Thursday, September 27, 2012

Becoming a Writer Mama

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

When Kate and I decided to launch this blog, I knew instantly that we would make great partners. She has been my editor for over a decade. She not only knows my creative strengths, writing style, and stumbling blocks (probably better than anyone), but she also inspires me to raise the bar and challenge myself to be a better writer with every post and article I submit.

Now as my blogging partner, I have the pleasure of reading her posts. I am learning about what feeds her writing muse as well as getting to see what makes her tick as a fellow writer, not just an editor. Because of this, I gain new insight into my own writing goals every week--something that wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't created The Writer's Crate!

This week Kate discussed how best-selling authors Pamela Clare and, one of my writing idols, Maryann McFadden have positively impacted her writing by way of the Masterclasses offered in their books for characters, dialogue, back stories, plots, settings, and/or voice.  

This post really hit home with me. I can’t tell you how often I used to finish reading a book that touched my inner writing goddess only to sigh and tell myself that, although I knew writing was in my blood, there was just no way that a busy mother of eight like me could ever pull it off.

However, that all changed when I found and read one of my writing bibles, WriterMama—How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, written by Christina Katz.  It was as if the author was speaking directly to me on every single page. 

The book starts off very appropriately with a pep talk to mothers about why motherhood and writing can go hand and hand. Immediately she shares 10 reasons why mothers can pursue writing careers regardless of how many kids they have, what their past experiences are, or even if they already work outside their homes. Refreshing!
Writer Mama has become one of my writing bibles. Christina Katz inspires busy moms to take the plunge and indulge in writing careers alongside their family obligations.

Writer Mama came to me at exactly the “write” time in my busy life—a time where I was about to give up on my dream to become a published writer simply because my mindset was that I had no right to take time for myself to pursue writing. I mean, wouldn't it be unfair to my family if I stepped away from a few loads of laundry during the week to write? Or worse, what would people think if I didn’t spend my 14-hour days catering solely to their needs?
Christina Katz put this all into perspective for me and every other “Writer Mama” by dividing her book into four helpful sections:

Preparation—adopting the tools and proper attitude that successful writer mamas need to succeed. 

Practice—she takes writer mamas step-by-step on building basic writing skills to compete with the pros!

Professionalism—helps to take these newfound writing skills and confidence and apply them to the exciting task of querying for assignments.

Poise—guides writer mamas to develop crucial skills that will garner the attention of editors and agents as well as landing paying writing assignments!

I own two copies of Writer Mama. One is close by in a bookcase next to my Writer's Crate and the other I keep in my car or tote bag so that I can come back to it over and over again even if I only have a few moments between carpools. I always learn something new and get re-motivated every time I read random pages. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you get a copy today!

Do you have a writing book that excites and inspires you?  We’d love to know about it!

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