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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

From the S**t List to the Short List!

Updated: May 17

Threadbare’s launch date is next Tuesday when the book will be available on Kindle and Paperback. 

Part of me is thrilled and proud of myself, but there’s also a little part still plagued by what we call in the industry, the imposter syndrome, a fear of posing as someone I’m not.

Having entered the writing arena late in life after a thirty-year career in healthcare, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I had no honest idea just how intricately involved and technical the craft was. If I had, I may have gone back to knitting sweaters. I was sensible enough to know I needed guidance but delusional, thinking I could master the steps in a matter of months. Instead, it has taken years of 15-20 hours of writing every week. And that’s on top of period research and head time inventing plot options and twists. Not to mention the time I spent pestering my family and close friends with ideas, seeking their reactions.

Five years ago, my writing often left my colleagues speechless (in the wrong way), digging around for a shred of positive feedback, resorting to comments that made me cringe, pointing out history dumps, sections with too much description, flat characters, etc. What I did have going for me was a whole life of stories and characters in my head and so many rich ideas. But I sometimes thought my cancer had made me reckless, a bit too willing to put myself out there, letting my freak flag fly. Did I have enough emotional armor to handle the imminent rejection? Time would tell...

My writing history has taught me many things. Like so many other professions, writing is teachable when the motivation is there. That’s not to say there aren’t ‘Mozart’s’ and ‘Beethoven’s’ in the arena. There are always geniuses. But there is also a vast open field for beginners and intermediate writers like me.

Recently, I entered an international writing competition, one that I figured I didn’t have much of a chance to win. Unlike many competitions that are ‘pay to play,’ this was the authentic kind, an open, free call with impartial judges. Last week, I was notified I made it onto the coveted shortlist, the ten books that would go on to the finals. It came complete with banners and badges (at no extra charge…). A week later, I’m still stunned but proud of myself for sticking with a daunting goal and fulfilling a life dream. Maybe for a moment, I don’t think of myself as an imposter but as a storyteller with a growing audience who enjoys my work.

I hope you enjoy Threadbare. It’s the book that got my writing started. Threadbare tells the fictional story of my great-grandmother, Tillie, whose cancer gene mutation I inherited. Her name, her life story was lost in history, as she passed too young to be remembered in the portfolio of family stories. Now living with her disease, with so much love and purpose bolstering me, I was compelled to honor her with a story or her own.




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