I.S. again

Someone asked me last night at dinner whether I had any tips for dealing with imposter syndrome, or if I even had it at all. And I realized that there are lots of areas where I actually don’t suffer from imposter syndrome anymore.

After 10-25 years doing this, I have quite a bit of confidence in my ability to teach a 50-minute lit or creative writing class, for example, one that will be both worthwhile and entertaining for the students. I have confidence in my aesthetic judgement regarding popular fiction, and most literary fiction. (The more experimental end of things, I’m less practiced in.) The basics of putting together a perennial flower garden, or organizing a home efficiently, or throwing a dinner party.

But there are so very many areas that I do still have imposter syndrome with. Anything visual arts-related, for example — I have no confidence in my aesthetic judgement there. Vegetable and fruit gardening. Photography. Parenting, which is an ever-moving target. Politics. Cars!

Here’s my cure for imposter syndrome: do the work for at least ten years, and then see where you are.

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