The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!

It’s Monday and a very exciting day here!  I am honored to say that today I have my first guest poster on Blogging Mama, the lovely mom and author Christina Katz.  She has been hopping around the internet this month offering some really great writing advice.  If you haven’t heard about her wonderful Blog Tour then please go visit her site and catch up!  You could even win a copy of her book by answering the question she has for you below, simply leave your answer in my comment box and I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Here’s Christina’s advice for today, day 23…


The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway! 

Post #23: The Perils of Book Writing (Part Three)

Continued from Part One and Part Two




Putting Spirituality to Use (Not abuse)

If fear is the biggest threat to your emotional health while writing a book and negativity is the biggest danger to your mental health, then deprivation is the biggest threat to your spiritual health.


Spiritual 911

You might be tempted to abandon your spiritual practices while working on a book to find more time. Of course, since I’ve already mentioned the physical, emotional and mental havoc that book writing can have on even the most high self-esteem, grounded, and happy individuals, I think this would be the worst possible time to alter a spiritual routine that has kept you feeling connected to a higher power. I’d even go so far as to suggest that you’ll need your connection more then ever in order to stay in touch with your intuition and instincts.

So when writing a book is this a good time to stop going to church, recovery meetings, temple, or your weekly mediation circle? 

No. Absolutely try to maintain your spiritual rootedness while writing your book. You’ll thank me later.


Spiritual 411

I attended a nearby Christian Writer’s Conference last year. While there, I attended a workshop and learned something from the acquisitions editor of a well-established Christian publisher. He said to a predominantly Christian audience, “Don’t make the mistake of only writing for other Christians if your topic can serve a broader audience.”

Why? Because every time you tighten the focus of your readership, you lose readers and therefore book sales. So before you decide to write a Christian book, or a recovery book, a Jewish book, or a Buddhist book, etc., ask yourself if your book is really only for these folks or if you could extract the principles for a broader audience and therefore reach more readers and achieve more sales.


Spiritual Don’t-Do-It

I feel that it’s important to bring up, since we are talking about book writing, that it’s important not to make the mistake of thinking that your religious beliefs belong in our book, unless they are explicitly written into your approved book proposal and marketing plan, or unless your religion is explicitly part of your platform and is anticipated by your readers.

In other words, call on your spiritual reserves to buoy yourself up while you are writing a book; but never assume that your specific readership shares your religious beliefs, unless you know for a fact that they do. A far safer bet is to assume religious diversity in your readers.

And finally, never try to sneak your spirituality into your book when you’ve formally agreed to something else in your contract. That’s a big mistake that will bring your professionalism into question. A writer’s job is to respect the reader, not convert them, unless this is explicitly the purpose of the book.


Today’s Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog’s comments:

How will your spiritual beliefs help you write your book? How much will your religious beliefs will be included in your book? Anything else you’d like to add to this discussion?

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!
Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (Writer’s Digest Books2007)
Kids change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career. Stay-at-home moms will love this handy guide to rearing a successful writing career while raising their children. The busy mom’s guide to writing life, this book gives stay-at-moms the encouragement and advice they need including everything from getting started and finding ideas to actually finding time to do the work – something not easy to do with the pitter-patter of little feet. With advice on how to network and form a a business, this nurturing guide covers everything a writer mama needs to succeed at her second job. Christina Katz is also the author of the newly released Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books 2008).

15 thoughts on “The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!

  1. How will your spiritual beliefs help you write your book? How much will your religious beliefs will be included in your book? Anything else you’d like to add to this discussion?My spiritual and religious beliefs help me during the writing process both outside and inside of the book. Outside of the book, they are a source I always go to for guidance, understanding, and peace. It’s easy to get lost in the details of day-to-day feelings towards writing, so my beliefs help me to refocus and feel centered. Inside of the book, my beliefs help me shape characters as well as interactions between the characters and between the characters and nature. The characters may have different beliefs and practices themselves, but it is my beliefs that help me find value in every character I write about. I also emphasize nature in my writing since it is a large part of my beliefs as well.

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  2. Interesting post. I practice reiki, which works with spiritual energy, and I find the time I put into my reiki practice comes back to me ten fold – by having a calm spirit, my creativity flows more easily. And with a still mind, I’m more open to receive inspiration from the universe.

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  3. For me my spiritual beliefs and how I live are not mutually exclusive, so I expect that to help me as I continue to write, though the last thing I want to do is preach to my audience.I’ve actually thought of writing a spiritually themed book at some point as I find this ‘topic’ endlessly fascinating.Thanks Andrea for hosting, and thanks Christina for bringing up the topic!I’ve already won the book Andrea so you can exclude me from the drawing, just wanted to comment 🙂

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  4. My book proposal is in process and some of what colors my and others’ experiences, that I am writing about, are spirituality and faith. They won’t be spelled out though; for many,including myself, it’s a turn-off.I do feel it’s wonderful to believe in something other than yourself…

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  5. I thought I’d leave my thoughts as well (though I already have Christina’s book, so obviously this isn’t for the drawing :)I write novels across two genre’s – Inspirational Fiction and Women’s Fiction. For my inspirational pieces I try to let my beliefs take a backseat and focus on the characters and what they believe. In my women’s fiction I usually keep religion in the background (as a side note if at all) because the book’s theme needs to be the forefront of the story.Personally I do let my beliefs (Presbyterian) curve how I use certain relationships between my characters and to a degree the types of language they use. If a character calls for harsher language than I would normally write I do let it flow the way it needs to be.I try to keep myself mindful of my own beliefs while writing because it helps me focus.

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  6. MAN, how come I didn’t know you write books. Maybe that’s why so many of you out there are great bloggers —great posts—cause you are writers. Sheeesh. Neat-o Andrea that you can write!!

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  7. This is a really interesting discussion, and again, one that I wouldn’t normally have thought through during a book-writing process.Great advice, Christina. I agree that it’s important to distinguish whether your readers will value your book regardless of their (or your) spiritual beliefs.I’d definitely rely on my faith to keep me grounded, focused, and inspired during a book-writing process, but I don’t envision it really coming into play *inside* my book.P.S. Andrea — this is my first stop at your blog and it’s lovely. I’m a blogging mama too, and will definitely stop by again. 🙂

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  8. My spiritual beliefs help make me who I am – which means if I leave them out, or wall them off when I’m writing, there will be perceptibly false notes. But making my faith a part of my writing doesn’t mean becoming shrill or discordant. Ideally, my faith will move through anything I write as an underpinning, a source of consistency in view and direction – the supporting lines of the score all the notes find their place on to make the music I want to play.

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  9. My spiritual beliefs shape my worldview and my life, but aren’t necessarily made explicit in my writing. It is interesting to read all the other comments on this topic! Thanks for asking the question. 🙂

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  10. Andrea, Thanks for hosting. What a great blog! I, too, have already won a book so no need to enter me today.Christina, thanks for bringing up this topic. It’s a relief to hear you address the issue of “sneaking” spirituality into writing in an inappropriate way. No one likes to read something that obviously has an agenda.It’s good to hear the admonition to not check out of life–particularly spiritual practices–while writing a book. I can see how it would be tempting to hole up and try to meet those deadlines but, you’re right, it would only prove to add stress to an already stressful endeavor.

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  11. I almost always take a moment to write about my beliefs before beginning a writing session. It helps center and direct me, and it improves my writing and my whole life. I’ve never written anything with any spiritual content, so the temptation of working it into my writing is a non-issue for me.I just bought your book, too…so you can exclude me from the drawing. 🙂

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  12. Thank you everyone for stopping by, visiting and commenting! Please continue to follow the Writer Mama story!Blonde – Me too, I am debating that one as well.Kimberly – Congrats! you won the book!Dadshouse – I didn’t know what reiki was so I looked it up. Similar to yoga in ways maybe? Either way it seemed calming (and interesting).rightonmom – that’s what led me to do an inspirational novel. It was where I was at (still am) at the time. Learning!internationalmom – I agree. I don’t like to be preached to (that’s what church is for ;)Wendy – Ah thanks. I do my best to keep it off here and on a more professional site. Though I slip up from time to time.Katie – thanks for visiting! I was also pleased with the topic I got to post. Made me think!Fluffycat – I agree. When we write part of us comes out into our work.Melissa – Sometimes they have to be separate making us look a bit more at our characters. I think that only helps us!Jenni – Thanks! I think some people put their own issues into a book in a not so good way. I hope I keep my focus on what’s right for my characters.Jillian – I hadn’t thought about that. That is a good idea!

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