Writer Mama is a practical guide to leveraging different types of writing into a profitable career if you are weaving writing in with raising your kids. The book is full of tips and helpful information, some of which is applicable to any type of writing.
Readers who will most benefit from this book are those who are interested in writing articles or non-fiction. Writer Mama will help you to determine the types of writing you feel best suited for or inclined to pursue, and help you get there. In her discussions of different types of articles and publication, author Christina Katz shows how you can build your portfolio with one type of writing to get to another level, and how not to get bogged down short of your goal. For example, if your dream is to have a column in your local newspaper, you might write short clips and build a portfolio before pitching a regular column. But if your goal is to write feature articles in national magazines, you might start at the same place and even try a local column, but you wouldn’t stop there. I think bloggers would also benefit from Katz’s ideas for article topics and different types of articles, as many of them would translate well to blog posts.
If you’re interested in publishing a non-fiction book, Writer Mama would be immensely helpful to you in building your platform and then understanding how best to pitch your idea. Best of all, the book is 60% off at Amazon right now, so you can get it for only $6. If you’re interested in non-fiction writing, that might be a good investment.
Although I enjoyed Writer Mama, I have to admit that The Writing Life is much more my speed. Annie Dillard is such a vivid writer and crafts such amazing imagery that I think you would enjoy this book even if you don’t write. The book is not a how to for writing, but rather Dillard’s own reflections and experiences of writing and how she sees life.
I am always interested in how different writers feel about writing, and Dillard falls into the “writing is deeply painful and terrible but also profoundly beautiful” camp. That said, I didn’t get the feeling that she was trying to dissuade people from writing, or trying to put herself on a pedestal, rather that she was just calling it as she sees it.
My favorite quote from the book is quite encouraging to me as I attempt to eke out a novel in snippets between everything else I have going on:
Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a book in a year. Some people lift cars, too. Some people enter week-long sled-dog races, go over Niagra Falls in barrels, fly planes through the Arc de Triomphe. Some people feel no pain in childbirth…There is no call to take human extremes as norms.
I also particularly enjoyed the section on setting a schedule. Dillard writes:
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days…There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.
How about you? Did you read anything good this week?
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