Cinderella Syndrome

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Cinderella Syndrome is an author specific application of Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome

[n.] [coll.]

  1. Feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.

  2. The propensity to attribute success to luck instead of one’s own efforts.

Imposter Syndrome is bad.

The all-pervading sense that you do not deserve to succeed.  That squirrelling whiney voice of self-doubt that far exceeds its usefulness during the beta editing process.  That horrid thief of success that gradually whittles away your ambition.

But Cinderella Syndrome is worse.

Cinderella Syndrome

[n] [coll.]

The urge to preserve the illusion of wealth in the hope it will come true.

Cinderella Syndrome makes willing slaves of very clever people.  People just like you.

Cinderella was a frocked up scullery maid impersonating a princess hoping to snare a lottery win, in the form of a marriage proposal from a prince.

She must have been so scared that the fairy godmother’s glamour would slip, just an inch, and expose her as a fraud before she could secure her hooks in his heart.  At which point the trifling matter of her origins would become irrelevant.

Cinderella’s summoned ball gown confers upon her a status she has not earned.  Until midnight, that pinwheeling faux-princess could dance and dance in the company of her betters, attaining a social status previously impossible but for that shower of pixie dust from her fairy godmother’s wand.

I don’t know you.  We’ve only just met.  But I do know this.  When introduced to someone and asked, “What do you do?” you want to be able to answer, “I’m an author.”

Cue, confetti cannon.

It hurts to disabuse people of the notion that because you are an author you are rich.  And sadly, the status that author-hood confers is dependent upon the false perception of the riches publication brings.

In order to fight the latter, you must let go of the former.