The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wanted Christian Writers

This post will be very small. Please go to my main blog and read today's post.

Washington is attacking our freedoms at an alarming rate. This country is depending on writers with integrity and Christian values to sound the alarm and to be part of the non-violent revolution to take back our Christian nation.

You have thoughts, ideas and plans that can help us all. Please, spend time in prayer, spend time in research and then write, write, write.

I encourage you to read my family tracks blog and use any of the research included there. I know when you see the facts spelled out and you go to the government website, you too will feel the urgency to get involved. Please share this blog and others with as many people as you can.

God loves you and has called you to write,


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting Serious with LouAnn Edwards

Lou Ann Edwards is a wonderful writer. She also has a bio that will leave you saying "WOW!" She has agreed to be a contributor to our blog and give all of you a little humorous lift to your work. Check out her bio in the side bar and hold on to your side.

Get Serious!
LouAnn Edwards

Follow your dreams--that’s what new writers are supposed to do. I’ve read all the latest books on the subject and I’m ready to begin my first important assignment —getting serious. No more tinkering around with restaurant napkins or putting brilliant quips on deposit slips at stoplights. According to the million or so writing experts out there, we fledgling artists must take four essential steps on the ladder to byline stardom.

Demand Cooperation: This is the first step in gaining the respect of your family. I wasted no time. I lined up all the offspring in the kitchen to make my announcement.

“All right you guys, from now on I demand respect for my profession as a soon to be published writer. I’m taking my writing seriously and it’s time you did too.”

“Mom, you write on airsick bags.”

“Hey, that was just once, Mr. Smarty pants, and I couldn’t hold the sentence till we landed. From now on, people are going to be paying me lots of money for what I write.”

“I need a note for not doing my homework” the 10 year old offered.

“That will be 10 cents a word” I fired off.

Envision Yourself A Writer: Speak the language of success the experts say. Practice saying “writer like” phrases. I practiced my favorite line over and over in front of the mirror. When the attacks on my time came, I was ready.

Can you chair the committee on the “Fun with Fudge” fundraiser? Nope! I’m on deadline.
Bake Viennese Stuffed Cabbage for the scouts potluck? Sorry…. I’m on deadline.
Unfortunately, I decided to try it out on my dad. At 82, between his lack of hearing and a staticy cell phone, communication is a little bit of a challenge.


“Hello, hello? Is someone there?”

“Dad, I’m calling to tell you that I’m running a little late today. I’m a writer now. I’m on deadline.”

”On what? I wouldn’t trust any of those new drugs.”

Well maybe I’m just not saying it to the right people. Next week will get better.

Get Organized: One author says the key to good organization is owning the right equipment. An absolute must on the list of essentials is a telephone headset. All the published professionals wear them. It makes sense to me. After all, how would I interview important big shots typing with a phone between my teeth?

I’m really excited about this one. I can feel just like the clerks at Old Navy and Burger King drive thrus –only I don’t have to wear low-rise khakis or saddle up to a deep fryer. I wonder if they come in the new spring colors?

Network: Writers are a friendly bunch they tell us. Hobnob with the success stories and learn their secrets. But why stop at other writers? Why not go straight to editors and publishers? I checked the back of some books and magazines and jotted down the e-mail address of someone I’ll call Joan. Joan is the editor of a famous national magazine, and I figured she’d be just tickled to network with a friendly new contact like me.

Dear Joan:

Wow! I’m a writer too. Have you heard of me? Oops, my mistake! I haven’t been published yet.

Any ideas for that yet Joan? No pressure, but I’m sending you my favorite thirty stories I just completed which would be perfect for your magazine. What was the name of it again? Ha ha, just kidding, Joan. I’m a humor writer, can you tell? I’ll bet you’re just splitting your panty hose with laughter about now.

Hey, maybe your people could pay my way to New York, and we could talk about it. Let me know!
Your great new friend,


I never heard back from Joan. So much for networking. But, I have a few hundred more editors to contact. Besides, by the time I get finished at the office supply store loading up on a laptop, printer, headset phone, file cabinet, envelopes, stamps and a “writer at work” sign I’ll bet I have good news waiting in my mailbox.

If nothing else, maybe another kid needs a note.

I Love it, LouAnn!

God loves you and has called you to write,


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Be yourself - no matter what!

Do you get discouraged trying to be what someone else wants you to be?

Like me, you've probably listened to a lot of writing classes where the teacher asks you to step outside of your comfort zone. That's great! We all need to push the limits of our talent.

Be careful however, about trying to take on a role that isn't you.

Barbara Curtis is a wonderful writer and has written over a thousand articles plus 8 or 10 books (I've lost count). She is extremely talented at writing for the general public. She knows how to word issues so that someone with a different opinion can accept her writing.

I've tried to learn from her (she's a wonderful teacher) and hopefully I have changed for the better. But....I doubt that I will be a columnist.

I took a class by her on how to be a columnist and I've thought about it since. I think I would be okay with a column in a monthly or bi-monthly magazine but I'm not sure I could be one in a local paper. I don't know why....but it just doesn't feel right somehow.

I also listened to a lot of teachers who promote magazines. I love writing for magazines and I'm so excited that an article I wrote was published last week by Marriage Partnership on line. It was a fun article titled, Me and a Red Corvette. Looking back several years to that fun event was truly satisfying.

I have at least a hundred magazine articles in process that I should be sending out, but books seem to call to me. I'm happy working on chapters and I get involved in fixing all the little details that need to be mulled over in a book. I love reading books. I love getting into the meat of an issue and chewing on the mix of flavors and textures.

Will I continue to write for magazines and maybe even do a column or two? Yes, of course, but my heart belongs to books.

I have a friend who has a great book sitting on her desk and she won't send it out. She's trying to get some articles published first. That's fine....but it's like watching a child put on daddy's clothes. It just doesn't fit her.

That's why I hope you will study your craft, be the best writer you can be --and when all is said and done, be yourself. If that book is finished and ready for an editors eyes - send it out! If you hate working on books and love devotionals - send them out!

Be true to yourself and your work will show enthusiasm, creativity and excellence.

God loves you and has called you to write,


Friday, July 10, 2009

I write when the "spirit" moves me....

I've met a lot of new writers who think they can rise above the "awful" consequences of the commercial writing world by saying...."I only write when the spirit moves me."
I could probably fill a graveyard with rejected manuscripts that were conceived with this false philosophy.

This comment has a dual purpose. First of all it eliminates the need for self examination and it provides a quick response to rejection. "Well, that editor wasn't in the "spirit" or he would have seen the message that God intended."

The truth of the matter is that God, the Holy Spirit and our Holy Calling demands much more of us than just putting words to paper. If we are truly writing the "words of God" then we are responsible for doing it in such a way that the common man (and that includes an editor) will see heavenly perfection.

Writing the words as the spirit leads demands that we become Masters at our craft.

Robert Louis Stevenson was once asked if he loved to write. He replied, "I hate to write, but I love to have written."

Job cried out, "Oh, that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!" (Job 19:23)

Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, wrote "If you want to be a writer, write."

Joseph Pulitzer said, "Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light."

In his book, How to write what you love, Dennis Hensley states.."Have you ever wondered why editors often give the majority of their freelance assignments to a select group? The answer is obvious. these writers have the traits those editors look for in writers.....An editor who trusts and respects you becomes your advocate and sponsor."

How can you become a respected writer? Work at your craft. Study the words you put on paper. Study grammar, word position, other writers and read read read. Spend time writing even when your mind feels stale and your body desperately wants to go outside.

Work at your craft even when the "spirit" has left and soon you will find that your writing transcends loftiness and exhibits both spirit and excellence.

God loves you and has called you to write,


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I did it my way

If you have attended any writer's conference, you have probably heard an editor say "You need to write with your audience in mind." You may also have heard them say, "If the audience is too small it's not cost effective for us to print your book or article."

Those types of statements may lead you to believe that you have to change your focus, your beliefs and ultimately who you are in order to be paid for your work.

Don't go there.

Should you take marketing and audience into consideration when you write that query letter - yes! But don't take it into consideration when you are beginning to write.


Creativity is an illusive mist. It comes and goes at will and you need to be prepared to make use of it when it appears and push through the desert when it's gone.

One of the traits of creativity is that it must be free and it must involve your own standards, beliefs and ideas. It must come from you. That's where all the passion and excitement is located - deep within you.

If you try to write another person's thoughts - if you try to be them - you will turn out miserable, unfeeling work. Your plan then, should be to write your passions. Get excited about your ideas and your writing. Don't consider the world or what they will think - be who you are.

Just don't forget the last step! When you are down to the re-writes, apply compassion, consideration and those marketing concerns. Don't betray the core of who you are but learn to "edit" so your reader can accept who you are.

Claire W. in God Help me Create says it this way....

"Only we can set standards that are appropriate and that help us in our work. If we try to adopt the standards of parents, family, or friends, we may lose all joy in the creative process.

We may also be hurt trying to please the recognized authorities or the critics in our field. However dependent upon their approval we may feel, adjusting our work to their standards will probably rob us of both pleasure in and respect for our work.

Essentially, the work we do is aimed at people who are like ourselves. The "audience" we try to reach, the "market" we try to sell to, is made up of people who delight in the things we delight in, who believe in the things we believe in, who are moved by the things that move us.

In setting standards, we must honor our own sense of what is right and good. If we do so, it is likely that others will recognise the integrity of our work and respond to it favorably."

Any man who will look into his heart and honestly write what he sees there will find plenty of readers. Edgar W. Howe

God loves you and has called you to write,