Some days I can’t believe my luck. Literally. I mean, here I am, after years of hard work, with an agent, and a book coming out (squee!). I’m planning a book launch (double squee!), and people are actually saying yes to my publicity requests. It’s like a dream.
I keep expecting someone to pinch me and wake me up, forcing me back into my boring old life.
I’ve written before about Impostor Syndrome – the fear I (and many of my writer friends) have that one day my agent is going to realize she made a mistake, and my writing isn’t any good, and she’s going to ditch me.
But the more I write, the more those feelings have begun to fade. I work hard, I’m always learning, and my crit partners are loving my latest work – I no longer feel like a fraud (most of the time) when it comes to writing.
Instead, my fears have developed in a new way.
Now I worry the universe is going to hit me with some kind of karmic retribution. That things are going so well, there has to be a major misfortune ahead of me to balance everything out.
Never mind that my concussion still gives me weekly migraines and stops me from driving, watching movies, or doing any form of exercise. Apparently that’s not bad enough compared to the amazingness of finally getting a book published. No, I sit here expecting news of accidents, illness, or death.
But as far as I can tell, these fears (which I’m now calling “Too Good to Be True Syndrome”) have the same root as Impostor Syndrome: a lack of self-confidence. The idea that I don’t deserve all these wonderful things, even though I’ve worked insanely hard to get them. They’re not a product of luck or fraud, they’re the result of years of hard work, and I’ve earned them.
To quote Stuart Smalley: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.”
Lets face it, writing takes far more self-confidence than I ever thought I’d possess. It takes crazy amounts of courage to put your work out there for crit partners, agents, editors, and readers to see and judge. Not to mention the strength required to put *yourself* out on social media – where one wrong step can result in world-wide humiliation.
If I can do all that, I should be able to keep working without being paralyzed by unfounded fears.
What about you? Do you suffer from TGTBT or Impostor Syndrome? Has low self-confidence ever stopped you in your tracks? Let me know in the comments.