Everyone here is a fake and a fraud

Great work sucks.

Beautiful work makes me want to die inside.

Inspiring work makes plans with me two trains and a bus away from my house only to cancel five minutes before it’s supposed to arrive.

I hate it.

Sort of.

As a consumer, I wish I could turn myself into an anaconda, open my throat wide enough to fit an elephant and guzzle all the top-notch artistry there is in the world until my body looks like an overinflated balloon animal and floats away. (I might have been watching too much Looney Tunes recently).

As a creative, however, there’s nothing more horrifying than your so called “best friend” creating a stunning piece of original, well crafted, thoughtful work that makes you and the whole room connect on an emotional level to their artwork.

Fuck them. Amiright?

The best part of any art form, for me at least, is wonder. The sense of “holy shit, I could never even dream of that”. Like when I first visited La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, I spent an entire afternoon sat in the same chair, staring upwards, hardly moving. It probably looked quite weird.

But, when you’re surrounded by 30+ supremely talented course mates, coming out with phenomenal work on a weekly basis, the wonderful “I could never even dream of that” transposes into “why couldn’t I think of that.”

We had two writing workshops this week and I came out of both of them feeling pretty miserable. Part of the entry requirement for getting into SCA is that at least one small corner of your brain thinks you are good enough to have a place on SCA, and the) one thing I thought I could do relatively well is write.

Hearing Camille read out her five-minute free-writing piece from the “we” perspective, or pretty much anything Ben wrote with his beautifully simple, childlike tone made me feel, well, let’s just say un-special.

After the classes, I found myself seeking reassurance in my writing, sending small snippets to people or groups where I knew I would only receive positive feedback just to recover a bit of self-confidence.

Because nothing makes you feel better than hearing insincere compliments 😊

This nagging feeling persisted all through the next day. I’ll skip the details but in short, impostor syndrome is every bad word you were too scared to speak before your pre-puberty “edgy” phase kicked in. 

But then!

(Don’t worry this is the bit where the scab gets significantly more uplifting, I know it was pretty tense and sad for a moment there)

After classes, five of us went out for a drink and started talking about the writing workshop. Every single thought I had thunk, worrying about my own work was echoed by everyone else. I spoke with Ben and everything I had played over in my head about his work he repeated back to me about mine.

It was a wonderful moment of openness from a group of insecure creatives.

So the moral is this. Yes, everyone is a fake and a fraud. Everyone is hideously insecure about their own work and looking up at everyone else’s. It’s natural and, within reason, can be a good thing. It motivates us to do better and be original in our work. Provided we’re still in a supportive environment and have people around us who can help pull us out of the horrible, horrible slumps.

Live, laugh, love xx

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