I doubt my writing ability almost every day and the stack of rejection letters I have for my book, certainly doesn’t help matters, but then again, I also tend to doubt myself about everything. I have never really been a person who is overly confident and almost always, I assume people are going to figure out I’m a fraud. It was like that when I was a Paralegal, it was like that when I owned my bakery, and it was like that when I wrote my book. I most often feel like a fraud when I open Word Press, click the Add New Post button and stare at that blinking cursor. Today is no different, but that doesn’t stop me from clicking that button. I watch that cursor blinking at me; it just blinks and blinks, so I look away, take a sip of my coffee and lean back in my chair and think.
It’s so hard to feel like it’s worth it when writing. Writing is a solitary sport; you don’t have people on the sidelines in real time screaming at you to get the ball and keep going. You can only go by numbers from the vast world wide web, and my numbers are NOT yelling at me to keep going. I have hardly any followers and a reliable 20 people who read my posts weekly. But then out of the blue, someone will share something I wrote and all of a sudden I feel like I’m Ernest Hemingway. However, let’s be honest; I’m not Hemingway, not even close, I’ll never write the perfect sentence. I took another sip of coffee and thought about when I was looking for a picture for the post THE END (you should read that post, it’s an excellent one!!). The lady shut down her blog because no one was commenting on anything she wrote. That was her last post ever. When I swiped that picture from her blog, I thought to myself, how could someone give up so easily on their blog. Don’t get me wrong; I have had that very same thought more than once since I first started this silly little blog five years ago.
I grabbed my coffee cup and almost said out loud to all the people working in the Starbucks, “Why do I always feel like a fraud?” I have people other than my mom and my husband telling me they love this blog, love the words I manage to find and put down on “paper.” I had people coming far and wide for my croissants, and when I bump into people who knew my bakery, even five years later, they still remember them. I have been a fairly successful person, I drive a nice car, my kids are happy and employed, I live in a great apartment with an amazing view of the Nashville skyline, but every day I feel like someone one is going to knock on my door and say “we are here to take this, you’ve fooled us all”. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel like you’re going through life and someone is going to figure you out? I think even those overly confident people must feel like a fraud at some point in their life, how could they not?
So what do I do about it? How do I overcome that feeling like someone is going to tell me I can’t put Writer down on my tax returns? It’s easy in the world of social media to assume everyone’s life is perfect and yours doesn’t make the cut, but chances their life is not what that one perfectly crop, perfectly edited, photo depicts. Chances are, on the other side of the camera that shot that picture of beautifully plated food is a kitchen that is a disaster. Chances are, that picture of that adorable three-year-old playing in the perfect little outfit, took 20 takes and inevitably ended up with a meltdown from both the child and the parent. So why in the world of Instagram and Facebook do we strive to have everyone believe we are perfect? And then I saw it, on Instagram “Literally every person is messed up, so pick your favorite train wreck and roll with it.” We are all a mess at some point in our lives. We all feel like frauds, and I’m no different.
So I’ll keep writing on this little blog, this little blog that turns five this summer. I’ll keep pouring my words onto this electronic paper and hope someone reads them. Maybe, if I’m lucky, they will make someone smile, they will make someone realize they aren’t alone and maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll write that perfect sentence.