By: Shannon K.
Our wonderful consultant Shannon has provided insight into the dreaded impostor syndrome, while also reminding us of our value as writers with our own unique voice.
Writing is vulnerability. Writing is taking every ounce of your mind and putting it on to paper waiting for others to critique. This can feel suffocating…is this good enough…am I good enough? Sometimes I find myself getting lost in the pits of my mind that scream to me that I should not be writing because others are better. They have it figured out. Their stories show me something about myself. Mine are not perfect like theirs. I do not deserve to be in the same writing space as them. I am a fraud. How did I get passed all my creative writing courses as a fraud?
This is a phenomenon called impostor syndrome which is the feeling like you are just a phony, getting through by the chance of luck, and the feeling that you do not actually possess any “talent.” This does not only affect those in creative fields, but it can affect anyone and everyone as they move up in the academic world, no matter what major or career path they are pursuing. Unfortunately, this is extremely shadowed in academia which makes it even harder to find others who have these feelings, too. Starting this conversation can be a hard one because it can potentially make someone feel like they are the only one going through this and that they should not point it out to others because what if it is true?
Navigating these feelings can be tough and mentally draining, but when I find myself not creating, I try to step away and meditate for a little while to center my thoughts. And, I try to remind myself that I got here for a reason. I was able to get into this program for a reason, and I deserve to have my writing grow into something more than myself just like the next person does. Being a young writer (or young anything) does not make you a bad one—there is so much beauty and reward learning different crafts from other artists, different techniques you can practice yourself, and better yet, the growing never stops. You are capable of truly great things. Your writing and your voice deserve to be—need to be—heard. Your perspective matters. And I cannot wait to hear your thoughts.
Make an appointment with one of our consultants here at the UWC to help combat and work through your own feelings of imposter syndrome!