Why We Write

January 3, 2008

Why We Write – Number 9: Katherine Fugate

  Number 9

Today’s piece is written by Katherine Fugate, Creator and Executive Producer of “Army Wives.”  Her feature film credits include “The Prince & Me” and “Carolina.”


i am a damaged soul.  i think all artists are. 
somewhere in our youth or childhood, something wicked this way came.  and we’ve been hurt.  we’ve been let down.  our hearts were stained.  frayed and soiled.  we weren’t saved.  and we didn’t like it. 
so we became artists.  writers, actors, painters, singers.  and, i find, we recognize each other when we walk into a room full of strangers.  we wear a certain ethereal glow of ennui and energy.  of languid optimism.  because we’ve learned, that despite whatever childhood wounds we drag around in our battered suitcases, we can rewrite them.  we can change the outcome.  we can give the world hope.  think about it. 
now, he runs through the snow on new year’s eve because he realizes he loves her.  now, she sobers up instead of dying on the highway.  now, the parents find the cure and save their ill son after all the doctors gave up hope.  now, he stands up in the courtroom and tells the truth, even if it means he will go to prison.  now, the angel gets his wings.
when i was 10, i read A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L’Engle.  you could fold the very fabric of time or space if you wanted to.  i wanted to.  and i could, for the first time, envision a place where alternate universes lived.  where damage could be undone.  where, to rescue your brother, love is an emotion that the evil IT could not understand. 
the novel was rejected 26 times for being “too different.” 
i named my only child after a writer i never met because she gave me hope.  Madeleine just turned 1. 
which means this time last year, a child was yanked out of my belly and a TV series was yanked out of my heart.   both have been incredibly rewarding and incredibly challenging.  

just as my daughter’s first steps will be written in my memory, this strike and all the steps we take will be written into history books.   we are folding time and space now, recognizing a technology that will redefine how we give hope.  how we change the outcome. 

this strike is just one of many steps on our journey.  there will be damage.  there will be stains.  there will be false hope.  but it will end.   we will go back to work.  but it is our resolve, our willingness to keep taking those steps that will determine the outcome. 

so everyday, i’m out there, walking the line. 

i do it because i believe in fighting for a fair deal.  and because i believe in my daughter, Madeleine, and what it means to be a mommy she would be proud of.   


WHY WE WRITE is a series of essays by prominent – and not so prominent – TV and Film writers.  Conceived by Charlie Craig and Thania St. John, the campaign hopes to inspire and inform all writers during the strike, and perhaps beyond.  If you’d like to comment, or tell us why you write, visit the Why We Write WordPress site or contact us at whywewrite@gmail.com.

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