Who Are Your Writing Champions?

(originally journaled Aug 15 2018)

Do you ever think about the people in your life who have encouraged your creativity and your self-worth? Here are my answers to an exercise from The Artist’s Way called “Time Travel.”

“List some champions of your creative self-worth. Your hall of champions who wish you and your creativity well. When, where, why did you feel good about yourself? Who gave you affirmation?” Well….

Mr. Seymour, who gave me straight A’s, even though the principal, who didn’t believe in them, forbade him to do so. And encouraged me to go to Major Work Class even though my parents had hid from me the fact that I’d been offered the chance.

Mrs. Thirsk. She really had a way of believing in and encouraging me (and other young people). Maybe that quality is why her son ended up becoming a Canadian astronaut?

My school band teacher (and art teacher in grade 7) who encouraged me to take art because he believed I had talent. Nobody had ever before suggested that I had artistic talent. It meant so much to me.

Mr. Tait, my grade 12 English and English Literature teacher, who really inspired me to enjoy good literature and poetry, and also took us back to two-word sentences and built our writing skills from the foundational basics.

My UBC summer school Creative Writing course teacher who was super impressed with my writing skills and told me so.

And my Historical Geography prof, and the dean of the History department at UBC, who both encouraged me to stay at university to pursue a master’s and doctorate. (I didn’t, though I’ve often wondered “what if?” — but that belief in me has stuck with me ever since).

The man from Toronto who subscribed to the QCI/Haida Gwaii Observer paper just to read my weekly column, “Masset Sounds” … and all the others who also subscribed … and who unsubscribed when a new publisher who refused to print anything I wrote unless it was “hard news.” So many thanks to all the people who said I totally captured the beauty and life of Haida Gwaii in my column.

The manager and the assistant manager at CBC Western Arctic who totally supported me—and even encouraged me to go further into journalism and/or management with CBC (though family matters at the time meant I couldn’t).

My friend Pat’s incredible encouragement about my writing for the ALCF newsletter.

Yas, Aggie, Merle, Sonni, Minke, and the many other local writers who have encouraged me so much … and Beth who nominated me for a Literary Arts award … and whoever at Quora.com decided I should be a Quora Top Writer … and Brian at Archivos magazine who keeps me writing my Summerland Stories … and all the others who’ve encouraged me through the years of writing.

And last but not least, my Dad who, when he was on his deathbed, cried because he loved my family stories so much and wished he’d been able to write like me … though I was able to assure him that if it hadn’t been for all his photos and factual notes about our family history and adventures, I’d never have been able to write those stories. He was so happy!

So: Who are your writing champions?


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