Writer Mama Success Rhythms: June is for the Joy of a Writing Career

By Christina Katz

Will you work straight through the summer? I typically use some time in the summer to think about plans forChristina Katz and daughter the following year. I usually begin setting those plans in motion in August so they can be ready to fly by January 1st. This summer will be no exception. Even though I’m taking more time off for R&R than during previous summers, I’ll still be planning ahead. How about you?

Craft
Here’s the difference between writing for fun and writing practice, for me. Writing practice implies that…

  • you are writing for a specific audience.
  • you are writing frequently enough to see improvement in your  craft.
  • you are working with an editor or at least some kind of editorial process, even if it’s one you’ve set up for yourself.
  • you are seeing improvements in your writing as a result of your efforts, not just writing lots of words that will never see the light of publication.

Pitching
What if you are uncomfortable pitching yourself or your work? Here are some strategies to employ if pitching doesn’t come naturally:

  • Create a query form letter you can use over and over.
  • Verbally bounce your idea off someone you trust before you commit it to paper.
  • Have a set checklist you use to go over your pitches and make sure they are as thorough as they can be.
  • Writer Mama contains resources for all of these steps.

Self-promotion
Got platform? I worked my buns off for over a year to write a step-by-step guide on how to grow a platform from scratch alongside your writing career that would help every writer. I sure hope you have a copy!

A key point of the book is: we are all 100% responsible for our writing careers. Does this describe you? If not, and you’d like to work through the platform process with me step-by-step, Platform 101 starts in August.

Professional Development
A lot of mom writers are telling me that they are attending writing conferences this summer — hooray! So what can you do before the conference to get the most out of it?

  • Re-read Chapter 22, Count Down Days to a Conference, in Writer Mama for tips on conference preparation.
  • Read Mary Andonian’s “Writing Conference Success column in The Writer Mama archives.
  • Take care of all your logistical issues far in advance of the conference (i.e., babysitter, transportation, etc.) to insure that you’ll have some time before the conference to plan which sessions to attend and otherwise create a personal plan to get as much as possible out of the conference. After all, if you are going to invest your hard-earned money into your writing career, you’ll want to get as much out of it as possible.
  • Trust what happens and the people you meet. Make the most of every encounter and learning opportunity. Have a great time and you are sure not to be disappointed!

Happy summer, mamas!

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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