Impostor Syndrome, the belief that one is a fraud, sometimes hits a lot of writers. Most of the writers I know, both professional and not, suffer from it from time to time. I feel lately like I live there. It makes writing very difficult–how can you focus on the work when you’re convinced you’re terrible at it?
I suffer from it both as a teacher and as a writer, but mostly as a writer. And when I’m in the depths of Writer Impostor mode, these are the things that go through my mind (In case it’s not obvious, I need to point out that every single one of these is BS and I know it):
- I’m a hack. My book sucks.
- I’m not analytical enough. All my friends are waxing eloquent about that book’s structure and plot and character, and I’m sitting here with my Literature degree thinking only “I liked it; it was a good story.” How can I be a good writer if I don’t analyze everything I read like that?
- Writing is hard. It wouldn’t be this hard if I was any good.
- Fuck (insert writer whose career I’m jealous of that day)
- I’m good at grammar but I suck at everything else.
- I am never going to be published. What’s the point of bothering to put my soul into this if it isn’t going to go anywhere?
- It would be easier to just stop and be a reader.
- My ideas are all trite and unoriginal.
- Taking a dump would be more productive than this writing session.
- VP lied to me to get my money. The instructors all laughed about how bad I am.
- All my VP classmates think I suck. They just tell me it’s good because they like me.
- They don’t even really like me.
- I’m wasting time I could be doing something more fun chasing a dream that will never come true. I’m a fool.