A Journey of Writing, Mentorship, and Resilience with K Starling

Meet K Starling, a passionate writer and mentor who found her calling in supporting families with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Her journey began with personal struggles and self-discovery, leading her to embrace her unique quirks and creativity. Inspired by her son’s deafness, K Starling not only penned a novel filled with wit and charm but also embarked on a mission to mentor and guide families facing similar challenges. Through her experiences, she learned the value of perseverance, self-compassion, and the beauty of diversity. Join us as we delve into her inspiring story of resilience, creativity, and making a positive impact in the world.

Can you share with us your personal story and journey that led you to become a ghostwriter and mentor for families of deaf and hard of hearing children?

What inspired you to choose this particular niche for your creative project and writing endeavors?

My inspiration for writing and mentoring families with Deaf and hard-of-hearing children are one and the same. 

In my earlier years, I felt that I was too “me,” too quirky, too playful, too different. I hid my “me-ness,” presenting only the sides of my personality that I perceived as acceptable. 

When my son was born deaf, it set me on a path where being comfortable with being uncomfortable was essential. Time and experience taught me the beauty of variety, and I decided to love my me-ness. 

This experience led me to write this novel, which is quirky, snarky, and playful. It also gave me the courage to realize I could be a mentor to other families with deaf or hard-of-hearing children. 

What were some of the major struggles or challenges you faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?

For six years, I have struggled with anxiety and PTSD. There were days when I had to dedicate every ounce of strength to battling my panic so that I could just cuddle my kids, make dinner, and clean the house. By the end of the day, there would be nothing left, no creative spark. 

Patience, treatment, and time have brought me to a place where I feel safe enough to create once again. Finding the right therapist and the treatment that worked for me was essential, as was having compassion for myself.

Can you tell us about a specific moment or experience that taught you a valuable lesson in your journey as a writer and mentor?

My fourth-grade teacher set me on this path thirty years ago. She noticed a creative spark I had never known I had. Her name was Mrs. Bremmer, and her faith in me inspired me to write and create art.

There is one moment, in particular, that I recall. When I was younger, she told my mother, “Your daughter is creative and talented. She still can’t spell, but she is so gifted.” Until that moment, I thought perfection was essential. That unless I could create a masterpiece, I ought not to try at all. Her words reminded me that I did not need to be perfect to write. Instead, I needed to create and seek support to fill in that which I lacked.

How do you balance your role as a writer and mentor with your personal life and family responsibilities?

Balance has been a hard-fought battle that I do not always win. When you work from home, it’s easy to allow your work to leak into your personal time, and visa versa. The temptation of “just five more minutes” is hard to overcome. 

In my life, I have learned (and am still learning) to set schedule time for work and time for my family. There are hours during the day I dedicate to each. While I do try to guard those times, life happens—kids get sick, or deadlines shift. When the unexpected happens, I try to have grace with myself and coordinate with my husband to shift our family’s schedule.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers and mentors who are looking to make a positive impact through their work?

Be kind to yourself and others. The first one is fairly easy; however, the second can be quite challenging. It’s tempting to hand our inner critics a megaphone. Don’t. People make mistakes. People have hard days. It’s part of the human experience, including yours. 

Can you share any upcoming projects or goals you have for the future?

My first novel, Talismans, Teacups, and Trysts, will be released this year under my pen name. Let’s just say it has been described as Jane Austen meets dragons with the occasional murder (and tea, lots of tea). I intend to author four novels in this series and a romance in the same universe.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work so far? 

Experiencing the stunning variety in humanity. Before my son was born, I had only known a word of sound and speech, yet, when he was born, I was thrust into a world I had never known, where excitement is expressed in expressions, not a tone or a qualifier. It taught me to appreciate experiences outside of my own.

This lesson has carried over into my career as a writer. The diversity of stories shared in our world is vast, and I love supporting other authors in their journeys.

How do you stay inspired and motivated during times of uncertainty or creative blocks?

My son’s name means “to persevere,” and he and my entire family motivate me to press on. Mentoring families after they receive a diagnosis that their child has a hearing difference is not easy. When I feel uncertain, I remember how I felt ten years ago when my son was diagnosed. I walked the path alone, but the families I work with don’t have to.

With my writing, once again, my family keeps me motivated. They are there to support me, and I could not have come this far without them. Whenever I face a fresh challenge, I seek advice and support but never let the uncertainty tie my hands. Mistakes are our teachers. I try to remember that.

Finally, how can people connect with you and support your work? 

Connect with me on Threads and TikTok @authorkstarling or check out my author page on Amazon.

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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