The Impostor of BEA
For a long time I have heard of this phrase- maybe you know it as well- impostor syndrome. The idea that seems almost coined, in my experience, within the art and blogging communities. I understood most of what it was from the first time I read of someone expressing the horrible realization. The feeling of not being good enough in what one does, or feeling like in the end that they are a fraud going to be found out any moment like in a true spy movie.
At the time, reading these accounts, I nodded and got what they were saying. But mostly I related it back to my bouts of various self doubt in average decisions, or in my writing process. But no, it is not quite that. Perhaps it it worse, because I feel it now, that impostor syndrome, and it is a much heavier weight than any self doubt. When I am doubting myself after all, it is only me. Me, and the many angst riddled blog posts that are written to help me through.
Impostor syndrome is where everyone else agrees with me.
Or at least they do in my mind.
It is like understanding what anxiety is all over again. Only this time, it is being put to the test. I am heading to Book Expo America now tomorrow morning, and this feeling of being a complete impostor is all I can think about. For the past four years, I have wanted to go to BEA with all my heart, and this year I finally get to.
I should be happy.
I should be packed and ready to go.
I should be ready to finally conquer this small dream I watch on Twitter every year with never ending longing.
But instead, I am worrying. Instead, I can only think about how I am going alone not knowing anyone since throughout my volleying journey between the writer and book community, I am a no one in either.
"Is it not enough that you are going?" I can hear my mother ask.
It is a good question, but in the end I know my answer is no. And it sounds selfish. But still, I say it.
No, it is not.
Just going may never be enough, because I am fearful. I am fearful, when I once told myself at the beginning of my book journey that I am dauntless.
But I am not. I am not a lot of things.
Not so many things that are so praised within the communities I wish to be in, but don't appear to be doing so well if I calculate my followers and likes and online friends in comparison to others my age with the same hopes and dreams. All I can see then, is how they are already so much more. More real, and simply overall more than me. Some have publishers and authors who know them by name because of their famous YouTube channel. Some have been sent hundreds of books because they write great reviews, or are able to take photos of lush paperbacks that attract a following.
A following, as I mentioned, I do not have.
And it is not because like in the drama and film community that they "know someone who knows someone."
That is another no. It is just them, book lovers who have gained an "in" for themselves before they even leave schooling. Normal people who are more than.
Who are already at BEA days early.
Who will get tickets to ticketed signings.
Who won't be late to the first day like I will be.
Who get to go to invite only dinners with other fun more than people.
Who matter just like the authors and publishing houses.
Who already belong.
The facts has never bothered me before until now, because now it is prevalent, and I honestly cannot find much to be done. I continue to try and shove myself into where I want to be. I blog. I take bookstagram photos. I try and chat to others in hopes that I will be accepted into this long coveted, and seemingly exclusive group. That way, I won't be a complete fraud. I won't be enjoying myself alone while going to book related events where no one even knows my name, and thus, why I am there.
I am going to Book Expo, but I feel like an impostor. Also, yes, at the moment as I flesh all these thoughts out, I wonder why I am going.
Surprisingly however, to that, I have an answer. It is because part of me throughout all my entire life, has rebelled. It continues to as it tries and tries again even when there is so little success. It is the part of me that so desires to be even the tiniest bit extraordinary.
Even if that is another thing right now that I am not.
Still, it rages that maybe one day, hopefully, I could be.
So, I am writing this blog post.
So, I am trying not to think about how I haven't worked on my novel, that could also help me extraordinary, in at least a week.
So, I try and be honest, and completely myself with you all.