Honestly, all I can think about as I write this is that new AmongUs game because so many people keep talking about it. But I'm not talking about that kind of imposter. I'm talking about imposter syndrome as a writer, which, frankly, is so much worse. If you don't know what I'm talking about and have never experienced it... I don't know what to say. Send me an email or something and teach me your secrets.
But for those of you who are like me, those of us who find ourselves suddenly drowning in a flood of doubt about anything we've ever done, let's keep going with this discussion. When I think of my own experiences with imposter syndrome, two writers immediately come to mind. Before we get any further, I just want to clarify that I have no negative feelings towards these writers. In fact, they only come to mind because I see them as so successful, so impressive, so admirable, and so inspiring that, well, I'm intimidated.
Kaitlyn Legaspi is the author of the Dark Irregular Trilogy, which she wrote and published at a young age (sound familiar?). Nearly every time I think about Kaitlyn and her trilogy, those thoughts are accompanied by the feeling that I, along with my trilogy, just don't measure up. This feeling comes straight from my own insecurities. Maybe there is some way to objectively prove which trilogy is better. But does that matter? (I'll give you the answer here: no... but more on that later.)
Madison Siwak runs a successful blog all about writing. She creates the most helpful and impressive posts, hosts interviews and guest posts, and (here's what's really impressive to me) has a plan, a schedule, and consistent, reliable posts. Also, she's an incredible writer. Do I need to explain why I'm intimidated by her, or are you getting the picture here?
Here's what I've found to be the bottom line with imposter syndrome: we look at someone else and are suddenly confronted with the idea that they are everything we are not. My insecurities tell me that in terms of length and complexity, Kaitlyn's trilogy does have a lot that the Prophecy War Trilogy doesn't (they never seem to remember that my books are written for a completely different age group). My uncertainty reminds me that I don't have a successful, consistent website or blog like Madison (when I'm in that mindset, it's never enough to be happy that I have a website that I'm proud of). I fall miserably short of being Kaitlyn or Madison. But interestingly enough, they can't be me either. And the thing is... I'm just trying to be me, so how could I ever be an imposter?
To wrap this all up, even at the risk of sounding super cliché... be yourself! After all, there's no one else who can be you.