Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Cycles


A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...


Returning to Writing

“Bobby…Julia…Mark…” My fifth grade teacher called each student to the front of the classroom to fetch our graded short story essays – our final project for the year.

I had spent hours brainstorming a storyline for that particular piece of fiction, and even more time writing, erasing, and rewriting each page in perfect cursive. It was my finest work to date!

“Kristin.” I sprung up from my seat.

As I reached for my paper, Mr. Scates bent down deliberately and whispered, “Excellent work. One day I’m going to hand you a book to sign for me because you’re going to be an author.”

Even at such a young age I stood there staggered at the weight of his words before replying, “Thank you, Mr. Scates. I would like that.”

I walked back to my desk with a colossal grin, studying the large red “A+” crowning the top of my very first “book.”

Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

Writing has always been my passion, an outlet, and my preferred form of communication. I’m a mediocre public speaker, and I often can’t find the appropriate words during daily interactions, but give me a laptop and a blank word document and I will articulate the very inner workings of my thoughts and sentiments. That’s just me.

After that day in Mr. Scates class, I continued to write many more short stories, essays, and poems – some for school but mostly as an artistic exodus in my free time.

As I got older and some of the realities of the real world materialized, I recognized the challenges in earning a substantial income from writing. Consequently, I veered off my course a bit, obtaining a major in marketing followed by an ascent up the corporate ladder.

In my corporate life, writing existed for me in the form of business plans, press releases, and ad copy. Although my work was huddled under the creative umbrella, I missed being able to write outside of the branded lines – in my own voice.

Ten years into my career, my husband and I welcomed our first baby who brought animated color into our composed lifestyle. My black and white corporate job couldn’t compete with her radiance, so I pivoted and submerged into a new existence as a stay-at-home mom.

Three months in to my new role, I was already spellbound by motherhood’s gamut of emotions – raw joy, confusion, excitement, exhaustion – and I had no choice but to write everything down. I was unchained from the corporate world, in the presence of a tiny muse, and had about two hours per day -- during naps – to unload my thoughts onto a mommy blog.

Miraculously, other mothers began reading my words and relating to my affections. Suddenly, I had built a small community of women – new mothers – who appreciated my honesty and thanked me for articulating their feelings.

These moms who echo my mommy deliberations while navigating the open seas of motherhood are now my propeller launching me forward on my writing journey.

And here I sit, 23 years after my fifth grade teacher planted a seed, which grew into my heart and circulated through my veins, and is making my fingers dance across a keyboard at this very moment. A passion that never died, a spark that never fizzled.


Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects. 

Kristin Helms is a San Diego based stay-at-home mom to a 2 year old daughter and a 7 month old son. In 2013 she traded in fancy suits and an office with a view for yoga pants and life on the home front. Her transformation from corporate life to mom life has been a riotous journey and she documents the humorous and honest side of motherhood on her blog and Instagram. Kristin’s mommy musings have been published on The Huffington Post, Pregnant Chicken, and Big City Moms, among others.

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This is beautiful! I can totally relate to the pivot from a corporate job to SAHM. I did it, too. And it was hard. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
I also had an elementary school teacher encourage my writing. In fact, I saved (and even know where to find it!) her feedback on a school report I wrote in the sixth grade. Teachers often never know the impact of their words!
I'm so glad you are writing more, and more. It is very inspiring to read brought me back to my childhood too. Writing for pleasure is also something I gave up at one point in life, though like you, I always wrote - mostly for school or for business. Growing up I had a lot of journals, wrote a lot of letters. I even remember wanting to publish my own magazine. Motherhood also brought me back to this lovely creative outlet and talent that I am constantly trying to refine. Thank God for blogging! And for people like you who remind us that it's never too late to pick up where we left off. I love your story and following your journey, mama. Thank you for sharing.
I can completely relate to so many points in this article. Hearing your description of how writing made you feel when you were in school brought back so many memories! You've inspired me to write about my own story of writing and motherhood!
Love this, Kristin!! Always get warm fuzzies overtime I read one of your articles. Adore your writing style and overall boss-babe mama life!
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