Who Do You Think You Are?

I had a great meeting today with an editor, as recommended by my agent, to talk about my travel memoir and how it could be improved. Even reading that sentence makes me blanche a little – who do I think I am? 

For some time now I’ve been sensing the approach of the dreaded imposter syndrome – raised eyebrows, cynical shakes of the head and much judgement. My inner critic has a field day when I step into the light and put myself out there. She’s trying to keep me safe, I suppose, but boy oh boy, she can put a dampener on my creative spirits. 

People might laugh at you, she’ll whisper, you might fail, you’ll probably never be quite good enough. And so on. This irritating and, let’s face it, paralysing syndrome, affects lots of us and it stands to reason that those who’ve always been in the background will feel it more strongly. It bites for perfectionists too (tick) and for those who are trying something utterly removed from their background. Get a job, hate job, stay at it, retire. That’s the usual trajectory and daily I find myself fighting against it.

But it’s the path I’ve chosen and, in fact, I’m delighted to be traipsing along it. I have an agent. I’ll soon have an editor. And one day maybe even an actual book with my name on the cover. And that’s allowed. 

Let’s gently show our inner critic to the door, show some self belief, and who knows what we’ll unleash into the world…see you out there!