There's an unpleasant feeling which can sometimes come calling for a writer, and it paid me a visit this week.
I think of it as the fraudster factor.
I've had a great few days. I've done a couple of events talking about the new book, Justice Mirror, and also some teaching (thanks to everyone who came along for our Novel Writing weekend in Herne Bay) -
(Some lovely smiles, and I don't think they're all faked.)
Anyhow, despite everything going well, I've still had this nagging voice whispering slyly in my ear -
Who are you to teach writing? What do you know about it? And who are you to talk about books, characters, settings and stories? Why do you think you've got a clue what you're on about?
I suppose it's the voice of doubt and a part of being human.
It's stalked me before and I used to hate it, let it put me off, slow me down, make me fret.
But these days, a few novels and teaching sessions on, it doesn't worry me so much any more. In fact, I kind of welcome it.
Well, imagine the alternative. Someone so cocksure they weren't prepared to learn any more, reflect honestly on how they were doing, not try to push on and keep improving.
The voice of doubt is often an irritating and deflating one.
But like so many such tones, the best way is to smile and embrace it - keep learning, keep enjoying and most of all...
Keep going, despite the doubt.