It's the first Wednesday of September, which means it's time for another IWSG post. First of all, many congratulations to Alex J. Cavanaugh, creator of this amazing blog hop. IWSG has been going strong for two years, and hopefully has many more years to go! If you haven't joined this community, stop by Alex's blog to sign up and post with us!
For those of you who don't know, I started my professional life as a scientist, which means I spent a little over five years in graduate school. Looking back on the experience, I think grad school is designed to foster impostor syndrome--imagine year after year of failure punctuated by the occasional success, so that you begin to think those rare successes are due more to luck than any skill on your part. Anyway, I digress.
My well-developed sense of impostor syndrome often rears its ugly head in other areas of my life as well. And why not? If you really put your back into it, you too can experience feelings of doubt and insecurity in any aspect of your life!
Lately, I've been worrying about my writing, and feeling like maybe my successes to date are due to a combination of luck and fooling people. Making them think I can actually write, when really, I'm nothing more than a hack with a computer. What if no one buys my book? What if I'm the biggest flop in the history of publishing, and I never get to write in this town again, and... Or, perhaps worse, what if people buy my book and they hate it? What if I disappoint all the people who have invested in my writing career? They'll figure out that they caught me on a rare good day, and that really, most of my work is bad and they wasted their time on me.
One of the problems with impostor syndrome is that it's terribly insulting to those around you. You really think you're good enough to have fooled everyone? Please. That implies a near mythical level of skill, something you don't have in the first place, right? So how could you possibly sneak past all the 'gatekeepers' of your field? My rational brain knows and accepts this, but still... Fear is a powerful thing, and it doesn't play by rational rules.
So I guess I'm going to do the only thing I can: try my best to ignore the voices of doubt and worry, and keep plugging away, day after day (like the failed poet I am <g>).
How do you deal with doubt? Are you a fellow sufferer of impostor syndrome, too?