Archive for the 'Career Development' Category

Listen to Christina Katz on KBOO Pathways with Paul O’Brian

Hiya Mamas,

Ever wondered what my voice sounds like?

Me too.

And then I listened to this podcast of me speaking with Paul O’Brian, host of the radio show Pathways here in Portland, and I realized something.

I still talk like a Yankee.

I haven’t lived on the East Coast since I was twenty-one years old but I still talk just like my best childhood friend, who has stayed firmly planted on the East Coast.

So if you want to hear my Yankee accent, check out this spring 2007 interview.

Oh, and it’s also about writing and motherhood! 🙂

It’s a longer interview, so you might want to play it while you fold that pesky laundry or something. 😉


Topics to think about when looking ahead…

Soon-to-be first lady, Michelle Obama plans to prioritize the topics of military families and work-family balance. Are these your topics, mamas? If so, you might want to gear up for 2009 by taking my writing-for-publication classes that begin on January 14th:

  • Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff
    Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms)
  • Platform Building 101: Discover your Specialty
  • Craft A Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal

Learn more at

Rave review of & an interview about Get Known Before the Book Deal

Jeff Ayers reviews Get Known in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association publication, Author Magazine:

Get Known Review by Jeff Ayers

I am interviewed by Maria Schneider in her blog, Editor Unleashed:

Editor Unleashed Interview

Dear Writer Mamas (Nov/Dec Issue of the TWM),

No matter what your political stance, I think everyone is hoping that the New Year will bring some changes for the better. For many families, the near future is looking pretty bleak. So, it’s up to the rest of us, who find ourselves afloat in difficult times to offer cheer to the folks who are feeling down.

From the point-of-view of writers, specifically writers who wish to become traditionally published, I want to say that things are not necessarily in crisis, but the industry is going through some major changes right now that make competition for paying jobs more fierce. A fresh wave of former industry insiders have been released into the freelance marketplace and that means that professionalism and poise (two things I discuss in detail in Writer Mama) are more important than ever.

Another key strategy, diversifying what you offer without losing your laser focus is also extremely important. This is a topic I’ve covered in detail in my latest book, Get Known Before the Book Deal. If you are wondering: How am I going to stay competitive in 2009? I suggest reading Get Known and doing the exercises. If you have not identified your specific strengths and uncovered your niche topics, it can be very difficult to navigate these publishing waters in such rapidly evolving times.

I wrote my books to serve as tools for professional development for writers. When I was writing them, I could not have foreseen the economic downturn we are experiencing now. But I’m happy to say that my books have never been more relevant because the premise of each is to help writers be more strategic and leave less to chance.

So, if you are thinking that you have to give over your writing dreams because of the grim news on the radio or television, I would hang on a sec. Take a step back. And do some planning and preparing for a fresh approach in the New Year. Why not take advantage of the reflection time the colder months offer?

Of course, be practical in the short run and take care of the primary needs calling for your attention right now. But darker times don’t mean give up your dreams. Darker times help us reevaluate and get clear on what really matters. If your writing dream really matters to you but you are going through a hard time, don’t give it up.

Create a plan to roll out in the New Year, no matter how part-time, in which you will not settle for anything less than success. The measure of your success rests on the clarity and determination of your intentions. I feel pretty confident that I am offering books, classes and coaching that can help mom writers do just that.

I am not promising instant results or overnight success. If you are still hoping to get these from a writing career, please forget it. This is a slow and steady kind of career. More like a regular garden than a Chia Pet. More like a tree than a flower. A career that rewards the tenacious and resilient.

If you are realistic and you set reasonable, do-able goals, I can help you chart a path towards success. I’ve spent ten years getting ready to be of assistance to writers just like you. I’ve always been invested in seeing the people I work with succeed. And I am always thrilled when they do.

And speaking of success stories, I want to take a moment to congratulate Cindy Hudson, who is a great example of a writer who has worked steadily and realistically towards success. And as a result, her very first book Bonding Through Books: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs, has been accepted for publication by Seal Press in 2010.

Please join me in congratulating Cindy over at her blog on the About page. 🙂

In the writing spirit,

Christina Katz

‘Tis the Season To Assess, Plan & Celebrate

Here’s a tool I didn’t even realize that I use. I’m not giving it a fancy acronym, because I feel like that would diminish the usefulness of this simple list of necessary questions:

Every fall I begin the process of assessing how I’ve done throughout the year and by the time the holiday’s roll around I have a pretty clear idea of exactly what I’ve accomplished. How about you?

Did you achieve your goals?

Did you exceed your goals?

How much money did you make?

How much did you make compared to last year?

Which of your income streams were strongest?

What unpaid projects proved the most fruitful?

Which unpaid projects helped your career grow?

And how much money do you hope to make next year?

Professionally speaking, how much time do you have to give, and where will you give it?


I don’t go through a rigid or formal planning process even though everyone says you should. Once I’ve assessed how I’ve done in the recent past, I find it fairly easy to tune in to my instincts and trust the direction that they point me instead of being overly mental or intellectual about what I’m going to plan next. How about you?

Which past successes can you build on?

Can you get and review feedback from those you serve?

Can you informally poll or bounce some ideas off of some trusted colleagues?

Who do you want to partner with in the coming year?

Into what specific projects will you invest the lion’s share of your energy?

Once I have looked at last year and thought about what to do next, I am ready to begin to envision next year. I realize that some people have five year and ten year goals, but I tend to keep those flexible rather adhere strictly to a plan that will probably end up altered anyway. I know where I’m going, but next year first.

And now I’m ready to celebrate my past accomplishments. Not just last year but the whole ride. How about you?

Who can you thank for their assistance?

What will you do to thank yourself?

How will you celebrate privately?

How can you create an annual celebration with others?

I work hard all year. It doesn’t do anyone else any good for me to pretend that a writing career isn’t hard work. It’s incredibly important to work hard and consistently over not just months but years! And it’s also important to celebrate. This year, I’m not just celebrating my accomplishments, but the accomplishments of my friends. My book publication, their book publications or deals, and our shared success.

It’s a lot to celebrate. But I am definitely up to the task!

How about you?

And stay tuned, I’ll be announcing some big success stories between now and the end of the year.

Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway: The September 2008 Final List of Daily Prizes

(Subject to change, but here goes…!)

Week One: Books that come with Cool Stuff!

Day one: Chicken a la King & the Buffalo Wing by Steven Gilbar, Fix, Freeze, Feast cookbook by Kati Neville & Lindsay Tkacsik & Writer Mama BBQ Apron from Café Press (one winner)

Day two: The Writer Mama Gift Set from Ninth Moon (one winner)

Day three: The Shy Writer by Hope Clark & Wooden “Writer at Work” Doorhanger from Ninth Moon (one winner)

Day four: The Travel Writer’s Collection from Ninth Moon and Writer Mama baseball hat (one winner)

Day five: 1001 Books for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron & Writer Mama Tote Bag (one winner)

Day six: Writer Mama by Christina Katz, Writer Mama Creative Manifesto mouse pad, Writer Mama wall clock (one winner)

[SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Writer Mama Scholarship Applications accepted from 9/6 – 9/14 for the October Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff Class]

Day seven: A Writer’s Space Collection from Ninth Moon Writer Mama Creative Manifesto Throw Pillow (one winner)

Week Two: Get Juiced Up to Write

Day eight: The Write-brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer

Day nine: Freelancing for Newspapers by Sue Lick

Day ten: Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner by the Writer’s Digest Editors

Day eleven: The Daily Writer by Fred White

Day twelve: Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds by George Singleton, illustrated by Daniel Wallace

Day thirteen: Four copies of A Cup of Comfort for Writers with essays by Sage Cohen, Samantha Ducloux Waltz, Amy Mercer, and Lisa Romeo (four winners from these four contributors)

Day fourteen: One-year subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine

Week Three: Fiction Fireworks Week

Day fifteen: Two special edition hardcover copies of Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld (two winners)

Day sixteen: The Mind of Your Story by Lisa Lenard-Cook

Day seventeen: Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon

Day eighteen: Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure & Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

Day nineteen: First Draft in 30 Days & From First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen Wiesner (one winner)

Day twenty: Writing the Breakout Novel & Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass (one winner)

Day twenty-one: 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market by Rachel McDonald

Week Four: The Grand Finale

Day twenty-two: Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (three winners)

[SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: First Day of Fall Get Known Before the Book Deal Amazon Spike Day!]

Day twenty-three: Ready, Aim, Specialize by Kelly James-Enger

Day twenty-four: The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell

Day twenty-five: The Renegade Writer Queries that Rock by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell

Day twenty-six: The Writer’s Digest Guide to Queries by Wendy Burt Thomas (available December 2008)

Day twenty-seven: Page After Page & Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers

Day twenty-eight: One-year subscription to

Day twenty-nine: 2009 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino

Day thirty: 2009 Deluxe Writer’s Market by Robert Brewer

Be here on Monday (or as soon as you get back from your long weekend), so you won’t miss out on any of the fun!

Early Fall Classes Recap: Only a little space left!

The August 20th Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff class is full.

The August 20th Platform 101: Discover Your Speciality class is full.

The August 20th Personal Essays that Get Published class has only a couple spaces left.

But hurry, if you are interested. Class starts on Wednesday. 🙂

Learn more and register at:

The next round of classes begins on October 8th.

Stay tuned to hear about a new class coming in 2009. Plus the addition twice a year of two new live intensive classes with Christina Katz…oh wait, that’s me. 🙂

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