Imposter syndrome is alive and kicking. Sat there in the crook of my arm, right next to the dog. It sneers as I sit here on the sofa, trying to type.
‘A real writer would have a desk,’ it whispers, ‘or a shed, or a table. A real writer would have a room of one’s own and know that this needs a comma right there.’
Squeezing my eyes shut to silence its words doesn’t help. I can’t see to type, the words disintegrate under its gaze.
‘See,’ it hisses ‘a real writer wouldn’t try to write blind. You’re doing it wrong. What the hell is that? Ideas above your station, love. So what if you write a blog.’
Imposter syndrome is alive and kicking.
Not impressed with offers of work and agents, it sneers, ‘They’re only being nice. Only being polite, their pity, served chilled, is what’s really going on. You’re making a show of yourself. Stop showing off! A writer indeed – get a proper job, do some exercise, stop napping, lose some weight. Come on now, who are you trying to kid?’
Not content with writing-dreams to shatter, imposter syndrome lurks at every turn.
‘Call yourself ill, but you don’t look sick. Everyone gets tired. And didn’t I see you eating ice cream in the park the other day – well then, get on with you! There are people out there with real illnesses, dying for gods sake. You haven’t even tried a charity abseil or a marathon dressed as cat. Maybe you just like being sick?
And can you really call yourself disabled? – I mean you don’t use a wheelchair all the time. I’ve seen you walk to that bench in your garden. With your blue badge and your toilets, you were laughing the other day, what’s that all about?’
Nothing is sacred, nothing out of reach.
‘All that talk about dying children – you don’t even look that upset and anyway they were adopted – ‘at least it wasn’t one of your real children,’ that’s what the Dr said. How are you still walking? How are you still here? A real parent would be broken. Do you think that is why you got sick?
Imposter syndrome drips alive and kicking like a virus invading the air.
‘Who do you think you are, love? What do you think you are doing? Don’t you know we all see you’re a sham!’
But deep breath baby and not a comma in sight today I scream, SCREW YOU!
I am a writer, I am a mother, a woman of such powers, a creator of worlds, a definer of destinies!
At least I think I am, I mean, I probably am? Only, wait, a, minute, does, this, need, a, comma, there?
‘See,’ it hisses, ‘a real writer would know!’