Back in the ’90s, Christina Katz chose the life of a freelance writer. Now, after twelve years of seeing her work published, she’s sharing the nitty-gritty of what her career choice has entailed. Her third guidebook for freelancers, The Writer’s Workout (Writer’s Digest) comes out this week. On Thursday, December 8, 2011, she’ll be here at Treated & Released to share three of my favorite chapters. Get ready to take notes!
Christina Katz is a friend. Permit me to say at the outset that I’m biased. Having recommended her book about author platforms, I was eager to read THE WRITER’S WORKOUT, which is intended to help a writer sustain productivity and creativity for the duration of a healthy career.
THE WRITER’S WORKOUT is a compilation of concise instructions for self-editing, narrowing a topic’s scope, pitching projects to editors, making money, professional networking, meeting deadlines, and other practical matters dear to my heart. Creative writers, however, may warm to the book’s segments on coping with competition, criticism, disappointment, and burnout. New writers who aren’t confident of what to write about will pull out the pages offering gentle prods and examples of how to brainstorm.
Telling writers to toss out the grammar handbooks seems counterintuitive and cringeworthy, yet it’s exactly what this book suggests. Though I’m reluctant to admit it, faulty grammar won’t prevent a writer from being published—a tidbit of truth that should please plenty of aspiring authors.
Christina Katz tells writers who are in search of inspiration, “Everything in your life is trying to communicate with you.” She believes that responding is a writer’s vocation. Her new book outlines simple daily methods to clear the way for the intellectual and emotional engagement that produces good writing.
Another of the author’s lessons that writers should tattoo somewhere: “Take 100 percent responsibility for your writing career. Don’t ever expect it to be as important to anyone else as it is to you.” It’s easy for writers to lament the solitary nature of their work. Expressing the concept of professional independence as empowerment is much more constructive.
Yes, there’s a challenging amount of information in this book, and it’s directed at the pro who will exert the effort required to have a career as a writer.
Beyond mere freelance business strategy, THE WRITER’S WORKOUT addresses the writer’s soul, strength, and stamina. In other words, its lessons are heartfelt. For a creative person without a supportive entourage, the one-a-day reminders that fill this book make a nice stand-in. What writer, no matter how successful and well connected, couldn’t use 366 pieces of encouragement and advice from an energetic and devoted writing coach?
For an example of a gracious author’s media page (part of a media kit), take a look at ChristinaKatz.com. If you’re a freelance writer, does your media kit look as good?
Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? If you’d like to meet Christina in person, then check out her 2012 appearance schedule. And come back here on Thursday for a peek at some of the best parts of her new book.