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

Sunday, 18 October 2009

What A Girl Wants!

Well, I knew there had to be some perks to blogging and I was right! I asked the question in my last post, 'What more could a girl want?' I wa referring to what else a girl could need apart from a day with a writing expert and I came up with chocolate and wine too. One of my fellow eagle eyed writers and follower of my blog read it and attended the Wrekin Writers' workshop yesterday. He gave me a bar of galaxy chocolate (my favourite!) and the wine went to another fellow writer and Wrekin Writer, Nicola. So there you are! A perfect day! Thank you Keith - a man who knows how to treat a girl!

Yesterday was wonderful. We had the brilliant speaker Nick Fletcher, journalist, writer and author and I feel so lucky to have been in the audience. He had such good advice for us all, covering article writing in the morning and short stories in the afternoon. Even if I have heard most of the advice before, I never tire of hearing it because it does me good to have a recap every now and then. I came away, as did a lot of other people there, feeling bolstered and even more enthusiastic than usual about writing.

It was nice to meet Jenny, who has also read my blog - and to meet Keith again and his companion whose name I have shamefully forgotten and I am very sorry about. I like putting names to faces and it was wonderful to chat to everyone. There were around 30 people there - some non-members I hope will become members. I love meeting other writers and hearing about their latest projects and successes. I find it encouraging and inspiring.

Both Nicola and I played tea ladies and enjoyed it. The only disaster in the kitchen occurred before we got there when the urn was filled up but the tap on the urn was on and so there was a minor flood! I'm saying no names but you know who you are!! I arrived to see a fellow blogger and Wrekin Writer on his hands and knees trying to mop the floor up with kitchen roll until the mop arrived! It was a brilliant day all round.

Last night my husband and I went to watch a performance of The Woman In White done by Horsehay Amateur Dramatic Society. They are the group I've been spending time with and who were the basis for the feature I had in the local newspaper recently. I was nervous for them! They were wonderful and I was very proud of them. They said that they thought my feature had resulted in more people going to see the play which I was pleased about. And they were happy with the feature (phew!) I managed to take a photo of the crowd and persuaded a member of the audience to give me a quote. I don't know if the paper is still interested in a review but I've done it anyway and I'll send it in - if they use it they use it, if not it doesn't matter as I still enjoyed the performance.

I have a busy week this week, writing wise. Tonight I'll be finishing off the review and making a few notes for my next project. My next project is a feature on a local wildlife rescue center. I already have the same mag that took my archery feature (photos and all!) interested in it and I'm to report back to them tomorrow with what I have when I've done my interviews and have photos. I love animals and so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. The center has a kestrel in as well as a couple of hedgehogs so it should be good.

I'm also looking at the archery article and the Horsehay am dram feature again. One of the other county mags is interested in the am dram feature but only if the photos are good enough. They liked the black and white 'historic' photos I sent but not the colour ones so I have had to get creative and one of my fellow wrekin writers who is also a member of the am dram group and a keen photographer has stepped in to help me with the photos which I am so appreciative of - networking and sharing of skills at its best.

On the short story front, I seem to have come to a standstill at the moment. But I have lots out there awaiting verdicts and plenty of ideas in the pipeline. I am, however, going to do a bit more research and analysis on short stories and try and get mine right for a better chance of a sale. I'm not sure what I will discover or whether I can write better short stories but I'm going to try.

One thing I do now is that I am enjoying my writing so much at the moment, and I know a lot of you are too. It was great to see so much enthusiasm and so many motivated writers yesterday and I can't wait to see what successes it brings over the coming year.

Julie xx


klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
I am very pleased to note that you are enjoying your writing so very much.
If writing becomes a chore, if excellent writers such as your good self put yourself under pressure; that invariably takes away from the pure enjoyment that writing can provide. I know you maintain a healthy balance.
So well done in your ongoing quests. I wish you and your fellow writers, much success.
Kind wishes, Gary.

Julie P said...

Hi, Gary, and thanks for your comments, They are most appreciated. Yes, it's important for writers, well anyone in any profession really, to keep a sense of perspective and balance in their lives otherwise they are at risk of burn out, and that's no good for anyone.

I don't think I could write if I didn't enjoy it so much. I have certainly enjoyed meeting people and interviewing/getting to know them for my articles and as friends too.

Julie xx

Simon Whaley said...

Hands and Knees. I know my place!

Julie P said...

Absolutely, Simon!! Though I was worried whether you'd be able to stand up again!


Sue Horder-Mason said...

Okay I'll hold my hands up, it was me to forced Simon to his knees lol

Julie P said...

He needs a firm hand and a strong woman to keep him in hand, Sue!! Bless him.

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

What a great day - and chocolate too, lucky you.

Sounds like it's all going well, Julie. And don't get disheartened about the short stories - you've sold before, you will again.


Julie P said...

The chocolate was a most welcome surprise and the end to a wonderful workshop!

Your comment was very timely as I've been feeling down about my writing today and I'd convinced myself that the story I sold 6 months ago was a fluke and I'm never going to sell another one again! But I'm feeling a lot better about it all now.

I've given myself a night off from my writing and I'm enjoying my chocolate so I'll be ready to carry on writing with renewed enthusiasm tomorrow!

Thanks, Suzanne!

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

Definitely not a fluke, Julie. It was a brilliant story and I'm sure your other stories are all great, too.

It's a tough world out there just now - so many people trying to sell stories in a shrinking market.

Don't give up.


Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne. I'm still determined to carry on writing my stories - it's the only way forward isn't it.

It's about finding the right story for the right mag at the right time I think. Always a chance of publication if we keep sending the stories out, but none if we don't.

Julie xx