On Imposter Syndrome
Goethe once wrote to his friend and contemporary, Schiller, that he thought his writing was inadequate and he’d never truly be a master of the art. Alas, I lost the photocopy of the article I got that from, so I can’t give you the exact words, but it’s quite interesting that someone who’s now viewed as a defining author of the German literary canon was so down on himself as a creative force.
He also wrote this poem:
Seh ich die Werke der Meister an,
So seh ich das, was sie getan;
Betracht ich meine Siebensacahen,
Seh ich, was ich hätt sollen machen.
In un-poetic translation, it comes out to:
When I look at the masters’ works,
I see what they’ve achieved;
When I observe my own miscelanity,
I see waht I should have done.
So, creative sorts, go easy on yourselves. Not that I’ll actually *take* the advice I’m giving, but here it is.
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