Imposter Syndrome is an Asshole

2018 has hit me like a freaking Mack Truck.
November and December were a flurry of creation, and I finished a Novella and three short stories in that time and sent them all out. And the waiting began.
I dealt with a giant issue at my day job. I started work on my second Novella. I put together in depth character sketches (the post on that coming soon). And I waited.
Then, like a sudden winter blizzard, the quiet was over, and I was buried in projects again. My respective editors sent my edits for both the Novella and the short story I knew was going to be published. Even more, for the very first time, I had a short story I submitted to slush be selected for inclusion in another anthology. Everything I’ve been working for these last six and a half years is finally within my grasp.
And I have absolutely no damn clue what to do about it.
Rejection is a fact of life for a writer, especially when we are starting out. Unless you have a professional working with you, editing and polishing your stuff, no one’s first work get s accepted. Most of the time, your second and third work don’t get accepted either. This is especially true for short stories, where so many writers are competing for only a handful of slots.
So the first thing you develop as a professional writer is a thick skin. You have to learn how to send out that story that you know is the best thing you’ve ever written, then have someone tell you they don’t want it, and just keep like they didn’t just rip your heart out. After six years of writing and submitting, with dozens of rejections under my belt, I’m real damn good at getting rejected.
But I have no idea how to handle an acceptance.
Now, I am by no means complaining. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, and I’m unbelievably happy about everything. But as writers much more experienced than me will tell you, Imposter syndrome is an asshole.
Most of us know what Imposter Syndrome is, but for those that don’t, it’s the feeling that you don’t deserve the success you’ve attained, and that at any moment everyone is going to realize that you’re a fraud.
The very next day after I got my acceptance letter, a part me thought that at any moment I would get an email telling that it was a mistake, and that they’d actually selected another story. With the other projects that were guaranteed releases, I kept thinking that I’m only able to be involved because of who I know, not because of my skill.
I want to tell you that I have an answer for what to do. A magical remedy to make it all better, but I don’t have one. These issues aren’t in the past. I’m dealing with them right now. I keep waiting for my editors to email telling me that everything has been a joke, and that my work is actually too terrible for them to fix.
But here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to work through all the edits I need to get through, and I’m going to keep writing. Because a part of me feels like I’m not good enough to actually be published, yes. But a much bigger part of me knows that I’ve worked my ass off for years to get to the point, and there’s no way I’m going to let anyone take it away from me, not even myself.
So lets talk about Imposter Syndrome in the comments. Have you ever experienced it? In what way? How do you deal with it?

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