Archive for the 'Christina Katz' Category

Reasons to Write: Write to Heal

By Christina KatzChristina Katz
Are you in pain? Are you confused about what you want in life? Or, even if you know what you want, are you unable to express it? If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, then you might want to consider writing to heal before you begin writing for publication.
 
When you write with the intention to heal, amazing growth can occur that creates a ripple effect of good in your life. Writing to heal will clear the way for the writing to get published down the road. Think of it as a kind of spring cleaning, clearing of the decks, preparing of the soil, or any other words that help you remember how writing to heal can lay the foundation that you can then build a solid writing career upon.
 
And if you are already in the midst of your writing career and find yourself standing on shaky or uncomfortable ground, writing to heal can help restore balance and a feeling of wholeness. When the stakes are high and you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s not a bad idea to restore a little faith in yourself. That’s exactly what writing to heal does.
 
I am no stranger to writing to heal. I spent several years after I completed my coursework at Columbia College Chicago just writing to repair my own cracked foundation. Then several years later, I switched gears and began writing for publication. Naturally, the latter went a lot better than it would have had I not spent years focused on filling notebooks with every thought, complaint, fear and worry.
 
Have I been perfectly neurosis-free ever since? Of course not. But those years of self-inquiry freed me from the perfectionism prison that I had, unwittingly, been living inside. They loosened the chokehold that my perceptions of other people had on me. And they allowed me to just be myself in a more authentic and integrated way.
 
Of course, none of these changes happened quickly. They all occurred gradually and continue to unfold even when I don’t devote the lion’s share of my energy to writing to heal. That’s because the payoff of writing to heal has long-term benefits. There were things I learned during those years that I will never forget.
 
I don’t believe that there is any perfect opportunity for writing to heal; you just have to make time for it the best you can. But I do believe that if you need to heal but avoid it, your unhappiness will create roadblocks to your success. So don’t be ashamed if you feel like perhaps you need to put writing for publication aside, and focus your energy on writing to heal instead.
 
If you are unsure, just ask yourself a couple of questions like those I began this piece with. Do you know what kind of prisons you are living inside? Do you know how to write your way out? If not, I recommend devoting time and energy to the process on a regular basis if you feel that writing to heal might benefit you. Best of luck on your writing-to-heal journey! Here are some books that can help you get started:
 
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
 
Writing Down the Bones by Nathalie Goldberg
 
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
 
How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything by Cheri Huber
 
Your Heart’s Desire by Sonia Choquette
 
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

 
 

Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina 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 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. Her new website is located at christinakatz.com.

Happy Holidays Writers! The November-December Issue of Writers on the Rise Begins Here

Christina KatzThank you so much for subscribing to Writers on the Rise in 2009. This was our sixth year. And we are kicking off our seventh with some changes!

I told you last month that I would be prioritizing certain activities in the New Year and I’ve been working hard to bring those intentions into reality.

I’ve transferred my hosting for christinakatz.com (my old web host was sold about a year ago) and built a brand new site using WordPress.org and Thesis.

See what you think of the all new http://christinakatz.com/. As of January 1st, this is where I’ll be posting everything, including the 2010 Writers on the Rise posts.

I hope you will add christinakatz.com to your blog reader today, since this is the last issue of Writers on the Rise for 2009. (The archive of this issue will be posted in the same blog as always.)

Effective immediately at my new blog, you can stay up to date on my upcoming classes, dream teams, publications, appearances, freebies, and more (and more coming soon!).

A couple of things you won’t want to miss:

  • I’ve posted my round up of holiday gifts for writers with an eye towards health, thrift, and cheer. I hope you enjoy it.
  • The week of December 7th, I will be accepting applications for The Writer Mama Scholarship.
  •  Registration is now open for Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff, Turn Your Specialty Into Course Curriculum, and three levels of five-month accountability groups (AKA Dream Teams). TYSICC is now recommended before Craft a Saleable Nonfiction Book Proposal, which will be offered in March.
  • We are so lucky that Abigail Green is once again offering her Personal Essays That Get Published class. If you’ve not had a chance to take it, I highly recommend it.
  • And starting January 1st, I’ll be posting student and reader success stories at the rate of one per day until we run out! Stay tuned to my blog for the request for your 2009 success stories!
Last issue, I asked for your suggestions. One person wrote in and said she would be helped if I expanded the number of ways I worked with writers and offered a wider range of prices. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Come January 1, 2010, you will find an array of ways to work with me that will fit all budgets.

I will be sending out gifts and cards to formally thank our wonderful 2009 contributors, managing editor Cindy Hudson, and my administrative intern Judy Miller. If you would like to thank them too, I suggest that you “favorite” their web sites and blogs so you won’t miss a single one of their exciting upcoming offers.

I’ll also be announcing new contributors and new new topics for 2010 in the January issue. Stay tuned. 2010 is going to be our best year yet!


Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor
www.christinakatz.com

Friend me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Connect on LinkedIn

Happy Harvest!

Happy Harvest! 
What are you harvesting from all of your efforts this past year?
Here’s what I’m prioritizing:
Teaching. My focus is working with writers from beginners with no clips all the way to seasoned writers seeking book deals. I will offer four classes that help build skill sets in 2010, plus e-books, workbooks, audios, and videos all geared towards helping writers find a specialty and get nonfiction published. I will be offering Dream Teams for article writers and aspiring book writers beginning in January. 
Writing. I will start my next book in January 2010. I will get some of my old reprints into circulation as well as pitching new articles. I will also begin publishing some e-books that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Speaking. I will travel to speak on my topics when hosted. I will also be hosting a few of my own events including a quarterly three-hour platform workshop and, possibly, launching an annual writer mama gathering.
Blogging. I will consolidate all of my blogs into one central blog, which will be located at www.christinakatz.com. I will begin video-blogging in the New Year. I will provide fresh content on my topics and invite guest bloggers to post.
Giving. I will continue to offer the following freebies: The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway, the December Former Student Sell-a-bration, and the Northwest Author Series. I will also continue to offer one scholarship every time I offer Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff (last class for 2009 begins in just two days, btw!).
My primary goal is to put my work with students first so that I can help more writers accomplish the goal of landing a first book deal. I am consolidating how I spend my time, money, and energy to better reach that goal. And I’m looking forward to being able to help more people, more effectively in the New Year!
Is there anything else you’d like to see me do? Send your feedback to me at writer mama at earthlink dot net.
 
Enjoy the bounty of fall!
Christina
 

Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor
www.christinakatz.com

Friend me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

Reasons to Write: Write to Express Yourself

By Christina KatzChristina Katz
We have arrived at my number one reason to write: to express myself. But before I can communicate well with anyone else, first I need to communicate with myself.
 
Sounds easy, right? But anyone who writes will tell you that there is a lot more to self-expression than meets the mouth.
 
I remember once upon a time when I was in my twenties and getting an astrological reading. The astrologer, whose name was Mary, finally said to me about three quarters of the way through our conversation, “You need to speak up, Ms. Virgo Moon. Speak up!”
 
I was slightly startled and I sat there blinking for a moment. Mary had been pretty sensitive to my twenty-something angst up until that point, but about “speaking up” she seemed to have struck a key point.
 
The only problem was that I had no idea, if I ever did decide to speak up, what I’d say. How can I communicate well with you, if I don’t know what I think, feel, or sense?
 
My thoughts in my twenties were a swirl of self-consciousness, neediness, and voracious appetites. The same can still go for today if I’m not centered when I express myself. If that happens what you are likely to hear mostly are complaints, concerns, and whatever else happens to be chafing my mind at the moment.
 
On the other hand, if I’ve spent some time writing before we talk, I can get a load of chatter off of my head and settle into my deeper mind, I can tell you about the things that matter most. Share revelations. Maybe even experience an epiphany and capture it like a lightning bug.
 
What I’ve learned over the years of slow self-revelation is that when it comes to self-expression, the key isn’t to censor what you think. The key is to be able to tell the difference between someone you can say anything to and someone with whom you should probably stick to polite conversation.
 
Have you ever noticed that there are an awful lot of people in the world who wish to only speak about superficial things? Don’t try to share your deep mind with these folks because you will likely just make them uncomfortable. Find some deeper minds that compliment yours. Tell them what you really think because on the other side of what you really think is the truth. Not just any truth but yours.
 
Remember the movie, “Say Anything”? Remember how Lloyd Dobbler said he was looking for a “dare to be great situation”? Here’s who you can say anything to: people who love you, best friends, and pieces of paper. If you want to find your dare to be great situation, explore these possibilities first. And then you will find out what you think followed swiftly by what you want to say. That’s how you get beyond polite conversation to the material that really matters.
 
Express means to say, to show meaning, to reveal your thoughts. If your thoughts come tumbling out like circus clowns, then so be it. But find the tribe of folks who will allow this to happen if you want to get to your deep mind.

When was the last time you were with someone who would allow your thoughts to just come tumbling out? Stick with those people. Listen to them too. Sharing the stuff found in your deep mind with another person is probably the most important gift in the world…and the rarest.
 
 
Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina 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 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.

Reasons to Write: Write to Relax

By Christina Katz

Do you feel calmer and more centered after writing? I know I do. Maybe I’m just a wound up ball of Christina Katznervous energy and the only way I can loosen up is by channeling that creative urge into a discipline like writing. Maybe I can’t really loosen up unless I have a pencil in hand or a keyboard at my fingertips. Maybe I am just too intense!
 
Although, to cut myself a little bit of slack, when writing is what you do every day, it’s easy to forget that you ever wrote to relax. The typical cause of this type of amnesia is usually deadline pressure and other professional obligations, which interferes with the playful joy of just splashing around in the creative process without a worry in the world- typically the kind of experience that brought many of us to writing in the first place.
 
I am certainly not exempt. When the deadlines are running high, I sometimes forget that writing and relaxing go together like lolling in a hammock goes with summer. Yesterday, after a couple of days of feeling out of sorts, I sat down and cranked out an article that was almost due.
 
Afterwards, I remarked to my husband what a great mood I was in…and then I noticed why. I was in a great mood because I had just finished a period of concentrated writing. It did not matter that this was an assignment that I have every month. It did not matter that the material I was writing has already been well traversed by my pen. I completely enjoyed composing the article and polishing it for publication.
 
Yet it was only because I forgot how much I like to write that I enjoyed it so much. Like most things, the harder you try to keep the feelings the same as they once were, the more elusive the pleasurable ones become. Actually, the more you insist on things staying exactly the same, the less you can really grow as a writer.
 
So if the process of writing isn’t as relaxing as it once was, you might want to reunite with a long-lost friend, that antique among writing devices, the pencil.  And since we’re talking about pencils, we can’t go much further without also bringing up the pencil’s best friend, a good electronic pencil sharpener.
 
I am writing this column on a yellow legal pad with a newly sharpened pencil, while sitting on the floor of my carpeted office, with my back against the floral-pattern couch, listening to the whisper of graphite on paper. The rhythmic movement of my hand across the page making a sharp point dull soothes whatever savage beasts I might have been wrestling with only moments ago.
 
In fact, if you were to bring up one of the beasts by name in this moment, I would shrug it off: Beasts, what beasts? Shhh. I’m writing. By the time my pencil is made dull, I’ll forget that I ever had a negative thought, a neurotic impulse, or a bad habit. None of them will have mattered one whit. I will be as close to at peace as a ball of nervous energy can come.
 
You might be tempted to try and bottle that feeling of blissful release. To try and replicate it every time you sit down to write. But don’t. You can get hooked on your own compulsive urges. They can wreck things that otherwise work beautifully. Don’t. Just forget the results you hope for and feel the whirl of the motor as you sharpen up that pencil.

 Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina 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 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.

Christina will be speaking in Eugene, Oregon on October 1st

Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Meeting
October Speaker

Get Known Before the Book Deal, An Author Platform Checklist
6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 1st
Eugene, Oregon
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette
Eugene, OR  97405
Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Workshop
Power Up Your Platform For the Internet Age
A 3-hour Workshop by Christina Katz, Author of Get Known Before the Book Deal
Cost: $49.00
Saturday, October 3rd
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The Market of Choice
67 West 29th Ave.
Upstairs classroom

To register contact JoJo Jensen at:
midvalleyww@yahoo.com

See Ya in NYC!

The Writer’s Digest Conference:  The Business of Getting Published is designed to guide any author through the new dynamics of today’s publishing world.  This three-day event takes place Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20, 2009, at the New York Marriott Marquis, on Times Square in New York.

Use my conference discount & get $50 off:
Code = KatS8

Complete program information, including speaker bios, special events related to the conference and registration is now available here.

Writer Mama Scholarship

THE WRITER MAMA SCHOLARSHIP FOR WRITING & PUBLISHING THE SHORT STUFF IS COMING SOON!

Writer Mama ScholarshipVALUE: $250.00!!!
Are you a mom, who would love to take the Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff Class that starts October 7th, but you would not otherwise be able to afford it?

Then you qualify for The Writer Mama Scholarship.

Application deadline for the next Available Scholarship for the October 7th Writing & Publishing The Short Stuff Class is between Monday, September 7th – Sunday, September 13th!

Details here.

Succulent September: The September Issue of Writers on the Rise Begins Here

Christina KatzI received a message from Sam last month after the July/August issue of Writers on the Rise went out. He said, “One of your best newsletters. I know it didn’t just happen on its own.”

It sure didn’t! There are nine of us who work diligently to make this newsletter as helpful as it can be ten times a year. Next month we will celebrate six years of Writers on the Rise. Six years!

Writers on the Rise started out as a simple e-mail I sent out to my former students so I would be able to keep in touch with them after my family moved from Bellingham, Washington to Wilsonville, Oregon.

Each year, we expanded a little bit. At first, my students contributed to the publication. Then I started recruited other writing professionals to contribute. Next, it wasn’t long before my students became writing professionals. Many of them contribute today. Several have books out, coming out, or deals in progress. I could not be more pleased.

The original e-mail list was a couple hundred writers; today it’s thousands. But I can’t help feeling that more writers would love to hear about us and would benefit from all of the excellent writing craft advice we offer. So along those lines, I’m going to ask for a couple of favors:

  • Could you forward this issue to five writing friends? (There’s a button at the bottom of the e-zine that makes this easy.)
  • Could you send a quick e-mail to Writer’s Digest and nominate us as one of the 101 Best Websites? Just click here here when you are ready to nominate us. Our physical address is: http://writersontherise.wordpress.com/.
  • Could you link to us in your blog, mention us in forums you participate in, or drop our name when you are on Facebook or Twitter? We have a  Facebook fan page and you are welcome to join it. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, I’m “@thewritermama.”

Folks can subscribe through the e-zine, if you forward it to them, or they can visit our webpage to subscribe.

Thanks for spreading the word! As always, I look forward to taking Writers on the Rise to a whole new level in 2010…but I’m sure your writer friends won’t want to miss all we still have to offer in the 2009.

In the writing spirit,

Christina

Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor
www.christinakatz.com

Friend me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

Reasons to Write: Write to Grow

Christina Katz

By Christina Katz
Another of the many reasons I write is to grow. I recently doodled a picture of my writing career and it came out looking like a garden. Each row of plants represents something I do: writing, publishing, speaking, teaching, hosting, mentoring, etc. The money invested in my education both in the past and my continuing, ongoing education enrich the soil and allow for a steady stream of crops coming up season after season.

I love that feeling of putting good stuff in and getting good stuff out. Of composting the old writing to see what new something can grow out of the steaming, decomposing muck. The realization that what remains can be reused to enrich the next crop. That nothing goes to waste.

Given the economy, and the massive switch over to a “gig” economy from a more long-term career focus, some days I can’t believe how lucky I am to have started my garden over a decade ago, so that I’m not rushing and trying to catch up with the times.

I remember my early days as a writer though. There were just a few shoots coming up in my garden. I remember the feeling that I did not have enough gigs cropping up and the frustration of not being exactly sure what to do to get more.

I stayed with it though. I found mentors. I read books. I attended workshops. I went to writer’s conferences. I interviewed successful people I admired. And I expanded my skills beyond just writing.

We are living in changing times. The real farmers who have actual farms and acreage and seeds and the hope of future crops are in trouble. And just because I have created my own farm so to speak, which doesn’t require any actual soil, seeds, or crops, doesn’t mean I should turn my back on the real thing-the real world, I mean.

The Internet is swell. It has allowed me to have the career I’ve always wanted. However, I find myself needing to remember that I don’t live in the virtual world my 2.0 career thrives on. Rather, I live in the real world with real people and real pains and joys and middle places.

The Jungian psychologist Marian Woodman speaks often in her work about the shadow side of things. Every person has a shadow side. Deny the humanity of a person long enough and the shadow side will take over. The shadow side is unfeeling, numb, and insatiable, unlike the alive, intuitive, balanced self who can experience the full spectrum of emotions, connect and know beyond circumstance.

The saving grace for me, as a person who thrives in the Internet Age, is that I found my legs as a writer first. Writing has always helped me discover my feelings, communicate with others, and stretch as a human being. Writing has always been a way to grow. I am convinced that without writing my spirit would have been thwarted, stuck, and confined to that horrible feeling of darkness-my shadow.

The shadow is a cold, dark and miserable place to exist on a daily basis. And though I haven’t lived there in many, many years, if you’ve ever been there, then like me you know about the fear and hopelessness that chokes or smothers anything that wants to grow.

This summer, I hope you will come outside and play in the warm, fertile haven of the garden. You can even bring your notebook. Just be sure to get some dirt under your fingernails.

Writer Mama by Christina KatzGet Known Before the Book Deal by Christina KatzChristina 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 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.


RSS RSS Subscribe to Writers on the Rise

  • This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com. And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
    The Writer Mama

RSS RSS Subscribe to WOTR Comments

a

Christina Katz's Facebook profile
July 2014
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Blog Stats

  • 248,676 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers