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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

Just when you think IS is gone

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just don't know if you're capable of what you're doing?

Like a week that you just struggle with doubt, lack of self-confidence, and that dreaded imposter syndrome crap?

Yep, I had one of these weeks.

But first, a word about my mom.

She turned 81 a week ago, but she doesn't know it.

I showed her a selfie of her and me from just two weeks ago. She wanted to know who was in the picture because she didn't recognize anybody.

Each time I have told her it is a picture of her, she doesn't believe me.

She thinks she is looking at an imposter because she couldn't possibly be that old.

I've kind of determined it stresses her out when I tell her that she's looking at herself in a picture. Her mind really has taken her back to when she was a young adult -- before marriage, kids, grandkids, career -- and that is how she now sees herself.

Not this imposter in a picture in front of her.

As much as I wish it didn't, imposter syndrome kicks in at the most inopportune times.

Like 30 minutes before a Zoom brain-storming call with a new client.

I don't typically take on the role of a developmental editor. I prefer proofreading, copy, and line editing, the type of content reviewing that is more structured and factual rather than creative and organic.

But I really like this client's way of writing. Their articles have substance, practical and actionable advice for a range of people and business owners, and I thought we could be a good fit.

And I still think we are.

But who am I to tell them, "This sentence would sound better if you...." ??

I don't have formal training as an editor. It's just part of me; it always has been.

And I have a really advanced sense of intuition. I can see perspectives others cannot. Sometimes, this is good; sometimes, it's downright scary.*

But these skills allow me to be really, really good in my career.

So what gives?

Why can't I just accept that it doesn't matter that I don't have a degree in English or Journalism?

In fact, my ideal client is the person/business owner who doesn't care about a piece of paper.

The client who decides to go against the status quo and work with someone who has talent and can do the work effectively and efficiently, regardless of formal training.

And I'm blessed to work with just those kinds of clients.

The ones who provide me with feedback like this.

I don't have any quippy or cute squirrel or bird antics to share today. I've been too busy sitting at my desk trying to remind myself that I am good at what I do. But I did write about an imposter squirrel who showed up in the backyard a year ago.

I was reminded of this blog post when I started writing this one, and it was pretty neat to see how this freelance journey I'm on has evolved since then. Just because I've had success with my chosen field doesn't mean I won't face the occasional struggle with remembering my value.

And that's okay because each client Zoom meeting I have adds another layer of that reminder.

*The scary part happens when you're driving home with The Husband and tell him that you have that intense feeling again. The feeling that something is going to happen within the family. And then three days later, something does. It's freaking creepy.

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