Hi Writers,
Another Friday, another opportunity to add yet another writer’s blog in my project to spotlight and add one to my blogroll each week for 20 weeks. So many great blogs, so little time…

This week, I’m adding lucky #7 to my circle of blog buddies. And without further adieu, it is:

Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids
by Christina Katz

You’ve probably heard publishing types using the eponymous and somewhat terrifying word “platform.” As in, “We’re looking for writers with an established platform…”

Well, Christina could write a book on that. She’s been brilliant at establishing a grass-roots community for parent/writers through her blog. And great blogs sometimes lead to great books. Christina’s book Writer Mama came out this year.

To promote her book via her blog, she’s been hosting a Back-to-School book giveaway—a book a day for 31 days. There are still 3 more days left if you’d like to enter.

Also check out Christina’s “Creative Manifesto,” which I love, and not just because I love to use the word “manifesto” whenever possible (but it’s true, I do.).

Here’s #4 of the “Creative Manifesto”:
“When good things happen, slow down and savor the moment. It takes effort to make good things happen, so you must have earned it!”

Ah, so true. Christina please get on here and tell us a little more about how you’ve use your blog to build your platform and get a book deal.

Finally, I have a writer mama confession to make. Once, when I was attempting to conduct a phone interview at home, I locked myself in the car with my cellphone to escape my three fighting children.

Oh, the guilt! Nice to know there are other struggling writer/parents out there. Keep up the good work Christina!

Keep Writing,

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14 thoughts on “PROJECT 20/20 BUILD MY BLOGROLL: WEEK 7 ADD!

  1. Olivia

    I absolutely LOVED this blog piece. It actually entertained me for awhile, as it was talking about, me..The most beautiful of your three "fighting" children! Continue writing passages like this, including me in them of course!

  2. Maria Schneider

    Hi Erica,
    Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog. And congratulations to you for having the initiative to start up a school newspaper! That’s a big undertaking, but I have no doubt that if you have the moxie to start a paper on your own, you’ll be successful in running one, as well.

    I wrote a post here a few weeks ago called, "So you want to be a journalist." You might want to check that out.

    My advice: be enthusiastic, work hard and most importantly, trust your instincts. If you do, you’ll have an appreciative audience and a staff who will trust you and be willing to work hard to help you put out the best paper possible.

    Please send me a copy if you get a chance.


  3. Writing Frump

    Oh, the word manifesto is one of my favorites, too! I think it’s long been misused by the Unibombers of the world, and underused by we of more normal persuasion.

    Congratulations, Christina! May you blog for a long long time. 🙂

    The Writing Frump

  4. Gabrielle Linnell


    Check out SHANNON HALE’s blog & site, . I love reading it as it’s so eclectic: she hosts writer interviews from Stephenie Meyer (!!!) to Megan Whalen Turner to newbie authors, as well as writing about her NYT-bestselling and Newbery-honor-winning books and her young family in Utah.

  5. Erica Lamm

    Hello Maria
    I am starting a school newspaper at my school (first meeting is this wednesday) and I want to be prepared as possible- I want to understand my responsibilities as an editor and know what I’m doing, so that my news team can rely on me and that the paper is successful. I’m doing this because I have always wanted a career in journalism and I see this as a step closer to my goals. Any advice that you could give me would be much appriciated.

    Thank you very much.

  6. Misti Sandefur

    Great choice, Maria! I just recently stumbled upon Writer Mama and have been enjoying it every since. My kids are not tots anymore — I have an 11-year-old and two teens, as well as an 18-year-old stepdaughter who is in the Navy and a 20-year-old stepson. So, I may not have to hide in my car for a phone interview, but my struggles when they get this age is trying to juggle my writing and attend school functions, too. In fact, just tonight my 15-year-old daughter had her first Homecoming dance as a freshman… Boy, that do grow up quickly! An advantage to them being older now is we enjoy yard games, crafts and many other activities together, and this sparks many article ideas. Although, there was a time when they were young, so I can relate… and boy, how I miss those days. Mommies, enjoy them while their still young.

  7. Megan Pincus Kajitani

    Great to find this blog through Christina,
    -whose platform-building class I enthusiastically completed last summer,
    -which helped me pinpoint my own platform (they’re often there, mulling around, just needing to be fine-tuned and said out loud),
    -which has now got me happily blogging with new thoughts each day,
    -which has already made me more connections than in full years prior.
    (Put that run-on sentence to the tune of "There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly"!)

    I’m on the Christina train, starting from where I am and putting it out there. Thanks to Christina, and to you, Maria, for highlighting her here!

    And, BTW, as I typed this, my daughter just removed 85% of the keys from my dinosaur old iBook. Now my p’s and q’s are literally in disarray, all over the floor (haha)! Projects, projects, and we write on.

  8. Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

    Hey Maria,

    Great choice for your Week 7 add! Christina’s been a close friend and writing colleague of mine for the past 15 years…and I’m amazed and awed by Writer Mama…book and blog.

    If readers of this blog haven’t yet read Writer Mama, I encourage you to race to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy. It’s an inspiring guide to getting published.

    Can’t wait to see what Christina does next!

  9. The Writer Mama

    Thanks, Becky. I hope you continue to enjoy the book. I checked out your blog and wanted to refer you to another blog. It’s called Dreaming About Water by Amy Mercer. Do you know it? If not, I highly recommend it!

    And Nettie, I don’t know if that is your real name, but I love it. Sounds like a kid’s fiction hero. 🙂

  10. The Writer Mama

    Thank you, Maria. I’m honored to be added to your blogroll. I’m so surprised…I’m a little speechless. (However, knowing me, this too shall pass and fairly quickly too.)

    I actually didn’t start blogging until after I finished the mss. for Writer Mama. I felt, if I started sooner, I wouldn’t have enough energy to invest in the book. Since it was my first book, this was probably the best choice for me at that time. In fact, I tried to start a blog early in the drafting process and it didn’t go anywhere. Chock it up to the first time author jitters – there was a lot to learn in a short time!

    But we’ve all heard about blog-to-book deals and all kinds of great career synergy that happens for writers who blog. I’m going to say that synergy, like what you are doing here, Maria, is about the best thing that writers can do for their careers. But synergy isn’t instantaneous. So you have to start somewhere. Usually wherever you are…and work steadily over time.

    (Hmm…speechlessness seems to have passed, as predicted.)

    I’ve been blogging like a maniac since January of this year and I’m proud to report that I’ve accumulated almost three hundred posts, almost fifteen hundred comments and almost thirty-five thousand visitors. Mostly I blog updates on the progress of Writer Mama in the world and what it’s like going on a first book tour and how I try to juggle it all. (Insert laughter track here because it’s impossible to be a mom writer without locking yourself in the car with your cell phone at least a few times. I totally got that after reading the entries to the WD “When Writing and Parenting Collide” contest. I will not be feeling alone as parent writer any time soon!)

    Speaking of parenting…I just turned around to see what my daughter was up to at her desk behind me and she was very cutting her BARBIE’s hair. Luckily the scissors were dull and I have plenty of colorful paper she can cut with her sharper scissors instead. This is my latest coping strategy: Just keep throwing new projects at her. When I can’t see the floor anymore, we stop and clean up. Until then, I have work to do and plenty of it.

    For blog inspiration, I like to find folks to emulate. For my Writer Mama blog I emulated (but didn’t imitate, because all of her ideas didn’t work for me) Ali Edwards’ blog. She’s a designer, so her blog is very visual and since I work with words mostly, her blog really motivates and inspires me. I tried some of her “challenges” and that’s where my manifesto came from.

    I also chose her “one word” for the year. My word for 2007 was S-T-R-E-T-C-H. (And that’s how I spelled it.) Most days it still fits. Trust me.

    So, I didn’t use a blog to leverage my first book deal with Writer’s Digest Books, but I was already the publisher and editor of Writers on the Rise newsletter and had been teaching and publishing articles for years. So it wasn’t like I was sitting around just writing. Nobody can get away with that anymore, folks. Don’t shoot me for being the messenger.

    My ongoing platform efforts also helped me get the second book deal with WDB. I recently signed a contract for another (top secret) book and I am currently juggling extra hard to meet a tight deadline. (What’s my daughter doing now? She’s moved on to coloring with a marker in one hand and a crayon in the other. It’s all good.) What’s the book about? I wish I could say more. But my agent, editor and I have all pinky-sworn to keep mum until 2008. However, if you keep reading my blog, you’ll be the first ones to know. (Wink.)

    Thanks again, Maria! Juggle on! You guys at WD set a great example for the rest of us.

  11. Nettie Fudge


    I’m not a Mom, but I’m sure at some point I would have figured out a way to "escape" from the little darlings. Please check out my blog: I’m a new writer and just want to share some of my off the wall things that happen in my life. Also, an interesting side note about my blog – recently I’ve featured some published authors I know on my site. Lots of fun.



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