Celebrating Our Unique Powers: The Gift of Inspiring Others by Kate Johnston
I think I first met Kate at 4am. Literally. I was wandering through a period of insomnia while I struggled to figure out how writing, creativity, and dreams could fit into my life when I finally gave up and sought solace in the world of blogs. That's when I found my way to 4amWriter. I found in Kate a soul sister of words--someone on her own journey to fitting the dreams of her childhood into a life that doesn't always honor or respect those dreams. She offers simple words of wisdom and guidance for anyone who ever doubts they can be (and are) a writer, but she also shares the powerful gift of language and storytelling that joins us all together. I am thrilled to be able to support her as she launches her series of Handbooks for Emerging Writers and celebrate her own unique power which has been a gift to me and many others. My own path is shifting again (more on that later this week) but I am glad that I can count Kate as a supportive voice as I figure it all out.
The Gift of Inspiring Others
Back in 8th grade, my Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Whitbeck, allowed free time to write. My favorite time of the school day. As an awkward, shy, unpopular tween, hanging out in nether worlds while at the horror show known as school was crucial to my survival.
I was a big Nancy Drew fan, so I wrote murder mysteries. One of the nosier kids started reading one of my stories over my shoulder, and saw that I had included a few of my classmates as part of the cast.
“Hey,” he said loudly, “I want to be in your story!”
This drew attention I didn’t want. Before I knew it, everyone in my class asked to be in the story. Some wanted to be the murder victims. Some wanted to be on the PI team. Many wanted to be the killer.
Before long, the story was completed, with all 20 or so kids playing various roles. They wanted me to read it out loud, but I was more than a little reticent. Mrs. Whitbeck, though, encouraged me. I remember to this day what she said: “Kate, do you realize how many of the kids started their own mysteries since you wrote one? Kids who used to goof off instead of write. You showed them that writing can be fun.”
I was stunned. Me, the kid with braces who’d never seen the movies E.T. or Star Wars, actually influenced a group of popular kids who’d rather debate who was a better athlete, Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson.
So, I read it aloud, and something strange happened. Kids came to me for help on their stories. Asking me to read them to see if they were any good. Asking me for ideas, or how to describe characters.
I’d forgotten about this experience until several years ago, when a friend asked me for help on her writing. I hadn’t written professionally yet, but I’d been taking writing workshops and honing my skills. After one afternoon working together, her spirits soared. She was writing with confidence again.
That’s when I realized my passion to write is kinda contagious. I’m so enthusiastic about it that I have the gift of inspiring others to follow their writing dreams.
I love reading what other people write and highlighting the beauty, power, and magic in their words, or guiding writers through the black holes we all encounter in our projects.
I started blogging with this in mind, sharing my love for writing in hopes of motivating others. My Writer . . . Uninterrupted series is an extension of these blog posts, e-books that delve a little deeper into what it means to be a writer, what it takes to be a writer.
The first book of the series, A Handbook for the Emerging Writer, published in July 2015, helps writers understand the importance of owning their writer identities, the key to unlocking the doors (such as finding time to write) standing between them and their writing goals.
The second book of the series, A Handbook for the Productive Writer, is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2015.
For more information about Kate’s Writer . . . Uninterrupted series or if you’re looking for a writing coach, you can contact her at her blog: http://www.4amWriter.com or email her at email@example.com
To purchase Writer . . . Uninterrupted, A Handbook for the Emerging Writer, you can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Writer-Uninterrupted-Handbook-Emerging-ebook/dp/B012D5KX7O
Follow Kate (and she’ll follow you back, but if you have pizza, that could be dangerous):