As a mom, it can be tough to balance life, let alone working towards a long-held passion. Yet, by combining the two, local moms are finding ways to be inspired and forge ahead in the quest to become better writers.
Kirsten Branch, a Danville mother of two young boys, is also the Managing Editor of The Writing Mamas. The new writing club is one of a few branches from a Marin-based group formed by Dawn Yun.
For Branch, a freelance writer and editor who worked for years as a professional bookseller, the group of mothers who liked to write was a perfect fit for her life.
"I was looking around for a place that would understand the balance that I have to strive for as a mother, focused on raising my family but also as an aspiring writer," she said. "Writing groups just didn't seem to fit. [The Writing Mamas is a wonderful concept; it's a writing group and a mothers group."
The group meets once a month, on the third Sunday of the month. This month, however, with Father's Day taking over the third Sunday of June, they will meet from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, June 27 at read. booksellers, located at 3630 Blackhawk Plaza Circle.
At the meetings, Branch said they create a nurturing place where moms can write, whine and wine.
"The vision is to provide a place for moms who write or would like to write," she said. "It's also a mothers group, helping women process the challenges and joys of motherhood with the support of friendships and creativity."
There, the women can learn to improve their writing, receive gentle and constructive feedback as well as learn about the business of writing. While the group is comprised of mothers, many of them range in age. During the kick-off meeting last month, there was a mother of a weeks-old baby as well as a grandmother.
"[The age range adds a lot of fullness and dimension with mothering, but also the range of experience that comes from writing," Branch said.
As The Writing Mamas grows, they plan to cover writing-related topics and hear from speakers, as well as take the time to write and share happenings. The group may also grow to do activities that the Marin branch is currently doing, including retreats and a "Mama Monologues" performance for charity.
Early on, the focus is to gel with each other and build relationships. That's what's important, Branch said, to have a safe place to write and discuss.
Member dues are $100 per year and the first meeting is free. For more information about the group, email Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org.