One Smart Lady's
Journey to Now

written byDeborah Smart
posted on

This article includes the original transcript for Podcast Episode 001 - One Smart Lady's Journey to Now. It illustrates how I wrote out what I believed I wanted to say in my podcast. I recorded, edited, and added the intro music and outro music. I listened to it as if I were one of my listeners. I must admit I was pleased with what I heard.

I listened to it a second time and thought, "This is really too much information for a listener." So, I cut it back without losing the message I wanted to deliver.

You do the same when writing. Follow your thoughts and just write. Don't stop to edit or critique. Once you've completed your draft, set it aside. Go back after your mind is clear and read it as if you are the reader. Are you stumbling over your words? Is your message clear? Does your dialog between characters make sense?

Again there are many professional editors who can help you on all levels of grammar, sentence structure, and content editing. It is your job to just write and find your voice and the story you want to tell.

Note: I did not edit the following transcript. Please overlook the errors in spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.

Podcast Episode 001: One Smart Lady Answers “Why Another Podcast?”

Hello. I know something good is going to happen to you and through you today because you took the time to tune into this podcast.

Welcome to Smart Talks with One Smart Lady. I am Deborah Smart, your host.

I hope you can see my smile as you listen to my voice. I want to introduce myself to you and help you understand why I believe that just writing what you know and love without being hampered by restrictions of grammar and formula is the only way to become a successful and thriving above-average storyteller, writer, and author. 

When you write... do not worry about rules. 

Just write and find your voice. It is the only way to open the gateway to who you are as a writer, what you truly desire to write about, and get your thoughts focused in the right direction to write and complete the first draft of your manuscript.

Just write every chance you get the things that motivate you and inspire you. 

Just write and tell your story...put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard...and also there are services that can translate your audio to text.

My purpose in launching Smart Talks with One Smart Lady is to add another tool to my toolset in building a network and community of creators who present value and above-average content in their writing, program productions, and business platforms. 

In other words, a community of wordsmiths and creators unhampered or blocked by dos and don’ts. When I am asked how do I start my book?

I always say, “Just Write”. 

You’re probably asking, “Deborah, what about grammar and sentence structure and planning out my book?” 

That is why there are professional editors and various coaches who are ready to help you with the final steps to complete your book project. 

Also, I have to admit, there is one exception to consider as you write. Who are you writing to or for? Who do you want to read your book?

This consideration is one instruction consistently given to me by my coaches over the past five years. Define my AVATAR. Who do I want to benefit from listening to my podcast? I hope and pray it is you.

In this episode, I am going to focus on My Avatar. You see, I am the poster child for this podcast. Although, if you are a man just overlook the gender and continue to listen.

Birth Name: Deborah Marie Wilson

  1. Gender - Female

  2. Age - 61 [Someone who waited longer than I should to write and publish my first book.]

  3. Married or Not

  4. No Children at home

  5. Worked in corporate and/or for a small business looking forward to retirement or becoming a full-time writer.

  6. $35,000 a year

  7. Lives in the city.

  8. Three biggest struggles:

    1. Not enough time to write and complete a book project.

    2. Not believing it’s possible to become a published author.

    3. Not knowing how to start.

  9. Three biggest dreams

    1. Write a book about their life struggles.

    2. Launch children’s book series.

    3. Build an entrepreneurial lifestyle on the internet.

This is a description of who I am as an individual, not a publisher or entrepreneur. If I didn’t have my publishing company, I would be working part-time and wishing I had the time to spend on my writing. This is true for many of you who are still working in corporate or any other line of business and you truly want to write that first book

I’m going to switch gears right now and I want to take you on a journey by presenting my life experience from a pre-teen storyteller, a teenage writer being rejected by a major magazine that told me the story I submitted was nice but not believable. The editor told me I needed more life experience. I listened to them and stopped chasing my dream. I was 18 at the time. So for the last 52 years that is exactly what I’ve been doing, getting experience and becoming more knowledgeable and confident in my writing.

I worked in corporate and learned how to program as a coder and advanced to junior project leader. During the 70s, my company was very much involved with Affirmative Action programs and I had exposure to management training and other opportunities to grow within the company. I found that I loved networking. I was one of the founders of the Women in Computer Technology and the Women’s Resource Group within our corporate community. 

Within these two groups I networked with women in the field of computer programming and business management. There were many advancement opportunities for me during this time. My last position in 1984 was being the junior project leader overseeing the creation of an insurance software program to where the agents could enter their new policyholder’s information remotely across the country using the new IBM desktop computer. From their computer, the policyholder  information was directly entered into the mid-range computer located at the home office in Philadelphia.  

I gained project management, accountability, scheduling and many other skillsets that I was able to take with me when I accepted a layoff from the company. In the 80s, many corporations were switching their focus from expensive personal development and affirmative action programs that promised their employees, if you participated in these programs we would make room for you at the top; to a scaled down bottom line.

I volunteered to take the layoff when my position was eliminated. They offered me a 26 week severance package which I gladly accepted and never looked back. In the fall of 1985, I launched my consulting company, Direct Konnections, Inc. and then my publishing company, Gladstone Publishing Services in 1998. I continued to network and my business continued to thrive. 

During the early years of my self-employment, I was also one of the founding members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners better known as NAWBO. I joined Ali Lassen’s LEADS Club and formed a smaller group called the Morning Exchange when this group disbanded. I am a natural born networker and it is so important to understand networking is very important as you write, publish and market your book. Growing relationships is very important. Don’t think of writing your book and getting on the New York Best Sellers or Amazon’s Bestseller’s list unless you are willing to network and build relationships. 

I launched Gladstone 20 years after receiving the rejection letter. I did this when one of my clients, who I built a great relationship with, caught hold of my dream to be a published author and my fear of being rejected again. He said, “Well, if you’re afraid of being rejected by the big publishing companies, why not start your own.”

I did with his help. Over the next 5 years, I did not publish any books that I had written, but I did establish my company as a small press. I published four children’s picture books and a book called “Before the Smokescreen” by David Goerlitz with Gary LaForest. Three of the four authors went on to develop school programs. Dave Goerlitz is the former ad man for Winston cigarettes. He and Gary developed an awesome program where they travelled the world speaking out against the falsehood of cigarette advertisements.

Gary became my Senior Editor and spearheaded the marketing functions of the company. From the one article written in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1998, manuscript submissions began to show up in my email and through snail mail. I rarely had to advertise; 90% of my author clients came through word of mouth. 

Debra Pedrow contacted me via email. She wrote two wonderful children’s picture books, Aunt Debra and My Favorite Things Poster and Aunt Debra and the Snack’n String. She developed a very popular and successful program for the schools and libraries in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area. I even had her travel to Philadelphia and South Jersey to present her programs.

In addition to the publishing company, I was still travelling and working in the capacity of a Computer Software Trainer and Programmer. I travelled as far north as Connecticut and to Washington, DC. I enjoy working for corporations stretched across Long Island. I installed and trained clients on Human Resource and Payroll software. If they needed a program to link their new HR Payroll software to their legacy system, I programmed a bridge software program. I created custom reports and enjoyed every moment travelling, training and programming. There were some projects that turned out to be projects from hell for one reason or another, nevertheless I persevered.

In 2008, I married my husband Willie and decided to retire as a road warrior. I focused on my publishing and building a relationship in my new marriage. It was a huge departure for me. I had spent four years travelling and providing above average service to my clients. I was also editing and publishing books for first-time writers who may not have ever gotten their books through the riggers of traditional publishing.

I travelled across the US and attended conferences, coaching programs to learn as much as I could about the publishing industry. I did not spend a lot of time learning about marketing. That was not my sweet spot. I had always been a behind the scenes creator and presenter one-on-one or to small groups of clients. I was the ultimate taskmaster. 

In 2007, I wrote my first manuscript and sold it at our church’s fashion show. It was the result of a sermon on the Parable of the Talents. That Sunday our pastor called a group of us up to the front of the church and gave us each a monetary amount. We were told to take the money and return sometime in the future to report on how we handled the money. I was given $20. I wrote the short version of “Joy Comes Through the Mourning” about my experience as a widow. I returned at the appointed time and turned in $100 from the sale of the manuscript.

In 2011, I wrote the expanded version which included my courtship and wedding to my husband, Willie Smart in August, 2008.  Little did I know how much joy I would receive over the years as Mrs. Smart. 

In 2011, I expanded and launched “One Smart Lady Productions”. Because my focus was now 100% focused on Publishing, I was allowing myself to expand my services. 

“Smart” is more than just my last name. It became the identity of what I did and how I handled my business. People would tell me, “You’re really Smart.” I would respond, “Yes, I know. It’s certified. Want to see my driver’s license.”

In 2013 - 2015 a series of events sparked “Smart By Choice” as the name of a Pilot program I launched in Camden, New Jersey. The previous year, I took on four proteges. I spent one year working with them to write and develop the books. We celebrated the end of the projects in front of a live audience at the Performing Arts Center attached to the Camden Aquarium. I will be posting the video from the show in the upcoming weeks.

“Smart by Choice” was my designated title when my husband told me about his Dad and how he raised him to always remember he was “Smart by Birth”. During certain conversations we have, I have to remind him that he had nothing to do with being “Smart by Birth” but I had everything to do with being “Smart By Choice”. So the pilot name was titled, “Smart By Choice TV”. It is now the name brand for Smart Publishing Lifestyles’ YouTube Channel.

So here we are today in 2021, launching “Smart Talks with One Smart Lady”. I am going to end today’s episode here. My intention is to invite you to get to know who I am and how I can help you develop the mindset, skillset and get access to the toolsets you need to be an above average author in the publishing industry.

If you have the burning desire to become a published author. Not just a person who publishes a book, but a person who takes that book and builds a business around its core message.

“Don’t wait until retirement to chase your dream of becoming a published author. And once published, understand your book is not just a book, it is the beginning of your publishing lifestyle.


“You can wait until you're old and grey to write your memoirs, or you can begin the process today.

Subscribe to this podcast, and also, our online presences on the internet.

Listener Response(s)

Good morning hope your 4th was great, I just finally had this amazing opportunity to listen to your PODCAST, your voice is so soothing filled with a gentle kindness, you can just imagine your sitting across the table from you with your radiant smile, you took me on a journey that I can and would believe I can write ✍ my story you said "🖊 to 📃 ", your testimony will truly inspire anyone who has the desire to write. You made your listeners want to believe in their self-worth and that you can be a writer even if you never thought of yourself as being one! God has paved an amazing opportunity for you to help, encourage, inspire and give hope to others to strive for that big dream of being one smart writer from the belief of One Smart Lady! I am one of your very much appreciated Authors that you helped my unbelievable dream come true! Great Job, proud of you! Blessings Always 🙏

Love Barb 💘