WriPaMyMemNov, Day 15: When Imposter Syndrome Isn’t Imaginary

Write Part of My MemoirWelcome to Day 15 of my memoir challenge. I’m halfway there — hoorah! 

Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Just because you have imposter syndrome, it doesn’t mean you aren’t sometimes an imposter.

Here’s a teaser from my memoir, an excerpt from the chapter I’m currently working on, that proves this point. 


It was the mid-1980s, and I was working for Prentice Hall-Travel. I’d recently started dating Bob, a “real” travel writer, as I thought of it, as opposed to a guidebook writer. He was published in the likes of Travel + Leisure and was always being dispatched to exotic places. Bob wasn’t my usual bad boy type. He was geographically available — he lived in New York, like me — and he was nice. Really nice. He was modest about his success in a way only women tend to be, for example, suggesting that it was due to luck, rather than talent and hard work.

And he handed me my first opportunity to publish a travel article, showing more confidence in me that I had in myself.

Not long after we got together, Travel Agent magazine asked Bob to cover a new safari-and-surf package to Kenya and Mauritius created by Capricorn Tours. The dates of the associated fam trip conflicted with travel to which Bob was already committed so, after clearing it with his editor, he asked me if I’d like to take his place. I was blown away by Bob’s generosity. Although Prentice Hall didn’t give editors time off to take press trips, accepting them wasn’t against company policy and I had two weeks vacation coming to me.

I was crazy excited about the trip, less so about my first travel writing assignment. Forget imposter syndrome. In this case I actually was an imposter, filling in for real writer Bob. I was relieved that it was for a trade publication — one geared towards industry insiders  — rather than a high-profile consumer magazine.

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About the Author

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

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