Why I Write Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Writing fiction is really like a big playground where adults can be kids again.  I can be serious or run around with reckless abandoned, no one will stop me.  It’s a place where my imagination is the only limit and fantasy is as important, if not more important, than reality.  So at some point I have to ask myself, which part of the playground do I want to play in?  It’s a tough choice considering all of the genres and the blending of genres these days.  For me it’s an easy choice.  My heart has always drifted toward science fiction and fantasy, more so the science fiction.  So I thought I would tell you a bit about why I’m in love with science fiction and fantasy.

What Is Out There?

For as long as there has been creatures on this earth with conscious thought, they have looked to the heavens and wondered what was up there both in a spiritual sense and a scientific sense?  Children and adults alike have gazed upward with awe and wonderment.  With time came more and more questions about what they observed in their night-time sky.  From Galileo spotting Jupiter’s first moons to the Mayans recording their calendar off of observations from the stars, people have challenged old thinking to learn more about our world.  To this day I can look through my own telescope and see the Galilean moons the same way Galileo did in the 1600’s.  It still gives me goosebumps every time.

Sci-fi and fantasy genres take you to a place you've never been.
Why I Write Sci-Fi/Fantasy. With all of the knowledge we have about the universe, there is still so much we don’t know. We don’t even know what we don’t know. The possibilities are endless.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

Despite all the questions and everything mankind has learned over time, we still don’t know much about what most of the universe is made up of.  Answering one question leads to more unanswered questions or worse yet answers that are barely understandable.  I could listen to astrophysicists all day but some of the topics they discuss are no more tangible to me than magic.  Maybe the fact that it is both science and fantastical at the same time is what draws me in to science such as the quantum world.  There is so much out in space that we can’t explain that it lends itself to the perfect playground for writers.  Sure there are hard and fast rules about the universe that we know but in other ways there are no rules, at least not yet.

Strange New Worlds And Mysterious Creatures

Another aspect I love with both science fiction and fantasy is the worlds and creatures that can be created.  Again a playground without real limits.  I can create a new planet with an amazing alien race or I can develop a mythical land with dragons.  The imagery and artwork possible for science fiction and fantasy are the playground for the artist.  If a mind can comprehend it, a writer or artist can create it.

Hard Sci-Fi VS Soft Sci-Fi

Any hard core fan of science fiction has their idea of what sci-fi should be and no one is going to sway them from their opinion.  The great thing about this genre is that there is a spectrum of sci-fi stories to fit everyone’s preferences.  Hard sci-fi leans heavily on the technical, accurate or at least possible, detail oriented science to drive their stories.  The softer sci-fi stories are driven more by social sciences or the character and story with less emphasis on the actual science.  Science is still a part of the story but takes more of a back seat.  Some soft sci-fi even get so fuzzy on the science details that you could argue that they are approaching the fantasy world if not jumping right in .  Just like ice cream, though, you can have your hard scoop or your soft serve.  There is something for everyone – now I want ice cream.

For me the latitude and options available to let my imagination run wild in science fiction and fantasy are too hard to resist.  I love the hard science but I also love the openness of the unknown.  The sky really is the limit…  My current work in progress “Rock And A Hard Place” ended up being more on the soft spectrum of the sci-fi world.  I had intended it to be more hard sci-fi but that’s not the direction the characters wanted to go.  You can’t argue with the characters.  It is currently in the editing stages so that I can put out the most amazing story possible.  I hope you check back for progress updates.

 

 

Showing VS Telling: Brooklyn 99 Style

As I’m starting out into this crazy world of writing, I find I have some bad habits.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone.  I am guilty of all the “beginner writer” faults such as passive voice, adverbs, adjectives, and too much telling and not enough showing.  It’s easy to get lazy and have the writing slip but I’ve gotten more wise.  I catch myself in the act of making an infraction instead of after I get hauled off to writing jail.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can’t transform into Ernest Hemingway overnight.  Thank goodness because I would make a horrible looking man.

I find the showing vs telling rule one of the harder ones to master so I’ve tried to gather more information.  I’ve read books on writing, googled the subject, sifted through my Pinterest boards, and paid extra attention while reading in order to improve.  So here I am trying to become a better writer and my mind keeps wandering back to a Brooklyn 99 episode.  This episode, in particular, makes me laugh when I think about showing vs telling so I thought I would share it with you.

Brooklyn 99 Season 3 Episode 22

In Season 3, Episode 22 of Brooklyn 99, the detectives hook up with an FBI agent to break into the FBI building to steal a file.  Their hope is to catch a dirty FBI agent and put him in jail.  The scene that I want to draw your attention to is when the group are standing around a sheet of blueprints for the layout of the FBI building.  They are getting ready to plan their heist.  In the room there is Detective Jake Peralta, Detective Rosa Diaz, Captain Raymond Holt, and FBI agent Bob Anderson.  They are huddled around the blueprints and are trying to work out who will take on what role and at what time.  The problem is they need something to identify each of them on the map.  Jake Peralta has the solution and begins our lesson in telling.  The hilarious part is in the dry, monotone, matter of fact speech pattern of Captain Holt and Bob Anderson.  Check the show out on Netflix or TV to get the full effect.img_0753

 

Jake Peralta: “We will be represented by these things I had in my pocket.  All I had was lint.  It was a pocket full of lint.  Everybody remember what your lint looks like.”

Bob Anderson: “My lint is round.  My lint is approximately 1cm in diameter.  My lint is blue.”

Capt. Holt: “My lint is oblong and it is approximately 1/2cm in length and is also blue.”

The team progresses through their plan minute by minute until Rosa moves the wrong lint on the blueprint.

Capt. Holt: “That’s my lint.  My lint is oblong.  My lint is blue.”

When I feel like I’m telling more than showing, this is what I think of and it makes me laugh.  It may not be the best example but I bet it’s the funniest.  Anyway, that’s my short little tidbit for today.  You really should see the episode.

 

Check out an indie author today!

Indie Isn’t A Four Letter Word

We’ve all been there.  You browse through dozens of books listings looking for your next great read, you find something that piques your interest, and you make your purchase.  You can’t wait to see what journey the author will take you on.  Snuggled in your cozy blanket, with your cup of coffee, you start into the story.  Hmm!  Spelling error.  You continue on undeterred, anyone can miss a spelling mistake.  Then before long you find yourself re-reading the same paragraph, something doesn’t read quite right.  Error after error crop up, grammar, spelling, wrong words, ruin the experience.  You look to see that the novel has been self published and you think Aha.  You feel ripped off and at that moment you make a judgement.  Novels written by indie authors are garbage.  But if you allow yourself to fall victim to that kind of thinking, I guarantee you’ll be missing out  on some amazing stories by top-notch indie authors.

Indie Author Stigma

Up until recently, I hadn’t decided how I would go about publishing my upcoming book.  Initially I thought I would publish it through a traditional publisher.  That’s just what you did, right?  Anyone worth their salt would be traditionally published.  Then I discovered self publishing and I realized I had to do some research.  I, too, had a bad impression of indie authors at first.  There are just so many poor books floating around and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be associated with that kind of quality.  I might be new and making mistakes along the way but I do care about the quality of the work I produce.  It does seem like a significant number of indie authors don’t really care about what they put out.  That is kind of a sad statement but a true one.  The best part of self publishing is that anyone can publish a book.  The worst part of self publishing is that anyone can publish a book.  Therein lies the rub.

The Truth About Indies

There is a sea of indie authors, many of them who produce quality work, but they are lost in the numbers.  If you take the time to wade through the weeds I promise you’ll be able to swim freely in the open ocean of respected indie authors.  There are indie authors who care about spelling, who care about grammar, who care what their cover design looks like.  There are indie authors who care.  They bear the brunt of the costs to make that all happen, and it’s not cheap, because they care about their reader’s experience.

Publishing houses would normally cover these cost if an author chose that route.  Oh and it is a choice ,now a days, how a book is published.  The idea that an author would be traditionally published if their work was any good does not hold water any more.  Many authors choose to self publish from the start and never look back.  Many factors play into whether a book is accepted into the traditional publishing process.  Genre, timing, other books on market, similar new releases are just a few examples.  Don’t buy into the belief that ALL indie authors should be considered as anything less in the publishing world.  It’s just not true but there is a difference between an author who cares about their work and one who doesn’t.  Those who write without caring about quality offend us all and squarely deserve the credit for such a stigma.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that you should not be able to tell the difference between the indie authors who care and traditionally published authors.  In the end they should be the same and many are.  A quality book written with care and attention to detail should be appreciated for what it is regardless of who wrote it or how it was published.

My Decision

So after doing my research and learning that I, myself, had been duped by the stigma of indie authors, I decided that the indie author path was the right choice for me.  After finding numerous groups and organizations committed to changing the stigma I realized that I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.  I want to be a part of the movement to raise the self publishing bar.  Becoming an indie author just makes good business sense but becoming a respected indie author just makes good sense all around.  Indie really isn’t a four letter word to be used with disdain.  My hope is that one day I will be considered a respected indie author and I am not naïve about how much work and money it will take to get there.  My marathon of achieving this dream has just begun but I think about how sweet the finish line will be.  How amazing will it feel to step across the finish line and hold my weary head up knowing that I gave it all I had.

What are your thoughts on the indie publishing scene?

Possible Book Trailer Music

The other day my oldest son brought my husband and I a YouTube video of a song he liked.  The song had obviously caught his attention and from the first notes it caught ours, too.  This particular song has been around for decades and has always struck a chord with me but this time it struck a nerve.  The reason being was that as I listened to this song I saw a book trailer for my current WIP in my mind.  Here I was listening to a song that captured the mood, tone, and themes in my book.

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Hello darkness my old friend… The Sound Of Silence.

Sound Of Silence

So, as you can see above, the song turned out to be the Sound Of Silence originally performed by Simon and Garfunkel.  A 21-year-old Paul Simon wrote the song for release in 1964 but the lyrics are just as relevant today, if not more relevant.  To this day the issue of what the lyrics mean or if they mean anything is still hotly debated in certain circles.  Whatever Simon intended for the song I’m sure even he would be surprised by just how prophetic the lyrics really are.  The song released without success initially and resulted in the breakup of Simon and Garfunkel.  As time went on the world awakened to the brilliance of both the lyrics and the simple harmony.  These days, you would be hard pressed to find a person who did not know this song intimately.

Recent Covers

The Sound Of Silence has been covered more times than I am willing to list.  Not long ago our family watched the Trolls movie and enjoyed their rendition of the song.  But the particular version that took my whole family by storm was the one performed by Distrurbed.  How does an American heavy metal band end up recording a 60’s folk rock song?  Good question.  They were open-minded enough to consider the idea even though it was a huge departure for them.  A spark grew into an idea, an idea grew into a plan, and a plan grew into a haunting and beautiful song.

Some Were Disturbed With Disturbed

Speaking of open-minded people, we all know that some are not so open minded.  The fact that this heavy metal band covered a folk song did not go over well with some of their fans but did garner some respect from new ones.  Some would judge the band by how they look and not even give this song a chance.  I’ve enjoyed their music for a while now and I like both the screaming metal (Oh-wa-a-a-a) as well as the haunting vocals.  On the flip side the metal fans considered the band a sell-out for recording this song.  Ether way of thinking is a bit sad.  I think this song sung by this band breaks down barriers.  It offers a chance for everyone, young and old, to relate to, and enjoy a special song.

Book Trailer Music

So as I said earlier, while enjoying this song, all I could see in my mind was my storyline in pictures.  This song formed a book trailer in my head on its own.  It connects with events and themes in my book and carries the overall feel of my story.  My main character, Jake, has to deal with ever-increasing isolation in a world that has forgotten how to communicate with each other.  “People hearing without listening.”  People who speak to each other every day without saying anything of meaning.  “People talking without speaking.”  He is trying to accomplish a goal while the adults in the story don’t understand the importance of what he is doing and are, therefore, of no help to him.  His pleas fall on deaf ears causing him to take drastic action.  And “Silence like a cancer grows”  leads to disaster.  The townspeople’s ignorance to recognize when a change is needed or their apathy to make the changes happen when their mob mentality leads to the brink of destruction.   My whole story revolves around people who either won’t think for themselves or only think of themselves.  Jake is alone even when surrounded by dozens of people.  Isolation and hopelessness lead him down a lonely, dark path where he must rely on himself to achieve his goals.  But not all hope is lost as he learns that he has friends to help him along the way.  To find out how they make out, you’ll have to read the story Rock And A  Hard Place when it comes out.  If after reading my story you don’t feel what this song evokes, then I haven’t done my job so I better get back to work and find the feels.

Caught In A Moment

Moments in time…

drip-1049401_1920One of the most important lessons I learned in my time as a paramedic was to appreciate the time you have been given.  Many of the people who died never expected their day to turn out the way it did.  What would they have done differently if they knew what was to come?  What would they appreciate?

I often get caught up in a moment, appreciating the most trivial of things.  Simple pleasures for simple minds, I guess.  But every now and then you experience a moment that stands out in your memory.  One that is rare or unique in some way.  I think this is what photographers spend their entire career chasing.  A moment in time like no other.  Those times where the light filters through the trees just so or you happen to be in the right place at the right time for a unique experience.

img_0715

One Of My Moments In Time…

I wanted to share one of my most memorable moments in time and it comes from my time working in Northern Alberta.  We would often have to transfer patients between High Level and Ft. Vermillion and we would turn the patient over at the halfway point to minimize the time a town was without an ambulance.  These transfers could happen at any time during the day or night.  One benefit to being up at all hours of the day and night is that you get a chance to see events that those that are sleeping miss.

One night in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter we had to undertake one such transfer.  It was such a clear beautiful night, which in the winter, in Northern Alberta, clear and beautiful means cold.  The whole drive out and the time spent waiting for the other crew to show up with the patient was spent watching the most amazing Northern Lights that I have ever seen.  From horizon to horizon, 360 degrees around, the sky glowed with dancing green lights.  Pure silence and dancing lights.  I have seen many Aurora Borealis in my life but not like this.  This was magical and we stood in awe at mother nature’s beauty.  I could have watched those lights for hours and not tired of the show but it was cold out and the patient eventually showed up and so it came to an end.

That moment, as well as many others, stuck with me for the rest of my life.  I had the feeling that if my life were to end after seeing those lights that it would all be worth it.  Of course, I want more lights and experiences but I had lived that moment to its fullest.  That, I think, is the key to those moments.  One day there won’t be any more of those moments so when they come along soak them in.  Savour them like a fine wine or the perfect meal.  Take them for the gift they truly are and enjoy the moment for what it is… perfect.

I’d love to hear about your moments if you feel like sharing in the comments section.

 

Authorpreneur

Today I wanted to write about the business of writing.  More so the modern-day author in today’s landscape of writing and publishing.  Much has changed over the years.  Anyone entering into the business of writing with old ideas will face the harsh realities sooner rather than later.  No longer can you expect to write a book and have a publisher market it while you go on to write then next one.  You don’t get to hide out in a dark cave while the marketing machine turns your work into the next bestseller.  No matter which form of publishing you decide on, you will be managing most, if not all, of your marketing.

When I first decided to write a book it felt more like a compulsion.  A compulsion to tell stories locked in my brain.  I had never experienced a feeling like this as far as writing goes and it energized me.  I could write first drafts for the rest of my life.  I loved the first draft due to the fact that I could just tell the story.

So I thought, why not do this for the rest of my life?  How hard could it be?  Oh, how naïve to think that way.  Day after day, week after week, I sat in my chair and produced words, hatched plots, and invented a different worlds.  It should be easy to create something out of nothing but it really isn’t.  I found the task to be both simple and difficult at the same time.  Days of revisions and re-writes sucked the fun out of the first draft but through it all a book took shape.  Writing a book is a lot of work but it doesn’t even compare to the amount of work that has nothing to do with writing a book.

Colleenbusse.com
Modern day authors need to be able to do it all especially those in self publishing.

Okay, it has something to do with writing a book but it’s not actually writing the book.  The writer of today who wants to publish their work needs to have a social media presence, preferably on multiple sites.  Social, the scariest word to introverted people.    They need to find and engage their readers, maybe start a blog.  They begin a never-ending quest for likes, shares, follows, reviews, and email addresses.  On a daily basis they have to come up with creative ideas to post to their various sites.  And many are active in author’s groups as well as reader’s groups.  Gotta find those beta readers.  Phew!

But that still doesn’t cover everything that needs to get done.  If you choose self publishing, you still need to find someone to make your cover, edit your manuscript, and help you promote your new baby.  I’m not quite there yet, but I have heard that most of the “real” work doesn’t even start until the marketing begins.  Ahhhh!

Sounds daunting and it is.  So much time is spent on doing everything but write your story.  You are a one man/woman show.  A real authorpreneur.  You have to write, edit, design, market, and become an IT specialist.  All this while not getting paid if you’re self published.  If you’ve failed at your self marketing attempts your book will be buried in a sea of other obscure books trying to earn some income.  Self published authors shell out all their own money for editing, cover design, and publishing.  All that hard work and it may not ever pay off, not that money is my motivating factor.  Motivating themselves through all this might be the toughest job of all.

Would you work for a year or multiple years and risk not getting paid for your efforts?

Thank You Authors

We all have our favourite authors.  Those stories they wrote opened our eyes to a new way of seeing the world.  We became different people after wading through the words they arranged on the pages.  Since I have started writing a book, I realized just how special this group of people really are and I wanted to say thank you for all you do.  Not just as a reader but as a fellow writer trying to learn the craft.  So here’s my thank you list:

Thank you for your imagination

Without your gift of imagination there would be no stories to be told.  There would be no dragons or magic or time travel.  How would we travel through time and space from the comfort of our bedroom otherwise?  How would we escape reality?

Thank you for your perseverance

The task of writing a book is a long and arduous one.  Many of the stages are hard and dreary exercises.  Without your perseverance through these difficult tasks we wouldn’t get to enjoy the journey your book will take us on.  We wouldn’t get to fall in love with your characters and be crushed by their deaths.  We would never see the world as they do.

Thank you for your attention to detail

You set the mood, the tone, and the setting.  By sprinkling descriptive detail throughout your prose you transport us to a place we can touch, smell, taste, hear, and feel.  When done correctly you don’t just read about the cold draft, you feel it on your skin.

Thank you for putting your heart and soul out there

Anyone who produces art, in whatever form that is, pours their heart and soul into the work.  Alan Rickman told a reporter once that if anyone wanted to know him better all they had to do was look at his work.  He was in his work.  Authors are no different.  The stories are not an exact representation of yourself as a person but look closely and you’ll really see the author.

Thank you for dealing with rejection and still publishing

We’ve all heard the Chinese/Japanese proverb “Fall down 7 times, get up 8”.  If this doesn’t sum up an author’s life I don’t know what does.  Every author deals with rejection but, lucky for us, they keep going.  The thought occurred to me that if some of my favourite authors had given up, my favourite stories would never have been published and they would be hidden from the world.

Thank you for being such a supportive community

Not only have my favourite authors helped me through some tough times in life, I have found the whole community of writers to be quite supportive of each other.  No one understands the struggles of being a writer as well as another writer.  They pick each other up when they’re down, they give their opinions with honesty, and they help each other to achieve success.  Even in a highly competitive market, they still help each other.  What a special bunch.

So if I could hug you all I would because you make the world a better place one word at a time.  Please don’t ever stop sharing your gift with the world or someone else will never get their favourite story written by their favourite author.

Thank you!

Us VS Them: The Irony Of Conflict

The same things in life that bring us together tend to divide us.
Us VS Them: The Irony Of Conflict

 

 

 

 

 

When writing a story they say if you don’t have any conflict, you don’t have a story.  The struggle of overcoming obstacles is what drives the characters along their journey.  Writers spend quite a bit of time trying to come up with new and inventive ways to get our characters into, and then out of, trouble.  But my youngest son asked me the other day, why do so many bad things have to happen in stories?  That got me thinking about the different aspects of conflict and the fact that while some of us try to avoid conflict, the truth is that our society is fueled by it.  Just look at any headline news story.  Are we hardwired to respond to conflict?

While thinking about the subject an interesting thought occurred to me.  I thought about all of the things in life that bring people together and about the things that tend to divide us as a society.  Many of those things are one and the same and they are the source of much conflict in our own lives.  Religion, politics, sports, race, gender, and class are just the tip of the iceberg.  How ironic that the very things that unite us in life are also the things that divide us.

You cheer for your favourite sports team which makes all the others the enemy.  You believe in one religion which automatically dispels all others.  If you align yourself with a certain political party then all the others are dismissed as phooey.  By choosing to associate with one group there is, by nature, a separation from other groups.  It leads to an US VS THEM mentality that can go too far.

We like the “US” group.  They are the same as we are.  They think, act, and maybe even look the same as we do.  They are our tribe, our people.  We treat them with love, respect, friendship, and understanding.  Any transgression by these people will be quickly forgotten.

But for those who are part of the “THEM” group, watch out, for they oppose everything the “US” group stands for.  They think, act, and look different and we don’t like different.  No, different must be bad.  How could anyone act, think, or be like “THEM”?  It’s easy to hate and disrespect someone who is different from you.  They are not accepted like the “US” group is, their transgression will never be forgotten.  They are easy targets because they are different, they must be the enemy.  We don’t understand them and we fear what we don’t understand so we attack them.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Relating to others like us in group situations is a normal and necessary part of being a human being.  We need a sense of friendship, community, and belonging.  Wanting to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves is not only desirable, but important.  Like-minded people can accomplish great feats in this world but they can also be responsible for terrible feats.  Anytime being part of one group makes all others the enemy trouble will follow.

Nothing drives a good story like conflict
Us Vs Them: The Irony Of Conflict

Having a different religion or political party or sexual preference doesn’t make you the enemy, it makes you a person with a different way of looking at the world.  Let me say that again.  Those with a different view from yourself are just PEOPLE with an opinion that opposes your own.  They are not necessarily wrong, they are not a target, and they are certainly not the enemy.  And we still have to all live together on this big blue bowling ball.  I cannot even believe the news anymore with all the hatred and intolerance.

The very things that bring us together also cause us to be divided but when did we get like this?  When did we learn to thrive on so much conflict.  When did we become so intolerant of anyone different from ourselves?  I think we’ve always been this way.  Wars, class structure, borders, political parties, sports teams, gender, race… .  They are all just examples of how we sort ourselves into groups and by being a part of one group we are automatically different then the other groups.  Differences lead to misunderstanding, misunderstanding leads to intolerance, intolerance leads to hate, and hate leads to unspeakable acts.  It’s easy to attack an enemy and not think of them as a person.

We have all the tools we need to live in a world with less conflict but we choose not to use them.  We have chosen not to change as a society.  Open-mindedness and tolerance would go a long way to reduce conflict.  But conflict drives a good story and we do love a good story so that must mean that we love conflict.  And while conflict does make for good stories for authors to tell it doesn’t reflect all that well on us as people.  Are we just hardwired to not get along like siblings locked in a perpetual rivalry?

Imposter Syndrome... Take Off The Mask

Imposter Syndrome… Remove The Mask

The Truth In Fiction

Writing fiction is amazing as you get a chance to explore a great many truths while spinning tall tales.  All fun and games, right?  Not so fast.  Through a fantasy world we can take a deeper look at the human condition, social injustice, and all those subjects that we like to ignore.  We can climb into the dumpster of humanity and root around for a while to see what we dredge up without it feeling preachy.

As of late, I’ve been dealing with more of a fiction in truth so I thought I would share a bit of that experience.  This feeling that I’ve been having lately is not a new one but it has risen to an all new level.  It’s been around, like an old friend, for most of my life but ,unlike an old friend, it only brings crippling fear and self doubt.  Not much of a friend but it is 100% committed to following me around so I figure I better learn to deal with it better.    No longer is this an unidentified, mysterious feeling.  It has a name.

Imposter Syndrome

So what is imposter syndrome?  It’s the feeling that you are a fraud and that at any moment you will be found out.  That you have skated through school, a job, a career, life on luck or a fluke.  You don’t belong here… you’re not good enough… just wait until your secret is discovered.  Even with evidence contradicting these feelings they just can’t believe that it’s true.  All evidence to the contrary is thrown out with extreme prejudice while any faults or failures join a long list of concrete, irrefutable evidence proving the fraud.

This problem affects a huge portion of successful people at all stages of their career or life.  So whether you are a struggling writer just beginning your career or a successful CEO of a fortune 500 company you can both believe these negative thoughts.  Many great thinkers and highly regarded people think that they are frauds despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Just search the internet on this topic and you will be quite surprised by the names that pop up.

Imposter Syndrome...Take off the mask
Imposter Syndrome…Take off the mask

Are You An Imposter Or Just Feel Like One

So I guess I’m in good company with these feelings that keep me up until two in the morning.  Where are these great thinkers at that time?  We could have some interesting conversations.  Lucky for me social media is a haven for authors and other friends who are also up at that time with their own insecurities.  But as a writer who is still learning the craft and making many mistakes these feelings could be validating an actual truth.  Maybe I don’t have the skills to pull this off but only time will tell that not the little voices in my head.

Like I said before, this is not a new feeling for me and when I look objectively back at my past the fiction doesn’t match the evidence.  Not that I believe it.  I didn’t accomplish much in high school but I got by.  In college I worked hard and was rewarded with excellent marks.  I  worked hard to improve constantly and become a respected paramedic who did a lot of good in my career.  But I always felt like a fraud.  I could never take a compliment because I didn’t trust it to be true.  They were just being polite.  Criticism felt like it would cut to the bone as it only reinforced the critical voices in my head.  Always waiting for the other shoe to drop can be exhausting.

What’s An Imposter To Do?

Just recently this reared its ugly head to a previously unexperienced level and derailed the writing train for awhile.  So what now?  If you’re new, inexperienced, and unlikely to trust any evidence you might have, what… do… you… do?  You stop listening to those voices, you give the enemy a name, you put your but in the chair, and you finish the project you started.  You can’t even broche the subject until you have finished something of consequence.  So that’s what I am going to do.  I’m going to finish this book and be the best damn imposter I can be.  Oh, and I’m going to take comfort in the fact that there is an awful lot of imposters out there making their dreams come true every day.

I would love to hear about your journey or if you have any insecurities you’d like to share in the comments below.