I’ve been struggling with Imposter Syndrome recently. I have a major project almost ready to go but I am dithering. You can read more below or watch the video.
Who am I? Am I a composer and writer? This week’s been one of dealing with exactly that, imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is, amongst other things, the fear of being found out that we are not who we say we are. And I have been doing this quite a lot recently.
The thing is, I have to create. We could get all metaphysical with it. The muse possesses the artist and what will be will be, or it is just my way of dealing with the emotions and thoughts jumping around within. The so-called creative flow.
The point is that I create no matter what anyone else thinks or even cares. So there is no reason for this imposter syndrome to even be in the same room.
However, apart from real external and physical illnesses, imposter syndrome can be one of the worst creative maladies and can be debilitating.
It hits at a very bad time. It hits when we are being creative or even have been creative. We’ve actually done the hardest part, which is to turn up, to start and be creative. I have done the work, yet now the doubts arise.
For me, it has come at an interesting juncture. I am nearing the completion of a project that has its roots back in around 2015. It has been on and off the back burner more times than a pot roast since then. But during the past few months, I have been getting things together and the project is nearly there. I am just around the corner to finally releasing Music to journal by a collection of musical soundscapes that plot the journey from the blank page to completed art. But I find myself hiding around that corner.
I question my ability. The roots of this, like so many other creative and many anxieties, lie beyond. Things I can’t control, the thoughts of others and comparison with others. The deadly sins of worry.
Imposter syndrome has us believe that we can’t create and that what we are creating isn’t good enough. That we will be found out as a fraud and phoney. You call yourself a composer Darren? Beethoven was deaf and he wrote better music than you! Do you think you can make musical soundscapes that can move people’s feelings? You need to listen to Hans Zimmer’s work on Inception and Interstellar for how to do that! Whatever you and I create, we face the danger of being an imposter, and we sink further into that syndrome as we compare ourselves with others. There is no easy answer. All we can do is say, it doesn’t matter how good others are, how others work or what others create. This is my creation, and that is what you create.
It doesn’t matter what others think of your or my creations. As I mentioned earlier, we create, it is what we do, and what we need to be. I am not an imposter for doing what I need. I create, therefore I am. We can all improve. But improvement has nothing to do with impersonating someone else and being who we are not… unless, of course, your creativity is expressed through being an impersonator.
I create and I share what I create. If anyone likes it, and connects to it, then that is wonderful. If not, it doesn’t matter. It’s time for me to turn the final corner and share what I have been creating. Just be who you are and create.
Music to journal by will also be available shortly.
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