At Literary Fiction Book Review (September 23, 2014)
At Black Heart Magazine by Susan Tepper (September 20, 2014)
At AndiLit.com-A Writer's Write Interview by Andi Cumbo-Floyd ( )
At Heavy Feather Review by Len Kuntz (May 21, 2014)
What Came Before
By Kat Ward
A surprising truth: marriage, family, and a career or employment eat up the lion’s share of the day. How can that be? How can this new world, which we chose, consume so much time that one’s creative need must be cast aside?
My attempts to carve out a space for my fiction writing came in the form of an alarm ringing obnoxiously at 4:30 a.m. This would give me an hour and a half to devote to my creative love before waking my wee one and beginning our day. The snooze button would be pushed, but hopefully only once, then I was rising to splash cold water on my face, make coffee, set up my corner of the dining room table that faced East, and open the window to a lightening sky. Finally, I would sit down to write while the world still slept. It was luscious and productive. It also added to my exhaustion—I was divorced, working 6-day weeks as I started a photography/headshot business, and trying to remain solvent (no child support those first few years). Between drop off and pick up from daycare/pre-school/elementary school, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and bathing, while also reading, soothing, comforting, playing, and being with my child—I found I was hitting my emotional, mental, and physical limit, hitting a brick wall, every single day. And though writing fiction helped keep me sane, this pure act of creating, which was a caring gesture to address my needs and wants, very often did not fit into my 24-hour day. Days of not writing slid quickly into weeks and months. Only after a time, when I began to feel restless, antsy, slightly anxious and untethered, did I try once more to write. I never managed to settle into a groove or establish a routine because the first thing that fell off my list if I was running out of hours in the day was my writing, even though writing usually settled my feet back onto firm ground. But this inconsistency—and the failure I felt from being inconsistent—is much of the reason why my novel took ten years to finish.