Friday, February 26, 2016

On Faking It

"In both the art and business worlds, the difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple: The professionals know they're winging it. The amateurs pretend they're not" (Palmer pg 44).

Am reading: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer


I just posted this for my writing students. A few were concerned about their lack of legitimacy. I told them that the feeling never really goes away. (See Impostor Syndrome)

There's never a moment when you feel 100% ready to start submitting your work. You just have to risk the leap.

"Fake it 'til you make it," I told them.

That's what the rest of us are doing.

Be Brilliant!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Hardest Battle

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

ee cummings

Friday, February 19, 2016

You're an Artist When. . . .

"You're an artist when you say you are. And you're a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected" (Palmer pg 43).

Am reading: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer


Has your art hit anyone in the feels today? ;)


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

On Asking

"Everybody struggles with asking. . . . It isn't so much the act of asking that paralyzes us--it's what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one. . . . American culture in particular has instilled in us the bizarre notion that to ask for help amounts to an admission of failure" (Palmer pg. 13).

Am reading: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer


I recently had to "ask." I needed some information for a story I couldn't get on my own. I LOATHE bothering people. I hate it. Truly.

But . . . I asked. I sent out five emails. 

Two responded.

Were happy to help.

I thanked them.


The three who ignored me?

Well, I didn't die of embarrassment. So I decided it is what it is. 

Point is, I stepped out . . . and I'm glad I did. :D

Be Brilliant!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Before We Go

I watched one of the most fantastic movies ever recently. Great characters, great cinematography, AMAZING writing.

Easily reaches my top ten. 


The ending isn't for everyone, but that's one of the things I liked most about it. 

It was honest.



And there is hope.

There's always hope.

The human experience in 




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On Being an Impostor

I still suffer (very much) from Impostor Syndrome--the idea that I'm a fraud and that one day you will all figure out the truth and crucify me like I deserve.

The thing is, I've been working on projects outside of the name Katie Klein, mostly because I'm an "academic" (see those quotation marks? FRAUD. I don't feel like an academic. At all.) who needs annual publishing credits. 

Every year in my review: Publish! Publish! Publish!

It's been worse the last two and a half years (see: new baby/now toddler in the house).

I've had nothing new to add to my resume.


I'm surviving. So there's that.

But not quite what the department heads and deans are looking for.

When I hit a fiction writing lull this fall, I started writing poetry. (I think the last poem I wrote was as an undergrad.) I worked on a dozen pieces for a few weeks, did a lot of editing and revising and reading out loud, and then picked some journals to submit them to. Just to see.

I don't think rejection ever stops hurting, by the way. It stings. Hard.

It's in our nature to take it personally.

You don't love my work? 
(You don't love me?)

You don't want my work? 
(You don't want me?) 

My work isn't good enough?
(I'm not good enough?)

But sometimes even being accepted doesn't feel that great, because doubts are quick to follow.

You want to publish my poem? Why? The so and so literary journal literally JUST rejected this same piece last week. You didn't say you loved it, just that you were going to use it. Does that mean it's mediocre? You responded way too fast. You must be desperate for submissions.

My goal is to have five poems published this calendar year. As of this post, I have two forthcoming.

I thought that if I reached five, I might feel legitimate. A "sometimes-poet," maybe.

But I don't think so. 

I think I'll still feel like an impostor. 

A fluke.

I'll happily add the credits to my vita, but still feel too nervous to post links or share with friends and family.

A fraud.

It's hard, sharing your work with the world. Really, really hard.

And I'm learning it's difficult to celebrate a "win," even, because there's the voice in our heads that says we don't deserve this. We didn't earn it. It's not real.

Why is that? I wonder. And does it ever go away?


Friday, February 5, 2016

Random Thought: On Ancestry

My daughter and I have been researching our (her) heritage. It's interesting that my entire family--all the way back to the late 1700s--grew up in the same part of the state I live in now.

They were also farmers.

All of them.

Now, I tend toward the belief that we carry our ancestors with us (in both DNA and spirit).

So why do I kill Every. Plant. I've. Ever. Owned?

Do you know what would happen if I had to rely on farming to pay the bills?

I'd DIE.

ALL of civilization would die.

So thank you, farmers. 

And thank you, ancestors. For the Grit. Determination. Can't really explain how I managed to kill a CACTUS that one time, but whatever. 


P.S. My daughter grew daisies on the porch last summer. They were beautiful. I wasn't allowed to touch them. :D 

P.P.S. We came from Scotland, by the way. But I'm mostly just North Carolinian. ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Poem

I thought I wrote the quote down somewhere, but I can't find it. I think Elizabeth Gilbert said it. She preaches it, anyway, about sharing the things we create and being proud of them.

So here you go.

I created this thing, and I'd like to share it with you.

I hope you're sharing your creations, too. :)

If not, we discussed this.