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Overcoming Imposter Syndrome The Hard Way

The past two weeks gave me a really new angle on this full-time author gig. Up until this point, writing my new series and preparing it for launch has been an exciting whirlwind. When you’re caught up in all the positive feels and motivation, it’s hard to feel like you’ll ever have a bad day again.

I suspected the flying-high would end eventually, and when I started finalising the files for Valkyrie Cursed ready for pre-order and paperbacks, my mood truly crashed. A combination of extending deadlines and imposter syndrome had me wanting to shut the curtains and curl up into a ball. I was overcome with doubts and the crushing sensation that I wasn’t good enough to succeed at becoming an author.

This isn’t a new experience. The moment I feel as though I’m doing something well, my brain automatically tries to convince me that I don’t deserve to feel confident, and certainly not the benefits that come with succeeding. This often happens when I’m approaching the end of a project, and is so deeply rooted in my psyche that I will always leave things unfinished in some small way: video games, the glass of juice I was drinking, or the punnet of raspberries I was enjoying.

It’s a bizarre frame of mine to even affect how I eat and drink, but finishing something makes me feel so undeserving that I try my hardest not to. But when it came to finalising Valkyrie Cursed, I had to complete it come hell or high water. Naturally, the imposter syndrome took full advantage and decided that if I dared finish this project, I would suffer for it.

Yesterday, I came out the other side of a very difficult fortnight in which I doubted my every move. But I made it through with the help from an unexpected place. A few weeks ago, when this imposter syndrome first began, I sent out ARC copies of Valkyrie Cursed to ARC readers, and after only a few days, the reviews started rolling in.

The feedback blew me away. People were enjoying Valkyrie Cursed and the book wasn’t the disaster I had been anticipating, even after I knew how much had gone into it, plus all the feedback I had been getting throughout. Sometimes, that mean little voice in your head is the loudest, but loud doesn’t always mean right. In fact, it more often means the opposite.

Now, my imposter syndrome is in remission, thanks in no small part to the support of my ARC readers, my long-suffering husband, and the end of the paperback issues. It will return in due time, I’m certain of that, but the important thing is, I’ve weathered this particular storm through to the end. It may have wanted me to stop, but I didn’t and I won’t.

Imposter syndrome is no trifling matter, because it can truly stop you from achieving your wildest dreams. As ever, the decisions we make despite it are influenced by the voices we choose to listen to. In this case, I chose to listen to the voices of my readers rather than the critical one in my head. That in itself isn’t an easy task, giving credence to positive voices when you feel unworthy, but it’s doable with perseverance.

I won this round, and with any luck I’ve learned enough this time to win the next one, too.

Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!

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