Book Review: The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz
As I’ve been creating my resolutions and goals for 2012 this week, I’ve also been reading Christina Katz’s new book for writers, The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks, & Techniques From Your Writing Career Coach. Over the years I’ve taken many online writing classes from Christina and read her other books for writers. Each one has boosted my writing career in just the way I needed it at the moment, and I expect it to be the same with The Writer’s Workout.
Just as the subtitle says, this book is chock full of short, easy to digest tips, suggestions and other ideas for writers at all levels, whether they are just getting started or have been writing for some time. Each page starts with an inspirational quote that sets the tone for the advice to come. For instance, tip number 166 is titled, “Consider Specializing.” It starts with a quote from Joyce Carol Oates about connecting with your true subject. Katz’s advice on what it means to specialize and how to do it follows.
The Writer’s Workout is organized into four sections according to the seasons starting with spring. In her intro, Katz says you can think of this as the seasons of the year or the seasons of your writing career. She also says it’s up to you whether you read one page a day, or “blaze through the whole book.” I’ve chosen to do both. I’ve been blazing through this week, and with the start of the new year I plan to read one new page every day. I expect I’ll skip around instead of reading one page after another. That way I can find a topic that may be especially relevant to me at the moment. But starting my writing day with a bit of inspiration and a nudge in the direction I want to go can only help me be more focused and productive at what I do.
I’ve also discovered in my “blazing through” that just because the advice comes in small bites doesn’t mean it’s something you can read quickly and move on. This is good stuff that you’ll want to mull over and think about for a while so you can determine what it means to you and your writing career at the moment.
Reading The Writer’s Workout daily is one of my new year’s resolutions. Consider making it one of yours.