“After” Table of Contents, and Imposter Syndrome

Just got the final table of contents for the Datlow & Windling forthcoming YA dystopian anthology, After.

The Segment by Genevieve Valentine
After the Cure by Carrie Ryan
Valedictorian by N.K. Jemisin
Visiting Nelson by Katherine Langrish
All I Know of Freedom by Carol Emshwiller
The Other Elder by Beth Revis
The Great Game at the End of the World by Matthew Kressel
Reunion by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Faint Heart by Sarah Rees Brennan
Blood Drive by Jeffrey Ford
Reality Girl by Richard Bowes
Hw th’Irth Wint Wrong by Hapless Joey @ homeskool.guv by Gregory Maguire
Rust With Wings by Steven Gould
The Easthound by Nalo Hopkinson
Gray by Jane Yolen
Before by Carolyn Dunn
Fake Plastic Trees by Caitlin R. Kiernan
You Won’t Feel a Thing by Garth Nix
The Marker by Cecil Castellucci

I’ve been writing for almost 30 years. Most of it was crap. I’ve been publishing work for almost 10 years. Some of that is crap, too. But I’m still occasionally — OK, often — painfully aware that I’m just a n00b as these things go. And occasionally — OK, often — I am boggled by just how far I’ve come. It’s not so long ago, after all, that I would never have dreamt of submitting to an anthology like this. Hell, it’s not so long ago that I was terrified to even speak to Ellen Datlow — I mean, I was scared even to say hi, it was that bad — for fear of saying Something Terrible that would instantly scuttle my career. (Somehow.) Imposter Syndrome is not logical. Usually I’m able to fight it off, but sometimes? OK, usually? I look at things like this ToC and think, HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I’M IN A TOC WITH [unintelligible blur of names I never thought I’d say in conjunction with my own name]. And I pinch myself, to see if I’m still awake.



Ow. OK, then.


6 thoughts on ““After” Table of Contents, and Imposter Syndrome”

  1. That’s awesome! I love that you’re so boggled and excited. Reminds me that you’re a real person and not just this distant Author who intimidates the crap out of me.

    I aspire to be like you one day. Published, award winner, balancing two careers, and most of all, honest and humble.

  2. Isn’t it cool? I’ve been doing this for about 15 years, and the thrill hasn’t diminished. I’ve been reading this table of contents over and over today, and being tickled to bits each time. Not so much with the imposter syndrome though, thank heaven. So here’s the thing; I’d like to invite anyone who’s ever enjoyed or respected your work to join me in issuing a decree; you, N.K. Jemisin, are hereby granted leave to replace the impostor syndrome with exuberant glee in celebration of every time you have accomplished or will accomplish one of your goals as a professional writer. You’re doing it, girl. This gig is hard enough. Let yourself own and enjoy the good bits when they come.

  3. As suggested:

    I hereby decree that N.K. Jemisin is a fantastic author with a wonderful and enthralling way with words, who belongs in the company of other great authors, and I expect wild jubilation and dancing on tables for this and all the other good things that are to come!

    You did it! Now keep on doing it so we can keep reading! ^_^

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