Economics was my least favourite subject in secondary school. Asides…
Imposter syndrome. That’s the most decent way of saying I feel like a fraud right? Is there any other word for why I would wake up at 2 am and start a new piece of writing without completing it? Or why I have a poem book halfway written? I have all the poems in a notepad, yes, but then to put it out makes me feel some kind of way.
The internet defines imposter syndrome as an “internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be”. Is this you too because, yes, same.
The confusing thing about feeling “not good enough” is that, as a freelance content writer, I have “confidently” written articles for clients and yet I never felt like a fraud. It’s confusing.
I started writing my book last year. I already have a short story published titled 01:20 am (this was the result of a sleepless night). I struggle with completing a piece of writing and somehow it has made me save so many incomplete articles and hoard stories. The main reason for this is that I feel weird having people read my piece. When they say “oh! You write so well”, my head goes “nice one fraudster, ha”. Is the problem the voice in my head? Is it the imposter or am I the imposter? Am I not meant to be the voice in my head or are we, different people? Like, why the attack on me, head?
On Instagram, I’m a storyteller, I have about 50 original short stories (I feel weird admitting to this). During the period I consistently put out stories in March 2020 I felt different. It was a weird feeling but a good one to know that people were excited to read and interact with my stories. I put myself to a challenge. I woke up one morning and I said “Lynda, what if you write stories for 30days consistently just to prove to yourself that you are a natural”. Did the challenge go well? Yes, it did. I had days when I struggle to come up with the “perfect” story and I think that’s where the imposter syndrome starts. It starts with the urge and craving to be perfect and when you feel like the piece you’ve written is “too perfect” or “not so perfect”, you start to feel like a fraud. This happens to us all, it’s not a writer problem, it’s a human problem.
A friend needed an article for a newspaper and she reached out to me. I’ve made peace with ghostwriting so I wasn’t all jumpy if it was going to be published in my name. I wrote the story and while proofreading, I was like “why is it easy to write this good for others and not yourself?”. The piece I wrote was good, it has to be one of the best things I’ve written but then, why can’t I write the same and put it up in my name? Maybe because my head is right, I’m a fraud.
Before I came to write this article, I was typing words into my book. I started this book last year and I’ve started it many other times including this last Sunday. I feel off about the book. I’m certain someone would read it and be mind blown but the imposter won’t let me feel good about my stuff.
I have to deal with my alter ego and also this fraudster personality?
I come across articles written by people and I know deep down that I can write that good but then the fraud comes to make me believe it’s a lie. So here’s the question that keeps me up most nights, how do you overcome imposter syndrome? Forget what the internet says, I want to know, how do YOU deal with that “meh, I’m not good enough” voice?
The fraud wants me to just save this post without putting it out but no, I won’t listen because I’m tired of letting all these other people in my head be in charge!
So dear fraudster and conqueror of the imposter syndrome, how do you do it? How are you so confident? How? Just how do you achieve these things without feeling weird? I want the pep talk, please.