Archive for the 'Writer Mama Success Stories' Category

Got Fireworks?

Well, July is here and no doubt, many of us moms have fireworks on our minds.

But what about our own personal fireworks?

I just heard from a former student yesterday that she is awaiting her first official contract for an essay in a national magazine! Woo-hoo! How awesome is that? I never tire of this kind of news.

That announcement is her fireworks. How about you?

We are half-way through the year now. I bet you have accomplished a lot with your writing.

Would you be so kind as to share you success with us?

If yes, I’d like to direct you to the “Success” tab above. (Scroll down to the bottom to share your news.)

This is how we celebrate around here. By sharing our successes with other moms who “get it.”

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Hope your summers are going great!

Don’t forget to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, so we can wave to each other on the road to writing success. 🙂

I am one proud writer mama

Here’s Sage Cohen kicking off her book tour for Writing the Life Poetic at the monthly Willamette Writers meeting last night. This writer mama could not be more proud of that writer mama. 🙂

Please join me in supporting Sage Cohen during her book tour by attending her events during poetry month, buying her book, and telling all your friends about it.

You can learn more here:

http://www.writingthelifepoetic.com/

You can RSS subscribe to Sage’s blog here:

http://www.writingthelifepoetic.typepad.com/

And while you are at one of these sites, you can subscribe to Sage’s forthcoming Writing the Life Poetic e-zine with nine poetry columnists. 🙂

And mamas, I hope this is YOU some day! (Only with your book, of course.)

sage-cohen-at-willamette-writers-april-09

sage-cohen-greeting-fans

christina-sage-at-willamette-writers-april-09

December Sell-a-Bration #8: I’ve Started Calling Myself A Writer

By Jennifer Crain

This year, I started a writing career. After wondering what path to take for what I will downplay as simply a very long time, I actually did what had always been in the back of my mind and took a writing class in the spring.

Now I have an open invitation to write for a local food newsletter (my second article will be published in December), one of my articles was published last month in a regional parenting magazine (three other publications across the country have contacted me expressing interest), I’m on the cusp of submitting a second parenting article and (fingers crossed) a national glossy magazine contacted me recently to fact-check one of the tips I submitted back in May. Somebody pinch me: I’m writing!

I also joined a virtual writing group formed by some of my classmates (thank you Michelle and Mary Jo!) where I check in several times per week. I started blogging (http://www.writethejourney.wordpress.com) in early September as a way to encourage myself to write more often and “find my voice,” as they say. And so far, it’s working. I’ve written over 50 posts on a variety of topics.

But my favorite accomplishment is this one: I’ve started calling myself a writer. Even in casual conversation with people I don’t know very well. I figure if I say it out loud, I’m more likely to believe it myself.

I did this while working full-time as a stay-at-home mom of my not-quite-old-enough-for-kindergarten daughter and my 21-month-old son, whose favorite word is still (with hands outstretched) up.

Sometimes I feel unsure of myself, like I’m just a busy mom with a little bit of time to dabble in writing. Or I feel discouraged that my trying to break into freelancing is ill-timed with the downturn in the economy.

I perk up and feel motivated again when I read the stories of other writer mamas (like those who read this blog) and successful authors who started out where I am today.
Molly Gloss, a Northwest author, is one of them. For her, motherhood was the incubator where her novelist self was born. She says, “…my life as a writer began with motherhood. Motherhood isn’t trivial; its activities may be trivial, but they put you in touch, deeply and immediately and daily, with the great issues of Life: heavy duty things like Love and Loss, Growth and Tolerance and Dignity, Control and Conflict and Power—which are the issues, incidentally, that make serious novels. I might have become a writer eventually without first having become a mother, but it’s hard for me to imagine it.”

If I have any advice it would be to read the page “On Becoming A Writer” on her website (http://www.mollygloss.com/writer.html) and find other inspiring stories to drill into your brain or paste on the bathroom mirror. Let them remind you to keep writing as we round out the year and head into 2009.

December Sell-a-bration #7: The Jewel Box Home Becoming A Reality

By Genevieve Ferrarro

Action taken in 2008 to make The Jewel Box Home book a reality.

  • In June, July and August, created a book proposal – through Christina’s class – and submitted it to 15 agents.  Great response received, but no takers because the platform is considered too small.
  • Expanded Jewel Box Home platform by publishing quarterly newsletters on Jewel Box Home website.
  • Jewel Box Home listed by the Small House Society as a resource for life.
  • Undertook a cross-marketing campaign in November with the Inspired Room website that resulted in 200 reader story submissions about small home living, the best of which will be posted to the Jewel Box Home website in December.
  • To expand Jewel Box Home community online, created message boards and forums which will be added in December.
  • Sent Jewel Box Home story to local and national lifestyle shows – including Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart – to promote Jewel Box and pitch an appearance on TV.  This has been great practice for networking and fine tuning the Jewel Box brand.  Waiting on response to submissions.
  • Pitched a class at the local community college where I am now an instructor on creating the Jewel Box Home.
  • Pitched Midwest Living Magazine on Jewel Box Home.  Interview scheduled for after Thanksgiving.
  • Through the Chicago Book Clinic, learned of Source Books publisher in Naperville, Illinois.  Chicago Book Clinic work colleagues urged me to send a query letter to Source Books, I did and Source Books is now reviewing the Jewel Box proposal.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
  • Meeting with the Midwest Writers Association after Thanksgiving to get information on Midwest newspapers and magazines that need lifestyle articles.

What has this taught me?  The journey to successfully publishing a book is long, filled with hard work and constant networking. Also, my experience has been, when analyzing whether a book will succeed, agents and publishers look first to its platform.

December Sell-a-bration #6: Plugging Along In My Writing

By Heiddi Zalamar

First thing is that I got my Master of arts in Mental Health Counseling. This is great for my writing because I can help a lot of people with relationship issues and teach people about wellness. It also helped me see that I can do anything I put my mind to. So, I decided to get busy writing and submitting.

Another accomplishment is that I finally got a portfolio on-line and started a website for beginning writers (see below). I also got a couple of writing jobs. I am the NY Parenting Examiner at http://www.examiner.com and a discussion leader at Momslikeme.com. I recently published my first Christian article “Finding Forgiveness” in a newsletter.

I’m happily plugging along in my writing and am so happy to share that with you.

December Sell-a-bration #5: Not Usually A Networker

By Abigail Green

As a typical introverted writer, I am not a natural networker. So it was with some surprise that I realized that this year much of my work has come from networking.

Since to me that word conjures up anxious situations filled with small-talk and the exchange of business cards, I actually don’t consider what I do networking at all. Rather, I’ve just been doing what does come naturally to me – keeping in touch with former colleagues and friends, reading and commenting on various blogs, sending people links or articles they might find interesting and useful.

The result? A new corporate client, my first acceptance to be published in an anthology, several freelance markets I didn’t know about, and a couple of teaching opportunities. And all these opportunities came to me.

Another thing that’s surprising is that these leads didn’t come from my closest or most well-connected friends. One came from a former boss I haven’t seen in years (yet another reason never to burn bridges!), and another came from someone I’ve only met online.

I have to give myself some of the credit, though – I keep myself open to opportunities that come my way, and I make a point of being polite and professional in all aspects of my work. Still, it’s encouraging that even a networking-averse writer like me can get ahead simply by being myself!

December Sell-a-bration #3: Kids These Days

By Laural Ringler

In 2008, my writer goals included not just new markets to explore, but platform-building steps like creating a blog and a website. Except I didn’t know how to use those on-line tools and it is expensive and time-consuming to learn through classes or hire a website designer. As a writer mama though, I have an unexpected resource for all things technology-related. My kids.

My kids are ten and twelve and have blogs, wikispaces, and know how to podcast because they learned about them in school as ways to share their writing. My now 7th grade son has a WordPress site he uses to post homemade films for his friends to see, posted podcasts to his Wikispace last summer while we were traveling, and knows YouTube and Flickr for posting media. Kids these days know technology.

Inspired, I started a blog with Blogspot last spring, a WordPress one this fall to stand in as my website until I can build one, and my son has been an invaluable and enthusiastic resource. I love our do-it-yourself method. Plus, now I understand and respect my son’s technology knowledge, we get excited together about how to use WordPress widgets, and I have the instant availability of my twelve-year-old helpline.

The cost? He got me to buy him his very own URL. We worked though the process together and got me one too.

In 2009, I will launch my Family Adventure Mentor website and couple it with my writer website. Sometime in the future I might need an adult professional, but for now my pre-teen son is excited to learn website-building software and step into the designer mode for me. This means I’ll have more time to write, he’ll have a project he’s excited about, and we’ll have a working partnership that sets us up to continue communicating positively as we enter his teen years. My kids have always been a great resource for writing topics, but kids these days are also a great technology resource, and this writer mama is happy to have finally realized it.

Having bicycled and backpacked thousands of miles both with and without kids, Laural Ringler encourages families in do-it-yourself outdoor adventures.  In writing how-to articles or in presenting “Croissants, Canals, and Castles: Bicycling Europe with Kids,” Laural is an adventure mentor for families with kids of all ages.  A regular contributor to Adventures Northwest Magazine, Laural has published over fifty articles and lives in Bellingham, Washington with her intrepid husband and their adventuresome two kids.  You can reach her on-line at lauralringler.com.


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