I fight imposter syndrome ALL the time. I am constantly under the impression that at least half of you that purchased my book will figure out that you’ve been tricked somehow and pull out torches and pitchforks. Most of the time I assume that all of you who haven’t purchased my book know something that the others don’t.
But every now and again I realize with a perfect, crystalline clarity that I have created something worthy. And it is one of the best feelings in the world, to know deep down that all the anxiety and self-loathing is, at the core, wrong. I’ve also heard that many MANY authors experience imposter syndrome– that it is not necessarily linked to my usual depression or anxiety. But every time you get a chance to drown out the darkness with something positive and light should be considered a win no matter how it comes about.
Whatever you’re fighting yourself on– keep fighting. Keep going. You’re worthy of the eventual victory. I promise.
⚔️I am invincible. I have stood on mountains of my own making, built and scaled in the name of what I could be. What I am. I have lived lives you would not dream of, screamed in the face of whatever reality has tried to lower me to standards that are less than worthy, and defeated foes that tried so desperately to crush me in a million ways. I have stomped down on anything that was beneath me and made myself greater than what was expected. I am the rock that withstands fires, the tree that withstands floods, and the soul that withstands whatever baseless and basic slings that you would throw at me. I have overcome every obstacle, screamed in defiance against every turmoil, and I have *succeeded.* I am more than whatever you see in me. I am a rage and fire that you cannot even sense, hidden behind something that is so much more than what you perceive. I am greatness.⚔️
I am a Depressed Guardian.
I have suffered my own demons since before we met. I have battled them and wrestled with them for longer than even I dare say, now. Sometimes it is obvious. Most of the time it is not. Because I long ago decided that no one else should suffer from my Depression.
I hear some of you already. You are already trying to fight back my demons with your own swords. You have so many kind words and thoughtful platitudes on your tongue, easily flitted at me like silver moths. But I do not actually need to hear these things. Because while I am Depressed, I am still here. And I am still here because even though my Depressed brain might scream that I am worthless and pathetic– the Guardian knows that you still have need of me.
I am a Depressed Guardian. And you have no idea the things I’ve faced for those lives that I long ago decided were worth more than mine. I have crumbled mountains and withstood storms. I have changed the courses of entire rivers and screamed in the faces of monsters that did not even know I existed until I appeared in front of them. I have battled a million demons that were not my own–Always with a shield in my hand. And never one that was protecting *me.*
I am a Depressed Guardian. I am that person you say is the “strong one.” I am the ‘rock’ and the ‘rational’ and the ‘friend you can always call.’ I may not want to get out of bed most days, but you’d better believe that if I see a text at 2 a.m. that says “I need someone to talk to” that I am in full armor and with my shield ready in an instant. I show up for every shift because I refuse to let you suffer from my lack of action. I am the person that’s always there if you need someone.
There are so many of us out there. You don’t even know. You cannot comprehend how many lives we have saved. How many stories we’ve changed. How many tears we’ve wiped away or shoulders we’ve offered for people to cry on. You cannot possibly realize how many stands we’ve taken just for the *possibility* of making someone else’s life better. Never for ourselves– but for those we love. Those we cannot bear to see hurting. Those who we want to have a happy life.
We are Depressed Guardians. And we are here for you. But know this with every fiber of your being– woe is you on the day we find out that YOU are the cause of our friends’ hurt. Woe upon those that belittle and discourage. That lie through smiles and wheedle past our friends’ innocence and trust. Because we Guardians have something that your regular victims do not have: Absolutely nothing to lose. You think we fear you like those you’ve been able to twist and break in the past? What can you do to us that we have not already planned over longer periods and with more consideration? You cannot hurt us. We have nothing worthwhile to watch you take. And that makes us invincible.
Be wary, those of you that hurt our friends. For we will tear you off the pedestal from which you deign to peer at us. We will burn your vitriol and your overbearing self-righteousness and we will stand above you as you sift through the ashes looking for whatever sliver of self-importance made you think you were worthy of hurting those we guard.
We are Depressed Guardians. There is a part of us that screams we do not deserve to be here. And yet we remain. Because there is a larger part of us that sees the shields we hold above our friends– and our arms strengthen. You might not know we’re here. You might have no idea of the demons that try to break us each day. And many of us ARE broken. But you are not. And thus we stand, ever vigilant. Ever guarding.
We love you.
To my writing friends:
I haven’t wanted to write in over a year. Sure, sometimes I’d force out a paragraph here and there. I kept up with a bi-weekly article series I do. But to actually write? To follow up on my debut novel that released a year ago? I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t get past the “what about after?” stage. The marketing and the begging. The constant concern that I’m not good enough. That I’m not strong enough. All the things that come after the actual writing is over. My friends tried to help me. They finished reading my debut and left Amazon reviews. They shared it with their friends. But as strong as they were, my anxiety was stronger. More than 60 positive reviews and I still doubted all of it. My own worth. My own abilities. I hated myself for even trying.
I know that there’s a strong correlation between those who write and those who live with depression and/or anxiety. I know I’m not alone in the crippling fear and the self-doubt that plagues you as you just want to create something worthwhile. Something real. I know how hard the process is and how every hill seems like a mountain. I know. And I can’t help you surmount all of that. Just be aware: sometimes it gets better.
I wrote 17,000 words this weekend. I can’t tell you exactly what broke the dam, but a huge part of it was the conscious realization that I never HAVE to publish another book if I don’t want to. I never HAVE to beg and plead and count reviews again if that’s too toxic for me. I never HAVE to do anything. But I want to write. So this weekend I did. And the minute I stopped worrying about what anyone else would think of it, when I gave up on all the things that would come after– I found myself finally able to do so.
I know that this isn’t the solution for a lot of you. I’m aware that the end-goal for so many people is to make something that people will read. But that’s just the thing– no one will ever read what you don’t write. Maybe someday this will be worthy of putting forth again. Maybe I’ll be willing to face all the mountains for a chance of someone seeing it. Maybe I’ll get the fan mail that my debut novel brought me. But none of that was ever going to happen if I didn’t put down the words first. And I couldn’t put down the words if I was afraid of what would come after. So… none of that matters. Time to go back to my roots. Write for me first and don’t worry whether or not others may decide to follow.
Whatever demons are keeping you from putting that quill to paper– I wish you the best at fighting them. Because I think you probably have a story to tell. You probably have a tale that’s going to save someone.
And it’s okay if that someone is just you this time.
Like this post? I wrote a more in-depth article about writing here.
I know I haven’t posted on here for a LONG time. Sorry about that. I have been writing, but it’s been going on to my Facebook page for awhile now, and I kept forgetting that I have this blog, still. Well, today I realized that it would be nice to have all of my manic, beautiful, sometimes slightly-crazy Facebook rambles in one place, and then I remembered I have a blog that was made for EXACTLY that. So you’ll be seeing a lot of posts over the next few hours as I start transferring the things I rediscover. Enjoy all of it.
Oh, and if you’re interested, most of my writing has been dedicated to a bi-weekly column over at The Geek Embassy called Your Favorite Things Sucks. So check that out if that’s your thing.
I hope you like at least some of what you see. Sorry for flooding your inbox.