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Imposter Syndrome

As you can imagine, it’s been an annoying and frustrating time...

Hi there,

First of all, I must offer a big apology for missing my blog last month. I’m in my fifth week of a virus, and then last week, I strained my back. Please don’t laugh, but all I did was lift my toolbox to do some simple DIY, and that was it. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor writhing in agony, shouting out to my wife for help. I’ve hardly been able to move since then.

I’m sure most of you have suffered a similar upset with back pain. It’s not pleasant, is it? You can’t do much except rest, take ibuprofen, rub pain relief ointment on your back, and keep mobile. My wife also set me a few back exercises to do. Although painful to do at first, by the end of the first week, the pain had subsided, though I still couldn’t drive the car. What with the back pain and the virus, it was a double whammy, and I didn’t, and couldn’t concentrate on writing, or anything else for that matter.

Imposter Syndrome and The Hydra Syndrome

As you can imagine, it’s been an annoying and frustrating time. I’ve never watched so much television! I was on the fifth chapter of the final book of the Tom Stevens series, and the writing was going well before my ill-health problems. I feel disappointed and resentful because I am now out of my writing routine. Six weeks is a long time, and as my health gradually improves, I’m desperately trying to regain my enthusiasm for writing.

Yes, you would have thought it would be the other way around, that I would be motivated and itching to return to my novel, but I’m not.

Let me explain. Being out of action gave me a lot of thinking and reading time. The more I thought about my story, the more I wondered if the plot was working, whether the characters were compelling enough and relatable, and if readers would enjoy the series. This feeling continued when I read a few books in my genre, ‘Romantic Suspense’. I thought my books were comparable, yet I still had this inferiority complex that my writing wasn’t good enough.   

My emotions were all over the place. Negative thoughts, anxiety, and a lack of confidence all led to one path – failure! You may think I am exaggerating, but it’s a real fear. Research, however, led to the definition of ‘Imposter Syndrome’, which I hadn’t heard of before. It’s common in all walks of life and happens to many writers. Much of what you are experiencing is in your head. One negative thought leads to another; before you know it, you feel like a fraud and doubt your writing ability. In my case, I believe my illness and back pain led to this negative feeling.

Another explanation I found online was by Ron Parnell, who called the condition ‘The Hydra Syndrome’. The Hydra was a mythical creature with many heads; each time one was cut off, another grew in its place. His theory is that, as writers, we have too many heads. Some are kind and generous, and others are severe and critical. I thought this was an interesting concept, and I had to agree. We are up and down with our writing. Some days are good, and the writing flows, and there are other days when you stare at the screen, and nothing happens. To use Rob’s words, ‘it doesn’t matter how often we try to quash one head’s opinion of what we do, there’s always another that will have the alternative point of view.’

Writing this blog has in itself been cathartic, and hopefully, it will encourage the first step to a positive response. Here’s hoping!

As a result of the above spell of ill-health, my third book, ‘An Educated Vision’, Part 1, though finished, will not be released until probably May or June 2024.

However, my other books in the series are available on Amazon.  (

Book 1, parts 1 & 2, ‘An Educated Decision’

Book 2, part 1 ‘An Educated Guess’ (part 2 should be published soon)

Book Reviews 

If you can, please tell me, honestly, what you think of the books.

Do you enjoy reading romance, mystery and suspense books?

Did the cover attract you to the book?

Did the blurb entice you to choose the book?

Are the characters believable, and which one was your favourite?

Would you recommend the book/s to your friends?

Thank you. If there is anything you would like to ask about me or my books, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Until next time, happy reading.

Mansel (

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