Imposter Syndrome is very very real right now.
I have always been very good at the writing part of … writing, and not so much at the discipline of editing, and whatnot. Ever since the bug of poetry bit me at the age of sixteen I have written continually on whatever bits of paper I might find laying around, with whichever pen might happen to work. I joined a writing site soon after that and enjoyed interacting and sharing my writing with a community of other likeminded people. I started sending some of those poems to literary publications when I was eighteen. And now I am twenty-three, I have had my poems published online and in print. I have met and read a lot of writers online in that time too. Sometimes it seems the only thing that keeps me sane. I love discovering new writers.
Writing has always been my way of communication from when I was a little girl. Writing this I cringe a little inside because I am more comfortable writing from a poem point of view, than from my own. That’s because I’m not a confident person and don’t like to share my thoughts outwardly because of fear of people telling me I’m wrong or being stupid. I keep reminding myself I’m an adult now and not a child, but coping mechanisms die hard!
I guess writing, and poetry stopped me from becoming lonely too. I was a very quiet, sensitive, and shy child, and I often felt shunned by family, teachers, friends. Writing reminded me I was alive at times, that I had some kind of power. Reading has that same impact too. Words can become a healing balm.
Over the last few months I have felt shut out from poetry, and a little adrift from the community. It seems like it has become a popularity contest? I have gotten into the nasty habit of comparison with fellow poets. Why are they being published and I’m not? What’s wrong with my voice? Do you read my poetry and recognize how uneducated I am, how limited my vocabulary can be because of where I’m from?
Any suggestions on how to beat Imposter Syndrome?