I know it’s sort of a strange topic for a writing Wednesday post but I think it’s something that goes hand in hand with the process, especially when you’ve just hit send on that submission or are waiting for your first reviews to come in.
Impostor Syndrome is a common thing among creative people. At least it is among the people I know. It’s more than just doubts, not some false humbleness, and really annoying. Writing is really the only thing I’ve ever felt like I was good at but I’ve never really been all that confident that I’m good enough at it. Sure, I may have four books published, many short stories published, and even more poems published, but still, I don’t quite feel good enough and I’ve heard a number of my very talented, super creative friends lamenting about the same thing.
When I was young and dumb, I had the opposite problem – all the confidence, some of the talent, and mountains of skill to learn yet. Somedays I wish I could go back to that though – that confidence was heady and wonderful and I miss it. Now, I see it in my kids and enjoy their exuberance about whatever it is they’re throwing themselves into.
I’m sure there are links to my anxiety and my depression that make my Impostor Syndrome manifest is different ways but I don’t think they’re requirements for it. I do think the anxiety amplifies it some.
Realistically, I know I’m fairly good at what I do. I’ve only ever had one not so nice review and the others have all been really glowing – not counting my dad’s review because he was biased. Though I did have someone explain to me that they just flat couldn’t follow the mythology of my stories or didn’t care for the genres, I don’t actually count those comments against my abilities. I’ve had people message me on facebook with lovely comments. Though, that is a little weird (and awesome) the first time a stranger messages you to say something nice. None of that gets taken into account inside my head though, I guess. In my head, I’m still worried that someone is going to peek behind the curtain and find me as lacking as Dorothy found the Wizard.