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Shut Up, Doubt Monster

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March 16, 2014 by kristin

Somebody fetch me my smelling salts! I just found out I made it to the top 60 of #PitchMadness! It’s a contest in which I and 500-some-odd other writers submitted pitches (including title, genre, 35-word logline, and the first 250 words of our novels). Slush pile readers narrowed down the entries; then four teams competed for their top 15 picks. Next, twelve agents will vie for the chance to request pages from the manuscripts they like.

And I MADE IT! FOR REALS!

Much squee-ing and giggling and tweeting and texting have been going on this evening. I’m on #TeamSmartie! YAY!

See, I’ve been having a bit of a rough patch in the “faith in my ability” department. There are so many people in the world who would fall into the category “aspiring authors.” It’s hard to know if I’m reasonably good at this and just need to keep writing and polishing and querying until I’m eventually published, or if I’m the writer equivalent of one of those poor souls trying out on American Idol, who don’t believe Simon Cowell (or whoever the new judges are) when he tells them to give up and pick a different dream.

My fear of late hasn’t been that I’m terrible – I am pretty confident I’m not TERRIBLE. I’ve at least reached the elusive “knows how to use commas” level. My fear is that I’m MEDIOCRE.

After all, mediocre is kind of my thing. I’m a mediocre singer, a mediocre artist, a mediocre yoga enthusiast, a mediocre-to-terrible housekeeper. Even a mediocre scrapbooker. I’m not the one with the fancy ribbons and grommets and stuff. I just slap the photos down with some pretty paper and a title, and call it a day.

But the thing is, writing is one area where I’m absolutely not a half-asser. I am obsessed with finding the right word. I’m obsessed with eliminating unnecessary ones. (Not on this blog, obviously – I don’t have a year to obsess about each post.) I want it perfect and agonize over whether, actually, it is. 

Also, THIS is what I actually WANT. Sure, I fantasize about being an awesome singer and blowing everyone away in my first supporting role in a local theatrical production, but I don’t want it bad enough to actually take singing lessons or even try out. Sure, I would like to be a headstanding, crow pose-doing yoga person, but I don’t make time for more than one class a week.

But being a writer – that’s the one thing I have stuck with since before I could actually read, when I made up stories to go with the pictures in the books. It’s not a fleeting fancy. It’s the one thing I’ve always known was my thing.

So I need to tell the Doubt Monster to stuff it. And getting to the agent round of this contest really helps!


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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Ally. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

A 1930s Veronica Mars must save her drag queen BFF and her aunt's speakeasy from pesky cops and a petulant mobster in seedy Prohibition-era New Orleans.

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