Author Summer Nilsson tackles complex topics through the spider’s web of imposter syndrome, mind chatter and ego.


Imposter syndrome. Mind chatter. False narrative. Ego. These are complex topics at any age.

I dealt with imposter syndrome for much of my early professional life. I’ve worked in marketing, branding and media for over 20 years. I can attest that there are no words to describe the feeling when you sit down at a conference table in New York to discuss strategy with the media brands that determine trends. I never questioned that I was sitting with the best of the best. In fact, the only question that my mind posed, in silence and in violation to the seat I had earned was, “What am I doing here?”.

I don’t mean to imply that I wasn’t present and engaged. I solved marketing problems and developed national campaign strategies all day, every day. I could close my eyes and see the solution. When I succeeded at my job, I paused only long enough to consider the immediate next steps that needed to occur in order to maintain momentum. Then, I raced from one accomplishment to the next with nothing more than a glance at the career goal I had checked off a list. If I failed, the false narrative returned.

It didn’t matter the meeting, the party, or the event. The other people in the room couldn’t have been nicer. At times, I even blocked my feedback with others out of fear of saying the wrong thing.

It took years to develop the skillset necessary to silence the chatter of ego and insecurity. I needed to understand that happiness comes from within. I had to stop looking to others for validation and disentangle from the sticky web of imposter syndrome. It is a result of this work and reflection that I hope to encourage readers and reinforce the importance of confidence, connection and kindness. At a time when social media misinforms one’s identity, fuels false narrative, and provokes ever-present chatter, the unavoidable truth is that words matter, now more than ever.

It’s for these reasons, and many more, that I wrote The Land of the Pines. The Land of the Pines follows Grey the Kitten’s journey to discover identity and the gift of empathy. Grey must learn the power of her voice and the impact that words can have on others. As Laura the Bee explains: “Your words have power. They can build things or break things. Choose them carefully.”

The Land of the Pines takes readers through a series of key questions:

“Hoo” are you?
What do you want?
How are we all connected?

By uncovering one’s sense of self-worth, we can assess and verbalize our wants with more confidence. It is only then that we truly begin to ponder our possibilities in life. We can make choices based on hope, as opposed to fear. We can appreciate our individuality in tandem with our collective potential and no longer look upon other’s success as a threat to our own.

The Land of the Pines features Grey the Kitten, Biggie the Deer, and the Black Widow, among many others. Each character was a purposeful choice to honor my small-town roots. The Black Widow also provided a metaphor and opportunity to present the Harrowing Hourglass as a representation of ego.

“One might say that I feed the chatter and dialogue in that mind of yours.” - Harrowing Hourglass

Through the Loodor Tales, I hope to plant the seed for conversation around complex topics and inspire readers of all ages to believe in themselves and chase their dreams.

- Founder and Author, Summer Nilsson

Author: Summer Nilsson
Illustration: Blayne Fox
Photography: Sebron Snyder