Rachel Doll

 Author Rachel Doll talks to the Motherly Musing team:

1) Tell us a bit about the pieces you have in Motherly Musings.  What was the inspiration for your work, and do you have any comments or thoughts about your featured work that you would like to share with readers?
First Snow was a scramble to find paper and a stub of pencil to record a magical moment shared with my oldest daughter.  A Moth to a Flame was one of the many journal entries during our years of infertility.  The inspiration for Pausing happened in our mud room, as I was rushing to get my youngest daughter to preschool.  She was happily making a design in some sand on the floor and quietly saying “Someone smells stinky!” as I tried to make our life fit a schedule. Soaking it In was written as I grappled with the myriad of emotions that comes from wanting, losing and having the gift of children.
2) How long have you been writing and how did you get started? 
I remember filling journals in high school, pouring out my emotions even then.   Over the years I came to realize that others not only shared those emotions, but that I could connect with people through my writing.
3) In general, the pieces that appear in Motherly Musings are about parenting, mothers, or children.  Does this theme permeate your other writing? What other themes and ideas influence your work?
I definitely write best when I am writing what I know, sometimes my hand has a hard time keeping up with my thoughts!  Even my fiction has elements taken from family experiences.  I try to focus my writing on the emotions of a scene, whether fiction or non-fiction; the smells, tastes, textures go a long way in expressing emotions.
4) Are you working on any other writing projects at the moment?   
 I am currently working on a non-fiction book entitled “Beating on the Chest of God; Questioning Faith in the Battle of Infertility.”  This book will be an interactive, honest look at the things we tell ourselves and one another when going through hard times, and will give the reader space to write her own emotions.
5) What is your greatest challenge as writer? 
 My first thought is that time is my greatest challenge, but honestly I have a hard time putting my writing as a priority.  The more I write, the more I trust myself.  I know making writing a habit, and writing even when I think I have nothing to say, is a great way to keep connected to my muse.
6) What are you reading right now?  (Don't be shy--Good Night Moon and People Magazine count! :-)
   I am enjoying reading about better ways of eating (Kris Carr's “Crazy, Sexy Diet” and “Gillian McKeith's Food Bible”) and am also learning much about myself through Brene Brown's “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “The Middle Way” by the Dalai Lama.
7) Any final thoughts, advice, or comments you'd like to leave our readers with?
We all have so much to learn about ourselves, just waiting on the blank pages of a journal or notebook.  Start writing and get to know yourself!

Rachel Whaley Doll grew up on the coast of North Carolina, and earned a degree in education from East Carolina University. She enjoys interacting with children and youth, through teaching as well as a variety of leadership roles in Christian youth conferences.  Her husband, Aaron is a Presbyterian minister, and Rachel enjoys her role as a minister's wife; and really enjoys breaking stereotypes as people get to know her!

A four year battle with infertility shook her faith in God and in herself. Writing through the journey helped to keep her sanity, and also helped her connect with others. Today she spends her days experiencing the world with her two amazing daughters, volunteering in the community, sharing with the Biblical storytelling group “Women of the Well”and, as always, writing.

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