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I am an imposter.

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Who do I think I am?

I’m not a real writer. 

I don’t have a MFA.

I’ve never been published.

I’m not that talented.

How can I call myself a writer? 

Imposter Syndrome.

It is a pattern of thought that creeps up in areas of our lives where we are learning by doing. Where we are putting ourselves out into the world as part of a category in which we are not an “expert.”

Honestly, it’s a no-win situation. And it is based 100% in fear.

We are scared of the vulnerability writing requires, or the possible rejection, or the effort and time needed. The primal, fight-or-flight part of our brain senses the fear and launches the biggest defense missile it has in the arsenal.

“Who do you think you are?”

Ouch.

When this thought crosses my mind, I am flooded with examples – evidence – to support it. I don’t have a fancy literary degree. I’m unknown in the publishing world. I don’t write every day.

And then I run away from my stories. I reach for the Doritos, or the remote, or the wine. Anything to numb the pain that comes from talking to myself like I am a stupid child.

But.

I can have that thought – Who do you think you are? – and immediately hit the pause button. I can recognize that it comes from a part of my brain that is wired to protect me from danger. I can stay detached from it, not start collecting evidence. I can respond to it with kindness.

I think I am someone who wants to write. 

There is plenty of evidence to support that statement, too.

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