A Declaration of Inspiration

This week I met a lot of people whose work I love; first at a reading at Powell's and then at Little Winter this weekend. Of course, it was awkward at first. Knowing someone who doesn't know you is humbling. I always have to fight the urge to play it cool, like a real hip art chick, and not say anything.

But, it is so important to tell people how they inspire you. I think, at the base of it all, connecting with people is why we all started doing this.

It was important to tell Stephanie Cogdon-Barnes (half of the team that published of A Year of Mornings: 3191 miles apart) that I sent her book to my best friend who lives in a different city.
... to tell Abby Powell-Thompson (the photographer behind Abby Try Again) that her pictures helped me see all the beauty in Portland when I first moved here and didn't really feel like this was my home.
... to tell Lauren (at the little things we do) that she's encouraged me to pair black and brown more adventurously in my wardrobe.
... & hardest of all, to tell Nicole Krauss that her book helped me in a time when I felt like no one else understood the kind of deep sadness that accompanies an otherwise happy existence. To tell her "that part of me is made of glass" too, even if it was through tears.

So, I hope you all make a point today to tell someone who may not know you that they are important to your life, none the less. Write an e-mail to an author, or comment on a blog you read anonymously.

If writing teaches us anything, it's that we have an infinite amount of power in our words, if we can just be brave enough to use them

(photo) from sally of Shim + Sons, who I had the pleasure of sharing a few good laughs with as she greeted at the market. Yet another person who inspires me, especially with her sparkling, news-anchor worthy, personality


  1. you should never be afraid of pairing black and brown. it works. glad you had such a nice weekend.

  2. you inspire me. wish i would make the time in my crazy schedule to actually start my own blog

  3. YOU are amazing, Sam!
    Lots of love to you, thank you xxxoo abby

  4. Remember how we talk about bloggers like their celebrities? Love this post m'dear :) Especially the shoutout to the BEST GIFT I GOT THIS YEAR. (How's that for affirmation of your gift-giving skills? Feel free to ride that high for a few minutes.)

  5. "Write an e-mail to an author, or comment on a blog you read anonymously."

    Sam, I've been reading your blog anonymously for a long time, and it finally seems like the time to tell you that you are a phenomenal, intelligent writer and you inspire me. Thank you thank you thank you! Please keep posting :)

  6. love this post! Made me a little teary. My favorite thing is when someone came up and said they read my blog and said hi, I'm so new and definitely so small that it doesn't happen often. I've met some great friends that way!

  7. You are so completely lovely and this post absolutely made my day...as did meeting you this weekend. You are such a breath of fresh air and I love that you were so honest and didn't try to act like a "cool art chick", because you are so much cooler than those cool art chicks who are too cool to be real :).

    I am definitely going to take your little piece of advice and try to go out of my way more often to tell people that they inspire me. Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh...and seriously...I want to hang out. Coffee soon! Let me know when you're free.


  8. Sammy -

    I don't think I can tell you how much you inspire me without being creepy. I'm a daily blog reader/checker and can't wait til I can buy my first edition of your best seller. You've been so generous with yourself, giving words to all of the raw and real moments of your life - which in turn has given me dimension to my own beautiful disaster that I seem to be with increasing frequency.

    Please never stop writing and inspiring all of us :)


  9. Sam!
    Your blog is great! it was fantastic helping setup with you on friday. hopefully we'll cross paths again in the near future!

  10. I'm glad this post inspired you to share being inspired!
    caitlyn - I think you should start a blog of your own! It's the best way to find out if that kind of daily writing is what you want to do.
    anonymous - even though I don't know you, the comments you leave (in the format you used) always keep me inspired too.
    cori, kenzie, cara, jenny and lauren - I loved meeting you last weekend, and thank you!
    kat - your encouragement has been invaluable to me this last year when I feel like I'm losing my purpose.

  11. Samantha, you are so right. We need to be able to express how a persons work inspires + moves us. Thank you for this reminder.

    So glad we met at LW. Hope our paths cross again soon! :)

  12. That is so true, the quote. I also love the leaves in the post below. Thanks for sharing the inspiration and come and visit me too when you have time.



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