Monday, February 15, 2010


I think one of the first things that amazed me about my husband (though there were many) was his validation of my writing. He liked to read my poetry, my childhood stories, my random thoughts while journaling, he loved to read everything I wrote and I was amazed. Now, I'm sure that this seems like I fell victim to the first flatterer to compliment my work. But this is certainly not the case. The part of this story that reveals the depth of our love is that I showed him my writing at all.
I began writing everyday in elementary school. I wrote in a locked diary, I wrote letters, notes- I even roped my sisters into writing a family newspaper with me. I wrote like my pen was on fire. I wrote like I had to get out onto paper everything that was in my head. And that was enough. I just wanted it on paper. I didn't care if anyone ever saw it or liked it. And for the most part I did not show anyone what I wrote. At least not until it was polished or perfect, usually I had someone read it only because it had to be submitted for a grade. My writing was mine and mine alone. It was my private world to escape to when this life seemed unbearable, unbelievable or amazing. I escaped there to sort things out, to think them through with myself.
But something about my husband made me trust him. I remember when he read the first poem I wrote for him. He paused for a long moment, looked up and told me, “You are a great writer.”
He reminded me that you cannot get any better unless you show others your work. You cannot write in a vacuum. He gave me confidence and I doubt that I ever would have begun writing seriously if not for him. He taught me to trust my writing instincts and not worry about being perfect but just about being me. How can I express my gratitude for his encouragement and love?
How about you? Do you have others you can count on to appreciate your work? I would love to hear about your critics, fans and inspirations.


  1. Kate, I read an article in the International Herald Tribune last week about a 'Writer's Greatest Fear'. In the author's view, it was never having a reader for what she wrote. "Of all the mortifications to be found in an author's life, probably none hurts as much as the kind you get from not being able to share your work with another soul."
    In its context, this quote referred to writing fiction or even non-fiction, not private journals, and there I agree with her.

    I have never been so motivated to write since I had a readership, if it can even be called that. Not only has the fact of being read and appreciated made me try to be a better writer, but it has made me dare to broaden my scope beyond the introspective type of writing that is always my first impulse.

    My sweetheart has always been very supportive of what I do, and of course that's wonderful, but it is the unknown readers(in the sense that they're not family or friends and will not comment unless they like what they read) who have given me the most motivation and support.

    I also have a friend who I can count on to be honest about my work, and that's important too. Cheerleaders are all very nice, but constructive criticism is essential.

    I find inspiration in other blogs, and often in the comments I get. Or inside my head!

    Nice to read about a little bit of your history, Kate, and you've clearly got a keeper in your husband!

  2. i found this post in the 1901 Atlantic by accident. I thought you might get some comfort from it.;cc=atla;rgn=full%20text;idno=atla0088-6;didno=atla0088-6;view=image;seq=732;node=atla0088-6%3A1;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;

  3. Deborah-
    Thank you so much for your comment. I agree that comments and a readership are a constant motivation and encouragement. I also agree that we need all kinds of reader- friends and strangers, cheerleaders and honest critics. You have been a wonderful catalyst in my writing career. Thank you!

    Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check it out!

  4. Katie-
    Inspired by you, our other old friends who like to write and have begun to blog, my own desire to write and (as silly as it sounds) the film, "julie & julia" which I'm sure you saw and loved and probably had already read the book, I decided to start a blog of my own. But more importantly I love reading yours and I love this post. Mostly because I remember you writing when we were young. This brings back such wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing your talents with us and thank you to David for giving you that extra boost of confidence to do so. :)