In mid 2020 I had an idea for a new urban fantasy series. Or at least, I had an idea for a character who would star in that series. She is a valkyrie called Rowan, who broke curses for a living until she got her licence revoked after a workplace accident.
The series is called The Rogue Valkyrie and Rowan is set to star in all nine books. Book one in the series, Valkyrie Cursed, is perilously close to being finished. By Tuesday, the very first book will be complete and I can start working on the first draft of its sequel.
Never in my life did I think I would produce books this quickly. I started writing Valkyrie Cursed in early November and unfortunately had to take a few weeks off to move house. With the time off factored in, Valkyrie Cursed has taken a little over two months to complete, which is a personal best.
Yet, the closer I get to typing “The End” on this book, the more imposter syndrome sets in. The nature of this awful state of mind is that as soon as you begin to feel confident in something you’ve achieved – or goodness forbid, yourself – it decides to rear its ugly head.
For the first time in my writing career, I am organised, methodical and productive. Words are going down on paper, plans are being made and I’m learning more about the self-publishing industry than I ever imagined. This is the place I wanted to be in my life for as long as I can remember. So why do I feel like I don’t deserve it?
That’s a question that likely requires a lot of therapy to answer, so I’ll pass. But while the answer as to “why” isn’t available to me, the resulting feelings make themselves truly known. Usually, when imposter syndrome comes up, it instils a sense of “why bother” and a resulting period of inactivity. Not this time.
Maybe its because I’m an imposter syndrome veteran or maybe it’s knowing that this is my calling, but it hasn’t affected my trajectory. The Rogue Valkyrie series is planned, being written and this year will have at least three books released.
Battling imposter syndrome is a daunting task every time you do it, but none so daunting as the first time. Like getting bullied in the school yard, eventually you figure that if you’re going to suffer anyway, you may as well fight it. It’s a draining task but it needs doing.
If you’re starting out this year with imposter syndrome for whatever reason, treat it like some insecure snot-nose trying to put you down in grade school. Its opinions aren’t important and if it has to build itself up by trampling people down, one of those people will not be you.
I think this is the natural progression of January, this isn’t really a special occurrence. At the beginning we’re buzzed to start a new year and new projects but by the time we hit Blue Monday, we’re starting to question whether we can do anything. Getting through to brighter days will take some gumption but hey, I can think of worse challenges.
Keep your eyes open for the first book in The Rogue Valkyrie series, Valkyrie Cursed. It’s coming!
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!