So, here goes one of those dangerous Stream of Consciousness Saturday endeavors…
When I read Linda’s prompt yesterday, which is to use sink/sank/sunk in some way, I did not really have a thought in my head about it and assumed I would not participate this week.
This morning, I was reading this article in Highly Sensitive Refuge on imposter syndrome among the highly sensitive population and it really resonated. Not that every point feels true to my experience, but most do.
I have a tendency to sink into imposter syndrome from time to time. Maybe frequently? Maybe less now than in my younger years? It’s really hard to say.
The point is, with my book Hearts soon to be available from Kelsay Books, I have been consciously trying to fight off the feeling that I’m “just” a community poet who doesn’t really deserve to be considered just, well, a poet in her own right.
Part of the issue is that I was brought up with a deep respect for academic achievement. I truly respect all the years of study that go into degree programs in English or writing. Most of the poets I know and the vast majority of poets I read have these credentials and are much more able to bring that knowledge base into their work than I could ever hope to be. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned from the Binghamton Poetry Project and all the other workshops that I’ve been blessed to be a part of, but, for example, our leaders in Binghamton Poetry Project are all graduate students from Binghamton University, so you get the point…
It’s also not that I don’t get loads of support from other poets, both those with academic credentials and those, like me, without them. The vast majority of poets I interact with are encouraging and wonderful in their support of my work and of me personally. I truly appreciate that and use their voices when I’m in an imposter state of doubt, but one of the things about being an HSP is that you notice and take seriously all reactions around you. When I get into my imposter mode, those negative voices are amplified in my head and feed into my own doubts. Even though the voices that are supportive are more numerous, it takes a huge effort of will to beat back the negative.
I am having some success in breaking away from the imposter thoughts as I do my final preparations for my book launch. Instead of sinking into doubts, I’m reminding myself of what I am actually accomplishing. It’s been a bit easier to do after the very successful reading that Merrill and I did earlier this month. It’s easier when I hold the proof copy of Hearts in my hands. It’s easier when I’m dealing with the wonderful team at Kelsay by email as they finish the final steps in the publication process. I’ve learned so much going through all of this and I’m trying to bring that sense to the next new thing I’ll be doing, which is trying to market and sell my book.
Yikes! That is scary!
You need to be able to center yourself and put yourself out there as being a worthy recipient of someone’s money.