Setting Self Doubt on Fire: Finding Your Identity


I’m back and this time I’m pushing rejection aside, and moving on to something more exciting.


So as you can see from the title, this post is about finding your own writer identity. It’s very common when you start on your writing journey that you look to your favourite author(s) for inspiration. You yearn to recreate their success and wish that you too could write the same. Now while it’s fine to admire an author, I have learnt that you’ll never get anywhere being an imitation. And no matter how hard you try, you can never beat the original. Why? Well it’s simple it’s because that’s their style, their way of story telling. If you ever want the chance of success, you need to find your own style, your own way because remember no one is the same.


You may wonder what inspired this post. Well earlier in my writing journey, after I got my first story acceptance, people would say you’re going to be the next J. K. Rowling, and that sent me thinking. I didn’t want to be the next J. K. Rowling, I mean for a start I’m a horror writer, but it wasn’t just that. J. K. Rowling is amazing, in my opinion, when I first got her books I would be locked away for days reading absorbed in the magical world she created, and even now I still love to reread her books. But I don’t want to be a poor copy. I want to be Nicole J. Simms because that’s the only writer I can be.


So how do you do this, how do you find your true writer identity? Well during my year and a half, I’ve found ways to help you discover your identity, and just as expected, I have come up with 5.


  1. Write: This is an obvious point, but sometimes the most obvious can be overlooked. The only way you’re going to be able to identify your style is to actually write, and keep on writing. As time goes on you will find your writing changing, developing but this is ok it takes time for you to find your style, so bear with it. Don’t worry you’re not alone; even now I’m still trying to find mine.
  2. Explore: Now while you may be certain that you want to be a horror writer you can’t know for sure until you try other genres. So far, I’ve written fantasy, crime and stories with no specific genre. Horror is still my favourite though but I’m now more open to blurring genres. Genre isn’t the only area to explore there’s POV (Point Of View), some prefer third or first and some even like second. I’ve never tried second myself, might be something worth exploring.
  3. Your Stories: This definitely will show you what kind of writer you are. You’ll notice common themes in all your stories. This is mostly down to you writing what you know. Things in your life will inspire what you write. So it is important to just go with that random idea that pops into your head because that is a story idea that is true to you, it’s not forced, it’s natural.
  4. Comparison: It wasn’t until I started reading from a wider range of authors that I noticed how different they all write. Not one had the same style, similar maybe but not the same. Some styles I liked, some I didn’t, did that mean that the authors were rubbish, no that’s just my opinion and they are still published authors no matter what I think. So by being able to see how different other authors write, you’ll realise that your style isn’t necessarily wrong it’s just different.
  5. Just go with it: This is the best way to find out your true identity. You just need to write the stories you want, the way that’s comfortable to you. Yeah you need to edit, avoid bad habits etc, but you can’t mould yourself into something you are not. You are who you are, so allow yourself to explore, write and compare. Find your voice and tell your stories. Not everyone will like the way you write but hey, you can’t please everyone.


So there you have it, 5 ways to find your writer identity. Hopefully these points will help, they’ve helped me so far but I’m still learning, and still growing.


Final Note: I’ve worked out my author signature; all I need now is a book to sign.


All that’s left to say is, let’s follow this unrealistic dream.


Nicole Simms

Nicole J. Simms is a UK horror, crime and fantasy writer. However, she is open to writing in other genres. Her stories have been published in anthologies, in magazines and on websites. In 2016, she won the Nine Voices’ 50-Word Halloween Competition with her story ‘Meeting the Parents’. And, her self-published e-book The Book of Drabbles is now available to download for free. She is also the deputy leader of the Oldbury Writing Group, a West Midlands based writing group. They have published a WW2 anthology together titled From Sunrise to Sunset, and they are now working on their second anthology. Stephen King, Sharon Bolton, J. K. Rowling, R. L. Stine and Kelley Armstrong are some of her favourite authors. And, when she’s not writing, she loves to bake, paint, knit and go on nature walks. Find out more at: Website - Facebook link - Twitter link - Goodreads link -

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