Interview and Book Give-Away with Author Edie Melson

edieheadshotToday’s guest needs no introduction for most of you. Edie Melson and I met as unpublished writers in 2001 at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. We quickly became fast friends, critique partners, and are now co-founders of NCompass Writing Retreat and Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers. And here’s some great news: Edie is now Co-Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Southwest Christian Writers Studio!ย 

You can read more about Edie below, but let me just say her new eBook, Social Media Marketing for Writers: How to Blog, Tweet and Peep Your Way onto Amazon’s Bestsellers List, just hit number one on Amazon! In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital, Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers who want to learn how to plug in–and I’m honored to have her with us today!

Be sure to leave a comment for Edie and you’ll be in the drawing for a FREE copy of this bestselling book!

So, Edie, how did you get interested in social media?

It was a sink or swim situation. I got a job as managing editor at a Christian magazine for college age guys. Everyone I worked with was young enough to be my son–and social media is the only way to reach that audience. I had to become an expert or quit my job.

With my success came a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s become one of my passions to show others that social networking is NOTHING to be afraid of. Believe me, if I can do it, ANYONE can!

What kinds of things do you enjoy writing?

I’m very eclectic in what I enjoy writing. I’ve found a life-long love affair with words. As a matter of fact, when I speak to writers I always tell them, “If it isn’t illegal or immoral, I’ll write about it.”

How long have you been writing? How did you get started?

I actually wrote my first book–long-hand–in 8th grade. It’s funny, I was looking back through some of my old yearbooks and several kids commented about me becoming a bestselling writer.

I began my writing career as a technical writer in the 80’s, then had kids and began writing again seriously as they grew up.

How do you stay organized? Do you keep a schedule of any kind?

I’m very ADD and without a schedule I don’t get anything done!

Most important, I only check email/phone messages 3 times a day. That makes a huge difference in my ability to concentrate.

I’ve found my best creative time is mid-morning, so I reserve that time for writing. Here’s an overview of my schedule on the days I’m home:

  • The first hour of my day is spent on email and social networking.socialmediamarketingediemelson
  • Then I write until lunch.
  • After lunch, I check email, return calls and do about 20 min of social networking.
  • Then I work on editing assignments, rewriting, marketing, whatever is next on my list.
  • Then the last 30 minutes of the day is spent on email, phone calls and social networking.

That’s a rough estimation of my days–some work better than others. But this is the schedule that made it possible for me to publish over 700 articles in 2010.

I know you mentor a lot of writers, what do you think holds most writers back from success?

Two things – and they’re related.

The first is fear.

I hear so many tell me they’re afraid of failing or getting into a situation where they don’t know what to do. Some are even afraid of success.

The second is that most people who want to be writers give up too easily. The rejections beat down their self esteem and they quit.

How can they overcome it?

I think the biggest thing is to decide you’re going to ignore the fear. Plus, learn where to find things out – the Internet, conferences and your network of writing buddies. With those kinds of resources there is no reason not to learn what you need to get the job done.

Do you have a favorite verse?

Yes, my life verse is:

Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Esther 4:14

Vonda here: Thank you, Edie, for a great interview. Your words of instruction and encouragement will motivate us to stay the course.

And writers, don’t forget to leave a comment. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to get a free copy of Edie’s bestselling ebook, Social Media Marketing for Writers: How to Blog, Tweet and Peep Your Way onto Amazon’s Bestseller’s List. And don’t worry if you don’t win. The download is only $0.99! Can’t beat that!

And just for the record, here’s the rest of her bio: Edie is a freelance writer and editor with over 16 years experience in the publishing industry. Unlike me, she’s a prolific writer, publishing over 700 articles in 2010 alone! She also has a popular writing blog The Write Conversation and is a frequent contributor to many others. Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, is one of Edie’s latest projects. This devotional book for those with family members in the military will debut in fall of 2011 with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

She’s a member of numerous professional writing organizations, including The Christian Pen, The Christian Writer’s View I and ACFW. She’s also an assistant copy editor for theย Voices E-zine, a publication of My Book Therapy and a part of the My Book Therapy Special Teams Blog.

Married 30 years to husband, Kirk, they have raised three sons.

Thanks again, Edie!

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maloneylakehouse14 days. 3 nights. 9 meals. Gobs of classes. $300.

NCompass Writing Retreat Special Ends August 1st so don’t delay! Beginning August 2, the price is $350.

Visit the NCompass website and let us hold a place for you!

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You Still Have Time to MoGo!mogo

Don’t stop now! You still have until July 31 to reach your July goal of 7000 words. Be sure to note your ending word count on July 31. I’ll post the call for your totals in next week’s blog. You could win $100!

And if you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, check out the MoGo7000 guidelines here. It’s never too late to join!

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ccclogosmallA Few Spots Remain for the Fall Speakers Conference

It’s time to act now if you’re planning to attend the Christian Communicators Conference October 26-30. You can find the Christian Communicators Conference info packet here.

And don’t forget–the Cec Murphey Scholarship application deadline is July 31.

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Parting Words from The Word…biblewomanistockdec10

I hear from so many who are struggling right now…lost jobs, prodigal children, broken marriages. But we know that through it all, God can be glorified.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

Posted in categories: Christian Communicators | Interviews | NCompass Writing Retreat | Writer's Conferences | Writing Instruction

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  • Hope it’s not too late to throw my name in the hat. Have been out of town and just now catching up. Blessings to both you and Edie, Vonda!

  • All I need to write is, Ditto, ditto, ditto. You two ladies are a gift from God. I appreciate you so very much!
    Sweet blessings,
    Nan

  • Edie – I love how you organize your day. I waste so much time on email and internet searching, so I hope to set aside a set number of times a day. I’m buying your ebook right now (it’s only $.99, so I chose not to wait lol), and I look forward to reading it!

  • Congrats Edie! I bought your book, downloaded to my desktop since I don’t have a Kindle. Wonderful source of info. as are you!
    Love you and Vonda both!

  • Shelley, don't be discouraged. Everything has its season. The most important thing about being a writer is – WRITING. That should always take precedence. Don't ever let anyone tell you different. Don't let fear hold you back from social networking, but don't feel guilty if you don't have the time. Blessings, E

  • Congratulations on the book and the great success you’ve had so far. I hope it continues to do well.
    BTW, I bought the book, so if I win, pass it along to another happy writer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ladies, thank you for dropping by!

  • Vonda Skelton

    Shelley, believe me, you're not alone! I know Edie gets tired of hearing me whine about technology. And even though I'm still a technophobe, I must admit, I'm better about it than I used to be…so there's hope for everyone!V

  • Shelly Van Sanford

    Am I the only one who doesn’t understand how people with full-time jobs and households/marriages/pets, etc. feel they EVER have the time necessary to write meaningful, published stories, articles, etc.? Also, as a typical technophobe, I’m afraid to even type Twitter into my search box–I don’t need another reason to feel inadequate. I’ve been trying to post a car on Craigslist (with pics) for an hour!

  • Catherine Young

    Hi Vonda and Edie,
    Great interview and encouragement. I like the schedule — I need to set up something like that. Because, I’ve gotten some of my paper written, but still have a ways to go. Time is running out for the summer!
    Cathy

  • Beth Fortune

    Edie, So happy for you on your best selling e-book.
    You will never know how much of what you teach and share has helped me over these last 3 short years of writing!!!! I appreciate you and am thankful for you.
    Thanks for ALWAYS being willing to share, help, and mentor other writers.
    Love you!
    Beth

  • You two ladies are God’s gift to this writer’s world. Without your tender guidence, fear would still have me bound and silenced. Thank you both for my new form of sharing the grace of God through writing.
    Serve on.

  • Vonda Skelton

    Thanks for all your great comments. And Susan, I'm soooo right there with you when it comes to distraction! Edie's a good influence on me. Oh, and I'm thrilled you'll be joining us at the NCompass Retreat! Get ready for a great time!

  • Edie, this looks great, and Vonda, thanks for introducing us. I’ve been blogging since before my book came out and using Facebook a bit, but I’m sure there’s plenty more to learn. I’d love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Angela Brown

    Edie,
    Thanks so much for the encouragement. You hit the nail on the head about the fear and rejection. I relate to both. You and Vonda make a great encouraging team for us wanna-bees!
    Blessings

  • Hi Edie, LOVE the advice on keeping a schedule! I’m easily distracted, so between email, tweets, text messages, Facebook comments.. It’s a wonder I get ANYTHING done ๐Ÿ™‚
    Looking forward to seeing you both at NCompass!

  • Vonda, thanks so much for having me today! I’ll be dropping by throughout the day to answer questions and comments.
    Jeanne, thanks for stopping by. Getting to know you has been a blessing!

  • Vonda and Edie, this is just what I’ve been looking for! The queen of social media, I’m not–and never will be I’m sure! I tell people that I do good to send an email and do a little on facebook, so I’m looking forward to learning all I can agbout this market! Love yall and see yall in September!

  • Hi Edie & Vonda, and thanks for the great interview. I met Edit at the 2010 Blue Ridge Conference and just love her…she is a great writer, encourager and lover of Jesus!!
    I would enjoy a copy of her book ๐Ÿ™‚
    Blessings,
    Jeanne