Motherhood & Words

Well hello, friends. Once again I’ve been absent for too long, but I’m back and committed to spending more time here this year. I’m not sure what that will look like yet but I hope to post about reading and writing and life at least once a week.

It’s taken me a while to check in partly because I’ve felt a little low lately. In my last post I wrote about clearing away things that needed to be cleared in order to make more space for myself and family and writing, but damn that’s difficult to do. This winter I’m juggling lots of smaller editing and teaching gigs, and there are still lots of reviews and interviews that I need to catch up on. And all of it feels more daunting than it should–the constant shifting of gears. So I’ve been thinking about what will help, and I’ve come up with a few things: 1) get more sleep (no staying up late on weeknights to watch a series on Netflix); 2) daily meditation (I just renewed my membership to Headspace, the best $80 I’ve ever spent); 3) begin each workday with the novel; 4) eat and drink healthful things and cut way back on the unhealthful things; 5) get some sort of exercise everyday (a lifesaver for me).

I’d also like to create space to simply play with words. Ideally some of this playful writing will turn into short essays, but instead of focusing on publication, I just want to focus on the FUN of writing. Because it’s fun sometimes, right?

Speaking of essays, if you don’t know about Steven Harvey’s The Humble Essayist, you should. The Humble Essayist is a website “devoted to the personal essay and the reflective memoir, forms that use the personal to shine a light on a truth that speaks to us all.” Each week Steve highlights an essay or memoir and posts a short commentary. I love this website, which is why I was honored when I found out that he was featuring Ready for Air this week. Check it out, my friends.

And I’d love to hear what you do to make yourself feel sane, happy and healthy.

Posted in


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. Marilyn Bousquin on January 30, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Kate! Love this window into your goings ons. Achieving the balance you speak of is something I’ve finally achieved and wow it sure does take discipline. (No coincidence that I’ve hit my “balance” stride AFTER Sam was grown : ). So keep that in mind and know that there will be more time one day.) I love Steve Harvey’s The Humble Essayist (and his new book!!!!) and am delighted to hear he’s featured Ready for Air, a book I LOVE and refer to my clients for both the beauty of the book AND for craft awareness/framing/structure. Well, dear. Soon. Minneapolis if not before. Love, M

    • Kate on January 30, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Oh thank you, Marilyn. I’m SO glad you’ve achieved that balance. I know how hard you work to maintain it. Brava, my dear. I’m reading Steve’s book now, and I love it. So beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you, as always, for spreading the word re: Ready for Air. You’re the best! xox And definitely Mpls if not a phone date before.

  2. Sue on January 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Love the idea of writing for fun and playing with words. As Marilyn says it gets easier as children get older. Knowing mine will all too soon be on their own I sometimes push past the fatigue to do something with them and that always energizes me. Met them all after work for dinner and a movie. My first choice would have been coming home and getting into PJs but now we are more connected and I feel free to do some writing related activities. Heading over to The Humble Essayist.

    • Kate on January 31, 2015 at 8:21 am

      That sounds like a lovely evening, Sue! And yes, their looming departure puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?

  3. Nina on January 31, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Wait, writing is fun? Just kidding. (sort of)

    Going to check out that site.

    Happy to see you here!

    • Kate on February 1, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Ha, Nina! Sometimes it is. Thanks for popping over!

  4. cynthia newberry martin on February 1, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Making a list is also how I get a hold of things when life seems to be spiraling out of control. Exercise and what I do first in the morning are key. Good luck! Headed to check out Headspace and re-visit THE!

    • Kate on February 2, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Thank you, Cynthia! Let me know what you think about Headspace. I just love it!

  5. kristen on February 1, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Whenever you pop up in my reader, I smile. I love reading your words here and am so glad to see you “back.” xxk

    • Kate on February 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Thank you, my dear. xox

  6. Andrea on February 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hey, cool! What a great overview of and plug for your book. Congratulations! And good to see you back here, although I know how the little niggling things in life can so easily crowd out the things we want to do, like writing (for me, right now, it’s trying to contend with computer storage issues due in part to several years of digital photos that I’ve neglected to manage properly…what a stupid thing to derail all good intentions). Good luck sorting things out and I look forward to seeing more of you here!

    • Kate on February 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Digital photos! I can see that happening to us, as well. I hope you get it resolved quickly, Andrea!

  7. Cecilia on February 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Kate! I am just getting around to commenting now. Your list of ways to recharge really resonated with me, as I too had made a pledge to do most of the things that you listed…but it never occurred to me to start my day by reading something enjoyable. I’ve actually always read at night (usually very late at night) but since I saw your post I’ve been getting up early to read, when the house is quiet and before my family is up. I am loving it! I am reading so much more and better now. My brain is always fried by the end of the day.

    Glad you are blogging again! I hope your year is off to a good start 🙂

    • Kate on February 17, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      That’s wonderful, Cecilia! I’m so glad you’re starting the day with words! xox