It’s summertime soon, which means the next book in my Super Love series will be coming out. And guess what, anxiety flavored with impostor syndrome is already starting to kick in.
What makes me think I can do this? How crazy do I have to be, to think I can run with the big dogs and not get eaten? My newness will shine out, a giant neon pimple, and everyone will laugh and no one will buy my book. It feels like the worst kind of hubris. Like I’m genuinely an impostor.
Wow. And everyone feels like that? Chuck Wendig says so. Neil Gaiman says so. In fact, lots of successful people feel just the same. We’re all (even the ones who look like they totally have it together) bumbling around waiting for everyone else to do this:
Being an author is not for the faint-hearted. I’m not even talking about the “art” portion of it. It requires strength, resilience, grit, stubbornness and pure persistence to get your art out there in the first place, much less stick around through desperate marketing and bad reviews.
Every step in the process can be described with one gif. I’ve used it before, but it is SO ACCURATE:
Lots of doors are going to close. Right in your face. Not just close, but slam shut. Whether you traditionally publish or self-publish, you will hear a lot of “No”s. This isn’t for us, I just didn’t feel strongly enough to champion it, we wish you the best of luck, publishing is a very subjective business, no reviews, bad reviews, no sales. It’s tough.
To get through it, I’ve decided to follow Chuck Wendig’s advice to roll with the feeling, and also to be Emperor Kuzco. When the doors close in my face, I will go right ahead and do this:
I will keep reminding myself, “You’ve got this.” It’s OK to have confidence in yourself and your work. A little pride wouldn’t be out of place. Not everyone can run the gauntlet of No that is writing and emerge with sanity intact. This goes for anyone reading, too! You are tough, and you have grit. Impostor syndrome will creep in, so remember that even the most successful of us feel like that and kick it right back out. Boom, baby!
If you need some more confidence boosting, try Be Proud of Your Writing. Leave me a comment about your own brush with impostor syndrome, or how you deal with hearing lots of No.
Featured image via stocksnap.io and Thong Vo