Over a month ago, my friend, Margaret Simon, asked her #DigiLit Sunday compatriots to write about gratitude. This is my response.


“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
~ Julia Child ~

Baking is one of my passions. I have a repertoire of favorite desserts that family and friends have come to expect at holidays and get-togethers. Cooking shows are just about the only TV programs I will actually sit and watch. So Tejal Rao’s review of The Great American Baking Show in the paper last week caught my eye. The review was mixed, but these words struck a chord with me:

Maybe it’s because, with any ambition, there is often a gap between what
you want to do and what you actually achieve. A miserable, insurmountable
abyss in some cases. I admire the way the American bakers will dust off their
apron and walk up to the judging table where [the judges] are waiting, even on
a bad day, with a wonky, toppling, broken, undercooked thing. And they stand
by their work and invite criticism.

Yes, there is a gap.  With any ambition. Including, or maybe especially, writing. Writing stories or essays or poems is hard. I cringe to think of how many years I didn’t write because of my fear of falling into that “insurmountable abyss.”

Yet, thanks to the Internet, I found Two Writing Teachers and Poetry Friday. These communities of amazing, smart, talented educators and writers welcomed me, no questions asked. No one laughed at my “wonky, toppling, broken, undercooked thing.” In fact, the opposite occurred. Everyone offered support, encouragement, and praise. Kind words made me brave. They gave me the courage to try anything, even if I had no idea what I was doing.

Over the years, like ripples in a pond, my circle of online writing friends has grown. I’ve been lucky to meet many of you in person. Through all of this, I have learned so much. Thanks to all of you, I am a better writer and a better teacher. For that I am forever grateful.

I’m looking forward to another year of writing and learning with you all. Happy New Year.

4 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Have you found that the more you bake, the less often you mess up the thing? That’s how it is with writing. This practice alongside friends like you and our writing community helps the thing turn out pretty good, not wonky at all. I am so grateful to carry you into 2017 with me as a friend. Happy New Year! BTW, I love that you went ahead and wrote and connected to DigiLitSunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine, in all our attempts to put pen to paper we grow stronger as a community of writers who care, support, and encourage each other. Thank you for being my writing friend and for expressing your gratitude to champion the undeniable search for power in words. BTW, I love to bake and so the opening of your piece resonated with me. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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