Interview: Blogger and Writer Katie Schnolis of Peace, Love, and Yoga Pants

Writing and yoga pants go hand in hand (along with comfy hoodies and fuzzy socks!) so I jumped at the chance to catch up with Katie Schnolis of the blog Peace, Love, and Yoga Pants.

What inspired you to start your blog, Peace, Love, and Yoga Pants?

I had the urge to share my story in bits and pieces.  I guess that’s what a blog is, right? I felt like I had more to say than what could comfortably fit in social media posts or at a dinner table conversation.  A blog just sits there patiently for you, and you can read it whenever you’re ready.  You can subscribe, even, and your email tells you when you can read it.  Technology.  What a great gift. 

I come from a family of many writers.  My dad was a writer, my two eldest siblings are writers, and my mom wrote often.  Letters.  She wrote letters to the editors of publications for subjects she found incredibly important, she wrote letters of support when she thought someone needed an electronic pat on the back, she wrote to inmates because they had no one else to talk to and she couldn’t imagine being that lonely.  “I’ve got time, paper and a pen,” she’d say.

As far as naming it, when I started my blog in 2015, I’d hit the skids, in a matter of speaking.  My dad died in 2014, and in 2015 I got sick for many months, missed a lot of work, saw too many doctors with too few diagnoses.  For half a second I thought about naming it Peace, Love and Happiness, but at the time happiness seemed out of my reach.  Peace what was I longed for, love was what I wanted to share with the world, and yoga pants were the vehicle by which to get both of those.  Who doesn’t feel peaceful and loving while wearing yoga pants? I’m tellin’ ya, it takes much longer to bring about peace with tight jeans.

I understand you have a book in the works.  Tell us about that.

My dad had bipolar disorder and wrote a manuscript that he never published.  He ended up writing the book around 1983, and I eventually read it as an adult at some point, but don’t remember many of the details besides the big talking points: his illness and the effect on our family.  After he died in 2014, I talked to my siblings about my publishing his book with my book chapters feathered in between his.  You see, as it turns out, I have bipolar disorder as well, and some of my story sounds like his.  My siblings gave me the go-ahead to use my dad’s story and I’ve been writing mine alongside his. It’s a little bit: “Mental health life and treatment: then and now”.  

What advice do you have for anyone who’s trying to balance their writing life with family and children?

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, because that will just make you miserable. 

Do your best. 

Some parents get up early to write so they can focus before the kids start making noise.  Others stay up late for similar reasons.  “Me time.”  That’s what you need.  Finding an appropriate amount of “me time” that works for your family isn’t selfish.  It’s healthy, and it will demonstrate for your kids healthy boundaries and interests.  My favorite author Anne Lamott says often that you just need to sit (butt in chair!) and write regularly.  Make a schedule and stick to it.  If you can only manage 15 minutes a day, that’s almost two hours a week! It really adds up.  It’s good for your kids to see you chasing your dreams!

 Follow that still, small voice telling you to do it because no one else will do it for you. 

As my brother Mike, a fellow writer tells me, “Sit down and write!”

Coffee or tea?

Iced tea.  When I’m not drinking water.

Have you always been interested in writing?

Yes.  I can picture myself as a six or seven-year-old when I used to ride my bike around my neighborhood.  I spent a lot of time by myself and would have a running narrative in my head.  “She rode her bike up the shady hill to the small playground to find two kids she’d never met before…”

I constantly narrated my day as a kid.  It hasn’t really stopped. 

What’s your favorite place to write?

My office desktop computer.  My husband and I found a used desk online and it’s absolutely just right for me.  The walls are painted a shade named Hawaiian Blue, which is a teal-ish color.  The carpet tiles are multicolored because I love all things bright.  I’ve got some paintings on the walls, year-round Christmas lights and some pictures of my parents and other family members.  I never write without a candle to light my way. 

Are you reading anything good right now?

I’m about halfway through Dear Evan Hansen, which I giddily stole from my son.  It’s got some surprising differences from the movie and soundtrack – I haven’t seen the stage production yet.  It’s quite enjoyable. 

I’m also reading Matt Haig’s The Comfort Book.  If you’re not familiar with Matt Haig, (please get  so, now!) he writes both fiction and non-fiction; adult and children’s books.  The back cover of The Comfort Book says, “The Comfort Book is a collection of little parcels of hope.  Gathering notes, proverbs and stories, it gifts us with new ways of seeing ourselves, the world and ourselves in the world.”  It’s sweet, insightful and kind.

I have to ask:  What are your favorite yoga pants?

THEY STOPPED MAKING THEM! I’m so sad.  I can’t go on. 

Okay, I’ll go on.  It was an active pair by Old Navy and they’re no longer available.  Now my (rare) yoga pants-shopping life consists of reading review after review, but *sigh*.  They’re never the same. 

***

About Katie: Writer of life-y things, employee for companies usually related to marketing, mental health advocate, wife, mom, fur ball mom, sister, frustrated crocheter just trying to learn how to make a freaking hat.  Yes, she’s tried YouTube, no, she’s not getting any better.  Her scarves look pretty nice.  She doesn’t have any awards yet, but you know that thing when people flip their hands upside down and make their index fingers and thumbs into circles and put them on their face and make them look like they’re wearing glasses? Yeah.  She can do that.  And she’s incredibly grateful that you would take the time to read this.

You can find Katie at Peace, Love, and Yoga Pants as well as on Facebook.

***

Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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