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Imposter Syndrome

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Back in 2021, when I was the Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library, I was asked to speak at a writer’s conference.

I remember this because one question was how to deal with imposter syndrome, and I said that I didn’t think I’ve ever had it.

I regret that answer—not because I disagree with it, but because I sounded smug and full of myself.

But the reality is that I lived so long in what could be classified as imposter syndrome, I no longer realize it’s there.

When it comes to writing, doubt and fear are real for me. It got in my way for fifteen years from doing the thing that I love to do.

But after I pushed through it, I immediately started putting myself into new situations in which I’d fail. I started teaching long before I knew what I was talking about, sent out scripts that weren’t ready, and published books that needed another rewrite. But I kept doing it, and eventually, I figured things out.

This blog is another good example of it. All last year, I pretty much failed at what I wanted to do with it. As well, every time I post something on here, I worry about what I’m saying, or whether it makes sense, or if I sound like a person with really dumb ideas. But I keep showing up and doing it—because eventually, I hope to figure things out.

So, when it comes to imposter syndrome, the truth is that I’m just winging it, but I also love that I am. It leads me to try new things because I want to figure out how to do it.

Sure, I’ll doubt myself, but somewhere in the back of my brain, I think I’ll eventually figure things out.

So to the person who asked the question, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like an asshole. I really regret saying it the way I did. Hopefully, you’ll read this someday, and it provides you a better answer.

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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.