Monday, April 16, 2018

Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome - Katrina Roets - Mental Health Matters
Image Courtesy of iamwire.com
Do you know about impostor syndrome? Impostor syndrome is a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure, even though evidence shows that you’re skilled and quite successful. It's something that every single one of us suffers from at one point or another. It's something that I'm dealing with right now when it comes to my writing.

I have a couple of friends who text me multiple times a week to ask me a question about writing, editing, or even publishing. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they'd ask me. What do I know about it? Someone recently pointed out that I'd helped write 2 novels, wrote a filler novella length "journal" and all three of them are available in print and e-book formats on Amazon. Even then, I shrugged and said, "Yeah, well that was mostly Nick. He wrote the original books and he did all the work to get them up on Amazon."  It doesn't seem to matter that it was pointed out that I did a ton of work on the books to correct and improve things or how much time I've put in studying how to properly do these things. I just can't seem to feel like anything but a fraud when it comes to my writing and what I do/don't know. 

So, what do you do when you're struggling with this? According to The Muse, there are some steps that we can all take. I'm going to post them here, but please click the link above if you'd like more information on any of them.

  • Identify what's shaking your confidence.
  • Tell someone about it.
  • Remind yourself of your achievements.
  • Remind yourself that you didn't get to where you are on accident. 
    • I tweaked this one since for me my impostor syndrome isn't specifically related to a job.
  • Take a risk and keep going.
  • Take a look at your language and update it. 
  • Write down your story as if it's an introductory bio for someone to read.
  • Mentor someone else.
  • Know that impostor syndrome is actually a sign that you're doing something right.
What's shaking my confidence? The fact that I haven't written a single word on book 3 in about 6 weeks. That's a really long time and it's gotten to the point where I've become afraid I'll never be able to find the words again. Somehow telling all of you about this helps. I've been living under this cloud of guilt and impostor syndrome and telling you lifted some of that weight off of my shoulders. 

That's steps 1 and 2. I guess answering texts is a bit like mentoring people, right? I'm going to add another step that isn't listed above. Breathe. Don't be afraid to stop and take a few deep breathes. It's so easy to get overwhelmed. Now, I think I'll get brave and open that file....even if I don't write a single word, it's a step in the right direction...




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