Impostor Syndrome

I sit at my computer biting my nails. It’s a bad habit I fall into when I’m highly anxious. I scroll through the screen reading submission guidelines and articles in Literary Journals and magazines.

What is it about reading other people’s work that makes one feel inadequate?

I stare at the glossy photos of the contributing writers, and they all look like writers. People who think original thoughts and have vocabularies as thick as the stars in the sky. They squint at the camera from behind boxy glasses, looking intelligent and sober. These are the ones who write stories that make you think. The kind of stories that confuse you by the end and the kind you are sure must be clever if only you understood them.

I sit at my computer, and the throbbing starts to grow behind my eyes.

Do you really belong if your voice doesn’t seem to fit anywhere?

Is this what impostor syndrome feels like? I wonder. I put my chin into my hand, and scroll through a few more pages. The trick must be to not give up in spite of how I feel.


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