When I was pregnant I read about how babies cry not just to get their needs met, but also to release overstimulation, or accumulated stress and emotional upset.
For children, (and adults too!), crying is a healing process, when there is a loving adult to listen. There are actually stress hormones contained in tears.
This really resonated with me. In my early twenties I went through a difficult period. I did lots of journal writing, as well as yoga and mediation to process my feelings. With hindsight I realised all of these modalities helped me cry more easily. I also taught creative writing workshops and many of my students were writing memoir. They would often start crying as they read their work aloud to our group.
I was fascinated how we could help our children heal from the beginning of their lives so they wouldn’t grow up carrying a heavy weight of emotional baggage.
I was surprised that few parents seemed to know about this. We are more fixated on avoiding upsets in our children rather than really listening.
I trained with an organisation called Hand in Hand parenting, and learnt more about children’s emotions, and how listening to them can help with behaviour challenges.
I had the idea floating around to write a book called Tears Heal, and share this information with parents.
Then my grandmother died. I felt very close to her and was devastated. In a funny kind of way this helped me get motivated. I’d eat some dark chocolate and then go to a coffee shop to write. Working on something to help parents lifted me out of my sadness.
It took me eight months to write a proposal. The second agent I tried loved the idea. Within a few weeks I had a publishing deal with Piatkus.
After that the writing flowed. I was fuelled by an anxiety that I had never written a book before, and the uncertainty about making my deadline. As a full time mum, my time was limited. In the end I finished six months before my deadline! It helped that my husband is a teacher, and looked after my daughter during his holidays so I could write.
Now I’m focusing on getting out there, teaching parenting workshops, and building an online presence. I’ve been reading a great book called Build Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, and thinking how in our modern age it’s really the writer’s responsibility to publicise themselves. I used to feel a bit negative about social media, but his book taught me that it can be a wonderful way to help each other, and make real human connections. That’s what my book is all about.
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