Alannah at Nu Woman


If you grew up in the 1980s – or, hell, have any knowledge of 1980s music at all – you just sang that phone number. And maybe even added a, “Jennnnny, I’ve got your number” for good measure.

If you don’t recognize that number, then Google it. You’ll be treated to 3 minutes of absolute fun.

On the other hand, you might wind up that time thinking that you’ll never get back the 3 minutes you just spent listening to Tommy Tutone wailing about Jenny’s number on the wall.

That song is pretty much what you make it. It can be fun, or it can be a big drag. That’s how I listen to music. I started out this piece intending to compare it with writing, but I’m rethinking that.

Writing is fun. For most of us, the fun lasts throughout the creative process of getting all your thoughts down. Then comes the part that’s not-so-fun for me: editing, rewriting, getting it all into a condition that makes it fun for other people to read.

This sounds simplistic, but today’s publishing world is becoming more and more a world of immediate gratification. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with immediate gratification, mind you. But when you’re putting your soul and blood out there in a piece of writing, you’ve got to make sure it’s your best piece of work. If you’re after traditional publishing, the reason is obvious: you need to look your best in order to please editors and publishers.

Self-publishing doesn’t mean that you can let down your guard. In my opinion, it means you need to be even more vigilant. Especially since Internet = Forever. Do you want your story to be the one that is wonderful but is immediately invalidated because it portrays someone using a cell phone in 1984?

I was an aerobics instructor (these days called a “group fitness instructor”) from 1986 to 1997. I focused on fun in my classes, because that was the way to get people to want to participate. I used “867-5309” in one of my most popular routines, pointing to one side of the room to sing the chorus of “867-5309,” and then pointing to the other side of the room to sing the responding “867-5309.”

Make it fun. Make it memorable. But for God’s sake, make it without grammatical errors, because there is going to be someone like me who will voice their honest opinion in their Goodreads and/or Amazon review