7 Ways to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like an incompetent failure whose successes have been a fluke? Do you fear that your inadequacy will be revealed at any moment?

I do. Whenever the feeling hits, I resort to one of these failsafe methods.

7 Ways to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

  • Make it stare at my last finished project. (“Take a good look. I SAID LOOK AT IT.”)
  • Take it for a run. (It often grows tired and lags behind.)
  • Challenge it to a dance off. (We’re both bad dancers, but Imposter Syndrome’s worse.)
  • Sign it up for the SpaceX mission to Mars. (Of course I believe the rumors. And as a bonus, I can watch the launch from my front yard.)
  • Read aloud from Moby Dick. (The chapter on whales puts it to sleep.)
  • Punch it in the face. (Right hook.)
  • Banish it with coffee. (Effective and enjoyable.)

This morning I’ve opted for the coffee.


In all honesty, I’m not certain that Imposter Syndrome is the right term for what I’ve been feeling these days. It’s more like a languid torpor brought on by the sneaking suspicion that this project will never actually end.

I know it’s a lie, but at the moment, it feels true; and whenever it’s time to work, I just want to recline on my purple plush chaise lounge with a bottle of smelling salts like a damsel in a Victorian novel. (Also, I want a purple plush chaise lounge. But who doesn’t?)

Have you found helpful ways of dealing with Imposter Syndrome? How do you motivate yourself to keep going when you feel overwhelmed by challenging work? Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday, everyone! May your coffee be stronger than your uncertainty.

What Writing a Book Feels Like

When people find out I’m a writer, they often tell me they have an idea for a book.

I nearly always encourage them to sit down and write it, because one fact that’s universally true of all writers is that there was a time before they wrote anything when they said to themselves, “I’m not a writer.”

The point of this post is not to tell you that you, too, could be a writer (although you definitely could) but to tell you what writing a book feels like.

That way, when the times comes for you to write yours, you’ll be mentally prepared. Because it’s not all sipping lattes and humming while pecking at the keyboard.

Oh, no.

It’s something else entirely.

What writing a book feels like:

  • Writing a book feels like running a marathon, only both ankles are sprained and your shoes are on backward and possibly untied; but you have no way of knowing for sure because you’re wearing a sleep mask. Also, you’re not sure how far away the finish line actually is, if you’re running the right direction, or if you’re even an actual registered marathon participant. You may simply be an imposter running down random roads hoping you’ll chance upon the actual course. It’s hard to tell. TL;DR: Writing a book feels like shuffling blindly through a marathon you’re not sure you’ve actually entered.
  • Writing a book feels like climbing a mountain, only the mountain is made of glass. You’ve strapped suction cups to your hands and feet, but half the time the suction cups pop away, staying stuck to the glass and leaving you dangling dangerously (yet tediously) in mid-air. As you hang there, stuck, you half hope the last suction cup will peel away and end it all. At least then the choice to quit will be out of your hands. TL;DR: Writing a book feels like attempting to climb a glass mountain with malfunctioning suction cups, half-hoping you’ll plummet to your doom.
  • Writing a book feels like taking a road trip, only you can’t find the freeway because you’re stuck exclusively on interchange loops. Every time you think you’ve chosen the right ramp, the lane that seemed to be soaring outward to freedom curves back and dumps you right smack in the middle of the tangle. You try listening to the radio to take your mind off things, but it will only pick up a station that seems to be your own voice shouting “Boo!” repeatedly. TL;DR: Writing a book feels like taking a road trip to nowhere with your only comfort the sound of you heckling yourself.
  • Writing feels like pulling your own teeth, only you’re using a pen and you’re pulling them out of your brain. Also, your pen is a computer, so you’re actually using a computer to pull teeth out of your brain. TL;DR: Writing a book feels like pulling your own brain teeth.

None of this is to say that you shouldn’t try writing a book or that the experience is exclusively negative. There are moments of sheer joy and excitement when the entire thing finally comes together, and it all feels worth it.

But to reach those glorious moments, you have to pull a lot of brain teeth first.


What is important right now is that my BIG GIVEAWAY is still ongoing! I’m giving away five books to five lucky winners, plus tons of bonuses, including amazing hand-stamped aluminum bookmarks from Whimsical Words Studio. Stop what you’re doing and enter right now. [Giveaway closed.]

Apart from that, everything here is business as usual. Well, except that it’s church VBS week. So you know what that means: it’s only Monday, but I’m already running low on sleep and high on adrenaline.

I hope everyone has an amazing day and an outstanding week.

And if you’re currently drafting a book, may your coffee be stronger than your self-doubt!

5 BOOKS. 5 CHANCES TO WIN. (+ BONUSES)

Surprise! It’s a hot summer GIVEAWAY!

Contest Details:

Duration: Enter by July 31, 2018.

Prizes: 5 winners will take their pick of 1 free book from among Ruth’s currently published books. Winners will be announced on August 1, 2018, via e-mail and will have 5 days to make their selections and claim their prizes.

Check out my (3)

Bonuses: There will be small, regular bonuses in contest-related e-mails (so watch for those!), but the really exciting news is that two of the top five winners will also receive a bonus hand-stamped aluminum bookmark from Whimsical Words Studio, inscribed with a quote from The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles: “Friends know the patterns of our souls.”

Friends

See below for details on how to enter and–most importantly–how to win.

Important note: Our e-mail filters love us and want to keep us safe, but they don’t always know what’s best for us. After you enter, immediately check that contest-related e-mails aren’t being filtered into your spam folders. I’d hate for you to miss out on the prize announcement, bonuses, and special post-contest surprises. There are definitely lots of treats in store for everyone who enters, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

Click HERE to enter

and reveal your first bonus!

4 Reasons to Persevere in Running Even if You’re Bad at It

When I first started running a few years ago, I was really bad at it. Even now, I’m still only mediocre. Yet I persevere. I have four good reasons for doing so.

Reason 1: It’s a Quick Calorie Burn

This is the main reason why I took up running in the first place. As a writer who spends a fair amount of time in a computer chair, I need regular exercise. Running is quick, effective, and a cheap alternative to the gym, since the streets don’t charge me monthly fees to run them.

Reason 2: No One Punches Me in the Face

Before I took up running, I trained in boxing and kickboxing. Our coach eventually moved out of state, however. The class disbanded, I stopped sparring, and working out now no longer involves the danger of dropping my guard and walking directly into someone’s glove. I can say with some confidence that even a bad run beats getting punched in the face.

Reason 3: I Don’t Have to Be Good 

I’m not out to impress anybody, bring home trophies, or even beat my own personal records. In short, I’m not in it to win it. My goal with every race, every run, and every training session is the same.

“You don’t have to be good,” I tell myself. “You just have to finish.”

The funny thing is, though, I am getting better; but it’s not because I’m pushing myself or following some slick training program. I keep showing up, and the consistency pays off.

Reason 4: The Struggle Is Worth It

Running is difficult. Everything about it is a struggle. In the end, however, it’s worth it.

I feel the same way about my writing. It’s a struggle from beginning to end, and none of those daily writing sessions feel important or impressive. I keep showing up at the keyboard, day in and day out. I plonk down on my computer chair, open a manuscript, and give myself my daily pep talk.

“You don’t have to be good. You just have to finish.”

And, eventually, I do.

~~~

Training sessions and first drafts don’t have to be impressive to prove effective. They just have to be done!

Is there something you’ve been wanting to try but have been too intimidated or too afraid to start? Share in the comments below. Is there something you’ve finally started that you’d been putting off? Tell us all about it so that we can cheer you on.

You also may enjoy seeing how I worked some boxing and kickboxing exploits into my debut novel, Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder.

Happy Monday, everybody! May your coffee be stronger than your yawns.