Writer Mama Success Rhythms: May is for Managing Your Time

Christina Katz and daughterBy Christina Katz

Everyone’s a writer now, right? That’s the way the tide is turning. However, writing is always going to be primarily an inside job, no matter how many people jump on the bandwagon. So, it’s important to monitor your time as carefully as you manage your spending, your children’s nutrition, or the amount of gas in your tank. To become more productive, take stock of how you are spending your time and then try to spend it as wisely as you possibly can.

Craft
Practice is what leads to better writing. Sure, reading about writing is educational, inspirational, and a great way to kill an hour. However, for every hour you read about writing, commit to another hour-an hour of writing time. By bookending your writing between stints of quality reading, you’ll see a definite improvement in quality. Be a reader. And then, be a writer.

Pitching
The best thing you can do to get in the habit of selling your words is pitch yourself regularly. The next best thing you can do is to turn the rhythms that work into systems that you can sustain over time. Pitching success is the best teacher. When you succeed, notice what worked, turn it first into a rhythm and then into a system. In this way, pitching success will become a no-brainer.

Self-promotion
What’s the rush all about? Suddenly the world is full of desperate, frenetic people. Maybe it’s the economy. But mamas know that there are some things you simply cannot rush. So slow down. Promote yourself steadily. Have a plan. When you are in an unholy rush, others sense it and get turned off. Attract success; don’t repel it.

Professional Development
Book deals typically happen when everything is ripe. Ripeness is the fruition of many different types of effort, coming together, steadily over time. Keep taking steps to move forward as a professional and you will become ready for the book deal. Read my book, Get Known Before the Book Deal (Writer’s Digest Books 2008), but don’t try to do everything at once. Perhaps find your strengths and lean into those first. Then address your weak spots, too. You can go far as a writer just by following these two tips.

What is the single next most important goal for your writing career?

Focus on each one, one at a time. It’s enough.


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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3 Responses to “Writer Mama Success Rhythms: May is for Managing Your Time”


  1. 1 meg May 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Wise words! Promoting yourself online can get really tricky, especially with social media where the boundaries between work/play and public/private are being redefined. You’re an inspiration, Christina.

    • 2 Jenny June 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

      Whew! I have been having this issue all month and now into June! Perfect timing and wonderful words for all of us to follow. Thanks. 🙂

  2. 3 Michele June 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Great advice! I appreciate how you broke out a writer’s focus – craft, pitching, self-promotion and professional development. That helps me focus on the right activities rather than stretching myself between too much. Thank you!


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