who the heck knows anything, anyway

Sunday, June 23, 2013

For those of you who heard my question to the novelists panel today, here's the Wikipedia page that describes Impostor Syndrome.

I am having a difficult week. It's hard to tell people that you constantly feel like this, because then they give you compliments, but (a) the impostor syndrome makes you think they are only feeding you positivity to make you feel better and not because anyone actually thinks you are any good and (b) you immediately feel guilty for appearing to be asking for compliments,* thus adding a new layer of guilt which accentuates your feeling of being a big fat idiot fraud that everyone hates.**

I want to say that I know these things aren't true. I want to say that my brain is at least half-functioning, that the logic sector of neuron clumps is firing properly, and that it is only a matter of self-confidence, when we get down to it. But I can't say that. I can't say that I feel like I am good at anything I am doing right now.

It's true that success, to many writers, never feels like success. Many of this group lives in perpetual fear of failure, likely in the eyes of themselves as much as in others'. But I feel like many good authors have at least a little bit of ego to fall back on, to give them buoyancy during times like this. Maybe I'm wrong.

*I call this the I Swear to God, I'm Not Fishing For Compliments dilemma
**See? Now they hate you because you are bad at what you do AND because you demand comfort and compliments like a selfish person***
***so your brain says, anyway