Writing 101, Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Published June 21, 2014 by Liz Ault

Pick up the nearest book, turn to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.

The book I opened – Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), p 29.


Dear Liz,

Was sitting here thinking about you and your journey, and finally decided I needed to drop you a note. I’m at a point in my life where I have reached the other side of the half-way point. Perspective starts to change. I’ve watched you grow up. My “hindsight is 20/20” has kicked in. So Katie, bar the door, here I come.

I listened as you were told you were less than your classmates. As you were told that because of how you came into this world that you were less than your siblings. That because you were tall, that your eyes were green, or your feet were big, something must be wrong with your genes. I even listened as those people who were supposed to be your champions and protectors allowed teachers to ridicule you in front of your entire first grade class – which, of course, continued throughout your education.

How could you not be fucked up? How could you not have zero self-esteem? How could you not hear the times you were called stupid and not take that into a job interview? I failed you. And for that I am sorry.

You will come out on the other side of all of this. You will spend most of your adult life like you did your childhood, broken. But you will find a strength that you never even knew was inside you. Please learn to be kind to yourself. It may feel like you wasted too many years doubting yourself and your very existence, but your life was and continues to be important.

Oh, and you will end up making more money than you were told you would – and without finishing college!

We will talk soon about the years of abandonment. But for now, just know I am here and I believe in you. And when you feel alone or in doubt look over your shoulder or in a mirror. I’m here and always will be.

With the greatest and most joyful love,



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