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Day 27 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Christina Katz

This is the very first book giveaway for The Writer’s Workout. 🙂

Advanced warning to the winner: you will receive this signed book in December 2011. I should have copies by the launch party on December 6th. I’ll send yours as soon as I get my giveaway copies in.

If you don’t win and you can’t stand the idea of not being among the first to get a signed copy, you can actually already pre-order The Writer’s Workout, at a deeper than usual discount, if you like. I’ll draw three winners from the first fifty who send me their receipts and those winners will receive a free one-hour phone consultation with a value of $150. (Forward your receipt to katz christina at comcast dot net to enter.)

Christina Katz is the author of the forthcoming Writer’s Digest book, The Writer’s Workout, 366 Tips, Tasks & Techniques From Your Writing Career Coach (now available for pre-order!). She also wrote Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. A  “gentle taskmaster” over the past decade to hundreds of writers, Christina’s students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, increase their creative confidence, and succeed over time. Christina hosts the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and far too many pets.

Need help growing and nurturing your writing career?

How about tending your career over time in a world driven by distraction, stress, and superficiality?

Available December 2011!

The Writer’s Workout contains 366 ideas for expanding your craft, sales, self-promotion, and professional development process, without repeating all the same old advice.

Here’s a few fun things you don’t know about The Writer’s Workout:

  • The book is written with a distinctively balanced, measured, natural approach to growing a writing career over time.
  • The message of this book is to stop pushing your writing, to give rushing a break, and let your creative efforts flow in a more natural, authentic way instead.
  • The format of the book is divided into seasons. The book begins with spring because it is a natural time to start growing things, and then proceeds from there through summer, fall, and winter.
  • The book is THICK. There is a ton of value crammed into this book because of the format: 366 distinct topics all in one book!
  • This book is not full of sport analogies. In fact, it goes very light on the sport analogies. Yes, it’s sporty looking on the outside, but the tone of the book definitely strikes a balance between the yin and the yang of the writing life.
  • This book is not just me in your face shouting, “Go, go, go!” This is a book that aims to help YOU become your own best writing coach.
  • The book includes 366 timeless insights from other writers. Their combined wisdom alone is worth the cover price.

None of this is the official jacket copy because the jacket copy is not finished yet. I’m waiting to see it right along with you. But I hope this provides a bit of a preview into what’s coming soon.

I can’t wait to share it with you!

• • •

Yesterday, you discussed getting hot and sweaty, so today let’s get a little more esoteric.

How has your writing impacted your emotional and spiritual life, if at all? If it hasn’t, would you like it to? If it has, please tell us how. Share anything about how writing has had a profound impact on your life. Got any stories about this?

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway!

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  • Tania Dakka May 27, 2011, 10:58 am

    First, congrats!!  So
    excited for you!


    My emotional life has been greatly impacted by this new
    advent of writing.  I have an unfortunate
    hormonal battle that has affected my life since becoming a woman.  Writing has given me an outlet to express
    myself in ways that allow me to channel frustrations to paper and not release
    them to those around me.  It gives me a
    boost of self-confidence and reminds me that I am productive and have something
    to say.  It has filled me with ideas and
    allowed me to be creative or to step into another “voice” for that nonfiction
    piece that needs finishing.  I am thankful
    for the “Writer Mama” book that has spurred me into nonfiction and I look forward
    to honing my craft with “The Writer’s Workout.”

  • Meryl K Evans May 27, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I’m an oddball when it comes to writing. I love to write because I think of it as learning something and sharing what I learn. So it’s more of an educational outlet than an emotional one for me. That would explain why I’m a nonfiction writer. I like the work involved and helping readers get what they need from the words. I’ve kept a journal since 1989, but I censor myself as I write the journal more as a memory tool than an emotional one. It’s come in handy when I needed to remember dates of certain milestones!

  • Barbara McDowell Whitt May 27, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Christina, I am impressed with your forthcoming book’s content. For me, I look at your question in reverse and ask: How has my emotional and spiritual life impacted my writing? For years in the 1990s and early 200os I made many, many notes in my copy of the American Heritage Dictioonary of the English Language, First Edition (1968). If I was reading and needed to look up a word, I was often astounded to see something that sent me on a search to other words. I frequently wrote “See—,  p. —.”   I would feel very, very spiritual at the time. I still use that same dictinary. I have used it so much that the spine has broken.

    It is the same with my RSV Bible. I wrote “righteousness” verses in the white  front pages and back pages. I made many notes in the margins, cross referencing verses. The spine broke when my Bible fell off my car seat. It broke in two at the point where God was commanding Moses to part the waters of the Red Sea.

  • Malia Jacobson May 27, 2011, 2:11 pm

    Hooray! I’m really excited about the Writer’s Workout–already on my Christmas list! 😉 I write mainly service-oriented non-fiction, and I find it incredibly rewarding to help people deal with problems they may face in their life. And finally doing the thing I feel I was put on the planet to do–write and connect with readers through my words–makes me feel at peace with the world and myself.

  • Marian Scadden May 27, 2011, 2:49 pm

    Being able to write a decent story has actually surprised me. I remember my first writer’s conference and I scared myself half to death. Not wanting to waste the money I spent for the conference, I signed up for a critique, for open mic and for participating in a critique group. It was scary. But I did find out I had potential! Emotionally–it was a confidence booster. Now I feel that I can influence for good through writing.

  • Lmc108 May 27, 2011, 3:30 pm

    Writing has always
    been an emotional outlet for me. I’ve kept some sort of journal or notebook
    since before I knew how to write. I filled those early journals with my own
    cursive-approximations that “recorded” events and shared stories. As I learned
    to form letters, my recording developed—and became more secretive. I
    cherished my lock-diary, and wrote how mean my mom had been that day  (forcing me to eat squash at dinner) or why I
    was angry with my brother (for raiding my Barbie Townhouse, once again, with
    G.I. Joe.) Ours was not a neighborhood filled with kids, nor were we a big daytime
    TV  family, and I spent most of my
    non-school days alone with my mother and brother, who often invoked my anger my
    “forcing” me to engage in activities that I did not enjoy (cleaning my room,
    playing Star Wars.) Writing was my emotional outlet—I could share anything on a
    piece of paper. The very act of writing tumbled and sorted my feelings, clarified
    my thoughts, cleared my head, and create an action plan—skills that carry me
    still through this day. The feelings, the reflections, he process has grown, as
    I have I.

  • Angela Stevens May 27, 2011, 3:57 pm

    My emotional and spiritual life go against the ‘norm’ and this shows in my writing. I am told I have a unique style of writing which really draws the reader in and makes them think in a way they haven’t before. To me, though, writing impacts me emotionally by keeping me centered and grounded. Spiritually, it helps me to really open my eyes and see the beauty in nature. It helps me see everything in a new light and give me perspective. In fact, I often think of how I can work something I have seen, experienced or felt into one of my writings. I enjoy writing fantasy fiction and I often think of how I can twist an everyday occurance into something fantastic. A purple sky, a green and yellow butterfly, blue grass, talking flowers, barking birds… you name it. Or if I see an interaction take place in a store or dining establishment, I often try to role play a different outcome in my head. What if the snotty waitress decided to pour coffee down the pretentious woman’s dress? What if the shy looking girl suddenly got on top of a table and started dancing? What if the checkout clerk started double ringing every item on purpose? I like to think against the societal norm and this is good for my soul (and for a good laugh sometimes). Before I got back into writing, every day was a blur – gray, dull, monotonous, and boring. Now that I am writing again, the world is alive, vivid, and thrilling!

    I would love to have a copy of this book and am willing to wait for it. If I don’t win it, I am sure I will buy it anyway. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Angela Stevens May 27, 2011, 4:00 pm

    PS Might I mention that I have struggled with bipolar disorder and OCD since I was 3 years old? I forgot to say this in my original post, but writing is an excellent outlet for any crazy emotions I might be dealing with. And the more creative I get with my writing, the better and more stable I feel. Since I have four children, three of which struggle with various emotional/behavioral disorders, the calmer and more centered I can stay, the calmer and more centered they stay. So writing is not only important to my own mental health but to my children’s as well!

  • Cindy Hudson May 27, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Congrats Christina; I can’t wait to hold a finished copy in my hand. If I win this one I’ll certainly be buying one or two or more for other writing friends as gifts.

    In general I believe I’m more emotionally calm when I write regularly, even when my writing is purely instructional. There’s something about getting words down on a page and knowing I’ve communicated well whatever I wanted to say that feels emotionally satisfying.

    When I write personal essays that’s even more true. As I dig deep down to find the emotional truth of a story, I also see those emotions a bit more objectively than when I first experienced them, and I find that transformational at times.

  • Lisa May 27, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Wanting to be a better writer inspires me daily to read read read, and some of the books I’ve read have changed me spiritually in a way  I wouldn’t have expected. Books by Amoz Oz, Ian McEwan, and Annie Dillard in particular have literally changed me.

  • Annelise Kelly May 27, 2011, 4:54 pm

    The most valuable impact writing has on my life is the way
    it lets me turn things over in my mind and on the page, processing and
    considering aspects of my life. Every since I started journaling as a teen, it’s
    been a healthy and valuable outlet, a way to do some thoughtful
    self-counseling. Sometimes just getting the thoughts onto paper is enough to
    clear my mind and help my subconscious knead and handle and rock whatever it is
    that’s going on, soothing my psyche.

  • Jen Henderson May 27, 2011, 5:04 pm

    I’m relatively new to Ashtanga yoga, but it’s a demanding practice that requires focus, strength, dedication and flexibility–and that’s just the physical side. What this yoga is really about is finding a way to connect with and cleanse the inner self, ultimately, to reveal a Universal Self. I guess this is one of the few physical practices I’ve participated in that mimic the process and goals of writing. There are days when I’m frustrated with both, and with myself as a practitioner. But as my yoga instructor says, “Compassion with others begins with compassion for the self” (and boy, do I need to hear that!) and that “You should always meet the practice where you are today, knowing that, with time, incremental changes will lead you to your goal.” Sounds similar to something C.K. has said in our classes. 🙂

  • Lara Krupicka May 27, 2011, 5:44 pm

    In many ways, I process and synthesize what I’m learning spiritually through my writing. My spiritual life and writing life are intertwined in many ways and I need both together to be whole. I’ve found emotionally that I have grown the most when I’ve taken a hard (or fun) emotion and pulled away from the circumstance that caused it, using the big lesson in it for an essay. I’m learning to put down those emotions on paper as notes for future essay ideas because I know those essays will have the most impact, on me and my readers.

  • Diane J. May 27, 2011, 6:00 pm

    Writing has impacted my emotional being in a very positive way. I’ve always been afraid of judgment. I’m a middle child, so negotiating and keeping the peace are natural. But, I’ve always been afraid to share my true thoughts or take claim for my own work.

    Age has helped, but writing and putting my thoughts out there have increased my confidence unmeasurably. I still get terribly nervous, but once I see something in print I’m excited. Comments from others who read my writing are uplifting. 

    In Jr. High, I curled my hair and received many compliments. I was so embarrassed by the attention I claimed my sister did it. Now, when I receive a compliment on my writing, I still feel awkward, but I take credit and say “thank you.” Silly, I know, but I’m very happy.

    I’m proud of finding my little niche in the world.

  • Pattie May 27, 2011, 6:25 pm

    My writing is absolutely intertwined with my spiritual
    life. In fact, I’ve been published with my spiritual writings and not my
    parenting writings, which made my experience with Christina’s dream team a
    little frustrating (in that my articles submitted for parenting pubs have been
    rejected or ignored, and my spiritual and Bible devotions are being published).
    Regardless, I write a lot about what God is teaching me in His word, and I
    write words of encouragement to military spouses, about strengthening their
    faith, and letting them know they’re not alone. It’s really a deeper sharing of
    my heart and mind.

  • Deanne Haines May 27, 2011, 6:31 pm

    Writing energizes me. It keeps me emotionally balanced – a little bit of “me” time to do what I love.  The days when I put a finishing touch on an article, interview an inspiring family or dream up a great new topic to write about – it makes my day.  

  • Kate B May 27, 2011, 6:57 pm

    Writing is central to my spiritual growth.  I have nearly 20 years of journals stacked in my closet.  Writing gives me clarity.  It is the way I process the world, Scriptures, parenting, you name it.   Writing helps me identify and sort out my thoughts.  I’ve even corrected myself via writing!  For instance, I might start writing out my frustrations over an argument with my husband, and about 10 minutes into it I realized I was the one who was in the wrong.  Simply, I don’t know how to grow, or engage with life, without writing.

  • Lela Davidson May 27, 2011, 6:59 pm

    I’ll workout if you workout. 3 miles twice a week will change your life.  – Anyway, yes, yes I don’t see how it can’t. The more we express ourselves the better we get to know us and what it is we’re supposed to be doing here. It can be tough though, growth=change=messing with the status quo that others have come to depend on. Looking forward to the book, though not sure I need any MORE work to do!

  • JJ May 27, 2011, 7:06 pm

    I’ve been writing since preschool (“writing” at first meaning “dictating stories to Mom!”), so when I let writing go by the wayside after my first baby was born a few years ago, I found myself feeling off balance. It took me awhile to realize it was the result from giving up my creative outlet. So I started setting my alarm, getting up before the sun, and forcing words on paper. It felt almost awkward at first, but what I found to help was swaping kids w/ another mom once a week and using my morning off to sit at the bookstore and read–what else?–writing books. This is where I found (& fell in love w/!) Writer Mama. An hour less of sleep is definitely worth the emotional fulfillment:)

  • Mar Junge May 27, 2011, 7:09 pm

    There’s the voice we hear in our heads that talks to us throughout the day. And there’s the voice that comes from our “lizard brain” that worries about survival, reproduction and rage. For example, when the plane lurches in turbulence, it’s not our constantly running verbal mind that freaks out. It’s the amygdala, the prehistoric brain stem and surrounding parts of the brain that kick in. Our rational mind almost never decides anything by itself. Decisions about credit cards, relationships, job prospects, creativity and the self-defeating miscalculations each of us make every day are influenced by hidden emotions deep within our psyche. Writing puts me in touch with my lizard brain.

  • kara May 27, 2011, 7:14 pm

    I want to play today!

    I knew I was a writer long before I knew anything else about myself. Getting my thoughts on paper has been a constant in my life since I was a child. My first published piece was a poem I wrote about the death of a friend in 8th grade, which her parents printed on note cards that were sent to loved ones. Later that year another friend read it in a poetry reading contest and won. I was reminded of all that recently when, on the anniversary of her death one of our classmates posted the poem–the poem I wrote almost 30 years ago–on Facebook. That day, through the poem, friends and family remembered her all over again. I was struck by the value of the written word as a vessel for our memories and the lasting impressions it makes for the reader, and of course, for the writer. I look back at that poem now and I’m not sure how that 13-year-old girl found the words. Not alone she didn’t.

  • Renee May 27, 2011, 7:17 pm

    At 34 years, I am just now learning about spirituality in teaching it to my kids, so I imagine my writings will be affected by this new phase of life eventually. Emotionally, I used to bottle up so many things because it was painful to write about them. Now, I actually find it therapeutic to sit down and pound out a quick draft of an essay or beginning of a story when I’m upset. It dawned on me quite recently, after reading a wonderful interview with Pat Conroy, that the only way to get through the darkness we all have in our lives is to write about it. He credits writing with saving his life a number of times, and I can completely relate to that, too. As writers, that’s what we do. Whether or not we choose to show those writings to other people is our choice after that.

  • Bet May 27, 2011, 7:29 pm

    My writing has had a profound effect upon my emotional and spiritual life. I began writing poetry in high school as an emotional release and to work out the things I was going through and thinking about. Now I also write to make sense of things, and to help me figure out what I think about what’s going on in my life and in my family. I also find that when I publish my writing (only in the church newsletter so far) others are helped by it. And that blesses me as well!

  • Sarah Joyce Bryant May 27, 2011, 7:37 pm

    Since I write memoir, writing has helped me to release many painful memories onto the page. Writing has also helped me in an unexpected way. I started a blog about my son who has Asperger’s. His teacher asked to read it and was so moved and learned so much she has begun to implement special provisions for him in the classroom. She has even shared my blog with the school counselor. It is a wonderful experience to share special things about my son through my blog, but it’s been made even better now that it’s led to better care for him at school!

  • Judy May 27, 2011, 7:42 pm

    I have learned to examine life more deeply than just at face value. I have learned that writing helps me process, express and purge many of my emotions. Writing helps to center me. Writing gives me great joy. Writing gives me a voice, empowering me to grow as a woman, mother, mentor, and educator. Writing has provided me with a creative way to express myself and connect with others.

  • Katie May 27, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Writing helps me to process and clarify my thoughts. Usually when I write a personal essay, I sob my way through it. And then I sob my way through while editing, again and again. So then it starts feeling pretty silly by the fifth or sixth time!  I definitely do quite a bit of writing just to get things out of my system, which can sometimes be a stumbling block to my “business” writing, but occasionally I can rework it into something later. And when I’m having a horrible day I kvetch on my blog and people are so kind and supportive–like free therapy!

  • Laura Ackerman May 27, 2011, 8:06 pm

    Much of my writing has been an emotional and spiritual workout for me.  My social work classes, specifically, had us look at our own backgrounds and experiences that shaped our view of the world and our philosophy of social work practice.  I actually enjoyed that aspect of the program because I had been doing this self-reflection for years already trying to figure out how five children from the same family could have such different memories, experiences and outlooks on life.  I am currently working on a project with my brother to share his experiences as a homeless addict for 30 years.  Reading his book draft has been challenging as his memories and conclusion and mine are often polarized.  I am also analytical and logical and have to step back to reflect on my conclusions and allow myself to respond emotionally to his hurts.  As   sociologist WI Thomas said, “If you define things as real, they are real in their consequences”. 

  • Kristeen Elizabeth Moore May 27, 2011, 8:49 pm

    It depends on the type of writing I am doing. I primarily write non-fiction, so I take advantage of the time it takes me to research and write a particular topic as a learning opportunity. The emotional aspect may come into play when I get emails or letters for readers who have been impacted in a positive way because of my pieces. My spirituality and emotions come out more in fiction writing. When I write fiction, I write the exact opposite of my personality. I am usually a happy, positive and out-going person. I find my fiction pieces are a little dark and the characters can be narcissistic. No matter what type of writing I do, it definitely feeds my soul; I couldn’t live without it.

  • Beth Vogt May 27, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I’m more emotionally balanced when I write.  I truly believe God made me to be a writer–that I’m functioning as intended when I’m writing (or editing.) I’m using my talents and gifts–and pursuing my passion. Writing can wear me out physically and mentally, but I’m always ready to go at it again the next morning. 

  • Michele Dortch May 27, 2011, 11:28 pm

    Writing is an act of faith for me and has helped me build up my level of emotional and spiritual trust.

    Before writing, I was the skeptic who saw the flaws before I appreciated the beauty. So when it came to writing, I was incredibly hard on myself: deleting hours worth of work that I’d somehow deemed as worthless, or as someone once said to me, “You’re the type of person if given an extra hour, you would refine your work again, even if it didn’t need refining.” Yep, that was me. I didn’t have faith or trust in my ability to write.

    It wasn’t until I officially hung my shingle as a writer (back in 2009 and after hiding behind a successful HR career for years), that I really began to exercise faith and trust in my craft, God, and myself. I had faith and trust because I had to. How else could I expose a vulnerable part of me (my writing) and also charge for it?

    So to say, writing has changed my life, would be an understatement.

  • Mbcoudal May 27, 2011, 11:32 pm

    I wrote about my colleague who died in the Haiti earthqake. I wrote about how I would catch him in his office enjoying the sunset over the Hudson River. I would laugh with him. His death reminded me to enjoy these simple daily pleasures – laughter and sunsets. It also reminded me that being a real person who shares real stuff at work is more important than being powerful. Or rather, that is power- being real.

  • Cara Holman May 27, 2011, 11:46 pm

    I got back into writing for its therapeutic benefits. I
    was trying to recover, physically, emotionally, and spiritually from a
    cancer diagnosis when I joined a cancer survivors’ writing group. What
    writing gave back to me was my voice. When I write, I am not merely “a
    writer who had cancer”, but a person with something to say. Writing not
    only helped me through my own cancer journey, but it was there for me
    when shortly after my own diagnosis, two members of my writing group and
    both of my parents succumbed to cancer. Being able to write daily was
    the single most powerful tool I had for coming to peace with my new

  • Jaymie Dieterle May 28, 2011, 2:41 am

    A week ago I drove 5 hours to my childhood home in order to move my father home with hospice. This has been one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. The only way I can cope is to process my feelings and experiences on paper. I can write prayers, I can vent my frustration – I can even write in order to figure out what I am feeling in the first place! When I write, I can wrestle with all of the hard questions about faith and life. I don’t know what I would do without writing.

  • Carol J. Alexander May 28, 2011, 3:20 am

    One of the most meaningful writing I
    have done is keeping a prayer journal. Nothing has impacted my life more than
    recording my most heartfelt prayers for my husband, children, family, friends,
    and self. I have also benefited from going back years and re-reading those
    journals and seeing the changes and growth that God has brought me through, and
    the ways that He has worked in our lives.

  • Julie Jeske May 28, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Right now I’m in Paris – living,
    writing, loving.  Writing helps me sort
    through my thoughts.  It helps me
    get through the junk and to my truth. 
    When I work with my counseling clients we talk about the power of
    writing.  Writing helps us release
    and let go.  I find that when I am
    thinking about things they can obsessively swirl around in my brain, and as
    soon as I write them down, I feel better, calmer, clearer.  Writing also helps give me
    perspective.  It’s a reminder of
    where I have been and gives me direction on where I am going.


  • Jo May 29, 2011, 2:40 pm

    I spent most of my children’s childhoods wanting to write but it wasn’t until my oldest child’s life ran aground (another long, long story which I’ve been milking endlessly)that I actually did. While she was out destroying her life, I was on an online support group saving mine. My letter letter writing process–I”d spend about an hour each day polishing my day’s troubles into wacky masterpieces were like, pardon the analogy, enemas for my clogged spirit.  The act of releasing my angst into words quite literally gave me the strength to survive that terrible time and by the my daughter went  to a teen treatment center and is now one  of the most amazing young women I  know.
    –I’ve got the Writer Mama book and I’d really love to win the new book too.