This is a corrected version of yesterday's newsletter. We made a few late edits and realized this morning and that one edit should have been attributed as a quote. There are no other changes. We doubt anyone would have noticed, but wanted to make an effort to be above board. Sorry for the second email and have a great day!!
Hello friends! I thought it could be good to do a little “State of NTK.” I am sharing it in the newsletter because I view this audience as “my people.” There have been so many amazing changes in this space in the last 12 months and writing it down here helps me to slow down and take stock of where we are and where we’re headed. Sitting down to plan is something that is not easy for me amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
The last year with NTK was incredible. It is no longer a hobby; it is also my job. My job! What in the world?! It’s the best job I could ask for, and it is providing in real ways for my family. Seeing as I will (hopefully!) be here a while, I want it to matter. I started this year asking some bigger questions: Where do I want to be in five years? Ten? How does this job fit with the time I want with my family? What part do my children play? What will they think when they look back on this in ten years? What will I think?
My answers around those questions seemed to coalesce around two things: people and writing.
I love stringing letters into sentences that bring life to a scene or words to a feeling. Every time I post words on instagram, the hour following is such a joy. I connect with you all in the comments and hear how something I wrote resonated with you.
I always figured I would write some sort of cookbook. When your instagram handle has “kitchen” in the name it feels like a no-brainer. And then I had a terrible realization: I actually don’t love creating recipes. At least not in this season of life. I enjoy riffing recipes in the moment and using what I have on hand. Asking “can we go one more day?” as I throw random things together for dinner. I love doubling or tripling a recipe to freeze some or figuring out what to serve with it to take it to a family to enjoy. I love encouraging you to do the same. But when it comes to actual recipe creation, testing, and publishing, I just can’t get excited.
I have been in talks with a book agent (her name is Lisa) for the last six months. We got lunch in September and have been fleshing out a book ever since. We started with the book idea I described above: a cookbook meets freezer guide of sorts, with all sorts of NTK tips and tricks sprinkled in. Lisa read it and we agreed it could be great, and honestly, fairly easy for me since I already had a lot of the material.
Then, in December, Lisa asked if we could have a zoom call. She said that while she liked the proposal and knew she could pitch it, she had this gut feeling that it wasn’t THE book. She challenged me to take a month and consider writing a book that hones in on my writing. It was all very flattering and at the same time very hard to hear. Mostly because I knew writing a “book book” as I call it would take a heck of a lot more time and effort.
But I also knew that she was absolutely right. Writing is what makes me come alive on NTK. It’s where I process and put words to joys and struggles. It is where I feel most like myself. And –I think– it’s what many of you enjoy most.
I am in the process of figuring out exactly what this book would look like. I have chapters started and ideas written on a giant whiteboard. The hardest part has been figuring out a throughline that ties it all together, but I am happy to say that I do feel myself narrowing in on what that is.
So that’s the big plan for 2023. Me, sitting at my computer, typing out words and praying a book forms.
I am still planning to show up with hacks and stories and all the things I love to do. I think it will be a refreshing balance to book writing. Also, it keeps me connected with you all, which is why I loved being on instagram in the first place.
The Power Nap
We launched The Power Nap this month! The Power Nap is meant to be an email that keeps you connected to NTK even if you aren’t on Instagram or missed something I posted. That is also where the bottom of this newsletter (Current Reads/Listens/Watches) will migrate. Anything anyone on the NTK team loved will end up over there in some shape or form. We are also hoping that you all will contribute interesting content to share with others! We don’t have any set timeline to when they go out; mainly when we feel like we have enough we want to share.
I want to talk to you about sponsored/paid posts. I have been doing these for the past few years, and whenever I am doing an ad for pay, I write the word “AD” on the slides.
I find that there’s a certain “ad cost” that comes when I do a paid ad. I am asking you to trust me on a product I am being paid to promote, and that can leave you wondering “does Kate really like this thing? Or is she just getting paid to say she does?” Does Matthew McConaughey really love Lincoln? Does Jennifer Aniston really moisturize with Aveeno? I don’t know, but I doubt it. I feel the same way when paid ads come up on my own feed.
My goal is for you to see paid ads as an extension of my non-paid content. To do this, I plan to keep a high bar on who I partner with. It needs to be a really good fit for me to feel good about sharing it. At this time, I am saying no to around 90% of what comes into my inbox
Specifically, when I get a paid opportunity, I am running it through these filters:
Do I love and use this product? (If I am not currently using it, I require a trial time before I would ever consider posting it.)
Would this serve my audience?
Does this product align well with Naptime Kitchen as a brand?
At the end of the day, if it’s borderline, I am saying “no.” Advertising can get a bad rap. And rightly so. Some of it is cringeworthy. But, like Elon Musk, “I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you. It can show you a service or product… that you never knew existed, but is right for you.” I see my role as weeding through products and companies to find things that add value to your life. If the partnership opportunity doesn’t do that, I’ll pass.
So that’s a quick view into what I am working on. And I’ll be completely honest: some of the plans for this year have left me with identity confusion. Am I an influencer? A writer? Both? How do they work together? Deep in my thoughts over here lately. And that’s just NTK! Don’t even get me started on motherhood.
Moving on: I NEED YOUR HELP!
I am posing this question to the newsletter specifically! What would you love to read about in 2023? There are so many topics I have already covered (you can find them all here) and I would love to have some fresh ideas from you all. You can simply reply to this email.
The Home Reset sale ends tonight at midnight EST! For a few more hours, you can get the course for just $67. That’s $30 in savings and 30% off! It will still be available tomorrow, but not at this amazing price!! I wholeheartedly believe this course will be life-changing for you. So if you’re at all tempted, don’t miss out!