Fifty Shades of Gray author EL James has revealed she is in therapy to deal with her imposter syndrome despite selling more than 165 million books.
She’s a global publishing sensation, but despite her roaring success, EL James has admitted she suffers from imposter syndrome and is now in therapy.
The 60-year-old London-based author is no stranger to success, having written the Fifty Shades trilogy, its companion novels Grey, Darker and Freed, and not to mention co-producing on-screen adaptations of his successful erotic novels.
Fifty Shades of Gray has excelled on best-seller lists around the world and has since been translated into 52 languages. Previous estimates put his net worth at over $100 million.
So, it may come as a surprise that EL James, otherwise known as Erica Mitchell, has opened up about suffering from imposter syndrome.
Speaking to The Times, the mother-of-two said: ‘I have imposter syndrome and knowing I’ve sold 165 million books doesn’t make it any easier.’
EL James, 60, reveals that despite her success, she suffers from imposter syndrome
‘I find it frustrating that I can’t change the self-doubt so I’m in therapy now.’
‘I’ve been called brave but I’m actually quite a coward. I’m much braver in my fiction than in real life.’
He goes on to discuss the different values of women and claims that they are often overwhelmed by the small details of life.
What is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that your success is deserved or achieved through your own efforts or skills.
According to Thomas Jefferson University, it is often associated with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and self-sabotage, among other traits.
People with imposter syndrome believe that their achievements in life are the result of luck or circumstances or other factors.
It affects people both in the workplace and in the classroom.
Although imposter syndrome is not a clinical diagnosis, it is known as a ‘very universal fear’ experienced by many in the workplace.
The psychological phenomenon was first revealed in an article published in 1978, who referred to imposter syndrome in women ‘despite outstanding academic and professional achievements’.
Prior to his success in Fifty Shades of Grey, which led to a trilogy of films starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Gray and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, he posted chapters online weekly.
Now, the author claims that his success has changed his creative process into something solitary.
Still, the creative juices flow in her London household as her husband, Neil Leonard, is both a novelist and a screenwriter in the industry.
Before his high-profile career, EL James worked as a TV executive in the television industry, lending himself to his role in the making of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
The mother-of-two explained that her success was completely unprecedented, and said she struggled to cope and had trouble sleeping.
He struggled with anxiety, especially during the release of film adaptations of his books.
Whatever her problems with imposter syndrome, EL James, recently released her follow-up to Sunday Times bestseller ‘The Mister’ with ‘The Missus’, which was released on 20 June.
The thrilling love story centers on an antisocial marriage between a British man and a sex-trafficking Albanian cleaner.
She admitted she ‘wanted a break’ from Fifty Shades leading man Christian Gray after branding her ‘absolutely boring’.
It comes just weeks after the author told TODAY that she and her husband, Neil Leonard, choreographed sex scenes in the back of their car to make it more realistic in her books.
He explained that they went to their Mini Cooper in broad daylight to figure out the details that would make the sex scenes in his novel more interesting.
However, she said at the end of her interview with The Times that she wishes she had realized sooner rather than later that you don’t have to answer every question you ask — especially when it’s about your sex life.