Is Imposter’s Syndrome
Instead of a New Year’s Resolution this past January, I took the advice of a friend and picked a word to drive 2020. That word is fearless. It is how I want to face my day, my life, my relationships, and my goals.
The biggest goal for this year is to make at least part of my income in freelance writing. As we near the end of the first quarter, I have organized myself – written things down, did the research, made lists. I’ve thought about buying a new coffee cup just for the occasion. I don’t even drink coffee. Ya know what I haven’t done?
Written anything of substance.
“The best freelancers have a niche.”
Oy. I can write. I know I can. I’ve published a tidy bundle of short stories, I’ve done ghost writing for friends, I’ve got a massive tangle of words I’ve strung together over the years and even I pause now and then to say, “Ooooh, nice work!
But a niche? No no. Niches require knowledge and lots of it. They imply college degrees (I don’t have one) or vast experience in the subject (call me Jack of All Trades). They want fancy letters before and after your name. Niches are bloody intimidating.
Bunny-Wife (she’s so damned cute) suggested I write out my passions and choose from there. That at least got me thinking.
Thinking I’m pretty damned boring.
Nothing feels like a fit. I keep circling the drain. No wait… circling the ideas and coming back to the same conclusion. I’m terrible at all of this. Just absolutely rotten. No talent. Hack.
Any of this sound familiar? I’ve written before about Imposter’s Syndrome. I might again some day. It’s an ugly arrow through the heart of confidence and ripping it out causes no end of pain. I started thinking: could writing about Imposter’s Syndrome be a worthwhile niche? Defining it, offering tips for recognizing it, guiding people through it? Maybe. But it feels like it could get old fast
What I can do, though, is help people with their own confidence. Their self-esteem. I do that already with friends and family and people I’ve just met. I love it. So is that my niche
I don’t know. I really don’t. But I know it feels right and not at all boring and that’s at least a step. Finding our place in the world is tricky. Finding our way in our passions and careers (not necessarily the same thing) is brutal.
So stop trying quite so hard. Don’t look for the Big Things that will Change Your Life. Look for the small joys. Do you enjoy a nice, quiet tea every morning? Write about that. Your ritual, where the joy comes from, what happens if your routine is upset? Or draw it. Or take photos of it. Or invite friends over for a shared mug.
Imposter Syndrome likes to take on the big dreams and poke holes in them. Sidestep the bastard and sneak up on the little things that make you happy. I guarantee, someone out there shares your soft passion
We’ll talk about the harder stuff later.