The Imposter

I wanted to apologize if anyone tried to access my websites the past week or so, there was some sort of infection, and I had to spend a little time cleaning it up.

During the time that my sites were down, I sort of stepped into a “danger zone” as well…

I guess I shouldn’t be that melodramatic.

But part of me thought, I spent a good two years building this site; I would hate to see all the hard work of 60 or so articles and several pages of content vanish into the “cloud,” never to be found or accessed again. Whether it is mediocre quality or not, it was a great effort.

And the other part thought maybe this is a sign from God, telling me that this blog may not be part of my calling. That even though I haven’t written as often as I should to determine if it will gain some readership, it may be time to turn off the lights on this one.

Regardless, I had been reflecting on how challenging it is to start and maintain a website and blog for some time the past few months, and began to reconsider my personal blog idea. The idea of this website.

I think there will need to be some adjustments to this in the near future, which should always be expected, as we evolve in our self-apprenticeship. And when I get some time, I will make those important modifications…

But I haven’t stopped second-guessing and doubting my theme, title, and focus of the blog since I started it in February 2016. I thought the title might give off a narcissistic vibe, when the vibe is actually intended for “self-empowerment,” and not to take away from the importance of humility as a “public servant.” See my first post written here, which explains it.

I also took the time to reflect on my passion for writing, and whether I should continue this quest on writing about this topic of mental health and intersectionality as a hobby on this blog or just generally, in addition to my other academic scholarship in my future. There is a genuine purpose behind why I plan to spread my efforts to this genre as well. And I think it may be doable, with time and patience, perhaps more in the future. We see many examples of academics with their interests in creative writing alongside their scholarship. It’s called, having a “portfolio life,” as coined by writer Jeff Goins.

Additionally, I realized during this time, the feeling and that question, “am I good enough?” became stronger as the “imposter” started creeping in.

It is a question that comes up too often on a daily basis. It is part of a “perfectionism” and part of what we know as the “imposter syndrome.”

I have been reading a lot of articles about how to defeat imposter syndrome for the past several years, for the sake of my academic writing as well as my creative writing projects and pursuits. It is a major problem that emerges among many academics and writers and artists.

“Imposter Syndrome” is the construed perception that you are a “fraud” and nothing that you produce is “good enough” or perhaps even “real.”  

The feeling that you are an “imposter,” in the area of which you claim expertise, can creep up at you at moments, stay briefly or sometimes stay for long periods. I have my stages. I just had a big one. And it is painful. Dreadfully, utterly painful.

I guess it is not only amplified by my depression and anxiety, but also amplifies my depression and anxiety. A double-edged sword.

We hold the highest standards for ourselves.

And if we ever share with anyone that we feel like we are “imposters,” some may not sympathize with it, or admit they ever felt like that, because like “mental illness,” it is classified as a “weakness.”

It is the fear of being “found out” that we are not good enough or the fear of being “found out” that we THINK we are not good enough.

Even the greats have expressed their imposter syndrome. One of my favorite poets for instance, once stated:

I have written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” – Maya Angelou

We all must know this infamous statement from Maya Angelou. If someone like Maya Angelou has doubts about her beautiful writing, it is much more commonplace than we think.

I know as I had been writing my first novel for nearly 8 or so years on and off, I have put off sending any proposal to a publisher because apparently I have been waiting for the moment that I feel “good enough” about it. By now, so many other novels with similar ideas have been written, and although I haven’t given up on my dream to become a novelist, I have convinced myself that I still have a long way to go.

If we don’t practice or study or work on our craft every day, we will always feel less. We will never gain momentum and we will never achieve the necessary confidence, stamina, and patience. We must keep doing the work every day, consistently. The “imposter” will continue to try to break in, but we will have built a stronger wall against it. 

So I think I will keep writing. Even with the limited traffic that comes to this site.

I will keep writing. Not because I can be a “good writer.” But because I LOVE to write. And it doesn’t matter whether I am good or not. We don’t need to be good at what we love to do. The talent and refinement of our craft may or may not come along, and that is fine. And we don’t need anyone’s approval, especially with this excessive obsession with “likes,” “comments,” and “follows,” and all that nonsense of the “social media revolution” that actually imprisons us, presents more limitations on our creativity than we know, and at times, even makes us either feel good about ourselves, or shitty about ourselves.

I will keep writing because I know I have something to say, and because I am at least “good enough” to enjoy the art. First and foremost for myself. And second, as a potential service to others, if so ordained.

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” – Rumi

“Resist your Fear; Fear will never lead to a positive end.” – T.D. Jakes

 

Peace, Warmth, and Blessings,

Elsa

Warrior KQueen

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