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

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,


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