Writer Mama Success Rhythms: April 2009 Tips

Christina Katz and daughter

By Christina Katz

Never has a first quarter seemed to fly by as quickly as this one did! And though I’ve already started making adjustments to my somewhat over-ambitious goals for 2009, I could stand a more discriminating look at how I’m doing so far. How about you? Get in the habit of using April first, not to be foolish, but to assess your progress in relation to your goals so far this year.

First stop: Go back and review your written goals for the year. Then…

Craft
What steps have you taken so far this year to improve your writing craft? Possible answers might include reading books, practice forms, writing for publication, taking classes or attending workshops or lectures. Improvement in craft equals improvements in pride, if not profits. What will you do next to improve your writing craft?

Pitching
I know a group of eight women who are working really hard at it right now in my Pitching Practice class. They are expanding their base of knowledge through reading workbook chapters, exploring ideas, conducting research, and interviewing experts to write the query that will land the assignment. What do you need to do to improve your sales skills? Who can help you? What’s it worth? How much do you stand to gain from making strides in selling your work? Invest to expand your profits.

Self-promotion
What have you done to become more visible so far this year? I’ve done an anniversary blog tour for Writer Mama, scheduled and attended a conference, spoken at multiple events including my own author series, updated my online presence, started a new e-zine (the Get Known Groove), and sent out gobs of books for review and as giveaways. This is just a handful of the things I’ve done so far this year. How about you?

Professional Development
I attended the Tools of Change Conference in New York City and the Associated Writing Programs Conference. I’ll also be attending the Writer’s Digest/BEA Conference on May 27th and the Writer’s Digest Business of Publishing Conference the first weekend of September. I’ve joined several writing organizations. I’m hosting an author series. I receive three trade magazines each month. I keep up with relevant blogs and online magazines with Google Reader. And I’m having a monthly marketing group with my fellow authors once a month.

Your turn!

Quick reminder: If you are still working on getting those first few clips, stick with craft and pitching until you find your stride and then expand from there.

Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. She teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.
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