Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Motivational mutterings

You know how it is. That certain feeling you get; you know the one. You have a spare couple of hours, the house to yourself, no one to interrupt you (a rareity in my case with a four yr old daughter, a husband and two insane cats). Great, you think - I can finally get down to some writing.

Mmmmm. But the lounge carpet could do with a hoover. Then there's the washing up. The cats need feeding. The phone rings; it's great Aunt Maud and she'll be on the phone for days. An email pings into your inbox and you just have to read it; it would be rude not to. You receive a text and have to open it - it may be important.

I'll just have a coffee to wet my whistle, and a chocolate biccie (or three). Oh look, there's the magazine I lost down the back of the sofa two weeks ago, and fifty pence, oh and a mummified chip that's probably been down there since the ancient Egyptians started to build the pyramids. I know, I'll just nip to the loo, oh and I might as well load the washing machine on the way through.

Then the postman arrives with my latest rejection letter, which I read, and decide, with indignation and a hefty dose of defeatism, that there's no point in sitting down to write anymore as I'm obviously no good at it, and anyway, look at the time; the Alan Titchmarsh show's on in a bit, and it's school kicking out time.

So with my self confidence and enthusiasm at an all time low, how do I get motivated?

A. Think of the money I might make, the pen, notebook, or whatever prize takes my fancy, that I might win. If I don't start writing that readers letter, article, or short story, I won't get anything.

B. If I write 500 words today I can have a cake, hair cut, manicure - whatever I fancy as a reward.

C. If I want to have a novel in the best sellers list I'll have to write the damn thing first.

D. If I want to see my name in print and invite people to read, and think about what I have to say, then I have to write something, edit it, and send it off. If I don't, my name and ideas will just stay languishing in the bottom of my desk drawer never to see the light of day.

E. If I want to have any hope of being able to make a living from my writing and not go back to a job I hated, I have to write, and keep on writing.

F. Look back through my successes and allow the knowledge that I can do it, and the wonderful feeling I had when I heard I'd been successful, wash over me, and spur me on to write my next piece.

G. So and so had this and that published; I can't let them get away with that! I'm going to have to write something now! (The green eyed monster - the great motivator)

Of course, I'm all for day dreaming and gazing out of the window with a far away look in my eye, fantasizing about wandering into waterstones and seeing my latest best seller on the shelf, or picking up People's Friend and seeing my short story within it's covers (or is that just me?) It helps with the creative process; it lets ideas stew and plot lines perculate. The housework has to be done at some point, why not use it to think about your writing.

But eventually, the writing has to be done, and, as some one said to me recently, it's a case of bum on seat, pen in hand, and away we go!


Suzanne said...

Oh Julie, you did make me chuckle. I identified with every word about displacement activities.

Just one point - don't EVER let a rejection make you think that you're no good at writing - you are a WONDERFUL writer.

Brilliant motivational tips, by the way.


Fee said...

Hi Julie

Keep at it girl you know you are good. Not everyone shares that view as we are all different. Look at some other blogs and you will see what I mean.

Look at Wannabe a Writer you will understand what I mean from that.

I know I get discouraged at times and I still haven't plucked up the courage to write the enquiry letters about my book. Got too much going on to face rejections at the moment.

I can picture your house as you write and of your wonderful cats.

Life is too short to worry about housework. Do what matters most to you at the time and seize the opportunity. Enjoy your hot chocolate and biccies they obviously inspire you.

Best wishes.


The Buddhist Conservative said...

Great post Julie,

Without a few daydreams, you would have to resign yourself to being a technical writer at best. Where's the fun in that.

Ideas spring from these moments which then require the planted rear end to pen. You have a great sense of imagery, keep using it!


Julie P said...

Thanks Suzanne! It's amazing what you can find to do, or what takes your interest when you think about sitting down to write isn't it! Anyway I've got one of those days I was on about in the post today - daughter in nursery till 3pm and husband in bed (night shifts) so I have the day to write, hurrah! Now when did I last clean the oven .......

Julie P said...

Hi Fee! I've been on Article Alley to have a look. I'd not heard of it before. I'll have a look at Wannabe Writer. Life does seem to get in the way sometimes, doesn't it. I don't send things off sometimes as I can't be doing with the rejection, but I'm getting better at editing and just letting my work go. I think you have to eventually if you want to get published, take the rejections on the chin, and just carry on writing. I'm not allowed biscuits at the mo, so I'm using my successes as a motivator. A photo I sent in of my daughter and her five yr old cousin that I sent in to Full House Mag was in last week - earned me £50 and it was such a buzz to see their beaming faces in the mag, and they loved seeing it in there too. The pics in front of me now and it spurs me on. I'm still having my Cadbury high lights hot choc though!

Julie P said...

Hi Buddhist Conservative! Thanks for your kind comments. I see my stories in pictures, like scenes in a film really, and take it from there. I have a very vivid imagination, and I was prone to day dreaming as I child - I often got told off for being in a world of my own!

Take care.