Am I a good enough writer? Is my manuscript trash? Will my work ever be good enough? Questions like these can hobble the most creative mind. The fears attached to solitary writing can hold us hostage worse than any proof to the contrary.
Impostor syndrome isn’t limited to writing of course, and people can attach the same kinds of anxiety to any success. That’s the underlying problem after all, feeling uneasy with accomplishment. Yes, I finished my book, but it was too easy. There must be something wrong with it, or the process I used.
The worst part of these feelings of doubt, is how they stop us from pushing to prove them wrong. Our isolation as writers leaves us open to an endless loop of self doubt and criticism. Often, without any outside feedback, impostor syndrome leads to procrastination. Procrastination can lead to abandoning our dreams entirely.
This is another reason to reach out to other authors, to find critique groups, and support each other. External feedback from others who share our passion for writing is a lifeline for those fighting feelings of inadequacy. Too many people find a way to talk themselves out of finishing their book, or giving up during the revision process.
There is nothing wrong with questioning how well you do something. Impostor syndrome goes beyond that, and questions if your effort is worthwhile. Writing, even if it has mistakes, or could be better, is worthwhile. Your story can’t be told by anyone else, and the world needs that perspective.
There are a million reasons not to do something, but self-doubt is a weed you can do without. Keep writing. Find your tribe. I swear they are out there, listening for your voice in the wilderness. Take another step, then another, until you find them, or they find you. Do it for yourself, and all of us who don’t even realize we’re listening for you.