When Imposter Syndrome Strikes

It’s inevitable, like death and taxes, the dreaded writer imposter syndrome. You never know when it’s going to strike, and sometimes it can be crippling. All writers go through this, and it’s been sneaking around my home recently at the worst possible time. I have a deadline for myself to finish the following by December 23rd (the week before my baby is due): 1) making copy edits from my publisher for my YA sapphic contemporary romance DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN?, 2) editing my second book and sending it off to my publisher for consideration, 3) editing a prequel story to DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN?, and 4) keeping up with my monthly blog and newsletter. I have no time penciled in for imposter syndrome to come calling.

But still, it happens. So how do I cope? Every writer is different and sometimes, each instance is circumstantial. This time I can’t afford to take a break from writing completely, I have too many projects to attend to. But what I did was make a little time to rest. I have noticed that when I’m really burnt out is when imposter syndrome starts to rear its ugly head and hit me in the face. I start doubting every single edit I make or word choice, or I read a page and think it’s absolutely garbage and wonder why I even bother writing. When this happens, I know it’s time to take a break, or at least a mini one.

Thanksgiving day ended up being the perfect time to put this in practice. I woke up with the mindset that I was just going to enjoy the time with family and be thankful for all that I have. This year has been an incredible year for me in many different ways, and I need to recognize that and be thankful and grateful. I’ve worked really hard to get this far, and I deserve some time to myself not working at my day job or on my writing, even if it’s only a day or two. And you know what, it was glorious.

My in-laws graciously came to our house so I didn’t have to travel at 34 weeks pregnant, and they made/brought almost all of the food, desserts, and drinks. I barely had to do anything. After the meal, which was delicious, some of us parked ourselves on the couch and watched two holiday movies. I NEVER do that. Usually I feel bad binge watching a couple of TV shows in a row, because I really ought to be writing or doing something productive. And then my sister-in-law ordered us Chinese food when I was inevitably hungry again, so once again I didn’t have to do a thing. This really was the life!

After all my guests left, I made my writing to-do list in order of priorities by when things were due and got right to work. Since then I’ve been putting my head down and plowing ahead. I’ve had some stressful deadlines before and got through them then. I can do this; it’s all for projects that are important to me. And if imposter syndrome shows up again, I’ll deal with it and know that it’s not a forever occurrence, but just a small obstacle that I can overcome.

4 thoughts on “When Imposter Syndrome Strikes

  1. I feel this so often too and I’ve also learned the hard way that allowing myself some grace to step away from it for a bit is the only therapy for this that truly works. Thank you for sharing! I needed this reminder

    Liked by 1 person

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