When I finally sat down to write this submission for the newsletter, I was struck by the irrational quality of my thinking as I considered what to write about. I did not believe I had it in me to meet the demands of the assignment on account of my track record in sloth-y beginnings, challenge in focusing on one thing at a time, and sporadic follow through. I squirmed. I daydreamed. I took a nap. I researched topics that had nothing to do with my work.
I have accepted that I am a procrastinator in writing. Why do I procrastinate? I suffer from impostor syndrome, a disorder that apparently affects mostly women and minorities. I feel like a “fake,” like my writing means nothing. This self-doubt is with me at every stage of writing, whether the material relates to school, work, or personal affairs. I hold back and restrict my voice because of emotional tension related to how I feel about myself, doing a “good” job, and effectively saying what I mean to say.
The simple acknowledgement that my inner voice tends toward insecurity and self-doubt creates room for positive shifts in my thinking about my capacity to write and be understood. Identifying procrastination as an integral part of my personal writing process helps me to maintain awareness of how to effectively structure my time. I write down my ideas regarding current writing topics that come up throughout the day which provides me with material to work with once I sit down to write. I tape-record my pontifications to refer to when I am ready to concentrate.
Although these strategies do not cure my procrastination, they help to bolster confidence while honoring my internal process, allowing me to feel less like an imposter and more like a writer.
Virtual Writing Center Peer Consultant