Over the past few years I’ve been very conscious about simplifying my life and living with less stress. The challenge is that thinking about it is MUCH different than living it. I have also kept a daily journal for several decades, using the writing process to work out challenges and problems, as well as a record of successes and things I am grateful for.
When I saw Katherine A. Rayne’s book which not only talked about living a simpler life AND journaling, I had to talk with her.
Katherine A. Rayne: I’ve loved writing stories and poetry since I was super young and have always kept journals, especially once I became pregnant with my first child 23 years ago. Soon after, I took countless creative writing courses to improve my writing. My life as a “writer” began officially when I started freelance writing for a local magazine in 2010. It was during that time that I put all of my notes together that I’d been keeping for a decade and completed my first book, Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man), a self-help book on all relationships.
Melanie Rockett: Your latest book #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal is about using a journal to cut through the clutter. Can you tell us how you came to write it?
Katherine A. Rayne: I’m a clutterbug and I was tired of being one. So I wrote my way out of the clutter. My mind and thoughts can become stifled if my home isn’t in an organized state, and as a single, working mom, I could get it organized, but it was getting harder and harder to keep it that way. So I began decluttering, one step at a time, one room at a time, and journaled my progress. It worked for me and I loved the feeling of accomplishment that it brought me every day.
Melanie Rockett: #Live Simply #Live Elegantly talks to women who are overwhelmed . . . overwhelmed with their jobs, children, family, friends; overwhelmed with life. How does one even begin to address overwhelm, in this stress-filled world?
Katherine A. Rayne: By simplifying! We have to admit to ourselves that sometimes we just can’t do it all, and also embrace that we shouldn’t expect ourselves to do it all. We need to determine what should take priority and then let the less important things go. As women, we are so hard on ourselves and ask so much of ourselves, but don’t do enough to take care of ourselves. We need to give ourselves just as much priority as we give to our families and work. If we aren’t functioning at our best, we can’t do our best at those things that are important to us.
Melanie Rockett: In your book and on your blog Back to Being a Woman, you talk about priorities. How do YOU prioritize your writing and fit it all in? I know of some writers who get up between 4 and 5 AM to write, while others just chip away five minutes at a time. How do you get your blog posts and books written in your busy schedule?
Katherine A. Rayne: I do a lot of late night writing and weekend writing. I’m not a morning person, so getting up an hour early each day to write would be useless because my brain would just want to go back to bed. My creative time is evening time. I’m also a preschool teacher, so summers off is the time that I utilize to compile all of my notes I’ve written over the year and put them into a cohesive manuscript. Then I edit, edit, edit. And right now, I’m doing an ABC’s Weekly Blog Series I’ve committed to, so I make myself sit down at the end of each week to get it posted on time. There’s 26 letters in the alphabet and I’m already to H this week. I can’t stop until I’ve reached Z. It’s great incentive.
Melanie Rockett: What’s next? Do you have more books on the go? Projects on the back burner? What can we expect from you next?
Katherine A. Rayne: I promised myself I wouldn’t write any more books this year. I did one right after another and now I’m just having fun with my blogs, Facebook and social media posts. I just completed a children’s book that has my heart all over it, so I am seeking agents/publishers for it now. The artwork and story are both complete and I’m really proud of it. It’s a fun story to encourage preschoolers to brush their teeth.
I also will keep marketing my books I’ve already published. There are five and each one is very different from the next. One is an adult coloring book that actually interviews you with each drawing and has space for your answers to questions like, what are your beasts of burdens, or who is your favorite author, or what makes you peaceful. By the end of the book, you know yourself a little bit better. I created it with the idea in mind that friends could sit down and do their books alongside one another. My illustrations are much simpler than the adult coloring books out there. Those images tend to overwhelm me, since I don’t have a full hour to sit and color like some of the other books seem to require. Mine is simpler and more focused on the interview questions. It’s titled, Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book. I’m in the middle of completing my copy and I don’t yet have all of the questions answered but it makes me think about them and my life more. I’m excited to get to the end of the book!
Melanie Rockett: Thanks for chatting with us Katherine! If you have never kept a journal before, find out what a difference it can make in de-stressing your life. Get Katherine’s book #Live Simply #Live Elegantly
Be sure to check out Katherine A. Rayne’s other books on her Amazon Page and keep in touch with her through the following website and social media links.