Every. Single. Day. Is a STRUGGLE. My opponent? The imposter.
Picture this. You’re sitting at your desk writing your favorite scene. The characters are arguing, the angst is real and completely tear worthy in its performance. Suddenly, you worry there is too much drama, even hate, and not enough what your audience may want. Where are the feels? The love? Am I doing this right? This spirals and you stop writing, overwhelmed now. The imposter waits and waits and BAM, the doubts turn into an inferno of I cants and what ifs. There are so many other writers out there all trying to get published. Why am I different? Why should I even try? You turn off the computer and leave the desk feeling nauseous.
Scenario finished. Has this happened to you?
While writing this I can’t help but sigh, knowing that the imposter has struck near fatal blows in our sparring match over the past two years. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a freelance editor. I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to go back to school. Instead I let this and that and every other excuse I could think of stop me.
So, what changed?
After receiving critical feedback on a recent project, which I did NOT take well at all, I was ready to wipe the slate clean. No more editing, blogging, even books. I didn’t have the heart to try. Before pushing that reset button, I sent out a plea to my mentor, whom I had been hiding from for weeks as I listened to the imposter droll on and on. My mentor was straight with me and to the point. “I believe you can do it. But do YOU want to do this?” I remember sitting at the computer dumbfounded. What did I want? Mental images of past projects, future projects, Instagram photos, and upcoming releases came to mind. Books. I wanted books and to be a part of the community. I replied with a word vomit of “thank yous” and began to plan.
Over the past few weeks I have started my own business, began drafting a novel I’ve had in my head for years, and started looking up MFA programs. I made a list of realistic goals and a list of higher goals that may or may not come to fruition. Through all of it the imposter picks at my resolve and some days I weaken until I look at my notes or see the photos of inspiration and think “NO. You will NOT do this to me. I will NOT listen to you.”
If you are still reading, thank you. I’ll stop this ramble soon.
Now, why am I telling you this?
I want every writer, blogger, freelancer, etc. out there to know they aren’t alone. Whatever you want to do, whatever crazy idea you have – try. My grandmother always tells me this quote, to which I never say it right, but essentially it translates to if I reach for nothing I’ll succeed rather than trying for the stars. Reach out for support if you need to, step back and take a break from what you are working on. It is okay to rest and do what’s best for you.
For myself, through networking I’ve met so many wonderful authors, agents, and more. They inspire me every day to follow my dreams and I feel the warm and fuzzies whenever I get a like or comment on something I post. I may be just another book blogger and freelance editor, but I AM ME and I will continue to fight my imposter to prove it wrong. You can too.
Take a deep breathe. Let it out. Now go for it.
Rae E. is a library assistant by day, freelance editor by night, and fangirl at every available opportunity. She always knew books were her passion, well after her grandmother’s challenge to read a book a day, and obtained her B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Arcadia University. Currently, she drowning in her TBR list, deciding on whether or not to go for her MFA, outlining her would be novel, and expanding her freelancing options while looking for more bookish things to get involved with. She is active on Twitter and Instagram @anewlookonbooks and sometimes Facebook when she remembers. Check out her blog, too: A New Look on Books.