Some Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome

I’ve thought about writing this post multiple times. I decided against it each and every time. I’ll let you judge whether I should have kept my mouth shut.

Imposter syndrome. That creeping feeling that you don’t belong, that you are a fraud, and that any moment someone will discover this and expose you. Perhaps you’ve experienced this? Perhaps you live under its great, gaping shadow?

Imposter syndrome is real. It is especially prevalent in creatives.Well-known, successful authors talk about their experiences with it regularly. It can be debilitating.

I don’t have it.

There, I finally said it.

I’ve refrained from saying it up to this point because I have no desire to belittle those of my peers who do suffer under this strain. I recognize how serious these feelings of fraudulence are and I don’t want to rub anyone’s face in my ability to sail over these clouds.

My imperviousness to imposter syndrome does not, however, mean I feel like THE GREATEST WRITER OF ALL TIME. Far from it. While I do believe that I have put in a lot of time working on my writing and that my books are good stories that people will enjoy, I will always see room for improvement and I will always point out writers who know more and do better.

So why do I even bring this up?

Because I suspect I’m not alone. I wonder who out there might be like me and I’d like to encourage you not to be embarrassed or feel guilty over it. We are what we are. And we certainly shouldn’t feign to suffer from imposter syndrome. That helps no one and only insults those for whom it is a lurking companion.

I don’t pretend to know why I’ve managed to escape the weight of imposter syndrome. I mean, you could chalk it up to hubris or rampant arrogance, I suppose. That’s your prerogative, though I think I’m pretty modest and I avoid the spotlight like it’s my job. And I would argue that my desire to earn the respect of my peers–as a writer, as a hockey coach–is evidence against any feelings of superiority.

But I do think it has something to do with the simple fact that I rarely feel stress. I’m good at taking things in stride, I don’t dwell on stuff I can’t control, and I’ve been described as unflappable. This has been true my whole life. It’s how I’m wired.

If I could peel off layers of my built-in, anti-imposter-syndrome shield and share them with all of you, I would. I’ve got enough to go around.



2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome

  1. A good article and certainly something we authors struggle with. I will admit that this is something I struggled with more when I only had one book out. However, as I have branched out, published more books and continue to refine my brand each day I am seeing more and more of “me” and less of those I have tried to emulate. Anyone can attempt to attack my works but not many can claim to have written a full novel, let alone three, maintain a social media presence, continue to grow sales and continue to make connections with prolific authors. I think that with new endeavors there is always a sense of uncertainty about our quality, skill, or determination to stay the course. However, as we grow and cultivate our craft the shadow begins to fade and soon we find that we to are reaching the top of the canopy catching more and more sunlight. Skal!


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