the writes of passage and commented:
    Needed this reminder. I’ve spent days and weeks not creating anything new since completing No Room in Neverland. And let me tell you, the guilt, the restlessness, the frustration, and the boredom is REAL. I need to start writing again before I go stir-crazy — but first, idea gathering time!


  4. Hi Carly,
    Thanks for your wonderful post. I just recently decided it was okay to tell people that I write and made business cards to say I’m a writer. It’s true that you need to own it and work hard at it. And equally important to take time off to have perspective. Read and write. It’s my favorite job and hopefully I’ll be traditionally published in the future.


  5. I landed an incredible job just recently as a result of doing many of these things. The brilliant thing about being creative (and loving/using the internet) is that we create our opportunities. It’s made a big difference in my life. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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