Dear Fellow Writers…February Message

cmkwritermama.gifTwo Words: Sustainable + Passion

Last month I had one word for you. This month I have two: Sustainable passion.

What a great month to talk about passion with Valentine’s Day fast approaching! But don’t take the “sustainable” part out of the equation or you are likely to run quickly amuck.

Nothing drives the importance of sustainable passion home more than my recent voracious read of Julia Cameron’s creative memoir, Floor Sample. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Julia Cameron fan. Her book, The Artist’s Way, has been instrumental to my values and health, as well as my career.

The author’s directive to write “Morning Pages” (three pages of longhand stream of consciousness) has helped me discover and pursue my own sustainable passion. Her belief in creativity as a central life-value brought my husband and me together (we met in a café where we were both writing our “Morning Pages”) and continues to ground and direct our union.

We married seven months later and now have a beautiful daughter. Sometimes we just can’t juggle two creative careers and a family without those handy “Morning Pages.” Not only do they keep us on track, they help us enjoy the sometimes-bumpy ride that growth can bring.

I interviewed Julia in 1998 while working on a non-fiction book that never saw the light of publication. Still, she was generous enough to recommend me to her agent, Susan Schulman, who rejected my book in a straightforward manner (the best kind of rejection, in my opinion, though it was disappointing at the time). However, Ms. Schulman asked me an important question that has served my subsequent career well.

She asked, “What do you know?” She said that was what she’d prefer to hear about in my first book. She said what I know was more interesting to her than my compilation of what other people know (the book was, at that time, a collection of interviews). She suggested that my “book” might be better suited for magazines rather than collected.

I have spent the past seven years responding to her question. I’ve focused my energy on writing for magazines and teaching writing-for-publication. I have had seven years to discover what I know and I learn more everyday. On March first, I have a book coming out and guess what’s in it?

Perhaps this didn’t need to take quite as long, an issue addressed quite thoroghly in Writer Mama. And now I’d like to ask you, “What do you know?” Do you have a sustainable passion you can build from wherever-you-are-now into a platform for your writing career? Discovering a sustainable passion can give you an exciting new foothold in writing career you will love and one you will love to develop. And what writer wouldn’t want that?

So remember the two magic words this Valentine’s Day month: Sustainable passion. Repeat them. Make them your mantra. When your work is your sustainable passion, it’s fun and expansive and you never know where it will lead you next.

In the writing spirit,

Christina Katz
Christina Katz is the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2007). She is a featured presenter at the Writer’s Digest/BEA Writer’s Conference, The Whidbey Island Writers Association MFA Residency, and the Willamette Writers Conference. She’s been teaching writing-for-publication classes for six years and has appeared on Good Morning America. She is also publisher and editor of this e-zine and another called The Writer Mama. Christina blogs daily at http://www.thewritermama.wordpress.com/. For more about Writer Mama, visit Christina’s website at http://www.thewritermama.com/.

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    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, […]
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