Sure: everyone’s already linked to Austin Kleon’s wonderful post How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 other things nobody told me).

But I can’t know that you’ve read it. And I don’t have better advice for you today, or even this week. So I really recommend you read it, and take some notes.

There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

Guess what?

None of us do. [...] Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.

I’m in the middle of a very busy showing-up-every-day project, and have found one of his points especially apt:

You’re only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with.

That “stuff” includes people. Often, we’re intimidated by working with people beyond our capabilities. This week, on this project, I’m the newbie. But I’m a wise newbie. It’s taken me many years of work to recognize that my opinion can be valuable even if I don’t have the right lingo.

Be brave and humble. Be nice. And don’t wait to begin.