Katherine Taylor

Katherine Taylor

by Maya Shore

Gotham Novel teacher Katherine Taylor never stops writing. “When I come to the end of one book,” Katherine says, “I start to have a feeling of what the next one will be. The moment I finish it, I immediately start working on the next. I don’t go through a thing where I’m searching for ideas.”

But she keeps the idea open, having only a general notion of where the story will take her. Katherine never makes outlines, saying, “Outlines, for me, kill the impulse to write the story. I don’t have an idea of structure before I begin. Sometimes I begin with a sentence or an idea for a story or a scene, it varies.” Rather, she lets the idea guide her, making the writing a “discovery process.”

Eventually the this leads her to the revision stage. Katherine finds this part rewarding, saying, “To see something come together and really work is a thrill.”

And yet, Katherine says, “I’m mingled with fear and what I don’t know—fear of failure and fear of success, fear that the book won’t work. Nothing will strangle creativity like fear.”

When asked why she writes, Katherine says, “I’m really not good at anything else. If you can do anything else, do it. Don’t write if you don’t have to. It’s something primal and I have no idea why. Maybe I write to figure out the world and other people and myself.”

Katherine told stories even before she learned how to write. “I would use the child scissors to cut pictures out of magazines and put them in order and tell the preschool teacher stories. Once I learned how to write, my mother would buy me spiral notebooks I would fill.”

Katherine can’t remember a time she wasn’t writing and that’s partially due to her support system. Everyone wanted to see her follow her passion. One of her mentors helped her keep writing by suggesting she support herself with bartending. “That’s when I took myself seriously and sent out the stories and polished them,” Katherine says. “I told myself, ‘I gotta finish these or else I’ll be bartending the rest of my life.’”

Katherine relishes teaching with Gotham more than she did bartending. “My favorite part is developing the relationships with the students,” Katherine says. “Gotham students are diverse and it’s exciting to meet everyone from different fields and different parts of the world. As a student, I had really strong mentors which made me a writer and it’s rewarding that I can do that for my students too.”