Feeling Understood

Everyone seeks to be understood, in some way or another.  I know many writers struggle with this, for a number of reasons.  Writing as an art form is a bit intangible, especially to those who don’t do it.  Few ‘non-writers’ can truly understand the commitment and drive and time required to take even a small piece of writing through to publishable standard, and the years it takes to develop these skills.  Not to mention just how tough it is to get something published.

When I was finally ready to say out loud that I wanted to seriously pursue writing, it was a change that had been happening in my head for a long time.  So to me it seemed a natural progression.  However to others I had been practising as an occupational therapist, a career much more tangible and linear, so many struggled with the idea.  My wonderful fiancé embraced it first, and has always been fiercely protective and supportive of me.  My mum was great too, and had probably seen it coming, even though the thought of a career change was a still bit scary.

Friends have been varied.  Some have embraced it completely, and we openly discuss what I’ve been up to with my writing as much as we discuss their careers.  Others are interested, asking questions but not quite comprehending the change.  Some still see it as just a hobby I indulge in, while others never mention it, probably not sure what to say.

So when you do have a friend understand, and truly understand, it really stands out.  We had two of our closest friends visit recently, and completely out of the blue they gave me a gift.  They very sweetly said it was to show that they believed in what I was doing and that they believed in me.  I’m not certain they knew just how much that meant to me, and what an incredible gift it was.  A gift of support and a gift of understanding.

So, I’d like to introduce you all to my new blog mascot, a rather floppy little rabbit named Squish (who you might have seen around the blog).  He now sits by my computer, each day gifting me a little ray of light.  Thanks, Al and Sharim.




10 Responses to “Feeling Understood”

  1. 1 Angela Sunde March 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    He really does look like your drawings. So cute. You are on the right road and the journey itself is the reward. Whether others travel along with you or not does not diminish your goal. I know you will be very successful. Enjoy the trip :)

  2. 2 janebretl March 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    May you always feel surrounded by acceptance and encouragement from those around you, in your home and through this cyber-connected world. The gift of acceptance and understanding is truly priceless, and it could not have come in a more adorable physical form than Squish… I am also relieved that Squish survived the “Skin the Rabbit” journey! :-) Whew!! Wonderful friends with a sense of humor!

  3. 3 Madeline Stephenson March 31, 2009 at 5:42 am

    How wonderful and lucky you are to have such great friends! And isn’t it just like Al to find something so perfect and sweet to show she cares. And you are very right–it is a great thing to have people who truly understand and support you in this endeavor.
    Love you lots! (and I hope you know I am rooting for you too)
    Hugs and bunnies,

  4. 4 Al and Sharim March 31, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Yes, we rock!!! Always proud of you honey – what a lovely way to start the morning reading your post.

    Just for all your fans out there – a clarification of sorts – Skin the Rabbit was born before we were truly aware of the Rabbit fetish of our dear friend here – spawned from a Scottish Nana’s description of taking off a jumper / clothes etc. We do believe that Kath’s love of the Rabbit, while somewhat closeted at this time did however influence our decision.

    How convenient it is that we all love Rabbits – even without their clothes.

    Love you muchly.

  5. 5 Katherine Battersby March 31, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Thanks all! I tell you what, this blog is a great self-esteem boost for me, because people are so generous with their comments and words of encouragement. So lovely.

    Al and Sharim – I still remember the day Andrew and I first found your blog! We could not stop laughing at the name, considering our rabbit fetish, but I didn’t know the story behind it. Learn something new every day…

  6. 6 swatch March 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    What a gracious post. Finding your voice sometimes takes massive courage and perseverance. Especially when those close to us say, as Carly Simon sings “this isn’t exactly what we had planned…”. Thanks for sharing the Squish story. it is inspiring. Stephen

  7. 7 Fabio March 31, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    fabio is glad to read this post. fabio thinks rabbits are wonderful. they feel so fluffy when fabio uses them as towels.

  8. 8 Katherine Battersby April 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for those lovely words, Swatch.

    And Fabio, your little insights are ever enlightening (she says, while dialing animal cruelty…)

  9. 9 Sheryl Gwyther April 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I love having you as a friend, Kath, and I’m proud to be one of your writing buddies who knows and understands why we do what we do! :)

  10. 10 Katherine Battersby April 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks Sheryl. I’m so grateful for your friendship and support. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys!

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:


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