When I started comedy, someone advised me to change the words ‘Wannabe Comedian’ on my Twitter Profile to ‘Comedian’. Their position was that if I was doing stand-up comedy then I am a Comedian. It made sense, so I made the change.
I have had Imposter Syndrome before. Having low self-confidence has meant I had encountered it with regard to my jobs, my relationships and really anything else I had had a go at. It’s a terrible feeling and is difficult to rectify. I have gone through it with more than one of my Counsellors.
Quick background; I have always enjoyed writing, mainly scripts, and jokes. Scriptwriting modules were always my favourite during my Film Degree. On Sunday morning, I had the strongest feeling I was ‘playing’ at being a writer that I had ever encountered. I was on the verge of a panic attack and it made me do something that I am kicking myself for today.
I have written scripts to enter competitions and at the last minute deleted the script and destroyed all copies, both digital and paper, as I felt like anything I did was rubbish. As such there are few examples still in existence. I love coming up with script ideas. For example, the serial killer who kidnaps someone and forces their family to kill a stranger. There’s a lot of serial killer ideas and sitcoms. A serial killer sitcom; there’s an idea.
Anyway, back to Sunday morning. I am a massive fan of BBC’s Writersroom; taking advice from their articles, downloading the scripts they made available and booking tickets to go to their BBC Writersroom Wales Festival. And it is the last one which went wrong.
I was really looking forward to the Festival, the programme looked amazing, but I woke up on Sunday morning in a panic that I should not go as these thoughts bombarded me; “you’re not a real writer”, “people will think you have taken the space of someone with actual talent”, “no one is going to want to speak to you”, “you are not a writer”, “you are not a writer”, “you are not a WRITER”.
I grabbed my phone and cancelled the tickets before I could rationalise or change my mind. I cancelled them, so it’s the end of the matter. I went downstairs and told my wife, she asked how I was feeling about that. I told her “the tickets have gone, so I can’t do anything about it now.” But I could do something about it, I could be negative about myself.
The Festival is going on as I type. The tweets I have seen about it are amazing (for the attendees) and gutting (for me). The annoying thing is that I know my negative thoughts were the imposter, not me.
Remember, If you do it, then you are it.
Kind of an “I do, therefore I am” (catchy, right?)