Show of hands: who here struggles with Imposter Syndrome?
I struggle often with Imposter Syndrome. This occurs in other parts of my life too, where my penchant for self-deprecating humor takes a step into unnecessarily piling on. Some nagging part of my brain just does not like to take credit for the good things that happen as a result of my efforts. Maybe it’s from being brought up not to boast, or maybe it’s that devil on my shoulder telling me I’m not good enough. Maybe both.
Part of my failure to fully finish the projects I’ve started in the past year stems from this: my inner critic still winning the argument and telling me I won’t be good enough — that people won’t want to read what I write. The thing is, nothing will happen if I sit here, simply thinking about writing a book. The inner critic says I’m only playing at writing, that I’ll always be stuck at my day job, that there’s no way this writing thing will ever take off. It happens as well when I log onto Twitter and Instagram and see some of my fellow writer friends crank out book after book. Meanwhile I’ve yet to fully finish a project in 15 months of work.
As you all are witnesses, I will tell that inner critic to can it more often.
While I haven’t finished either of my WIPs, I have learned a great deal about what works for me as part of my process. My time working on NaNoWriMo (see my last post) taught me a great deal about that as well. It will happen soon if I keep sticking to what works for me, and if I listen to my inner critic a LOT less often.
So if you’re trying, like me, to break into the crowded world of writing, don’t let the critic inside you win. I can say with certainty it’s cost me chances at bigger things not only in the writing world thus far, but in other things as well. Learn to hone your craft and make your own magic. And just because your way isn’t the same as the next person’s, doesn’t mean it won’t get results. It’s easy to fall into measuring contests in the writing world. The only thing I should measure is my growth and progress as a writer. The rest will take care of itself.