I recently bought WriterMama‘s (Christina Katz) new book, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. Since I’m focusing on WAHMs this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to give you a brief informal review of the book.
First of all, Christina seems to come primarily from the perspective of a writer whose career is largely focused on getting published in print publications. My own perspective is that of a writer who has primarily done technical writing and business copywriting. However, the differences between us did not keep her book from becoming a useful resource for me.
Christina begins her book appropriately with a pep talk. I always appreciate a good pep talk! In her pep talk Christina does a good job of both laying the groundwork for the book and encouraging other writers.
This book is full of examples, exercises, and practical applications. It’s the kind of readable book that you can read from cover to cover, and still keep on the shelf for future reference. I love the way that she refers you to other successful writers (and includes weblinks). I’m the type of person who likes concrete examples, and Christina delivers them.
I’m primarily a technical and business copywriter. Because of this, Christina’s section on Tearing Apart Target Markets (Chapter 3) was largely new material for me since it provided techniques for analyzing publications. I especially appreciated her decoding of magazine terminology. It’s good to have this information on hand.
I also loved Christina’s âPrewrite Your Feature (Chapter 13). In it she lists nineteen approaches for starting to write. Some of the things that she lists I already do, but I appreciate having the ideas formalized into a list like this. This should definitely help combat writer’s block. What are the nineteen approaches? You’ll have to read Christina’s book to find out.
Christina’s section on Develop Multiple Income Streams deals with something that every freelance writer that I know strives for. She lists some really good ideas and some of them are new to me.
In fact, the only thing that I found in her book that I disagree with is in her chapter titled Negotiate Like a Barter Queen (Chapter 17). In this chapter she provides a lot of useful advice. However, she also states that: There will seldom be a contract with online publications and small publications (page 193). I come from a different field, but there has almost always been a contract of sorts that I have had to agree to before I began writing. Even when I’ve submitted to content sites, there’s been a contract-like screen that I’ve agreed to before I was able to submit my content. In fact, there have only been two times that I’ve agreed to take a writing job without a contract and both times the work failed to materialize as promised. Of course, that’s just my own experience.
All in all, Writer Mama’s How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids is everything that I had hoped for and more. I have no hesitations about recommending it to other writers.
Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.