I have been struggling with imposter’s syndrome.
Found this in a business centric site, as a list of things to do to combat IS.
- Don’t stay silent. Find a way to speak about your fears with a trusted friend, a coach, a mentor, your partner, a therapist, or in a journal.
- Become familiar with your impostor. What are you trying to prove? To whom?And why?
- Exercise your sense of humor. Try to keep a sense of perspective and to laugh as often as possible—especially at yourself.
So. Here’s the journal. And I guess you’re my trusted friend, whoever is reading this.
I remember a time when if you’d told me I would publish in Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF, multiple stories in all three places, that I would have said, “Cool! Thank God! I’ll know then that my work has value and I can put a ton of time and effort into projects without feeling like a self-indulgent dick.”
Back in the 90s, I saw these three magazines as the launch path to a career as a novelist, and when I didn’t hit these marks in the first five years of effort I quit for eighteen years.
So. Now, I’ve done it, made my 90s checklist. Time to strap in and launch that career!
The time has come now to commit, to longer term projects, to figuring out what my voice is for. To network more effectively, and not to shudder at the word ‘network.’ To somehow make use of social media without oversharing, venting like a mad man, or being in other ways unattractive.
A successful writer / businessman friend of mine recently told me he had never seen a more self-sabotaging media presence… a friend from the 90s flamed me on twitter for how I’ve discussed my recent successes there, and only the successes. The phrase ‘head up my ass’ came up so often I eventually realized that this guy was no longer a friend. (After he’d blocked and unfollowed me, that sank in. I’m not always quick on the uptake.)
So. I have a lot of work to do.
I thought I might find a cover of each magazine and make a graphic for this post… I searched the web, before realizing, duh, just take a picture of the magazines, and in so doing I found a bunch of reviews of my work I’d never seen before.
All positive reviews.
Don’t read reviews, is one bit of advice writers give. Never respond to reviews, either, everyone says. Today, though, I think the reviews helped.
In a discussion as to whether an Asimov’s story of mine, Strangers with Candy, was ‘really SF’ or not, the reviewer said, he didn’t care really, the story was effective. The story knew exactly what it was doing, were the words he used.
So. Maybe my stories know what they’re doing. Even when I don’t.
Time to go make some words.
Thanks for listening.