My “day job” is as a freelance writer and editor: copywriting, copyediting, marketing, articles, and blogs are all in my wheelhouse and I have a range of clients. I’m lucky to be busy enough to pick and choose who I write for, usually managing to choose clients whose values align with my own. This means I’ve written articles about sensible eating versus fad diets, how to be more environmentally friendly in a range of industries, and plenty about animal care.
You would think, with such a portfolio, that Imposter Syndrome would be a thing of the past. I don’t know if it’s a trauma response or an integral part of my anxiety, but it just simply won’t give up. Even writing about myself in such a positive manner makes my skin crawl, just a little.
Today was a prime example. I had a new client who had requested some revisions on a piece of work. I hadn’t had chance yet to see what they required, but my assumption was, and always is, that they hated the piece and wanted it all changing.
There is no evidence to back this up. Rarely have I ever had a client loathe what I’ve done. It’s usually just tweaks or some new information they want adding. But the awful anxiety of not even wanting to read what they’ve asked for in case it’s soul-crushingly critical is so real.
Eventually, I tapped on the piece in question and downloaded my revision requests. It was praise for a great article and simple a request to make a minor (but client-critical) adjustment. The wave of relief that washed over me was palpable. There was never anything wrong with my work and their request was more than reasonable and in line with our working relationship. So, why do I always assume the worst?
Just to be clear, this blog doesn’t provide any answers! A previous therapist suggested I always keep my portfolio to hand so I can remind myself of the physical evidence that I literally make a living off folks liking my writing. But it doesn’t help.
So my question is, do you suffer from imposter syndrome? And if so, how do you deal with it?