Imposter Syndrome

I am a writer

I tell myself this as I reread every painful piece of prose and poem I have submitted to be judged by peers and magazines.

I am a writer

I remind myself as I twist and contort words to match the message within me.

I am a writer?

I read other peoples work and find conviction in their diction. They aren’t writing solely for themselves like I have been…

I am a writer?

I want to publish my own book. A self contained art. Even though no one will read it, pick it up, and proclaim it their favorite. I want that book to be an extension of me. I need it to exist.

I guess I write.

A year into this blog. I have hopped from one job to the next. I have held titles such as “admin assistant”, “front desk agent”, “enrichment instructor”.

To live in this world you need some cash and some hope in a future you can’t see. But when will I ever qualify as “writer”?

I do not feel like a writer

Writers are smart. They are thoughtful and insightful people. They see things in writing that I can’t.

I know a guy. Smart. Educated. Carefully spoken. He took one look at my poem and found weakness. I took one look at his work and found strength. Why can’t I be more like him?

A wannabe writer

Each rejection email I receive is a blow to my ego. After placing so many hours contemplating a piece, for it to not be appreciated kind of hurts. I usually put on a brave face after each rejection: “sometimes you gotta eat shit before you eat cake”. And then I laugh it off with my friends over pizza and white claws.

A writer would have used all this overthinking as inspiration by now… why haven’t you?

I try to return to my poems afterwards, but the pride I once placed in them has turned to shame and embarrassment. “Did I really write that?” “That does not make meaningful writing” “Some other person can write this better”. I stare at my computer at times and force words, jumbling up the writing, overworking it.

I ruined the form.

But writers are strong

As an enrichment instructor I wanted to instill the idea of resilience in my students. I told them that life will bring them failures and hardships, but that we must keep trying. They are bright children (though a bit wild). When I said those words to them I believed it whole heartedly.

When I said those words to myself, however, they rang hollow.

But writers are strong.

I look at my friends who are writers. They jump back. They keep writing.

Even though writing reminds her of painful memories with an ex lover. She returned to it.

Even though writing his book brought him back to a moment in his life that was indescribably dark. He continues to write.

Even though they were rejected and rejected. They continue to persist.

I am a writer.

I do not believe that only those who have been published are qualified to be writers. Anyone who loves to write is a writer.

I have to remind myself. I am a writer.

I have been published. I am a writer.

People read my poems (at least 5 people do). I am a writer.

I need to stop doubting. I am a writer.

I am a writer.

I am a writer because it is what I do. Am I a good writer? Sometimes. Am I a bad writer? Most of the time. But am I a writer?

Yes. I will always be.

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