Imposter Syndrome

The writing community talks a lot about imposter syndrome – or a feeling of inadequacy, despite one’s seeming success. Writers feel it during the writing process: Am I doing this right? During the querying process: Am I any good compared to everyone else? And even after they’re published: I know I published a book, but I’m no ___insert bestselling author of your choice__. I hear it’s a pretty universal phenomenon.

I haven’t been published yet but my burgeoning imposter syndrome is certainly on track so far. The whole time I was writing Good Medicine I had a daily fit of despair, excruciating over every decision, every detail, reading and re-reading, writing and re-writing compulsively, trying to make it “good enough” to see the light of day. Now that I’m querying, I have a daily panic attack that my book is boring the life out of some extremely well-read New York City sophisticate, who is sitting in their (I imagine) hip New York City office, staring down at the vibrant street scene below, and not connecting at all with my characters and their fried squirrel and coon hunts. Every day I berate myself for not writing something more exciting, with incredibly diverse, dynamic characters, and I start preparing myself for a tsunami of rejection (that mercifully hasn’t arrived yet).

I’m a writer, so imposter syndrome is just how I roll. Why are writers frequently introverted hermits? We know nobody wants to have anything to do with our constant inner hysterics.

But this weekend, for the first time, I was really surprised to find myself feeling imposter syndrome about crafting.

Crafting is usually my happy place. It’s where I go to create, and play, and shut up the critical voices in my head.

And I’ll readily admit, I’ve made some really cool things. So cool, people tell me frequently to open my own Etsy store. And I’ve been considering it for a while. I’ve hesitated thought because I’m always left with the thought I know I’m good, but am I really Etsy good?

So I’ve been putting it off. But recently, I’ve made it a goal to make some comic book page boutonnieres and corsages and open my Etsy store at last.

Mind you, I have never made a corsage in my life (comic book page or otherwise). I have made boutonnieres (for my weddings) but nobody was going to give me a one star review and say they looked like they were made by a Kindergartner (because I was the bride).

So I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials and trying to figure it out. And my angst level has gone through the roof. I found myself feeling more and more insecure and unwilling to get started as the week went on. I’ve never felt that way about making anything before. Ever. But I had a lot riding on these things. I didn’t want to become a Pinterest “nailed it” meme.

Yesterday I got up early and made a bunch of roses (never done that before) and then this morning, I took a deep breath and dove in, and hoped I’d end up with something halfway decent looking after no less than six separate visits to three craft stores.

And then I made these:

I am relieved that they seem to not suck. Not unlike my writing, I am happy with the way they turned out because I was able to translate the vision in my head to an actual object without too many tears (or glue gun burns). I think they’re ready to go out into the world now.

I’m going to create an Etsy store now and hope for the best. Maybe they will all find good homes.