WT&TT: Impostor Syndrome, or Not (Reblogged)

Impostor Syndrome is an icky, stupid thing. In my opinion one thing that helps combat it is having the self-confidence to know that you want to keep writing, even when things are tough. (Like that post about ‘Absolute Zero’ from a month ago and Chuck’s insistence that as an author, you call the shots for your work.)

John Scalzi has more below.

Impostor Syndrome, or Not

by John Scalzi

At ConFusion last week, I had a great many conversations with a great many folks on a large number of topics, but there was one topic that seemed to pop up more than usual:Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome, briefly put, is the feeling that one’s achievements and status are a fluke, and that sooner or later one will be revealed as a fraud. Anecdotally speaking, it seems, Imposter Syndrome affects a lot of writers, editors and other folks in the publishing life. I think this is in part because the writing life is a precarious one, financially and otherwise, and also in part because people in publishing seem to be a generally neurotic lot anyway. Imposter Syndrome is just another log on that particular fire.

Imposter Syndrome is a real thing and it’s not something I’d want to make light of because I think it has harmful effects. I think it can make people cautious in the exercise of their art and their career when they could be (and want to be) taking chances, and I think it can make people vulnerable to being taken advantage of by people/organizations who intentionally or otherwise leverage those feelings for their own advantage.

It’s pernicious, basically, and it frustrates me that so many talented people who have earned their places in the field with their work battle with it. I think it’s good that people are talking about it, however. It means that they are aware that it’s a thing and that it’s a lie. Naming it and describing it and knowing of it goes a long way in fighting it.

Read more by clicking on the title above, as Scalzi says a lot of other good stuff.


2 thoughts on “WT&TT: Impostor Syndrome, or Not (Reblogged)

  1. I have a feeling everyone has a bit of this – I know I do! A lot of it dissipated when I was doing my masters and I was stuck on how to do a manual conversion for my isotope results (it was a side module that led into my dissertation, so I was pretty stressed about getting it right). I spent days on it and finally admitted defeat, so I took it to my supervisor – one of the world’s leading experts on isotopes in archaeological material, and she said ‘I have no idea how to do that – we just use this magic formula in excel.’ It occurred to me that every ‘adult’ (bearing in mind I was 23 at the time) and every expert I knew was making it up as they went along, all of them pretending that they knew what they were doing, and that, therefore, everything was going to be fine, because they were all very good at their jobs. We’re all imposters, and all not!

    Liked by 1 person

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