Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elizabeth Lyon (Part V) Wrap-up and Writing Gems

Today we come to the end of Elizabeth Lyon's blog interview/workshop (or blogshop as my blogger buddy Cathy so aptly named it).

We've covered a lot of territory in these posts, and I've learned much from Elizabeth about the craft of writing. She has been open with her answers and generous with her time and wisdom. I sincerely appreciate it, and I'm certain my visitors do too!

Thanks again to Delois McGrew and Louella Turner for making arrangements for me to interview Elizabeth.

In this wrap-up, Elizabeth answers questions about writing advice and lets readers know how to contact her.

Donna: What is the best writing advice you’ve received? What’s the worst?

Elizabeth: Keep writing. It’s a cliché, I know. I think it is the most difficult advice to implement because writing is a solo affair and the rewards—an audience, financial support—often don’t appear until years down the road, if ever. Steady practice over time, not talent, is the main indicator of success. I wish it weren’t so—all that work! Family and community, earning a living, and taking care of health command a great deal of our life energies. That’s also why I believe in critique groups—you get an audience, encouragement, and deadlines.

The worst advice? Quit. Take up crochet or something. There are writers with talent and then there is you. Everything you could dream of has already been written. Send all of these awful messages to the place of eternal fire.

We’ve learned, I think, that setting goals and accomplishing them is a matter of choice and follow through. Schedule writing time like you would a doctor’s appointment for which you would have to pay if you missed it. If it is important, you’ll do it. Finishers win the game.

Donna: Any last words of advice for writers?

Elizabeth: Every writer deserves publication, but not all writing meets publishing standards. Do your best and complete the circle from idea to creation to audience. I believe in print-on-demand self-publishing and in getting digital format to sell your book to e-readers. Try for Plan A—usually representation and publication by a traditional publisher. But if you don’t succeed, self-publish.

Don’t forget to use a proofreader!

Donna: What’s the best way for writers to contact you?

Elizabeth: I prefer email: I usually have a three-month backlog of editing commitments. If interested, contact me to get penciled into the schedule. My policies, preferences, and fees are on my website: I’m not opposed to phone calls; they are much more personable, after all. My phone number is 541-357-4181.

Donna: Thank you so much for sharing your time and wisdom. You truly are a gem to the writing community!

Elizabeth: Make that a diamond. J

Donna: Speaking of diamonds, I won't be posting for the next few days because I'll be leaving tomorrow morning to attend Elizabeth's "From Dust to Diamonds" workshop on Saturday at the OWL meeting at the College of the Ozarks.

Thanks for visiting my blog this week to read my interview with Elizabeth. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. See you next week!


  1. Thanks, Donna and Elizabeth, for the interview and all the information.

    Donna, have a great time at the workshop!

  2. Hi Madeline,
    You are welcome, and thank you!

  3. Donna--Thanks for sharing the interview, and Elizabeth, thanks for all the helpful information.

  4. This was so interesting and inspiring. Thanks again to you and Elizabeth!

  5. Great job with the interview, Donna. Have fun at the conference!


  6. Hi Tammy,
    I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks. I hope the weather cooperates.


  7. Hi Sioux,
    You are welcome! Thanks for visiting and leaving comments.

  8. Thank you for sharing such a wealth of good information about the writing life and craft, Elizabeth! Thanks for inviting this lovely lady to be a guest, Donna!

  9. Wonderful advice! I'm going to try my best to follow it. Thanks.

  10. Donna, thank you so much for hosting this series. I learned a lot.

    Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

  11. SUCH great info! AND I just realized I have one of Elizabeth's book (Sell Your Novel Toolkit)--definitely need to give that a re-read!

    Thanks, Donna, for an insightful interview!

  12. Hi Clara,
    Glad you enjoyed.

    Hi Janet,

    Hi Carol,
    You are welcome!

    Hi Cathy,
    Elizabeth definitely gave a great workshop on Saturday, too.

  13. Donna, Thank you for the time you both took to provide so much information. Have fun at the conference.


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