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Episode 25: Finding Your Flow in Other Facets of Your Life

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“Even as adults, I think a lot of people really want to be published, but it’s such a journey, and you have to enjoy it,” shares Natalie Rompella, middle school teacher and children’s author. Natalie’s Masters in Education and background in science combined with her love of teaching children took her down a path to publishing more than 60 children’s books. Her chemistry professor encouraged Natalie to publish the picture book she had created for her final class project and the rest is history. Natalie now teaches various levels of creative writing and helps kids learn how to lean into their creativity and write something besides nonfiction essays.

Publishing does not always have to be the goal behind writing. Writing as a creative exercise has merit in itself for both adults and children, encouraging mindfulness and using the imagination to stretch the limits of what is possible. When people learn how to write for fun, they are also learning how to let go. Adults have a bad habit of getting so caught up in their busy lives that they don’t take time to be creative just for fun. So, it is important to give creative writing a chance and allow your creativity a chance to flow. 

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to learn more about Natalie’s catalytic moment, the benefits of creative writing, and how to go with the flow.

About Natalie Rompella, Author:

Natalie Rompella is the author of more than sixty books and resources for children, including an insect picture book: The World Never Sleeps (Tilbury House) (a 2019 IL Reads selection); an #OwnVoices middle grade novel: Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners (Sky Pony Press); a writing workbook: Secrets of Storytelling (Rockridge Press); and her new picture book coming out this fall: Malik’s Number Thoughts: A Story about OCD (Albert Whitman & Co.). She is a former elementary and middle school teacher, as well as a former museum educator and curriculum coordinator for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How Natalie became a children’s author
  • Reaching a state of flow with kids is possible
  • How Natalie does school visits/writing workshops to try to help kids get motivated when writing


  • “A lot of kids who write science fiction end up going into the fields of science and technology. And I had just never made that connection of science-fiction is what’s possible.” (6:29-6:42 | Natalie)


  • “Even as adults, I think a lot of people go into it, they really want to be published, but it’s such a journey, and you have to enjoy it.” (14:26-14:34 | Natalie)


  • “It took me 15 years to finally realize I write the best first thing in the morning. So I was not using the time I was most productive. I had to really be mindful and think about when am I most productive? When do I feel the most creative?” (21:39-21:57 | Natalie)


  • “When you write, you have to get to a point where you have pride in what you wrote. Where you want to not necessarily share it with other people, but you want to hold on to it.” (25:34-25:44 | Natalie)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Natalie Rompella:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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