We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauri Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauri, what matters most to you?

I have a deep need for people to care for other people. Even as introverted as I can be and as much as I joke about not wanting to “people,” I love people. The world cannot function with all of us living as though our individual choices and actions don’t affect one another. It is my greatest wish that we all see that. That we all understand how we can make someone else’s life better just by treating one another with respect and equity. That we actively fight for those who need help fighting for themselves and that those who are marginalized are listened to and given the platforms needed to have their voices amplified.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’ve been writing my whole life. I wrote stories when I was a little kid and I would make up movies scenes in my head. I never did the whole movie, just bits and pieces – usually gruesome stuff like car accidents and death and destruction. There was always a lot of dramatic crying. I used to play with a friend and we would act out what we imagined the outtakes would be like for TV shows. I would actually write out lines for outtakes and we’d be the actors “messing up.” I was a weird kid. When I was a teenager, it was super angsty poetry. Silly stuff like that. Now, my goal is to share the real moments in my life in a way others can relate. I want to give those events – the funny, the heartbreaking, and the uplifting – the opportunity to help other people -moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers- navigate their own day to day “stuff.” I think I’m most proud of what I’m doing when I get a message or email from someone who shares with me how a piece I’ve written has impacted them personally. I’ve written a lot about the loss of my son, Andrew. When I get messages from parents who are coping with grief and who’ve found some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone, I know I’m making a difference.

None of this is easy. Writing is hard. Making a living with writing is harder. I’m still working a full time job, fifty hours a week while writing, too. You have to hustle all the time. You have to be able to handle rejection most of the time. Writing on the internet is rough because people can be freer with their comments when they feel anonymous and I’ve never really developed a thick skin. I push through because I know we all have a story to tell. We all need to feel a part of a community and that is what I hope I’m creating here with my writing. A community and a safe place.

I started out with nothing. I didn’t know how to set up my website (still don’t, I pay someone to maintain that, lol!). I didn’t really know how to do anything except tell stories. I had some friends who helped out with setting me up. I had no audience except for some family and 3 or 4 friends who love me unconditionally and they have my gratitude until the end of time for reading, commenting, and loving on my earliest efforts. That was six years ago. I just had my “anniversary” or “birthday” or whatever we’d call it for my blog and I’m still hustling and still working and still figuring things out.

I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is that I will never be finished and I’ll never stop learning. I’ll never feel like I’ve arrived at any end. Every time I reach a goal I celebrate for about a minute and then I realize I’ve already moved on to the next goal. Everything is always changing and evolving and moving. I want to write books, I want to make people laugh, I want to touch hearts, I want to do more video. There is some frustration in never feeling like you’ve arrived, but I’m always excited about what else there could be that I haven’t thought about, yet.

What do I want you to know about me and my brand? I don’t know why that is hard for me to answer. I guess that I am my own person. I’m not an “in the box” kind of person so I don’t feel like I fit the mommy blogger label or the humor writer or human interest labels, either. I find that people get annoyed with me, sometimes, when I get out of whatever lane they perceive I should be in. I hope people realize that writers write. I am going to always write about what I feel called or compelled to put out there. If an idea makes me spit laugh or makes me cry or makes me think deeply about the world or my place in it, I’m probably going to write about it. I am going to give my platform over to other writers who’ve written and should be heard; I’ll share their words as well. A lot of the time that makes me very uncomfortable. It can make readers uncomfortable. I don’t apologize for it. Being uncomfortable is how things get done and how we move forward. One of my very favorite quotes comes from Walt Disney. “Keep moving forward.” I always want to do that. We should never forget what is behind us because we need to learn from our history, correct what is wrong, and build on the good, but in doing that I want to be looking ahead always.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in a town of about 5K so we’d have to branch out up to Seattle. I’m a HUGE baseball fan, so if the Mariners are in town that is a must. There is nothing like live baseball. I would most definitely head to Pike Place. It is iconic. Everyone has to see them throw the fish and visit the waterfront. Oh! And the Space Needle. And the zoo! I’m kind of excited about this question because my life really revolves around work, home, and my kids’ activities so I don’t get out much. lol. There is a ton of hiking to do around the PNW. So many parks. As far as food, I’m not up on all the hot spots, so I’d probably have to do a hard Google search, but in my little town we have a great spot called the Blue Rooster with awesome flatbreads and charcuterie boards, amazing drinks and the atmosphere is so relaxing. I love it there!

The reality is, though, that if my best friends were in town for a week, we’d probably head to the nearest beach, rent a house and sit. We’d listen to music, make each other laugh till we pee, Google for food, and just be happy to be in each others’ company.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Ooof! That’s a long list. My family, who puts up with crazy hours of meeting deadlines, constant live feeds happening in our house, and me writing about everything they do. Absolutely nothing good happens here without my husband, daughter, and sons. My poor husband. He was trying to be romantic with me once (he’s romantic a lot, don’t get me wrong… it happened more than once) and I said, “Hang on a minute. I’ll be right back. I just got an idea for a piece.” I left him to write it down. That’s real partnership, right there.

In the past several years I have been so fortunate to be part of a group of women who started out as colleagues working on a project together and ended up among the closest of friends. Mia Carella, Jeba Pandian, Dana Kamp, and Meredith Masony have become that core group of women who are not only fabulous writers and content creators, but they are among my greatest of friends. We are scattered around the country, but it is rare that a day goes by without texts or calls. There is no amount of gratitude that would be enough to give to this group of women. I love them with all of my heart. Even as I am writing this we are messaging one another. Every one of us has reached out to another for help, encouragement, and support over and over through the years. There is no way I would be doing what I’m doing without them. I only hope that I might ever give back to them the gifts that they give to me every day.

Website: www.mamaneedsanap.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mamaneedsa_nap/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauri-walker-01b437186/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MamaNeedsa_Nap

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mamaneedsanap

Other: I’m featured in two anthologies: https://www.amazon.com/Lauri-Walker/e/B07PGL35GC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_3

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