I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

Bank this for those bad days

Published 8 months ago • 4 min read




You know those days, Reader, when you’ve been staring at that blank page for what seems like hours because all your ideas seem dumb?

When you hate everything you write.

When you only have one review for your newest story. Or worse, none.

When you dread hitting the publish button because you’re terrified of what someone might think of your story. Or you.

You know the days when you question why you thought this was such a brilliant idea in the first place and are feeling like a failure?

Yeah, those sorta days.

I was having one of those sorta days.

I wrote 1,300 words for my WIP and hated the direction my story was going when I read over it at the end. Which of course meant scrapping it all.

I wrote a whole email for you, but when I went to send it I realized I hated everything about it.

I’ve been sick for a year and a half and not a single doctor or specialist they’ve sent me to can explain what it is—just what it isn’t.

The special anti-glare coating on my new glasses interferes with the tech in smartphones and apps so I basically can’t film or unlock my phone while wearing them.

I was having one of those days that turns into a cascade of terrible. An avalanche of why did I even bother getting up out of bed? And then my husband poked his head into the room.

“Can I read you something funny?”

“Sure. Why not,” I answered sarcastically.

“What’s wrong?”

“Literally everything.”

After I had a meltdown of sorts, he read me the funny thing that did not disappoint.

I present Kristy Sedgman’s A Play in 3 Acts starring Giles Coren of The Times.

At first, I’m thinking ‘I’m not sure what he means by “write-offs” considering until very recently in history women weren’t even allowed to be authors. Furthermore, even today in certain genres like Thriller, Mystery, and SciFi women are STILL forced to adopt male pen names or publish under just their first initial to be taken seriously or widely read. But okay, I’ll see where he’s going with this…’

Oh wow. I just. I just have to know now. Also, what on earth is he inviting strippers to other than a bachelor party? Like, did he have strippers at his book release party?

Now that’s bold marketing.

(Since there are 10 images of hilarious commentary I’ve included them all on my website for you to read in full.)

Now, I don’t normally laugh at other people’s artistic attempts. I’m just not that sorta person. But dudebro was just so damn arrogant how could I not? I mean yikes. 😬

Even me, whose 6th-grade teacher told her, ‘You fundamentally do not understand the concept of brevity,’ never made a run-on sentence this egregious.

But Giles’ lack of prowess in bed scenes aside, I’m not really here to point fingers and shame another storyteller’s work. Really, I’m not. I’m here to talk about imposter syndrome, and how to combat it.

For some of us collecting accolades and praise can motivate us on those dark days. We can pull out those fan messages and awards and remind ourselves that our stories are quality, and that people like us and our creations.

But it doesn’t work for everyone. For some, it doesn’t matter how many gold stars they collect it will never be enough. And for them, Reader, I suggest collecting Giles.

Collect examples of people who bombed spectacularly.

Truly terrible works of fiction that make you ask, “How…? Why would someone publish this?”

Stories so incredibly bad they bring you to gasping tears from laughing so hard. 😹

(And drive your cat from the room because she thinks you’re hissing at her)

Good or bad—squirrel these things away. So when you’re being sucked into that mire of imposter syndrome you can crack open your bank vault. And whether it’s filled with accolade stars or the epic fails of the arrogant, your collection should set you on the path of creation once again.

So I hope the next time you’re being stalked by the imposter monster you pull out whatever you’ve stashed away, Reader.

Your cohort in storytelling,

Kat Vancil


PS 👉 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is right around the corner and so I’m going to be releasing an Outline in an Hour workshop in the next 2 weeks. This workshop will be exactly what you need to go from “What do I write?” to a flexible outline roadmap on November 1st.

Did your friend, co-worker, or some rando you met at a con forward this email to you?

First off, they have good taste.

Secondly, you can join the Storyteller's Saga too and get edutaining emails delivered to your inbox every Wednesday by clicking the golden button below.

Not interested in learning to be a storyteller and just want to read some heart-pounding Boys Love fiction instead? Abandon this quest

Do you need/want to change your name or email? You can update it here

Don't want to hear from me like ever again? Just Unsubscribe

The Saga Quest

1179 West A Street, Suite 137, Hayward, CA 94541

Already a subscriber?

I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

Here to help you vanquish those story construction obstacles, slay that imposter syndrome clawing at the back of your brain & stomp boredom flat with heart-pounding Boys Love fiction. Join the Saga and choose your inbox obsession, whether it’s helpful advice to get your writing unstuck or an episode of my weekly Boys Love Fantasy series to devour during your coffee break.

Read more from I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

KAT VANCIL THE STORYTELLER'S SAGA QUEST 62 Well hello there, Reader! Did you go to a BBQ this past weekend? Maybe a movie or even a convention? I went to a wedding! Me & Cousin Nick My youngest cousin’s in fact. She looked like a fairytale princess, her white dress billowing out behind her in the pre-summer breeze. Cousin Melissa & Daniel And it got me thinking, this is how most stories end. With family and friends. With a big party and a delicious feast. With dancing and dresses. With cake...

about 5 hours ago • 4 min read

KAT VANCIL THE STORYTELLER'S SAGA QUEST 61 Well hello there, Reader, This weekend I’m going to be heading to a family wedding. And like I do for nearly all weddings I’m invited to (whether or not I actually attend) I’m gifting the happy couple with a watercolor painting. Sometimes it’s a landscape of the Grand Canal in Venice. Or their favorite place in Disney. This time it’s a beachscape not too far from where me and my husband spent our anniversary last fall. While we were staying at the...

7 days ago • 5 min read

KAT VANCIL THE STORYTELLER'S SAGA QUEST 59 Well hello there, Reader, This time of year always reminds me of sitting in a big grassy field watching baseball. And if the wind is blowing in the right direction, you can still hear that distant crack of ball hitting bat as people cheer from the driveway of my parents’ house. It’s a sound I know well. You see, my little brother played baseball from T-ball right up 'til he started high school. And since most of the games were at the school/city park...

28 days ago • 4 min read
Share this post