Writer/Mom... A Balancing Act by Catherine Stang

   I have a confession to make.  I’m a writer/mom or is mom/writer – some days I forget.  Actually, I started off as Mom/writer and gradually moved into being a writer/mom as my son got older.

I stayed home after my son was born, planning to have a large family.  After a series of miscarriages, I realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I had to refocus my life.  I started writing again and slowly fought my way past the grief.  Back then writing was something I did to fill the time while my son was in preschool or napping.  I had never considered it for a career.  I just loved writing.

Then one day I saw an ad in the paper for a writer’s conference.  There I discovered Romance Writers of America and other writers who gave me the courage to send my work out.

I began traveling down that long road of submission and rejection.  Meanwhile, my son grew up and started school.  Many of my friends went back to work, but I stayed home to write.  I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

As time passed my son began to ask me what to write on the line for mom’s job when he enrolled for school.  In the early days I wrote stay at home mom on that line.  As he grew older, he’d roll his eye balls back in his head at the idea that he needed a mom at home.  So I gradually wrote mom/writer.  Somehow writing that made it seem all the more real, that, yes, I was a writer.

When I sold my first book, my son’s comment was “oh, good, now I know what to write on the mom’s job line – romance writer”.

Since that book was an e book my job still was sort of a secret to everyone, but the school.  I’m sure people wondered why I’m home all day or for that matter what I do, but I’d given up explaining.

I got invited to career day when he was in sixth grade.  My son told everyone that I “kill people off” in my books.   Since I write suspense that is sort of true, but I wish he would have clued me in on that BEFORE I started my talk.  I was a bit blindsided when a boy raised his hand and asked me point blank if it was true that I knew dozens of ways to kill people off.  After that the questions were flying.  Thank goodness their  teacher changed the subject to how many times I write, rewrite and revise. You could see all their faces drop, because that wasn’t nearly as exciting to sixth graders as possible gory stories, but it probably saved both the teacher and I from many upset parent phone calls.

They were disappointed to learn that I don’t really travel to far away places and that most of my adventures happen in my head.  So I fast went from being kind of cool to being a bit nerdy, which I am.

 Well last year my first print book came out and was at our local bookstore, so my secret is out.  Being from a very small town, now everyone knows what I do.  I’ve now officially moved to being an author.  But you know what, I’ll always be writer/mom no matter how old my son gets.  Just don’t tell him that.   

13 Responses to Writer/Mom… A Balancing Act by Catherine Stang

  1. mammakim

    Fabulous blog! I love the career day experience, I can see all the excited faces about killing people off LOL

  2. peggy

    your son sounds like he would be a great deal of fun.
    I loved the question if you knew a dozen ways to kill off people.

  3. Margay

    Hi, Catherine! It was great to read your post. This is the dilemma, isn’t it? I have always thought of myself as a writer/mom, because I’ve been writing since I was – well, a looong time! But then I did the flip-flop and became a mom/writer. Now, I’m ready to take back the writer title. Reading about your eperiences gave me hope – and a big chuckle. Margay

  4. Maureen

    Hi Catherine!
    I can see where boys would love the killing people in books aspect most of your writing and I don’t think that will change for some years.

  5. Jenyfer Matthews

    I can very much relate to your post – a mom/writer here. My daughter keeps asking me when I’m going to get a job!!

    Great excerpt 🙂

  6. Billie Jo

    Good Afternoon Cathy!!

    Great post! I love your son’s comment about killing people off…LOL.

    You know I am a huge fan of all your writing and wanted to stop by and support you.

    Hugs
    Billie Jo

  7. Billie Jo

    Hi Cathy!

    Great post. You gotta love kids. LOL

    I just wanted to stop and support a favorite author.

    Billie Jo

  8. Billie Jo

    Hey Cathy

    Great blog. You gotta love kids.

    I just wanted to stop by and support one of my favorite authors.

    Billie Jo

  9. Billie Jo

    Hey Cathy

    Great blog. You gotta love kids.

    I just wanted to pop by and support one of my favorite authors.

    Billie Jo

  10. Billie Jo

    Hey Cathy

    Great blog. You gotta love kids.

    I just wanted to pop on and support one of my favorite authors.

    Billie Jo

  11. Fedora

    Catherine, thank you for a wonderful post today! Congrats on being both an author and a mom! Both roles are tremendously important, and aren’t the limit of what you do during a day! And congratulations on both your personal and professional successes! Can’t wait to read more of your writing 🙂

  12. Billie Jo

    Hey Cathy

    Great blog You just gotta love kids.

    Just popped on to support one ofmy favorite authors.

    Billie Jo

  13. Michele R.

    Hi Catherine,

    What an incredible blog! I loved your story! You are an inspiration to those of us who think we don’t have time to write a story. Seeing how you work those magic minutes in to write is interesting. Take care and many kudos to you!

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