The Impostor Syndrome

Reading my Facebook Ninja Writers group posts, I stumbled on a post that seems to resonate with a lot of indie writers. The Impostor Syndrome. You know, that annoying little feeling, kicking you in the back of your brain. The one that says, “Who the heck do you think you are? You aren’t supposed to be successful. Why do you think you could write a book?”

I think we’ve all experienced a moment when that voice gets the best of us. It can happen when ever we try something new or different. It’s the same feeling you had on the first day of middle school when you realized the outfit you spent half the summer picking out was-not-cool.

Even when, by chance, you do get it right, and someone says, “Nice,” or “I like your work,” how often do you find yourself brushing off the compliment. “Oh this old thing,” (when it’s your all-time favorite, best thing ever!) Are you afraid if somebody validates you, then OMG, you’ll have to try to live up to the compliment? 

Calm Down. Take a deep breath, say, “Thank You,” you deserve it.

Life is a learning process. The more we learn, the more we scrutinize our skills. When you were a toddler learning to walk, you didn’t beat yourself up because you didn’t know everything there was to know about walking. You were just thrilled about what you had just learned. It didn’t make you stop trying to learn, it made you want to do even more.

When Impostor Syndrome tries to walk around in your brain, throwing a fit, just ignore him. Carry on. Nope, you’re not Hemingway yet. Well, I hope not, we already had one of those. What we really need now is what you wrote, in the phase of development you’re in right now.

You are not an impostor. You are a writer in the process of learning. We all are in the process of learning, everyday.

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