A Cure for Your Imposter Syndrome (Open Thread)

Many of us suffer occasional bouts of imposter syndrome*. Michelle Obama is one of our number.

Former first lady Michelle Obama confessed she still suffered from “imposter syndrome,” even as her memoir, Becoming, broke sales records last month and became the year’s best-selling book 15 days after it was published.

[…] Asked at the event how Obama felt about being seen as a “symbol of hope,” she said: “I still have a little imposter syndrome, it never goes away, that you’re actually listening to me,” according to the BBC.

“It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know?”

When I’m dealing with this, I’ll think on past successes, or remind myself of times when I’ve succeeded by soldiering on. Sometimes, yes, I’ll think about the ways I’m more capable than others. Mrs. Obama has a much better tool for this than I do.

But Obama offered a “secret” to young women everywhere: “I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.

I’m going to assume she’s using an absolute scale and not a relative scale (it is hard to be smarter than her, after all). And that does make me feel better about myself… but maybe not about like, the world?

In unrelated news, here’s something interesting from the world of data mining.

Open thread!

*Today mine was a bit quiet; I’m currently in the I’m a genius phase of a project at work.

85 replies
  1. 1
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I have been watching U-Tube videos on how to give your cat liquid medicine. The cat has been a bit wary of me since this morning when I put him into a crate and took him to the vet. He yowled all of the way there and back. He must hate me. To make matters worse, his sister sits on a nearby chair and judges me. I am afraid I always come up short when she does that.

  2. 2
    opiejeanne says:

    What I’ve read of yours is very good, but you know how I feel about your writing already. Impostor Syndrome is supposedly more of a problem for women because we never feel we’re good enough or ready or have earned the right to whatever laurels are available and offered.

    I finished writing that book I’ve mentioned here about a thousand times, finished it about 2 weeks ago. I immediately starting doubting that I had written anything worthwhile.

    I’ve been going back through it from the beginning, fixing errors, making notes to make sure a group of letters would have been delivered before another one was, giving the dog a bit more to do in the book so that he becomes a beloved dog and not just a picture of a dog, giving the lead character more depth as an individual as she grows up and making sure she’s not just an observer, that sort of stuff. In doing so I was surprised to discover that a lot of it is already pretty good, pretty well written, just needs some broadening of a couple of topics, broadening of characters to make them believable. In my head I know who they are but it’s not always on the paper.
    I’m at the point where one character wades into the Yazoo to haul out a much younger man who has gotten shot in the knee and the rain is just pounding down around them and the Confederates on the bluff in Vicksburg above the Yazoo are firing down at them and every other Union soldier they can see, and I really like what I’ve written, the way I’ve written it, but the second I step away from it I think, “oh, who am I kidding? Who would ever want to read this?”

    The idea of submitting it is so intimidating that the Impostor Syndrome kicks in at full speed and just knocks me down whenever I consider it.

    And I know I need to change the name from the working title but I can’t grasp what it should be, not yet. It will come to me by the time I finish the editing process and possibly dispose of a couple of chapters that were really fun to write but probably don’t make the book better.

  3. 3
    Patricia Kayden says:

    How come Trump never suffers from the imposter syndrome when he’s the biggest imposter of them all? I’ve never seen someone so lacking in self awareness.

  4. 4
    opiejeanne says:

    I’m not surprised that Michele is sometimes the smartest person in the room at those meetings.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I had this feeling a lot in the Army. Here I was, the platoon leader, in charge of all these people, and faking my way through it. Turns out that faking your way through it is precisely what is expected of you. You’ll figure it out over the coming months.

  6. 6

    @opiejeanne: I feel you, I’m dreading going back to Eels when I’m done with this short story. (Soon available in beta! If you’re interested. I also owe you a book-length beta read.)

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    If you click through there is one for More Agreeable and Less Agreeable. The Less Agreeable words are mostly some version of “fuck,” “bitch,” “piss,” and “shit.” Not sure they needed data mining to tell them that.

  8. 8


    Impostor Syndrome is supposedly more of a problem for women because we never feel we’re good enough or ready or have earned the right to whatever laurels are available and offered.

    D’oh, and I forgot to note this, in the Newsweek article she talks about how it’s worse for women and minorities.

  9. 9

    @Yarrow: Social science sometimes seems to consists largely of confirming conventional wisdom with statistics, but there are some fun bits in this study.

  10. 10
    JanieM says:

    From the link in the extraverted/intraverted section of the OP:

    High extroversion is characterized by traits such as being energetic, talkative, bold, active, assertive, and adventurous. The word cloud reflects positive emotions (e.g., ;), excited), and social words and phrases such as party, girls, and can’t_wait.

    Low extroversion, also called introversion, is characterized by traits such as being unenergetic, silent, timid, inactive, unassertive, and unadventurous. The word cloud reflects isolation and a focus on computer-related activities such as internet and reading.

    Lots of positive words about extraverts, lots of judgmental unflattering words about introverts, judging introverts by making extraverts the standard of judgment. Making extraverts the default human, and defining introverts by their lack of extravert qualities.

    As a confirmed introvert, I call bullshit.

  11. 11
    Procopius says:

    I have many criticisms of Barak, and he often infuriates me by revealing how badly he deceived me in 2008. I’m even more angry about how I kept getting lured back to him and then disillusioned again. And all in all he wasn’t that bad and managed to have a completely scandal-free administration. When was the last time we had that? I’m pretty sure if I had as much information about Michelle as I have available about Barak I’d feel similarly about her, but she seems like a nice person. I really liked what she had to say here, but more important is her recognition that most of us have that “imposter syndrome.” That really makes me feel warm toward her.

  12. 12
    TommoRollassi says:

    @Patricia Kayden: there is actually pretty extensive literature about this, but in a nutshell he’s simply too stupid and (relatedly) lacking self-awareness to conceive of how little he actually knows. Yeats wrote: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” More recently, the Dunning-Kruger paper “Unskilled and Unaware of It,” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect. I found that concept very helpful in dealing with my own imposter syndrome when it flares up…

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: George Carlin is in the cloud…

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    “pyro-genetic tornado”

    Just say no. Seriously, no.

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:


    Lots of positive words about extraverts, lots of judgmental unflattering words about introverts, judging introverts by making extraverts the standard of judgment. Making extraverts the default human, and defining introverts by their lack of extravert qualities.

    Agree. Society kind of sets up introverts that way. Offices with their open plans are hell on introverts and make it hard for them to function. All that noise and intrusion! People go hide to get away from it.

    And this:

    Low extroversion, also called introversion

    So the people in charge of this study define introversion as “low extroversion.” I extroversion is not defined as “low introversion.” Once again extroversion is the standard.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    Spelczeque, do you haz it?

  17. 17
    Petorado says:

    @JanieM: I had a similar reaction, but you have to consider that the data was derived from Facebook comments. The particular subset of humanity that actively comments there has a particular lexicon and audience and is already predisposed to certain behaviors. The study shouldn’t extrapolate their findings to the rest of humanity.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    I always thought it was “introvert” and “extrovert”. I don’t think I’ve seem either word spelled with an A before.

  19. 19

    @TommoRollassi: I once saw bitcoins referred to as Dunning-Krugerrands, it stuck with me.

  20. 20
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I would love to be the beta reader again for you.

    My book is an historical novel so I hesitate to offer to anyone unless I know that they enjoy that sort of thing. Family members have read some of it as has one friend but they don’t finish the chapters I’ve sent so maybe it’s boring.

  21. 21
    danielx says:


  22. 22
    Karen says:

    Does anyone know why there hasn’t been any lawsuits against the GOP power grabs in North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin? Can the GOP be sued for kneecapping the Dem governors? This is driving me insane so if someone could please answers the questions I’d be very grateful. Thank you!

  23. 23
    danielx says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    I am afraid I always come up short when she does that.

    As do we all.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:


    I suspect that’s one of the reasons I haven’t really dived in with my revisions — I’m dreading that push/pull of I’m a genius / Everyone who ever told me I was a good writer was lying to spare my feelings. It would be kind of a relief to have a middle ground of pretty good instead of the giant pendulum swings.

  25. 25
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’d like to be a beta-reader too, if that would be alright with you

  26. 26
    JanieM says:

    @Amir Khalid: “Extra-” and “intro-” are the forms used in the Myers-Briggs world, anyhow.

    ETA: Following on Jung, IIRC.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Karen: The appropriate officials, such as the governors and attorneys general elect of WI and MI won’t have standing until they’re sworn in. The voters of WI, MI, OH, and NC cannot file suit until the bills have passed and been signed into law. The lawsuits are coming.

    Also, if I was advising the governors and attorneys general elect of WI and MI, I’d be recommending that one of their first acts is the issuance of executive orders stating that the legislation is unconstitutional and they will not abide by it, act as if the legislation doesn’t exist, in the case of the the 82 Walker nominees that Fitzgerald rammed through in today’s lame duck state senate session, issue termination orders for them and nominate 82 new people for those positions, thereby challenging the state legislatures to sue them, which will further tie this all up in court. Unfortunately the guy that was elected governor in Wisconsin seems to be so mellow and low key that my recommending this in a comment here may have given him the vapors.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Karen: Does anyone know why there hasn’t been any lawsuits against the GOP power grabs in North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin? Can the GOP be sued for kneecapping the Dem governors?

    The laws have to be signed before the legal challenges can be filed? I don’t know, but I did hear someone say that the D gov of North Carolina had some success in pushing back similar power grabs by the state lege there.

    Watching an MSNBC segment on trump saying he doesn’t care about the deficit, and how could abandon that pillar of Repubilcanism! Apparently I’m the only one old enough to remember Cheney’s “Reagan taught us deficits don’t matter”, or the whole “putting two wars on the national credit card” thing. I am old. But I think I’m still younger than Brian Williams.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    🎵 This feeling of faking it….I still haven’t shaken it…🎵

    Any takers? #channelingDougJ

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    Ha anyone ever watched the “Chicago” shows on NBC? There’s a Chicago Fire and a Chicago Med and maybe something else. I never have until tonight. I kind of half watched part of both of them. Those people are way too good looking to be all in one fire station/police unit. And their hair is ridiculously perfect. There was one scene where the police all went into a building looking for someone and I almost started laughing because they looked so perfectly dressed and coiffed as they were supposedly chasing a bad guy. Are all first responder dramas on TV this stupid these days?

  32. 32
    Jay says:


    Lawsuits can only be launched after the Laws are passed, and require research on case law, standings, State Constitutions, the US Constitution and Amendments, etc.

    Basically, it takes time to prepare a case, and research the “proper” Court to file in.

    Things take time.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: He’s not posting the thing at Deviant Art.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:


    A random extrovert chatted me up at a restaurant’s bar last weekend while I was waiting for my takeout food. I didn’t mind, because he was cute and was mostly interested in having someone to talk to, particularly since I made sure to drop the fact that I have a husband into the conversation about a dozen times. 😂

    He said that he works in event planning, which explains why it was driving him nuts that he was sitting at the bar waiting for his friend and there was nobody for him to talk to!

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He did, the North Carolina governor has already won in court on this, which is why the GOP majorities in the NC state legislature are trying to again ram through at least two laws that have already been struck down by the courts. They’re not too bright, but they are persistent.

  36. 36
    JCJ says:


    Not only that, but the “extrovert” part makes me think of the early part of manic phase in bipolar disorder.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:


    I thought that there was an ongoing lawsuit in NC? In WI, they probably have to wait for the legislation to be passed and signed before they can sue, but both the governor-elect and the attorney general-elect have said that they WILL sue if the law is passed.

  38. 38
    Suzanne says:

    They are not that smart.

    This was a major revelation to me, as well. I feel terrible about myself all the time, but every once in a while, I realize that lots of people who I thought were really smart are, well, NOT. And I feel better, if only for a moment.

  39. 39
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    So I guess I must be intraverted, neurotic, and maybe not too conscientious, but at least I’m open about it.

  40. 40
    JanieM says:

    @Karen: I also keep wondering: can’t the new legislatures (if Dem controlled) just make new laws?

  41. 41
    ljt says:

    @JanieM: I once had a Meyers-Briggs consultant (at a company-mandated seminar) explain that extroverts need other people to ‘fuel their energy’, while introverts derive their energy and ‘refuel’ when alone. He said it’s not that introverts don’t like or can’t handle ‘extrovert’ situations, just that it drains their energy; whereas extroverts are uncomfortable when alone. He implied that introverts are more comfortable with themselves. As an introvert, I liked that explanation.

  42. 42
    JanieM says:

    @Mnemosyne: Heh. We did a sort of mini-Myers-Briggs in a diversity class I once took in the Peace Studies program at UMaine. (This was all adults, mostly teachers.) The class leaders told what I assume was their standard funny story, which is that they did this in another class and after everyone got their MBTI results they broke the group up into extraverts and introverts and told the groups to go off and plan a party, and come back and tell the larger group about it. The extraverts came back with elaborate plans, the introverts came back and said, “What party?”

    My own response in the situation you were in would depend a lot on … a lot of things. Sometimes I really enjoy talking to strangers, but they have to be unpushy in a certain kind of way, or I retreat deeply into my shell.

  43. 43
    opiejeanne says:

    @Aardvark Cheeselog: I’m F.I.N.E.

  44. 44
    Middlelee says:

    Also an introvert, I agree with you. The whole thing seemed contrived.

  45. 45
    JanieM says:

    @ljt: Yes, I’ve heard it put that way too. It’s nice to assume that we all have our strong points and don’t have to be measured by those of other people. :-)

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Well, to feel inadequate you must be aware that others know more and are more able. And to be aware of that you must be aware that you are not supremely gifted above all others with knowledge and ability. Trump has deluded himself that, despite having never studied the knowledge or practised the skills, he knows more and is more able than anyone.

  47. 47
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    While I was living in a IA college town in the 80s, a friend in the local League of Women Voters attended city council meetings. After about 6 months , she said, she realized she understood the city business better than most of the (male) council members and decided to run for a council seat.

    She would get frustrated because, she said, she would make a suggestion and be totally ignored. 5 or so minutes later one of the men would say basically the same thing, and everyone would enthusiastically run with the idea.

    That type of situation was a frequent topic in feminist writing of the era.

  48. 48
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: We seem to attract them. I’m ok with it because sometimes I’m that person. It is kind of startling when confronted with someone running at the same level or higher intensity, though. Makes me wonder if the world sees me the way I see those people.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JanieM: The Democrats will not have majorities in any of those legislatures because of extreme gerrymandering. In Wisconsin, for instance, the Republicans only got 45% of the vote for state legislative seats, but won 65% of them because the votes and the state legislative districts are not equitably distributed because of extreme gerrymanders. Similar in North Carolina.

  50. 50
    opiejeanne says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I think that situation is still discussed in detail by women today. Very frustrating.

  51. 51
    Redshift says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s endlessly infuriating that no matter how frequently or blatantly they violate it, almost no one in the media will question the GOP’s commitment to the “principle” of fiscal responsibility. (And the latest tax cuts and spending increases were a particularly shameless example.)

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Does the NC legislature lack counsel to tell the GOP caucuses no can do, or are the caucuses just refusing to listen?

  53. 53
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Also, I’m plotting out my story right now. I have a general outline of what I want the plot to be.

    It takes place in an alternate world. A possible major plot point I’ve been considering involves the President of the United Federation (evil CEO/Chairman Scott Freeman) arranging for the entire membership of the Federal Assembly, the Heads of each military branch, the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the VP and all of the Cabinet are killed in an attack during the State of the Federation address staged to look like the heroes caused it. The designated survivor is separately gotten rid of and the President himself was never near the Assembly building when the attack took place. Freeman suspends the writ of habeas corpus and declares marital law, both to consolidate his power and make himself look like a hero (he’s incredibly jealous and has an ego the size of a planet; he can’t stand being overshadowed and wants the heroes dead for taking the limelight from him. That’s partly why he became president.).

  54. 54
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You’re never going to let that go, are you?

  55. 55
    Mike E says:

    @Amir Khalid: both chambers of NC state gov’t are currently controlled by TEA repub supermajorities so they will shamelessly do whatever they please, regardless of counsel. However, come January, that changes to just a repub plurality due to our blue wave election…the R’s will need D’s to pass legislation, or the Guv will just veto their brazen attempts (which he couldn’t before because of overrides) so watch out for any progress going forward in 2019 with the hostile TEA holding firm to their agenda despite the different playing field

  56. 56
    JanieM says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So lawsuits it is, I guess….. Tempting to say just burn it down, but I know I wouldn’t like that in the end.

  57. 57
    joel hanes says:

    > Villago Delenda Est
    > eemom

    faking your way through it is precisely what is expected of you

    Not really makin’ it ?

    I own the tailor’s face and hands.

  58. 58
  59. 59
  60. 60
    EBT says:

    Ah imposter syndrome, a topic I see hourly in the trans community.

  61. 61
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    If I decide to use it, it’ll be towards the end of the story, before the ultimate showdown where he attempts to become God-Emperor of Humanity and reduce everyone to “NPCs” by fusing with the reality-warping McGuffins.

    In his mind, he will be freeing humanity from the “shackles of consensus” and ensure he will be worshipped as a god/hero.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    Major Major Major Major’s advice to you was to start writing the story itself. You do not want to keep on fussing over the outline. The outline is only a rough map of where you ‘re thinking about going. Stories are live things, in a sense; your fictional characters and events will have a life and internal logic of their own that often conflicts with what you intend. The only way ro find these conflicts and work them out is to write the story.

  63. 63
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I guess I was just wanted to share my ideas and get feedback to see if people liked them? I’m actually looking forward to writing. I’m getting books on pacing and character arcs by an author Mnem recommended.

  64. 64
    Mart says:

    @Yarrow: BIL has nearly thirty years with the Chicago Fire Department. Don’t bring the TV show up with him unless you want a long lecture on fucking TV bullshit delivered with a heavy Chicago accent.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:


    I will freely admit, it was an ego boost to still get chatted up by a cute guy in a bar when I was in a t-shirt and hoodie and feeling a little fat. The margarita I’d had about an hour before probably helped me relax just enough not to freak out and overthink it. 😂

    And, of course, it helped that he understood my signals that I was only offering a casual conversation to pass the time. The one-barstool space between us was politely maintained.

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    it is hard to be smarter than her

    Tsk-tsk, young man. Smarter than she.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    As someone who is a “plotter” and likes to have an outline and structure before I start, this seems to be how it works for me:

    – I plot out the story and write the outline
    – I write the first draft
    – I realize in the course of the first draft that my outline/structure is a little off, but I make notes to myself for later and keep going
    – I finish the first draft and set it aside for a cooling-off period
    *new thing I just learned* – I skim through the first draft and make a new scene-by-scene outline, incorporating my notes about what needs to change and including new notes as I think of them

    Now I’m at the point where I need to do my second draft and I have my scene-by-scene to use as a guide. I’m procrastinating on sitting down and doing it, though I have rewritten several scenes in the first two chapters that can be incorporated back into the manuscript.

    However, you need to keep in mind the wise words a famous writer once said (it may have been Aldous Huxley, but now I can’t remember):

    There is only one way to write a novel. The problem is that the way is different for everyone.

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    Are you feeling nervous about beginning? At some point, sooner rather than later, you need to conclude the feedback-seeking, gird your loins, and just do it.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Has your curse of things electronic abated?

  70. 70
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    To be honest, I am. I tried writing something before and I didn’t put a whole lot of planning in it. I just started writing it. It was the Ubermensch killing Adolf Hitler piece I posted here earlier this year. It not only ended up being pretty bad imo, but it was difficult to write. It just didn’t flow like I wanted it to. There just wasn’t that life that I can sense when I read others’ works.

    I’ll post it to show you what I mean:

    September 5, 1938
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Nazi Party Rally Grounds

    Hitler was giving a speech to the Nazi Party in Nuremberg. It was opening day of the rally, entitled “Rally of Greater Germany” and after the annexation of Austria earlier in the year the national mood, as well as Hitler’s, had greatly improved.

    Suddenly, while the Austrian-born dictator was reaching the climax of his address, a blonde-haired man with a muscular build literally popped into existence next to the podium.

    A whoosh of air was felt by Adolf and he turned his head in the direction the strong breeze came from. There was a collective gasp from the thousands of Nazi party supporters on the grounds as well as those of the Party bigwigs behind him.

    Shocked, he took a few shaky steps backward from the strange man. Hitler’s SS guards rushed to attack the stranger and extract their Führer from harm. They opened fire. The man didn’t flinch as the bullets deflected off his body. He turned to face them. He didn’t have so much as a scratch on him, aside from his bullet-hole riddled clothes, to the terror and amazement of onlookers.

    “Are you quite finished?”, he rhetorically asked in a dangerously annoyed tone, his facial expression conveying complete contempt for everyone there.

    He doesn’t wait for an answer as he moved faster than anyone’s eyes can perceive and seized Hitler by his lapels, lifting the Führer effortlessly off the ground with one arm.

    Since the blonde-haired man was so tall he brought Hitler to eye-level with him. The sheer intensity of his glare filled Hitler with a terror that he has not felt in his life since the gas attack he suffered in the Great War. There was a roar in his ears as the blood rushed through them and somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered if his fast-beating heart would burst from his chest.

    “Your time spent terrorizing and murdering the innocent are over”, the man stated with finality. And Hitler believed him.

    Pulling his left arm back and forming a fist, he punched through Hitler’s abdomen and snapped his spine. The dictator died instantly and absolute pandemonium broke out a moment later.

    Over the course of the day, members of Hitler’s Inner Circle suffered similar fates. To further demonstrate his power, the superman completely decimated the German air forces deployed against him.

    The mysterious superman even commandeered a BBC radio broadcast to announce that what he did was to serve as a warning to other authoritarians around the globe to tow his line or face death.

    The mysterious übermensch’s message sinks in for all humanity and becomes quite clear; it’s his truth, his justice, his way, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The world will never be the same again

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I move metal for a living. That is I make things, mostly tools for the aircraft and medical industries. You have an outline and basic story, more commonly known as a print and the action the tool is intended for. You have to study that and apply it to get started. But then the only way to finish the project is to move metal. It really isn’t different with any project. You need a direction. You have to understand the medium you work in, be it metal, food or words or whatever. And then you have to apply it. I have to move metal to get paid. A cook has to prepare food and a writer has to write. The outcome is as different as the processes to change it from raw materials to a finished product, but the structure to get there isn’t.

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    Not quite, although fortunately I have solved the headphones issue for now with a pair of “studio-quality”* Motorolas. I am still looking at a bigger louder and more fully-featured guitar amp to make me a real guitar hero.

    *It says so on the box; I take such claims with a grain of salt.

  73. 73
    joel hanes says:


    Taking time to treat your friends and neighbors honestly

  74. 74
    joel hanes says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Had I but a wand and time travel
    instead of materializing some grim venger

    I’d have made Herr Schickelgruber’s clothing suddenly be elsewhere
    so that he stood naked on that stage

    I think the ultimate outcome would be better

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    to tow his line

    *cringe* (Hint: toe.)

    Also too, check the use of blond vs. blonde.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:


    Bad linky. Fix.

    Also too, check the use of blond vs. blonde.

  77. 77
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    What else could I improve on? It seems pretty rushed too.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    While would agree with rushed, not about to get into any opinion mongering regarding style or content. Not the place for it, nor (fer sure) my forte.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    You seem to be describing the story to someone rather than telling it directly. That prose could use a lot of tightening up.

    “Your time spent terrorizing and murdering the innocent are over”, the man stated with finality. And Hitler believed him.

    Pulling his left arm back and forming a fist, he punched through Hitler’s abdomen and snapped his spine. The dictator died instantly and absolute pandemonium broke out a moment later.

    That lacks punch. Try this.

    The man spoke softly: “You’re finished, mein Führer.” He pinned the Chancellor of The Reich against the lectern and grabbed his neck with one powerful hand. The audience heard a faint crack of breaking bones. Hitler fell to the floor.

    Stunned silence for one heartbeat. For a second heartbeat. Then a woman screamed, and others joined in.

  80. 80
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    That’s pretty good! I think you diagnosed the main problem. I was telling and not showing. Lacking punch is the phrasing I was looking for. That’s what I meant when I said it lacked life.

  81. 81
    Origuy says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “studio-quality”* Motorolas

    You are supposed to think they mean recording studio. Maybe they mean studio apartment.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    I would have a use for actual studio monitor headphones, if I could afford them, on my guitar amp. (Audiophile phones are tweaked to sweeten the sound, which puzzles me somewhat: isn’t the point of hi-fi supposed to be accurate sound?)

  83. 83
    Vhh says:

    @Karen: There are constitutional issues, separation of powers etc. It’s as though Congress changed the Constitution by itself. Huge legal fight.

  84. 84
    different-church-lady says:

    Many of us suffer occasional bouts of imposter syndrome*.


  85. 85
    wmd says:

    Imposter syndrome is getting a lot of airplay this year – I was informed that new hires get it at 3-6 months during a job interview last August. Subsequently I’ve heard it casually at least 4 times, and used it myself.

    Contrast with Dunning-Kruger is worth pointing out. People that are competent and intelligent know they have more to learn and can get emotionally stuck.

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