Carla Naumburg is the author of How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids. We caught up with her recently to ask some questions—about her book and her writing process —and here’s what she had to say:
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I got the idea for my book when I was out on a hike with my husband—without our kids. (Mama needs a little headspace if her brain cells are going to start working again!) We had just gotten to the top of the mountain, and I turned to him and said, I should write a book about how to stop losing your shit with your kids. And I should call it How to Stop Losing Your Shit With Your Kids.
But that moment had been the culmination of years of professional study (I’m a clinical social worker) and personal work. I’m the mother of two daughters (ages 10 & 12), and I was losing my shit with them a lot in their early years. I knew I didn’t want to parent that way, but I didn’t know how to change the dynamic. My personal work, which included going to therapy, talking to parenting experts, working with a sleep specialist, and practicing mindfulness, all helped me lose my shit with my kids a whole lot less often and informed this book.
How long did it take you to write the book? What was the hardest part/most challenging part of the writing process?
Once I had the contract, it took me about a year to write this book.
The most challenging part of the writing process for this book was figuring out how much of my personal experience to include, and how to frame it. I knew I wanted to be authentic and honest about my struggles with parenting and shit loss, but I didn’t want to overshare—which I am definitely prone to doing! I had several of my friends who are parents read the manuscript, and it turned out that my guy friends gave me the most useful feedback in this area. They definitely let me know when I was including too much irrelevant detail, which was so helpful!
Was there anything you ended up including in your book that surprised you/you didn’t expect?
No, not really. I’m a major plotter (as opposed to a pantser) for all of my books, and I need to know what’s going to go in the book before I write it.
What did you learn about yourself when writing the book?
I learned that my best writing happens when I show up with my true voice, which is a bit snarky, a bit sarcastic, mildly profane, and always honest and authentic.
What books are currently on your nightstand/bedside table?
I’m currently reading One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London (super fun rom com that absolutely skewers the world of reality TV), How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes by Melinda Wenner-Moyer (comes out in July of 2021), and my favorite middle-grade book, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.
Carla Naumburg, PhD is the author of How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids, out now.
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