playing in other people’s sandboxes

So I said a couple of weeks ago. I’m not alone in the sentiment if the thread is any indication. Mind, I’m biased. I got my start as a fanfic writer.

Fanfic is often unjustly maligned as the refuge of the lazy and unoriginal. This Imaginary Worlds episode explains well the origin of these stereotypes and refutes them quite well. A good number of published authors got their start in fanfic (DailyDot found these 10; Google will find you many more).

Media franchises are the modern version of mythology. People want to tell and share new stories about characters they already know and love. It’s a wonderful way to interact with other fans, speculate about future developments, offer alternatives to canon, and keep canceled properties alive.

Mind, I’ve not run into much fanfic based on historical fiction (though fic writers love to use historical “alternative universes”). Still, I nurture a foolish hope that I’ll run into Dee/Kelley slash someday. Even more than being on a bestseller list, if my books can involve people that much I’ll know I’ve truly arrived.

So: could you, would you, have you written fanfic? If so, in what ‘verses (you can probably guess one of mine)?

self-promotion vs. impostor syndrome: the never-ending conflict

I’ve grown disturbingly comfortable with talking myself up.

I say “disturbing” because it goes against everything my inner idiot constantly mutters in the background: who cares what you thinkyou’re no expert and the inevitable you’re totally making this up as you go along, aren’t you?

Well, yeah, I am.

I go through the motions and try not to think about it. Fence, sew, write like I know what I’m doing to trick myself into being the expert I’m pretending to be. On very good days I believe it, but every misstep is a cue for the inner idiot to hiss in my ear again.

It’s called “impostor syndrome” and I provide no links as you all know how to Google. The job search has me bumping up against it even more than usual.

three bunnies...and a bunny slipper. One of us is not who he seems

Promoting the as-yet-unfinished book (and by extension, myself) is extra practice at silencing the inner idiot so I can get through interviews without sweating through my suit.

So, as in every other facet of my life, practice makes perfect (or, at least, better). Anyone else out there feel like they’re just winging it through life? How do you get through that?