Exquisite Insanity: Moms Who Write

by Katrina on August 4, 2015

I spoke on a panel a few weeks ago at the Bay Area Book Festival. The panel was moderated by local literary icon, Michelle Tea. (If you need an escape, her latest book, “How to Grow Up” will make you laugh out loud.)

The authors on the panel represented a range of genres (from children’s books to literary fiction to non-fiction) but we all had two things in common: love for our kids, and a burning desire to write.

Most of us had never met until right before we took the stage, but that didn’t stop us from having a fun, intimate, and sometimes raucous conversation about what it’s like to create a life around children and a life around writing. The video of our session is now online.

Bay Area Book Festival 2015 panel "Exquisite Insanity: Moms Who Write"

Bay Area Book Festival 2015 panel. From left to right: Kate Schatz, Katrina Alcorn, Carolina De Robertis, Aya De Leon, and Michelle Tea

The experience was a little bittersweet for me. I started a new job in February—you know, a Big Girl job. Full time. Commute. It’s similar to the job I described in Maxed Out except way cooler, and I’m not maxed out, I’m really enjoying it. (Really!) But it has been well-documented here and elsewhere that I can’t do everything, at least not all at once. And so writing is on the back burner for the moment. Maybe you know what that’s like…

At least two of the writers on the panel, Caroline De Robertis and Michelle Tea, are at a point in their careers where they make their living from writing. Yes, you heard that right. They do what they love AND make enough to keep their kids flush in Honey Nut Cheerios. While others, like myself, make a living in other ways and then try to figure out how to squeeze writing into the margins. There’s no one right way to do this; everyone has made sacrifices in one way or another. Anyway, we talked about that and a bunch of other stuff. You can watch the video here>

* * *

In other news, I’ll be giving a keynote in October with my colleague, Katrine Rau, at the Service Design Conference in New York. If there are any designer types out there planning to attend, please be sure to come say hello.

* * *

As you can see, I’m posting infrequently. If you don’t want to miss any blog posts, you  can always subscribe by email. No spam, just the good stuff. Promise.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie Flinger

I’m re-reading your book as well as “The Sweet Spot”.Two years ago I took this big girl job and commute and am right now feeling the effects. I look forward to your next book, “Big Girl Job and Not Maxed Out: how not to do it all” 🙂


Oh My Janey

Thanks for the video link! I would have loved to be present at the event. I enjoy listening to people talking about writing, and I complete understand how writing is often on the back burner in the face of countless of things we have to do on a day. So this post greatly helps!


Diane working mommy

Thanks for the info about your recent book, I will be picking up a copy. Have a great day.


Job Searching Mom Blog

Very good post. By the way, starting your own blog is a kind of ‘writing’ and sometimes the audience is not as tactful as the desk editorю Your blog is great, I hope I’ll become more successful blogger.


Leave a Comment

Previous post: