Impostor Syndrome, My Old Friend

One hopes, when one is an “aspiring” writer, that once one gets within sight of being published, impostor syndrome will go away.

No such luck. Here I am with a contract, and the stupid brain weasels are still very much wrapped around my brain.

I just sent in my author homework.  And now I’m utterly convinced the editor and other staff are going to be rolling their eyes, convinced they made a bad deal and they need to do whatever they can to rid themselves of this idiot.

It’s nonsense, I’m sure.  If there are problems with what I sent in, I’m sure they’ll let me know and work with me to fix it.  But even knowing that, I keep expecting the worst.

The thing with Impostor Syndrome is that you can’t let it paralyze you.  Sure, feel inferior.  Go ahead and believe that you’re a terrible writer and nobody will ever like your work.  But don’t let it stop you.  Tell your brain to shut the hell up and get back to work.  Eventually, you’ll come out the other side and recognize the BS for what it is.

And then be prepared to do it over and over and over again.  I do it all the time as a teacher, and as a writer. It stinks, but what else are you going to do?

The News I’ve been Sitting On

One of the most frustrating things is when something amazing happens to you and you can’t tell anyone. For the past week, I’ve been trying to act like business-as-usual when inside, I’m doing 99,000 consecutive HappyDances.

I kind of want to go on and on before I reveal it, but that would be mean. So: I am pleased to announce that I have sold my novel, The Widening Gyre, to Flame Tree Press, a UK publisher. The book will be published in “mid-ish 2019” and will be available in both bookstores and online booksellers.

I am beyond pleased, here.

The Widening Gyre: Submitted

Yesterday (rather, at 4pm Monday PST, since the publisher is in Britain), the Open Door period opened for Angry Robot Books. And as planned, I sent my submission packet for The Widening Gyre, Book 1 of The Remembrance War.

Now begins the waiting.  And the pretending it won’t gut me if it doesn’t do well.  And the pretending I’m not on pins and needles waiting for that rejection.

To be honest, my Victory Condition isn’t that high–frankly, I’ll be happy if I get a request for the full manuscript, even if it’s ultimately not acquired.  That said, of course, I’ll be over the freaking moon if it does make it to the end.  So I’m hoping Tajen can pique their interest, and that the rest of the crew can hold it.

For those who’ve read the beta version, the submission piece ends at the end of Chapter 2, when Tajen has just signed Katherine, Liam, Takeshi, and Ben as his crew.

This is the same fragment (plus some more I added in later drafts) that got me accepted to Viable Paradise, so I know it’s not awful.  And the Beta process helped me refine it.  But man, it’s still such a nervewracking thing, to send your fictional darling out into the world.

Now that TWG is out there, I’m continuing work on Book 2, The Ceremony of Innocence (title, as always, tentative), in which the nasty war for Earth begins.  I have the basic arc of Book 2 planned, and am now breaking it into chapters and structural arcs.

Book 3, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, is just a tiny seed–I know it’ll involve a civil war among humans, but the actual chapters haven’t been plotted yet.

Alternate title for Book 3, by the way, for those playing at home: What Rough Beast.  

Off to the word mines!