imposter syndrome writer author

That Moment When Imposter Syndrome Is Real

Imposter Syndrome. It’s that nagging feeling that whatever you’re writing is horrible and it should never see the light of day. That feeling that tells you to chuck it all in and throw away all of your dreams.

I get that a lot. As in daily. If you’ve felt it before, you know what I’m talking about. But I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. It’s a very normal feeling for creatives. Here are my own ways of dealing with it when it gets ugly. (Again, that’s a daily struggle for me.)

You’re Not Alone

I first learned the name of what I was experiencing when Neil Gaiman spoke up about his experience with Imposter Syndrome. I thought to myself, “surely not.” He’s an accomplished writer with multiple completed and celebrated projects. There’s just no way he thinks he’s inadequate. Yet, here we are. The more I delved into the subject, the more I realized that I’m not alone in this. And, if you’re reading this, take heart that you’re not alone either.

Beating Imposter Syndrome Through Life’s Ebb and Flow

The funny thing about feelings? They are incredibly fickle. The one moment you’re happy. The next you’re down in the dumps. And then, guess what, right after that you’re happy again. It may not feel like it – especially if you have depression – but feelings change pretty much all the time.

Like I said before, I experience Imposter Syndrome every day. Most days, I experience the symptoms multiple times within 24 hours. Then I realized… I am also free of these same symptoms during other times of the day. I’ve started to take note of when these times are. My so-called Inner Critic is still asleep at 4am, so I aim to wake up and write when she’s sound asleep. You know when she is a raging monster, though? Between midday and 5pm. Many of my projects were nearly scrapped when I dared look at them during the afternoons.

Of course some days are a little different than others. For instance, I was down on my writing for most of today. I’m also going through a rough patch with some family at the moment, so it can’t be helping. But I remind myself of life’s ebb and flow and that tomorrow is another day.

Keep A Journal

I know that this one seems counter-productive. After all, shouldn’t you be writing?

My fav of the “You should be writing” meme.

But if it’s a choice between feeling down about your writing or making a journal to document your struggle, I’d say rather keep that journal and work through whatever is bothering you.

If you take away anything from this blog post, I hope it’s this: You’re not alone. I want to end this off with a quote from the article I linked to earlier:

…if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.

Neil Giaman

While you’re here, you can read one of my free short stories!

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash.

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