A couple of years ago, starting out my fitfully tended blog, I haphazardly decided to frame it around the notion of “things I’m scared of”. Frankly, I’m scared of a startling number of things—some of which are clearly well-thought-out (hello, bears) and some are a bit tongue-in-cheek (William Shatner). The soil, it seemed, was fertile. Ripe for sowing flung seed.

Fear is a useful emotion, in that it’s like a small (or large) light, directing attention into otherwise shadowy corners of the psyche. It’s revealing, to say what you’re scared of, or by or about. By saying “This scenario/person/situation scares the shit out of me,” you (and by you, I mean me) face it, name it, stare it down. Except for bears. I can tell you very clearly that they’re ferocious, slavering monsters ready to pounce (pounce, I tell you!) from behind bushes or maybe parked cars at any given moment. Me telling you this in a blog will do exactly jack squat to alleviate my fears about them the next time I get out of my car in a BC provincial park.

Maybe in abandoning my initial blog premise, I was trying for a certain insouciance, a devil-may-care (what a fabulous phrase, that one) attitude, but I am fooling no one. Generally, I am thisclose to crawling under my desk every day, curling into a fetal ball, and rocking back and forth, unable to cope with the most basic of interactions. Sure, I talk a good talk. I even write the occasional good sentence. But I suffer, as many do, from Imposter Syndrome.

I’m happy to report that everyone from Diablo Cody to Tom Hanks to Michelle Pfeiffer seems to think that they’re one bad career move from celebrity oblivion. Most of us, especially writers, are no different. Bluffing and bravado are fleeting moments, often propped up at the Con bar enjoying one too many drinks. The real truth, the nagging feeling that maybe I’m actually not all that, is a much more familiar friend.

So, I’m returning to naming my fears, publically. Sometimes for-realsie, truth-or-dare style. Sometimes more along the William Shatner lines.

Edited to include tip from Ranylt Richildis about overcoming Imposter Syndrome: