Kick the Imposter Syndrome Out

Penmancy posted under Writing Tips on 2023-01-30

Many writers experience self-doubt and question their abilities at some point in their careers. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as feeling like their writing is not good enough, feeling like they do not have anything unique to say, or feeling like they are not capable of achieving their writing goals. This self-doubt can be incredibly debilitating and can make it difficult for writers to continue working on their craft.

It’s not uncommon for writers to experience imposter syndrome, where they feel like they are not qualified or capable of being a writer. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt, and can make it difficult for writers to take constructive criticism or to share their work with others.

Additionally, writer’s block can also be a symptom of self-doubt. When writer’s doubt their abilities, they may find it hard to come up with new ideas or to continue working on a piece they’ve already started.

Self-doubt can be a common challenge for writers, but with the right mindset, techniques and support it can be overcome. Keeping a positive attitude and focusing on the progress they have made, seeking feedback, and connecting with other writers can be helpful in overcoming self-doubt and moving forward with their craft.

Here are few things you can do to quash some of those feelings

1. Acknowledge

The first step to overcoming emotions that hinder writing is to acknowledge them. This involves being mindful of your feelings and taking time to reflect, either by dedicating time to reviewing past writing or by being more attuned to your writing process.

Recognising emotions about writing brings consciousness to them, allowing for understanding and resolution. Without acknowledgement, it becomes harder to comprehend and resolve the root of these feelings.

Re-reading your previous writing can be a valuable exercise for self-reflection, understanding and managing your emotions, and personal growth. It is a great way to gain insight and perspective on your own thoughts and feelings.

It’s important to identify the emotions you are feeling, which can be done by asking yourself questions like “What am I feeling right now?”, “What emotions am I experiencing?” or “What is the predominant feeling I am experiencing?” Re-reading your writing can also serve as a reminder of the emotions and thoughts you were experiencing at the time of writing, which can be beneficial for future reference. It can be a helpful tool for tracking your emotional and mental state over time.

It can also help you identify areas where you may have struggled or felt stuck, and allow you to approach those areas with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. It can also help you identify the progress you have made, which can be a great source of motivation and inspiration.

2.  Address it:

Once you have acknowledged your emotions, the next step is to address them by giving them a name. Labelling emotions can be a powerful tool in understanding and managing them. By giving an emotion a name, you are better able to understand it and to communicate it to others.

There are many different ways to label emotions, but one common method is to use basic emotion words such as happy, sad, angry, anxious, etc. It’s also important to be specific about the emotion, for example, say “I require more practice” instead of “I am not skilled enough” and express “uncertainty about the plot” instead of “doubt one’s writing abilities.”

Labelling emotions can provide a clear and deeper understanding of the emotions you have towards your writing. It allows you to specifically identify the concerns or uncertainties you have, making it easier to address and overcome any obstacles in the writing process. By taking the time to label and understand your emotions, you can develop a more productive and positive attitude towards your writing.

The act of “free-writing” can be an effective way to release and process emotions. When you free-write, you allow yourself to let go of any inhibitions or self-criticism and simply let your thoughts and feelings flow onto the page. This can be a powerful tool for expressing and understanding your process.

By allowing yourself to free-write, you can help to ease your nerves and reduce stress. Additionally, free-writing can also serve as a form of self-discovery as it allows you to gain insight into your own thoughts and emotions. It can also be a valuable tool for personal growth as it encourages you to reflect on your experiences, and consider how they may have shaped you.

3. Adopt: 

The final step in addressing your challenges that are bogging you down is to adopt and accept them. This means allowing yourself to feel them without trying to push them away or suppress them. This can be a difficult step, as it can be uncomfortable to feel negative emotions. However, accepting and allowing the emotions to be felt is an important part to help you bounce back.

Embracing your challenges in writing is a crucial step in the process. It means acknowledging that these difficulties are a normal and expected part of the writing experience, and not a reflection of your abilities. By doing so, you not only validate your own writing journey but also the emotions and experiences that come along with it. This mindset shift can lead to a more positive and productive approach towards your writing, allowing you to focus on growth and improvement rather than self-doubt.

Meditating, journaling or simply talking to a friend can help. These activities can provide a healthy outlet for emotions and can help to process and understand them better. It’s important to take care of your physical and emotional well-being, so get enough sleep, eat well, and engage in physical activity. This can help to reduce the intensity of the emotions, and make it easier to process them.

To summarise, writing is a multifaceted and challenging endeavour that involves emotions. While it can be tempting to let the emotions take over, it’s important to stay focused and in control. By consistently putting in effort and having a clear intention, as well as actively managing and addressing emotions, you can greatly enhance your writing experience and outcome. This approach will lead to more successful and satisfying results in your writing journey.