As of December 4, 2007, My blog is a month old. I have had over 1,500 views and 101 comments. This fact astounds me and reiterates to me once again that this is my calling. I want to say thank you to my friends, family and random web surfers who have brought me to this humble, exhilarating place. Because of you, someday I might actually be able to afford a dishwasher or maybe even a housekeeper. This is only the beginning. It's something I have fought for a long time. For years I have been trying to be other people...trying on my friend's lives like a too tight sweater. The color might be right but the fit was all wrong. There was always a nagging feeling that I should be doing something else. This is the something else.
I want to thank my third grade teacher, Miss Collins, for being my first fan. We were given xerox sheets with a picture, like a unicorn or a raccoon, and we had to write a story about the picture. Miss Collins treated these little essays like miniature works of literature and showed me there was something I could do. Every time someone else would write something decent she would jerk her head towards me and say "You've got a challenger." I might have had the messiest desk in the class and I might have almost gotten paddled twice for not doing my math homework, but I was the best writer in the third grade.
Sophomore year I was wasting my time in electives like mixed chorus, trying to force notes out of my mouth that would not come when I should have been letting the words flow effortlessly from my head. By chance I read an article in the school paper that I did not agree with and I wrote a point by point rebuttal, which I sent in and promptly forgot all about. The journalism teacher, Ms. Gregg, tracked me down and accosted me in the hallway. "I did not agree with anything you wrote, but I loved the way you wrote it. Will you come write for me?"
Ms. Gregg was starting a new magazine at Signature School, a half-day "magnet school" program. I had never taken a journalism class before in my life. Soon after joining the staff she took me aside to discuss my first story. She used colored highlighters to distinguish various themes within a story. "I want you to see this," she said. There was a block of orange. A block of pink. A block of yellow. A block of blue. "Your story is perfectly organized. " This was rare for a first effort. I went on to win two first places for column writing and one for feature writing at the Tri-State Journalism awards. One column was even printed in the Evansville Courier. Thank you, Tracey Goebel, for writing the article I didn't agree with and thank you Ms. Gregg for seeing something in me and giving me a chance, even though I wasn't even sure what "journalism" was.
My best friend Rachael read some of my things and said "Kate, your writing can change the world." I wanted to believe her, but I kept on drifting aimlessly. I wanted writing to just happen. I didn't know how to turn it into a job. I just wanted to get married and have some babies, and I figured eventually everything else would fall into place.
So, I went along haphazardly, occasionally writing for a local newsletter or zine, or writing up an essay to make my friends laugh. I was in and out of college several times. I did get married and I had a few babies. But something in the back of my mind kept telling me this is not the end. There is more.
This is my "more." Eventually I may be able to take this humble blog and turn it into dollar signs, but for now I am so grateful to just be able to write what I am thinking about and get your feedback. It has been nothing but positive. It feels miraculous.
So, thank you to Heather, who keeps putting me in her craft zine Croq even though I don't really do any crafts! Thank you to my mother, who has managed to not mention a single spelling or punctuation error until AFTER she applauds my content. Thank you to my friends who have BEGGED me to write something, anything! Thank you to my husband, who gives the gift of the Writer's Market and soon, Google AdSense. Thank you to everyone who has read and commented, or read and not commented. Just knowing you are there makes me smile.