Christina Katz is celebrating the two-year anniversary of her book, Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, with a blog tour describing how she got published. I am honored to welcome her to Coffee and Critique as she shares part of her story and gives away a copy of her book.
Leave a comment here answering the question below for a chance to win a free copy of Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. If you've been thinking about freelancing, it's the perfect step-by-step guide to getting started. My copy is on my bedside table for easy reference. You can read the entire story from links on her blog.
The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!
Post #14: Assemble a Team of Confidantes
To round out the support from the publisher side and your agent, you’ll need a few more teammates. Think of these folks as your personal, private cheerleading squad. The publishing process has a lot of ups and downs and you’ll likely need as much friendly emotional support as you can get. So when you are gearing up to write a book, be on the lookout for at least three friends who can offer you the following:
Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint, so it helps to have a “catcher,” to receive your completed chapters as you go, whether this person will offer feedback or not. After I got the contract for Writer Mama, I knew I’d need a first reader. I also knew just who to ask: my longtime graduate school friend, Kristin Bair O’Keeffe.
Kristin served as my “catcher”—person to receive the early drafts of my chapters as I wrote them. Depending on how polished your drafts are, you may or may not need a draft editor, but you should always ask someone you trust to be your catcher, to help you stay on track of your deadlines. Since I didn’t strictly follow an outline to write Writer Mama, I needed lots of editorial support and Kristin’s feedback was a big help.
I think it’s an unspoken rule that every first time author has to go through some trials in the process of writing and promoting a first book. Maybe it’s part of the initiation process, I don’t know. But apparently no one is exempt. There were plenty of bumps along the book-writing road for me and that’s also been the case for my friends with their first books. So you’d better be prepared with plenty of emotional support because there’s a pretty good chance that you are going to need it. My friend Sage Cohen provided a sympathetic, listening ear when I was going through my first-time-author ups and downs. She was there when I needed to vent and I can only imagine that listening to me has helped her with her own first-time-author challenges.
I was fortunate that Kelly James-Enger served as a first-time author matchmaker and put me in touch with Sharon Miller Cindrich, when we were both in the process of writing our first books. What we were able to do for each other was not just commiserate, but also provide professional advice to each other along the way. I remember nudging Sharon about her platform development. And I remember her offering content suggestions for my book. Even if you never have a crisis along the book writing path, it sure helps to have someone you can call on and share your professional process with, especially when the other person is going through the same thing you are. That’s when bonding over book-writing is both cathartic and fruitful.
Keep in mind that your private support team won’t take the place of your agent or your interactions with the folks inside your publishing house. But when you have publishing folks, an agent, and writing friends, you’ll likely have a more positive book-writing experience than you would otherwise, which will only lead to a better book in the long run.
Today's Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog's comments: If you got a book deal today, who would you call on to be part of your team of confidantes? What strengths would they bring to the table?
Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.
Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit http://thewritermama.wordpress.com/ to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!