In 2019, Michael Werwie became a professional writer.
He had written 13 full-length movie scripts over the past decade.
But in January, his Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, premiered at Sundance. And then it headlined on Netflix.
At last, he had found an audience. His work was validated.
Michael Werwie had made it.
But despite his success, he says he still feels anxious about writing, about the process.
“If anything, I think it gets harder because I get angry at myself for thinking I should know how to do this by now,” admits Werwie. “Every new project feels like it's the first time I've ever written… That the last movie was just a fluke, and the imposter syndrome is real.”
This is a poignant reminder.
A reminder that even professionally validated writers can sometimes feel like charlatans.
Do you ever feel this way? Anxious about your ability?
Many people do.
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Honestly, I don’t think there is a cure for writers.
I think a degree of self-doubt is baked into the discipline.
I think the only thing you can really do is learn to anticipate the anxiety. And then embrace it when it comes, converting that energy into something productive, like creativity, rather than destructive, like inaction.
How do you convert your anxiety?
Again, I’m not sure.
That is, I don’t think there’s a hard and fast method I could elucidate. Everybody is different. And a big part of becoming a writer is just doing it long enough to find your process.
And the only way to do that is by showing up, by making writing a daily habit. This I know for a fact.
If you walk the same steps every day, you’ll eventually create a path you can depend on to find your way.