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Walking the crooked path

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Putting it all together

As I approached my 40th birthday (nearly a decade ago), I decided that a few major life changes were in order. I was a successful writer and editor with a busy consulting business, but my personal writing projects were too often neglected. I was fed up with my intermittent creativity: the half-finished novel, the sporadic writing sessions, the delayed dedication.

As a business owner and the mother of five, there were always 34,817 things on my to-do list that outranked being creative. I was extremely capable and productive but had trouble applying those skills to my personal creative goals. There had to be a better way.

I knew women out there who were succeeding in their creative work while holding down the fort. What were they doing that I wasn’t? I decided to interview mother artists in a range of media and life situations.

In a series of interviews with dozens of women — from a successful potter in The Hague to an aspiring poet in Houston — I discovered a fascinating paradigm: creatively satisfied women were doing a few simple things that less satisfied women were not.

I started writing a book about what I discovered. In the meantime, I launched a blog, Studio Mothers, to explore those discoveries and support others through the challenges of creative motherhood. During the years that followed, I learned an enormous amount about creativity, developed a strong network, and began to do the work I most wanted to do.

To add a formal foundation to my research and coaching, I enrolled with the national Creativity Coaching Association (CCA) and completed my certification in 2011. Becoming a certified creativity coach was the natural next step in following my passion for helping others to live their fullest, most creative lives.

In September 2017, my illustrated life-design journal, LIFE BY DESIGN, will be published by Castle Point Books/St. Martin's Press. I'm beyond thrilled to have my coaching strategies and paradigms made accessible to a broad audience.

On the writing front, my work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston Globe Magazine, Wild Apples, Sun Magazine, Bay Area Parent, the Parent Review, Exceptional Parent, and Bainbiridge Island Review, among other publications. My short story “Learning to Cook" was shortlisted for the 2004 Raymond Carver Short Fiction Award. My work can also be read at the Foundation for Art and Healing, Creative Every Day, Bliss Habits, and Creativity Calling, the newsletter of the CCA.

I've had the pleasure of being interviewed and quoted here:

Proud mama footnote: My five children are now 26, 23, 21, 12, and 9. My two oldest sons are both professional musicians. If you'd like to sample some serious creative inspiration, check out R.D. King (Ithaca College School of Music) and Matthew Kniffin (Berklee College of Music).

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