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It Started One Way …
Stuff ‘N Nonsense 11-8-23
Kim Van Meter

Funny thing about the muse — that enigmatic girl does whatever she likes and I’m just following her around hoping to make sense of it all.

I started this column with the intent to write about my love of pies — pumpkin to be specific — but as I was showering, the muse showed up, stomped on that idea, and demanded a new topic.

So today, we’re writing about the beauty and agony of trying new things, both professionally and personally.

Recently, I ran my first Kickstarter campaign for a big project under my Sorcha Dawn pen name (urban fantasy romance) where I offered an exclusive package featuring the special edition hardback of the first book in the series, Shadow Bound.

Previously, I’d never even looked at Kickstarter. I didn’t know how it worked, or understand the nuance behind crowdfunded projects.

I started from ground zero, jumped in with both feet, stumbled a little, got back up and finished the campaign with modest but respectable success but the learning curve didn’t stop at the end of the campaign. If anything, the curve leveled up — and this level was harder.

When you have a lot of moving parts, it’s a challenge to keep it organized (particularly for someone like me who is a complete stranger to the concept of being organized) but I managed to keep it moving and now we’re into the fulfillment phase.

My house is overrun with materials that are slated for the mailing and my system would give a Type A personality serious anxiety but there’s a method to my messy madness.

I (mostly) know where everything is and I’m actually going to make a list so nothing gets forgotten in the mad rush to get everyone their packages this month.

My sister has graciously volunteered to help (she’s way more organized than me) so I feel confident everything should go off without too much trouble.

To be honest, at the start (and throughout various moments during the campaign) I was terrified. Without any previous experience, I was thrust into a world that was totally foreign to me. It was like being pin dropped into another country and discovering you don’t speak the language. I had to rely on others to guide me, which made me feel inadequate and vulnerable (two things I hate) and I had to push past those big feelings to leave room to learn and grow.

When the campaign closed, I was elated and proud. It was a lot of work but worth it. The joy I’ve felt during each phase has been a new and wonderful experience, providing a solid foundation for the start of the next campaign in February.

I’m not afraid to admit I’m still learning but what a beautiful way to lead by example for my kids. Being open to learning new things is good for the brain and our personal development.

If you’re hesitating to try something new out of fear that you might fail, push past that fear, and realize that fear keeps us small, caged into a tiny box of our own making. Take that chance, stare insecurity in the face and bravely take that step.

You never know what might be waiting for you on the other side.


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at