Monday, November 19, 2012

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome or Imposter Phenomenon. Until the other day, I didn't even know this was a real affliction. But since I learned of it, I've been interested and wondering what makes us feel like we aren't worthy of our accomplishments.

For something so common, it surprises me it's not a recognized psychological disorder.

A little back story: I've had several short stories and book reviews published over the years. I have never been super excited about the book reviews though appreciate the publication. But part of me wondered if my lack of excitement came from knowing it's fiction I really wanted to focus on. But then a few years ago came my first short story publication. I'd been waiting for it for so long, but yet, when it happened, I was not overcome with excitement. Instead, I kept thinking they only chose me to fill space, or because the majority of the people on the collective knew me.

Then the next publication came and it was more of the same. How credible is this magazine, do they publish almost anyone? And the next, and the next. With each publication the feeling that I didn't deserve it raged. I talked to a few other people about this and found that several of my writing colleagues feel the same way. So maybe it's not so uncommon.

A friend of mine recently got her first short story accepted for publication. When she received the news, she was beside herself with excitement. Jittery even.

And then I began to wonder, what's wrong with me? Publications are so hard to come by, we need to appreciate them when they do come and not take them for granted. I think for most writers it's easy to not take them for granted, unless you're Dean Koontz or Stephen King.

It's said that writing and being published is 5% talent and 95% luck. Maybe that's where the problem comes from. We see it as we only got lucky. We got the right editor at the right time who saw something magical in our words. So it doesn't really mean we're talented. Does it?

If we're trained early on to believe this mantra, it's no wonder we can't see the real success in our work. The worthiness of our words that we slaved over for months or even years. We want that success, we dream about it, we want it so bad we can taste it. Everyone wants to be noticed.

At first I thought maybe it was a desperate attempt to remain modest in front of everyone else. But then, you would think in the privacy of my own mind, that excitement would be bursting. I'd should be doing an unseen happy dance.

It doesn't. I wasn't.

A dear friend and colleague pointed out there is no right or wrong way to react to an acceptance or a rejection. It is what it is. We're all different. Some are thrilled, some are appreciative, some don't think they deserve it, but all are still grateful for the acknowledgment.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Here Again...

The Christmas season is upon us and in the hope of establishing an annual tradition...I'm now accepting Letters To Santa.

Here's the rules: There really are none. Send me your best, most creative Letters to Santa between now and December 24. They can be silly, serious, edgy, erotic... Check out some of the previous letters for inspiration. Anything goes. Any length. Any genre.

Just be creative.

Letters will be accepted until December 24 and posted through the month of December.

Send your submissions to rzvaneck at gmail dot com.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Life Thus Far

L.O.V.E by Rebecca Bessette

It seems I start most of my blog posts lately with the same line. I've been absent for awhile. Too long, I suppose, to properly maintain a blog.  I notice I haven't posted a dang thing since September. It's now November.

Way too long.

On the bright side, it's nice to see so many people have still been visiting. Sorry I have no new material, but thanks for checking in anyway.

So much has happened.

On the writing front, I'm teaching another fabulous class with some very inspiring students. The last class is this Thursday.

I'm taking another class. The year-long novel class that I took years ago but decided to try and muster through another novel. Self-defeating probably, as I have done little writing in the last couple of months.

I did have a couple of stories reviewed by Writers in Residence around the city. All provided great feedback and made me refocus a little bit. Maybe I'm more inclined to write short stories. Maybe a novel is too much for me. I doubt it, but it's my excuse today.

A couple of stories have been accepted. I have one being published early next year, and one just published online at Prairie Journal. You can read it if you like. It's one of those stories I wrote several years ago but it had yet to find a home. Thankfully, it finally did. Also had a book review published in Alberta Views.

And a mess of rejections, as is the norm.

In job development news, I began an Arts Management program, sponsored by the Rozsa Foundation and the Haskayne School of Business. Really happy with it so far.

So that is basically what I've been doing. There is more but I'm not ready to share it with the world yet.

Maybe in the New Year.