Dealing With Imposter Syndrome
I'm baaack! Did you miss me? Let me tell you, I definitely missed me. Even if me was right here the whole time. I missed...writing. I missed it and it made me crazy, a little more crazier each day. A little more manic, a little more depressed, and man, did the imposter syndrome hit hard.
The quote by Frank Kafka is dead-on, by the way.
I'll talk about that more in a moment, but first, my pride and joy and most recent accomplishments...The Hedy Lamarr Airstream and our new in-ground pond!
The Hedy Lamarr
She's petite at just 23 feet, but beautiful, nonetheless. To date, we have had three guests, with a 4th one staying there tonight. There was floor to be laid, surfaces to be painted, a toilet to install, curtains to be hung, and the biggest project of all - this monstrous, honking 12'x24' deck. It's bigger than Hedy!
The deck is fantastic. I love the Airstream, don't get me wrong, but this deck? I want this deck. With the vinyl lattice panels in place, you can hide away from the world, or throw the curtains (made of painter's tarp) wide open and enjoy the view of the yard. It gives this level of choice to the guest that I absolutely love. We took a hammock I had purchased for Cottage West and ended up not using (it didn't fit in the space) and hanging it there on the deck. Let me tell you, I look forward to taking a nap on it soon. I'm not much of a napper, but I'll make an exception for this hammock.
A Pond I've Been Wanting for Eight Years
Strike that, it's been MORE than eight years, but it has definitely been eight years since I came up with the vision for the pond and I finally, FINALLY have it. All good things come to those willing to dig massive holes in the ground.
On a side note, as I was getting my hair cut today, my hairdresser said, "Wow, your husband is a real keeper, digging that pond for you."
I laughed and told her that around 90% of that digging was done by me. Ask him and he'll confirm that.
In any case, right after my teen and I created a lovely landscape brick surround for the Airstream deck where I fully intended to plant a metric crap ton of vining plants, I realized I would also need a metric crap ton of dirt to fill it. And I was getting sticker shock at the price of dirt, and the lack of really big bags of it. I looked over at the pond, mostly dug, but still needing work, and thought, "I'll get my dirt from there."
Around 20 wheelbarrows full of dirt later, the planter surround was full of dirt and ready for seeds, and my future pond suddenly looked like a NOW pond. We added the liner, ordered a pump and filter, and oh...my...goodness, we have a pond!
It isn't without its issues, aaand a couple of leaks, but we are working our way through that. The best news is that we finally have a pond and in a few years, it is going to look AMAZING.
I hope you enjoy the pictures above. My kiddos keep me busy, but they are also a great help, especially the 14 year old.
As the weeks marched by, blasting through April and May, my internal pressure ramped up. Yes, I NEEDED to do these projects. But at the same time, I wanted to return to writing...even as I wrestled with other emotions, like a resurgence of imposter syndrome.
Despite having written ten books. Count them, TEN, it seems that imposter syndrome is here to stay. According to my favorite podcaster, Joanna Penn, author of at least two dozen books, I am not alone.
Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
What does make it easier, however, is continuing to write. Yep, that old "get back up on the horse" kind of thing. Yes, I still get it, even in the middle of writing, and I have to deal with it. That nasty voice says a lot of nasty things...
Your writing sucks.
You have no plot.
No one is going to want to read this.
When are you going to finally get it right?
You should just give up now.
Who do you think you are?
Seriously, you suck.
It goes on and on and on. Nattering about, clawing at the folds, making me want to run in the opposite direction.
Things had slowed down. We had the Hedy Lamarr online and occupied. I had a nice, open schedule. But I wasn't writing. I kept thinking about all of the books I have planned and dreading returning to the one I was working on. I had pretty much convinced myself that it was shit, that I was shit, that I wrote shit, and that basically everything about it was shit.
I had also stopped doing two other things, pretty much entirely - the Morning Pages as advised in The Artist's Way and the Daily Stoic. Both of which I had enjoyed immensely and both of which I directly attributed my focus and productivity to during the winter.
It was time to return to them both (which reminds me that I have NOT done my Daily Stoic reading for today) and yesterday I turned to them and gave them my attention.
I realized, as I wrote away for a page in the Morning Pages, that I was freaking out over writing a book. A BOOK (not like I haven't written a book before, but still). And I realized suddenly something very important. My job that day was NOT to write a book. It was to begin, and possibly finish, one chapter. Could I do that? I opened up the Scrivener file for G581: Earth and identified the next chapter - Encrypted - and knew instantly what the chapter would be about and how it would begin. I took a few notes first, just basically summarizing what I wanted to see with this character's arc because it is an important one, and then I dove in.
Within a few hundred words, imposter syndrome slunk away like the dirty, lowdown creep that it is, and I ended up writing just over 1,800 words. That, combined with today's weigh-in, put me back on top of the world. I'm losing weight,
See, this is my I just dipped below 200 pounds for the first time in 15 years, face...
I am back to my writing, and we now now two short-term rentals earning us money within just 100 feet of my home. Oh yeah, and my yard is looking fantastic!
I'm glad I took the time away. It made the return so much sweeter, once I kicked imposter syndrome to the curb. The nasty old thing will be back, though. My best defense? To keep writing.
I have no idea when G581: Earth will be done. But it's trucking along, and I'm feeling good about it. Have a fantastic day, weekend, and month!