Inner Workings is a newsletter about mysterious women’s diseases, work culture, mothering, money and power.

In my life, these topics have proven to be intimately interconnected, and I find myself circling round and round the same questions: did my ambitious career choices impact my ill health? Why do so many women around me have weird undiagnosed skin things and fatigue? Have I really escaped the desire for power? Is that possible? Can one be a powerful mother? What does it look like for a neurodivergent person to be powerful? My favorite questions are unanswerable, lifelong. 

Here, you will find…

Sharp, intimate personal essays that approach these topics in different ways. I am always pushing towards radical honesty, testing my beliefs, looking to draw on wisdom from other writers, trying to complicate the matter with some other perspective. I like nuance. I will sometimes be wrong. Essays aren’t about perfection, they are about trying. 

Interviews from The Lady’s Illness Library, a collection of stories about unconventional illness journeys. Here, we’re eschewing the internet’s many prescriptive and often unhelpful health tips in favor of exploratory first-person accounts.

On Writing, dispatches on the nuances of writing an online newsletter and how to gently configure a life dedicated to writing.

And Health Shot, short analyses of the newest research related to gut health, autoimmunity, chronic illness, stress, and the relationship between them.

Rae's ability to weave the emotional, visceral feelings of personal experience with thoughtful, scientific analysis on whatever topic she's covering that day always leave me feeling whole, like my heart and brain just hugged and said "this is all insane but at least we've got each other."

— Alex Dobrenko of Both Are True

The community

One of the most enriching parts of Inner Workings is the comments section, where every week, people share their own experiences with illness and ambition, infertility and self-doubt and personal evolution. Here’s an example of a lively discussion. If you are someone with mysterious symptoms of ill health, if you are struggling with an inconsistency between your values and your job, or if you simply like wading into the complexity and nuance of what it means to live well in the modern world, this might be your place. The threads are often profound. Every time, I learn something. I heartily invite you to join us! 

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Who I am

I am a formerly ambitious businesswoman-turned-mother with a tote bag full of woman-y issues: an autoimmune disease, anxiety, infertility, fatigue, nebulous gut pain (is it real? Am I imagining it?), an absurdly long list of breastfeeding problems, shame nonetheless about not breastfeeding my son longer than I did, rage that we shame women for not breastfeeding while offering minimal leave and no institutional support…and so on.

I was co-founder and CEO of a Silicon Valley startup, which I sold in 2020, and during my tenure I had chronic diarrhea for years on end, and months where I got itchy rashes on my legs every evening, and so many days when I woke up and wished only that it were time to go to sleep again. I am, unsurprisingly, interested in how work and health relate.

My prose is published or forthcoming in AGNI, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Under the Sun, Steam Ticket, Stonecoast Review, Talking River Review and others.

Beautiful, insightful writing.

— Tamara Hinckley of Half Moon Hustle

Paying for Inner Workings

Paid subscribers get access to my deeper, more crafted, research-heavy essays. These take months or years to develop, and paying for this newsletter supports this slower, deeper type of writing. You can read some examples of this type of work, like The Rise of Autoimmunity in the West and Confessions of an Entrepreneur.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet you in the comments section!

–Rae
@raekatzwrites

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“Consistently sharp and interesting” weekly dispatches on mysterious women’s diseases, work culture, mothering, and the struggle to stop yearning for wealth and power. From a chronically ill, ex-startup CEO searching for redemption.

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Essayist, mother & chronically ill former startup CEO looking for redemption