Impostor Syndrome

I’m really good at helping people develop a vague idea into an actionable idea*. It’s a weird talent.

Case in point: Ataria was lamenting the lack of information about Māori Goddesses, after some discussion we’re now organising an anthology. (Check out about it here) It’s unusual that someone follows through, let alone that they ask me to be participate. I’m so honoured to be involved in bringing this project to light.

But this is where my impostor syndrome rears it’s ugly head. I don’t know enough. I’m not “Māori” enough (as if there were such a thing). I don’t have the authority to speak (write) in this space.

Impostor syndrome is that little voice that asks “are you sure?” when you’re on the edge of doing something great, when you’re pushing your boundaries. Or sometimes it’s the everyday fear that people will find out you’re a fraud – you might look like you know what you’re doing but you’re really just making it up. (Who among us really believes they’re an adult?)

I want to be involved. I want to write this thing that feels like it might be really important. But I also would like to not feel sick to my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to write it, and I’ll probably still feel sick the whole time, perhaps even after I’m finished.

I was a teenager in the 90’s; I follow the great philosopher Lucas.

Ataria seems to have been placed in my life to push me forward. She asked me to talk about self publishing to Awa Wahine, a women’s writing group she runs. I joked that I could talk about impostor syndrome too as I was struggling with that.

Last weekend I spoke about Self Publishing and Self Doubt – because the repetition of “self” sounds nice ok? I’m still a writer. – It went so well that I got asked to speak about it again this coming weekend.

Somehow being open and honest about my impostor syndrome is doing the opposite of what it wants. It wants me to be quiet, to be small but I’m talking about it loudly and shining a light.

It won’t ever go away completely. Some days it’ll be almost unbearable but I’ll still crawl towards my keyboard and write something. Because that’s what I do, I’m a writer.

* I’d like to figure out how to get paid to do this


  1. During my working career I personally suffered from Impostor Syndrome time after time. I dealt with it by analyzing where I felt I fell short and then attempting to fill those gaps.

    But most of all, embrace and live the role. After a while, you become the real thing— in fact, maybe you already were in the first place. And after a longer while, you start to believe it.

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