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

Friday, 25 September 2009

What A Week!

It's been a busy and exciting week for me, but it's also been a confusing and frustrating one. That's the life of a writer I guess. On the good side I have been sitting in with my local amateur dramatic group for the past three weeks and have been gaining information for several features I am planning. You may recall I had originally been scouring my neighbourhood and interviewing people and photographing them and interesting places for a community mag. Then that fell through (I'm not going in to why it fell through again in this post but feel free to see previous posts on the subject!)

Well, I thought I'd be a bit cheeky, a bit devil may care, and I emailed the local daily newspaper to see if I could interest them in an feature on the Amateur Dramatic Society. I didn't think for one minute that they would take it up as I'm not known to them (other than through their letter's page!) And they don't know what my writing is like. But the editor rang me back telling me they were interested and the Feature's editor rang me and it's all systems go!

I am very excited but also very nervous about it. I want to do the best job I can for them. I have to say the amateur dramatic group have made it all very easy for me and have been perfect hosts/interviewees. For that I thank them. I have written the first draft of the feature and will be tightening it up over the weekend.

I am my own worst enemy sometimes, though, and get worked up about whether I can actually pull it off and write stuff people want to publish. I know I can as I've been published before, but everytime I approach a new editor or start a new piece of writing I'm all fingers and thumbs again! I know I'm doing the right things by writing and sending my work out there but I still get incredibly nervous about it all. I love writing and I am so glad that I decided to take it up full time, but it's the never quite knowing if my work has made the grade when I sent it off, and the waiting for the reply - if it ever comes - that unnerves me. Once I'm in that frame of mind where all I can think is "I can't, I can't, I can't!" I really can't and have to abandon my efforts untill the cloud lifts and I can hear the faint whisper of "You can, you can, you can!" being carried in the wind, and as it gets nearer and louder the "I can't" gets quieter and quieter untill I can't hear it and I really can write again! Do my ramblings make sense?

I had my article for Writers' Forum returned today not accepted but the editor has given me some really good constructive criticism so the door is still open for me to try again which I feel is a positive. So I will be working on that over the next couple of weeks too. I'm just pleased I have more than enough to be going on with. I'd rather be busy than have no writing to do at all.

I also approached People's Friend with a feature idea over the phone but I didn't even get the chance to tell them what it was about as the feature editor said they weren't taking any features as they had plenty in stock. When I enquired if she had any idea when they would be taking more features again she became very vague and said not for a long time (?) Not very helpful. I think they should put it on their guidelines to save them the trouble of being contacted by writers and save us wasting our time. Or is a case of they don't know who the hell I am and don't want to know?! Still I'm following advice and have contacted The Lady instead. I might get a similar response but you've got to give it a try haven't you?

That's my thought for this week and what has been on my mind a lot - pulling me through. Don't give up - when one publication/editor closes the door and says thanks but no thanks, try another one, and then another one after that. Keep trying - it's the only way. I know I've considered giving it all up on many occassions but I'm still here!

No news on any of the short stories I have out and about with various women's mags. To be honest I haven't written any recently or sent any more out there as I've been to busy with the articles/features. But I will let you know if I get any news on anything!

Have a great weekend

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Marvellous progress! You always amaze me with your ideas...hugs...Carole.xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole. It's such hard work, though, isn't it?!

Julie xx

Fee said...

Wow Julie

The newspapers like articles written for them with photos that way they don't have to do any of the work other than make sure it fits in their printing space. So well done with that.

Best wishes and enjoy whatever you turn your hand to next.


Julie P said...

Thanks, Fee. But I would never have even thought of, or had the courage to approach the newspaper without the Wrekin Writers!! Particularly Mr SW!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

You're doing so well, Julie - especially with all the approaches you are making. It takes courage, and persistence, as well as hard work. Good for you. xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Olivia. I just thought "what the hell," and went for it and it payed off. But you're right, it does take persistence and hard work.

Julie xx