Motherhood & Words

For the last four weeks I have been in a state of constant rushing—rushing to work, rushing home, trying to squeeze editing and other work—publication prep, website updates, etc.—into those rare moments when I can sit down for a half hour at my computer. But there has been too much to do, and I’ve been feeling the strain of being pulled in multiple directions.

My overall stress has been exacerbated by the fact that I injured my heel/Achilles in spin class in June. That injury brought up my recurring IT band problems, and I had to scale back on all my exercise. I worried I’d have to skip my first triathlon in August, for which I’ve been training all winter.

But then a couple of things happened: First, I found an amazing physical therapist who diagnosed the root of my problem (which has been going of for years) as my SI joint. I’ve been to sports medicine doctors, other PTs, chiropractors, and this is the first time someone has figured this out. I almost burst into tears. I left his office with exercises and orders to go ahead and register for the tri. Two weeks later and I’m running and biking again. I’m slow and it’s not without pain, but I’m making progress. Hallelujah!

Second, I put in my notice at my day job. For the last two years I’ve been working in nonprofit development, writing grants. The work is fine, but of course it’s not my passion. It was work that paid bills and covered the cost childcare. Well, my little Zoë is heading to kindergarten this fall, which means I don’t have to write that large pre-school check every month. Again, hallelujah!

I had been toying with quitting for a while, but I hesitated to give up the reliability of a paycheck every two weeks. Then I got an email from a fabulous writer friend whose aunt was looking for a ghostwriter for her memoir. I nearly leapt out of my chair. Cheri sent me links to her aunt and uncle’s blog, and I began to read their story. Twin identical boys, now 23 years old, with severe autism. Both are marathon runners. The more I read, the more excited I got. The project seemed like the perfect combination of my passions: working with mothers to help them get their stories out into the world, writing, and editing (and even running!). Cheri’s aunt and I exchanged e-mails, spoke on the phone, and finally signed a contract. I fly to New York to begin interviews next week, and then will dive into writing the book proposal. Whoop!

So this fall, when the girls are both on the same school schedule and I’m working from home, free of office politics and the emotional energy that I expend when I’m constantly shifting gears, I can sit in my tiny office and write and read and write. My main focus will be the ghostwriting gig until the proposal is done, but I also plan to carve out regular time for my own writing, which has suffered these last two years. Dear Novel, remember me?

In other good news, Ready for Air is heading to print. The last typos in the page proofs have been corrected, and I will have my memoir in my hands sometime in August. So stay tuned for more information about fall readings and blog book tours. Mark your calendars for the launch on October 3rd at the Loft Literary Center. And if you’d like an advanced reading copy, head over to Goodreads for a chance to win one!


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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Kate Edenborg on July 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    All of that sounds awesome and great! Hope to join up with you for a retreat or class again soon!

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you, Kate! And I would LOVE to have you come to one of my retreats next year!!

  2. K.M. O'Sullivan on July 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

    There is so much I love about this post. No, it’s not a flashy post, but it is filled with not only things that I know are GREAT for you but things that INSPIRE me. I have struggled embracing the idea of writing–I know I MUST write (I DO write) but I have yet to commit to it. I have had stops and starts but am just about to hit a big pause button so I can rest, renew, and reboot my writing plans/agenda/process. Can’t wait to read Ready for Air.

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you, Kelly! Yes, rest for a bit, and then getting ready to reboot and take off flying! I know you will.

  3. jenn on July 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Wow! What a wonderful time for you! Don’t forget August 18th, another big day for you!

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      I can’t wait, Jen. I was so relieved when the PT said I should go for it!

  4. Janine Kovac on July 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Huzzahs all around! For finding exercises for your SI joint, for finding a way to continue to train, for finding space to nurture your writing and letting go of your office job!

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you, my dear! I just have to get through today and tomorrow, submit that last grant, and I’m free!!!

  5. Sara on July 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    So many things to smile about this this post! I love that you have gotten to the root of an old issue but more how your passion and hard work and timing all came together.

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you, Sara! It is such a relief to finally have an answer to that nagging problem, and now I’m impatient for some long runs!

  6. Andria on July 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Well, this was full of awesome news. Always cheering for you!!!! Andria, Dave & co.

    • Kate on July 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Andria!! I want to hear how things are going with your novel, too!

  7. Laurie Cunningham on July 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    So glad you could finally quit your day job. That is what dreams are made of.

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Thank you, Laurie!!

  8. Sue on July 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Glad to hear you are back at training, that will help everything fall into place. I am so excited about reading Ready for Air. Looking forward to next retreat.

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Thank you, Sue. Yes, hopefully soon I’ll be biking like the wind (okay, that’s unlikely, but hopefully I’ll be faster anyway)!

  9. Autumn Purdy on July 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Aahh! Ecstatic for you! How good did it feel to write this blog post? Wishing you so many blessings as you live your dream. :). Can’t wait to read Ready for Air and I hope the tour brings you to Ohio!

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thank you, Autumn! Maybe I can tack a day on to the River Teeth conference next spring. I’ll love to do a reading near you! (And go out for margaritas!)

  10. Angie Mizzell on July 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Yay! Yes, shifting gears does expend a lot of energy. I am thrilled that you have discovered the true source of your physical pain, and you are able to focus on work that feeds your soul. Go get em. 🙂

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thank you, dear Angie!

  11. Lisa Romeo on July 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Congrats! I read about those twins last summer – very interesting. Wishing you lots of luck and a smooth transition.

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thank you, Lisa! And it is a fascinating story, so I can’t wait to meet them in person (tomorrow!)

  12. Nina on July 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Such great updates, Kate! Congrats on the finding a great ghost writing project and quitting the day job. woo-hoo!

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thank you, Nina!

  13. Karissa on July 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Congratulations on all three counts: losing the day job, the ghost writing, and the memoir! Make sure to celebrate, okay? (BTW I’m jealous! I’m still looking forward to the day I can quit my day job. 🙂 )

    • Kate on July 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thanks, Karissa! It will happen–and boy does it feel good.

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