Sunday, November 23, 2008

Figured you out....

I have a manuscript to write. Maybe two. I have all the data (with the exception of one minor experiment we are doing to confirm stuff from a previous paper), all the important references, an outline of the results and the main points for the discussion. So, why am I sitting here blogging? Why am I putting off just getting words down on the page? Why am I cleaning my lab bench, organizing drawers, and just in general doing everything in my power to put this off?

There are multiple reasons why I procrastinate, but I think the biggest one has to do with my own personal impostor syndrome (and yes, I did just send you to Wikipedia- I know, bad form). Now, my PI knows I can write, knows I can do the experiments and knows that I have a great story to tell. Problem, I feel like I cannot do the story justice, that I cannot push this where it needs to go, that, I in not so many words, suck. Stupid, no?

I didn't realize how pervasive the impostor syndrome was, or that it even had a name until the TA coordinator called me on it when I was in my last semester of grad school. He was giving me a hard time for being too critical on myself during our TA self-evaluations, and in retrospect, he was probably right. But where is the line between self-deprecation and having delusions of grandeur? I tell myself that I am smart (OK, somewhat smart, not Einstein smart, but I can hold my own) and that I got my job not just because on of my committee members knows my boss, but because he saw potential, but do I honestly believe that? Hell no. And no matter how much faith people have in me, no matter how well I do, no matter what I can accomplish, I think there will always be that tickle in the back of my brain, warning me that I will let everyone down, that I won't exceed expectations, that they will figure me out...whatever.

All I know for sure is that I work my ass off, I do what I do, and try to do it well. That's all I can do to get myself through the day. As for writing the paper, well I think I am going to rack some tips, organize the sterile culture tube drawer, maybe autoclave some trash, do a load of dishes, sort my mail...then maybe I will open the manuscript.doc file and play around with the font and formatting. God, I am horrible sometimes!

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