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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Christina Katz Shows Writer Mamas How to Have Kids & A Build A Career Too

Writer Mama; How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids
Christina Katz
Writer Digest Books
296 Pages
Before motherhood, you envisioned a prolific and financially rewarding writing career. Maybe,you even had one. Then, the baby came and the occasionally mind numbing routine of midnight feedings, baby changes, laundry, and other household chores took over the time you'd dedicated to your writing. On the other hand, this all could have happened before you thought to embark on a writing career at all.
When my children were about two years and almost a year old respectively, a dear friend of mine reentered my life and resuscitated my brain cells. She provided adult conversation and insisted on adult television in her presence. Blues Clues and Gullah, Gullah Island would not do as the backdrop for our conversations. She asked me the all important question: What do you want? She also helped me begin to explore how it could be done.
Christian Katz provides a similar act of friendship through her book Writer Mama; How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. This compact professional reference volume serves double duty; it is a step by step guide to pursuing a writing career and a book of friendly advice to help fellow writer mamas keep their homes in order while working toward a successful career as a freelance writer.
Katz focuses primarily on writing mothers, who remain home with their children and pursue a freelance writing career as a personally fulfilling and entrepreneurial endeavor. She discusses time management issues, childcare and some of the best ways for freelancing mamas to find and get writing gigs.
The book opens with Katz offering encouragement to aspiring mom freelancers then, dives right into how to get the business of writing and selling articles and eventually a non-fiction book.  She guides her reader through the steps of freelance writing starting with mining ideas,then identifying target audiences and markets. Next, she teaches them how to execute a cover or query letter and submit the finished piece. Sidebars and exercises propel the reader through the book keeping them motivated, on track and moving toward publication. Each chapter, opens with a quote from successfully freelancing mothers; anecdotal accounts from Katz, regarding how she grew her freelancing career into the e-zine, Writers On the Rise, and other successful freelancing internet entrepreneurs like C. Hope Clark  and Maria Bailey, keep the text engaging while offering a range of perspectives and potential career paths.
She also offers coping strategies to help writer mamas deal with the stresses of raising children while creating a business. She advises writer mamas find another writing mom or better yet, several to share ideas, resources and accountability. When the writing needs to get done but the mind is unwilling, she suggests quick breaks that serve the dual purpose of fulfilling a necessary task and clearing the mind. For example, clearing the junk from one drawer or setting the timer for twenty minutes then clearing a counter or folding a batch of laundry, these activities provide a break and don't take a writing mama completely away from the task at hand, her next submission.
This brightly colored and compact book is concise and highly portable, in other words it's mom and writer friendly. It's packed with references to further reading material and online resources to help writer mamas fast track their careers or plot a steady path to freelance success. It's all up to the reader and in the end, that's the true purpose of this book, to empower writers who happen to be mamas to take control of their lives and that of their chosen careers.

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