About 4amWriter

Me and Denali, a wolf


Hey there, Writer! 

My name is Kate Johnston, an author and a story coach who inspires writers to kick their dreams into reality!

In August 2017, I built a new coaching website, which will be my central station. I will be gradually adding my blog posts from this site to that site and eventually closing shop here. Expected date March 2018.

If you’re following me here, I’d love for you to follow me there! That way, you won’t miss posts like:

CHARACTERISTICS OF A WRITER to learn what kind of writer you are.

5 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN to help you set goals in a meaningful, authentic way.

HOW TO OVERCOME WRITING ANXIETY through 11 tips any writer can put into action today.

 Visit my NEW BLOG to SUBSCRIBE to my blog updates.

You can also sign up for my free monthly e-letters where you could win coaching time with moi!

Hop on over to KATE JOHNSTON | AUTHOR & STORY COACH  to learn more about me, what I can do for your writing dreams, and to be a part of my team!

I promise you I’ll never spam you or sell your email address.

Have a writerly day!



100 thoughts on “About 4amWriter

  1. Hey Kate,
    Now that I know that the ex-girlfriend is not Jessie, which would bring that story to a crashing halt, I have an idea:
    Set the crash on Route 1 and quote or annotate Tony’s book, “America’s Highway.” 🙂
    Cool site!


  2. Serendipity strikes! You recently subscribed to Learning from Dogs and, as always, I took a peek at my new subscriber. Wonderful connection! I shall follow your own travails as a new writer, although a lot less new at it than this humble scribe!


    1. Wow! First I’m wowing because you treated me with a beautiful award. Thank you! Second, I’m wowing because I never knew your name was Kim. 🙂

      Thanks so much. I’ll have fun with it.


  3. That’s a beautiful photograph. Such joy. I have a little dog called Dusty Lee who has wolf eyes, huge ears, and is almost metallic looking. It’s impossible to say what colour her not black and not brown coat is…I think she may be a kind of small herding dog. As for her teeth, i can’t imagine how those fangs fit in her little mouth. Talk about impressive. She looks like one of the werewolves from Twilight 🙂 All the best to you with your writing. I think it’s a lot like Zen or any other living faith. If it chooses you, writing is a whole way of life.


    1. Hi Kathryn,

      Our first names are spelled exactly the same–which I find very cool because it is such a rare spelling!

      That photo was taken by a wildlife photographer at a wolf preserve in Maine. The wolf’s name is Denali–handsome fellow, isn’t he? Your dog sounds awesome. Herding dogs can take a lot out of you, we used to own a border collie. Phew, she was more intelligent than the whole family put together. Wonderful, wonderful dog.

      Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. I like how you put it, that writing chooses someone. I think that’s exactly how it was for me. When I abandoned it, it wouldn’t let me go for too long. Plus, I got sick. It is a faith onto itself.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.


  4. I love that you are a mom and a writer, because I am too!

    I buried my desire to write fiction for so long and last year finally said “enough” and took the plunge. Now I homeschool full-time, teach h.s. English very part-time, and write for 15 minutes every morning on my first novel. Blogging helps give me a place for all of the other ideas swirling around in my brain. I discover more and more, like Byron, that if I do not write I go mad…..not good for a mom to go mad. So I write and try to ignore the dust bunnies.

    Looking forward to spending more time on your blog and wishing you all the best with your writing. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Angela,

      Always a pleasure to meet and connect with moms/writers. I feel like we are a special breed, and we need to support each other.

      Good for you for making that decision. That’s really all it takes, and it sounds like you are determined to follow through. Homeschooling must be a lot of fun, but draining all the same. Yet, I’m sure the rewards outweigh the drawbacks.

      I agree with you about the blogging–I definitely use blogging as a venue to empty out my head and spirit of all the excess so that I can focus on my WIP and other writing commitments.

      Yes. Love that Byron quote. It rings true for me also. Dust bunnies, Shmust bunnies is what I say! Although I will grudgingly clean the house once a week, and I’ll use that time to think about my writing.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I look forward to chatting with you again soon!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JM!

      This is so thoughtful of you. This is one of my favorite awards to receive, actually. So getting it from two people is extra-special. I really appreciate it, and I will put it to good use. Thank you so much.


  5. Hi Kate. In honor of your Write Anniversary (and your awesome blog), I’m giving you a Candle Lighter Award. There are no rules, simply accept or decline. There is also no rush and no pressure to accept. If you accept, you do not have to pass it on. Simply enjoy it.

    If you would like to pass it on, you may give this to as many people as you feel like, whenever you feel like it. It’s like an award you can save for a rainy day (or sunny, whichever). To grab the image, go here.


    1. Hi Robin,

      Glad to have you aboard! I’ve seen your comments around blogosphere, and I’m excited to chat more directly with you. Have a super day!


  6. Kathryn, i’m commenting here because something’s awry with your “coming out of the cave” post. It feels a bit nippy when you put your writing (esp. if it’s personal) out there for all and sundry. I try not to think about it. To just put it up on the blog or to hit submit or send. If i dwell on the exposure part i’d be horrified 🙂 That said, i find that the more you do it, the thicker your skin grows. It sounds like blogging has given you a free space. What a gift, ey?


  7. Kate, when I click on the Coming out of the cave link in the subscription email it’s returning:

    Page not found
    The page you were looking for could not be found. If you followed a link on this site to get here, please contact the administrator so it can be corrected.


    1. Thanks! I know because I saw your mention on your blog the other day, lol. I truly appreciate the award and will be sure to pass it on accordingly. Have a funtabulous day!


  8. K
    long long ago, when i was a young farm boy, i used to get up at 4 AM to milk and feed the cows. the old antediluvian rooster was my alarm clock. do you have a special pest that wakes you 🙂

    David in Maine USA


  9. Hi David,

    I wish I could say I had a rooster for an alarm clock. I’ve been doing this for so long that I usually wake up without an alarm. I don’t know if that is good or bad. Although I will admit that my son (who is now 7) was a terrible sleeper as a baby, and it is because of his schedule that I found this 4am writing niche. He would wake up between 1-2 am and stay wide awake for 2 hours. He’d fall asleep at 4, but by then I had my second wind and I couldn’t go back to sleep.

    So, I guess my son was my special pest like your rooster 🙂

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I actually live quite near Maine. South Berwick is only about a 10 minute jaunt for me. My sister and my mother and my cousin all live in Kittery. You and I live in a beautiful part of the country, don’t we?

    Have a wonderful weekend and 4th of July


  10. Hi, I like your blog and your writing aspirations. I am delving into this writing world also and would love to ask you about some questions if you don’t mind? Thanks…I can’t find a contact here, so maybe you can message me?


  11. Hey Kate, I wanted to give you an update. It looks like I will be writing that article after all. Part of the contract states I will have to promo the article/magazine on my blog so you’ll know when it gets published. I am Amp’d!


    1. Thanks for letting me know Dennis. I was actually thinking about you the other day and wondering how this was panning out. What an exciting venture for you. I can’t wait to follow you on this journey. Congrats!


  12. Happy Belated Birthday! I always get thrown off by the time difference, but even with that I think I’m a day late. Hope you have a wonderful day, week, month and year!


    1. Oops, sorry to have not replied to this sooner! Thanks for the tag, Julie. 🙂 I’ll be doing this after our big word challenge…I forget the name of it, but it’s pretty well known… 😉


  13. Hey! Sorry to post this here, but I couldn’t find a better place!

    I tried to email you the other day and it bounced back. It was the comcast.net email address I had in my address book. Did you get a new one or something?

    I’m guessing you knew I wanted to beg a favor & changed it, didn’t you? 🙂


    1. Hey Shannon, sounds like you still have the right one. I haven’t changed it. Try it again. My email inbox was swamped in the past few weeks because I haven’t been around due to taking care of my mom…


  14. Hiiiiii!
    I don’t know if you’ve seen my blog recently, but you are one of the four winners from my competition.

    If you’d just let me know what sort of file type you’d like (.mobi or .epub) I’ll have a copy of Vicki & Lara sent out to you on or around 13 October 2013.

    Thanks again for commenting on my blog. Interaction means everything!


  15. Your words are beautiful. After seeing your comments at Cayman’s and Char’s sites, I figured I would drop by to say hello. I’m glad I did!

    I’ll be following… They may have our thoughts, but they’ll never take our pizza!!! Sorry, I must have watched Braveheart one too many times.

    Nice to meet you!


    1. Hi Christy,

      Wow, thank you so much! I really appreciate that you came by to read and comment. I love Cayman and Char — they are a couple of my favorite bloggers.

      Braveheart is awesome! You’re speaking my language. 😉

      Thanks again for swinging by!


  16. I wish I had pizza, but I think my thoughts may interest you more. What an inspiring blog and I am glad I stumbled here by chance. Just one question for the 4 am writer; “When do you sleep???”


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I welcome all stumblers. 🙂 As far as sleep, I try to get about 6 hours a night. I usually crash once my head hits the pillow, and I sleep through the night. So, as long as I’m in bed by 10, I’m good to go.

      Such a schedule is not recommended for everyone. 🙂


      1. haha recommended or not, it sure is fruitful. Just some of the things I dream of doing, while I sleep half-dead, in my bed, all snuggled up in my comforter…See how hard it is to wake up early in the morning. Damn you cuddly bed!


  17. I read your post on the video “wolves change the rivers” but the comments are closed there.
    I nevertheless wanted to say how well I can relate to your post not bc I wrote a book but only through writing essays or poems, they give me a sense of purpose, I’m at my best when writing, for me it’s a high, the problem is when your work is finished not always do you have the energy or inspiration to start straight after another subject…
    I’ll finish off by saying how surprised I was to see that video on your post as I have it in one of my posts too.
    I am quite selective as to what I post but when I saw it on you tube it was for the exact same reasons you speak of, it give me hope as well in the sense that I felt it was very important for the world to see that nature has to be kept according to its own rules and to respect its origin.
    I am glad you were mentioned in a post of Kourtney Heintz’s Journal 🙂


    1. Hello there! Thanks for making the extra effort to comment despite the closed comments on the post. That video hit home for me the minute I saw it. It really helped me get through that typical low feeling I get post-project or when I’m not writing as often as I’d like. I love learning that a lot of other people (writers in particular) feel the same vibe of hope through that video. It’s just a great message to carry around in our pockets. 🙂

      I always love meeting blogging pals of mutual blogging pals. Kourtney is one of my favorite bloggers, and probably one of the first bloggers I started following. She is incredible.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment!


  18. Thanks to Debby Gies I have discovered your website. I love your moniker, 4 am writer. By that time of the morning, my sleeping brain has slowed down its chatter, categorized all the chaos of the day before, I have a fresh start! I’d pick 6 a.m. though – older and need more sleep!


    1. Hi Marian, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my site. I’ve been doing the 4am writing gig for almost 10 years, thanks to a little one who couldn’t sleep through the night. He sleeps better now, but I’ve grown accustomed to getting up at that time.

      6am sounds so much more civilized! Maybe in a few years…

      Thanks again for swinging by.


  19. Denali is beautiful! I have a husky that looks very similar, or I should say she has me.

    Your blog looks interesting, I’ll have to check in from time to time. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

    BTW love the Sylvia Plath quote. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming over to visit me at 4am! 😉 I was very privileged to have had the chance to meet Denali. He was a rescue wolf from Alaska, kept as a pet, but subsequently surrendered as he became too much for the owners to handle. He lived out the last of his years at a wolf sanctuary.

      That Sylvia Plath quote couldn’t be more true, in my experience. And when I can’t write, I’m simply not myself.

      Again, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks again for visiting my website. Now I understand why your comment was made 4 am 🙂 I’m working on a book too, it is about the life of my parents that was extraordinary. But I wouldn’t be able to write so early in the morning. With my best wishes for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cecilia,

      I bet you’re having a lot of fun writing your book. “Extraordinary” sounds intriguing. I wish you the best of luck with it.

      Yes, 4am is pretty early, but I’ve grown to love that hour to write. For some reason, my muse is much more forthcoming at that time. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Hi Alice,

      So glad you stopped by and liked what you read! I’m always excited to meet new people through my blog and look forward to conversing more with you.

      Have a writerly day! Kate


  21. Hi, Darren said to drop by properly. after I offered my services further to the Dodo. I have swung by before but not to say hello, you have such a busy hectic thing going and this is like a veritable treasure trove. Looking forward to seeing more and gleaning bits and pieces.


    1. Hi Anita — so glad to hear from you. Yes, Darren and I spoke and we both are so excited to have you team up with us on Dodo. I have to apologize in advance for my tardiness in replying to blog comments lately. It’s not in my nature to let comments go for days on end without replying. I’m in the middle of settling my mom’s estate (she passed away last fall), and it is taking up monumental time. Blogging is the one task I can sacrifice to this time suckage. Hopefully, I’ll be back to blogging regularly in short order! In the meantime, feel free to write articles to your heart’s content and if you have any questions, just give either me or Darren a shout!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Same here, my dad passed last November and we are still in the middle of it. It was one of the reasons for setting up my blog – a distraction and getting back to writing, as he had asked. It is a bittersweet thing. but no worries at all. But cool if you want them then I’d be happy to do that when it comes.


    1. I love that your dad asked you to keep writing–it shows how much he treasured your creativity and valued your voice. I understand that bittersweet feeling, some days are harder than others, but I can’t think of many more worthy causes than the environment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, LOVE Cayman Thorn. What a hell of a writer. Second of all, thank you so much for taking the time to pop on over, read, and leave a comment. Always so greatly appreciated! I visited the link you provided and was immediately enlightened! I hadn’t heard of that poem, and I didn’t know about Rives, either. Really enjoyed it, thank you!! Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thoroughly agree with you about Cayman. I’m so glad I stumbled onto his blog during a fact finding mission in google images about a certain steel-blue eyed Ukrainian-American actress I couldn’t quite place, as I am yours. I don’t believe I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting a writing coach before. Your posts are thought provoking and inspiring. I feel I’d be missing an opportunity if I didn’t invite your thoughts on a short vignette I wrote I call “The Glass” (kinda my first foray into writing). It’s at the top of my home page if the mood or time strikes you, perhaps around 4am maybe…


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