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This month, Greeting Card Writing Dot Com and sandralouden.com, features:
Constance DeFlitch of North Huntingdon, PA    

 E-mail Address: WordsByConstance@aol.com

 

2002 ©Greeting Card Writing DOT com/Sandra Louden.com

Tell us a little about yourself and when you first started writing greeting cards.

I've been married 15 years and have two children.  We also have the complete food chain living in our home, a 13-year old Samoyed, an adopted cat and two fish. 

My love of the outdoors (I love to camp, fish, roller-blade, hike, mountain bike, play hockey and soccer) often limits the time I spend behind my computer screen.  But it also clears my head and gives me new inspiration for my writing.

I started writing greeting cards four years ago.  One of the very first captions I ever wrote sold to Gibson.  From that moment, I was hooked. 


Why did you choose greeting card writing over other writing genres?  Do you write in other genres and if so, which ones?

I started writing greeting cards because I had two young children at home and my time was very limited.  I only had short bursts of time to write and greeting cards were the perfect fit.  Over the last four years I have expanded my freelance writing.  I have written for the National Wildlife Federation, FamilyFun and my words of inspiration have been published several times in Family Circle's "Words to Live By."

Tell us about how your writing day works.  Do you find a particular time of day more productive than others?

Unfortunately, I do not have a writing "routine."  My best time to write is when the house is finally cleared out in the mid-morning and early afternoon.  I also concentrate very heavily in the winter months.  For the most part, I normally take the summers off when my children are home from school.  I also have a mini tape recorder that I keep handy when ideas or captions come to mind.  I have to write ideas down immediately or I'll never remember them.  Once I am working on an assignment or article, I have a hard time shutting down the wheels in my mind.  I've been known to jump out of bed in the middle of the night when working on an assignment just to write down ideas.

Approximately how many greeting cards do you send each year?  What are your favorite occasions to send and to write for?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, by far.  So not too surprisingly, I send out about 40 cards.  I try to locate Christmas cards I have written and make our holiday greetings even more personal.  I come from a very large family (I have six older sisters) so I also send out a lot of cards throughout the rest of the year.

Do you regard greeting cards differently now that you write them too?  Do you notice things about them that you never considered before?  If so, what?

I love humorous cards.  I'm a huge Maxine fan (the old woman on the Hallmark Shoebox cards).  If I can make the recipient of my card laugh, I've achieved my goal.  I started out writing mostly humor, but ironically it's my inspirational verses that sell the most to greeting card companies.  I've come to realize people have a lot of feelings they want to express, but often cannot find the voice to express them.  That is where greeting cards come into play.

Are there any occasions or particular occasion slants you'd like to see on the racks that aren't currently there?

I'd like to see more economically priced humorous "thinking of you" and "hang in there" cards.  I feel humor is a real savior in our hectic world. 

What do you find most interesting or fun about writing greeting cards?

It's definitely the thrill of selling.  I love a great challenge.  It's not really the money, it's the fact that someone thinks my words are good enough to hit print.

Where would you like to be 5 years from now as far as your writing career?  Any particular goals or aspirations?

I started writing humor, but it seems to be my words of inspiration that sell.  Someday I would absolutely love to write a children's book.  I work a lot with kids and just love it.  If I could someday write a book that would teach and inspire children everywhere, then my writing career would be complete.

And finally, what one piece of advice would you give to beginning writers?

Oh I've got a lot of advice.  But I'll just touch on a few lessons I've learned.  First, remember you have to give the editors what they want, not what you think they need.  This was the biggest hurdle to overcome.  But with my husband's advice and listening ear after many nights of my complaining, that lesson finally sunk in. 

Second, defend your work.  If you have an editor questioning your work, be honest, kind and professional.  But most of all professional.  In this business you're the writer, marketing director, secretary and accountant all rolled into one. 

Lastly, and this is the hardest one to achieve: don't take rejection personally.  Write often, submit even more and keep plugging along.  Eventually, you will refine your writing and the doors will open.

 

 

 
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