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

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Still Taking A breather But .......

Has it really been nearly a week since I posted? That's gone incredibly quick! I think I did okay over the week with my article writing, but I would have done even better if I hadn't have gone down with the flu on Thursday. It's not swine flu, well at least I don't think it is - I don't have a fever which seems to be one of the key symptoms. Trust me to get the ordinary flu - I'll probably come down with swine flu next for good measure!

As I said the week has gone quick and I have had to sit on my hands a few times to physically stop myself from posting. Although I did comment on a couple of other blogs during the week - I couldn't resist! I've written three articles: one on the Wenlock Olympian games and two on writing. I have sent proposals out there but as of yet have had no takers! I've had the proposal for the games article declined three times so far from a variety of magazines and the writing ones declined twice (I'm working on a new world record to see how many times I can get an article proposal declined!)

That's what worries me with sending article proposals, particularly when they get declined, where do you go from there? At first I thought, right, that's that then, another few writing hours wasted. But then a little switch clicked in my brain and I changed from negative to positive. If the editors aren't interested in my proposal and they aren't even going to see the article then that is their loss. They don't know if it's a wonderfully written peice or not and if they can't be bothered to find out then I will take it to another editor! Just think of the satisfaction when I eventually do get the article accepted!! It just means a bit more hard work and sending out more proposals.

I know I advocated the sending out of one proposal per article to one editor at the time and I was against multiple submissions of the same article to different editors, well that's gone out the window now. I changed my mind as I know of several editors who don't even bother to get back to you if they don't like the idea and that is a complete waste of time. So I decided that life was too short to hang about waiting for a reply from an editor that may never come and I pitch the idea in a slightly different way to various magazines.

Mr Whaley told me that I can always tweak the article to fit in to each magazines style so even if two editors of different magazines want to see my article I can have two slightly different articles on the same subject ready to send off. (Can you imagine having two editors wanting your article!!)

By the way, if you ever are lucky enough to be given some writing advice by Simon Whaley then take it! He knows what he's talking about and he has helped me and countles others to improve their writing. Have a look at his blog here on blog spot 'Simon Says'. It's full of great advice, as is his website.

So, I was doing quite well until I got the flu Thursday am. I had a bad night that night and hardly slept and stayed in bed all Friday morning (that's how I knew it was flu and not just a bad cold).
Friday afternoon I got up and spent the time typing up something through bleary, blodshot eyes, for my new boss. Yes, I have a new job! It is only a temporary as and when job, but I can do it from home and it fits in well with my daughter and my writing. I am now a 'virtual' secretary for a firm dealing with road accident investigations and I type things up like reports and stuff and it's all done by email. I get to sharpen up my typing and proof reading skills and get paid for it!

I was getting pretty despondent last week with this whole writing lark but that may be partly due to me being ill - it's amazing how being ill can really cloud your judgement and make everything in your life seem out of kilter. But I'm feeling much better now apart from a malfunctioning left ear, a headache, throbbing sinuses and lethargy! How I managed to type up the firms terms and conditions in my flu fuelled stupor I'll never know! I'll let you know what the boss thought of my efforts later; he's reading through them this pm!

Then, just when I was considering crawling back to bed this morning (why do you always feel worse in the mornings with the flu?) I had an email from the editor of a new Shropshire website I had done ten articles for a couple of months ago. He wondered where I had got to as we hadn't been in contact for a while. But I had just assumed once he'd got the articles I'd done that would be it. Apparently not! He now wants me to write some more articles on non Shropshire related topics. Iam intrigued and of course said yes immediately.

It pays to keep in contact with editors you get on well with and I was surprised but delighted that this particular editor liked my work so much so that he's invited me to do more. It's a great confidence boost. Another editor who used my article on Community Meetings in a local free glossy mag has also been in contact and told me that the proof readers were also impressed with the article. Thank doughnuts for that is what I say!

I find it very difficult to gauge the standard of my own work. I'm still working on improving my writing all the time but it's nice to receive praise like this now and again. And when it comes when you're feeling a bit down and thinking about giving up - all the better!

So what's next? I started writing a short story for Take A Break last night so I think I'm hovering between article writing and short story writing again. I haven't written any short stories or edited any of the ones I've already written for about three weeks now, so it's about time I did. I haven't written any poetry either. I did join the Salopian Poetry Society,however, and I was going to enter their competition - but, I'd rather see a few more of their publications first and get a feel for the type of poems they like. I will be in a better place to enter next year then.

I also joined the Association Of Freelance Writers which is a big step for me and proof to myself that I am a real, genuine, serious writer! I did, however have to cancel my place on the writing course with the Open University I had planned to start in October. I am very disappointed about this but I felt I wouldn't be able to give it the time and attention it needed for me to do it justice. I don't think I have the stamina or am well enough generally to do a course at that level - not at the moment anyway. Then there was the finance side of it - it was a lot of money to fork out, particularly in this economic climate. I had made myself a deal that if I could earn the money myself before the start of the course then I would do it. But that hasn't happened and when I added that to my health problems the course was a no go. Still, there's always next year!

I may well do a short course after Xmas that doesn't cost so much and won't be as taxing on my grey matter. I've been looking into The Writers' Bureau amongst other course providers. It all came from the research I did on writing courses that formed and article I eventually got accepted by Writers' Forum magazine. I still can't believe I got one in there! I can't wait to see it in print. Me! In print in a national writing magazine! It just isn't possible. I will let you know when it's in. I haven't had the final date yet.

For now, I'm going to have a cup of tea and relax until the next writing /typing job comes in or I get the urge to finish the short story I started last night. I may well end up back in bed, though. I tend to do this when I have the flu. I feel terrible and so go to bed - I feel better so I get up and tear around getting my jobs done - then I collapse in a germ ridden heap again - and so the cycle begins again!

My appologies if this post is rambling and going on a bit - you see what happens when I don't post for a week! I hope that some of this post makes sense!

Take care and happy writing

Julie xxx Atishoo. Cough, cough.


Carole Anne Carr said...

I love your posts, rambling or not, you do have a natural gift for writing, and I'm sure you'll not get swine flu'!

Hugs and love, Carole xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole! I wasn't sure if I was writing coherently due to this wretched flu! Feeling a bit better now but will be going for a lie down when my husband returns from shopping.

I love reading your posts too and getting updates on how your books are progressing

Julie xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Julie, I'm hoping I shall be able to get those two covers completed tomorrow, at long last. I'm so desperate that I've been asking a computer whizz friend in Atlanta to help me, but I don't like upsetting my Grandson and not using his work. However, my Grandson is spending the day with me tomorrow to finish the covers, and it is a wonderful relief! That is why I am so anxious to learn how to produce the covers for myself and not have to rely on others who are busy with their own work.

Carole. xx

Julie P said...

It will add another string to your bow, Carole. I only hope that one day I'll be learning how to design my own book covers!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Sorry to hear you've been poorly, Julie. Are you sure it's not the swine flu? I suspect that anyone with the flu at the moment has got that one - symptoms do seem to vary, although most people are getting over it fairly quickly thank goodness. Despite that you seem to be getting on so well with your writing - well done, you! Wishing you better soon. xx