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

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A glimmer of hope

How is your writing going at the moment? I hope that you are all managing to write when you can and are well on the way to achieving your writing goals, whatever they may be. That's the thing I've noticed with writing; it's forever changing and evolving. No sooner have we finished one piece of work we're off starting another. It's a never ending circle, and I don't know about you but the compulsion to write is not one that I can easily ignore. It's like an itch that you just have to scratch (sorry, I know that's a cliche, but I've been thinking about cliches a lot recently as they're part of the Chairman's Challenge at my writers' group that I'm supposed to have written by Saturday's meeting!) We have to take a cliche, the cheesiest the better, and turn into something beautiful - flower it up a bit and make it better. I'm struggling, but I'm sure I'll have something written by Saturday. I haven't done the challenge for a couple of months but I'm determined to give it a try this time.

Not that I'm searching for inspiration or anything (I went on a web site devoted to cliches last night and got some corkers) but what are your favourite/hated cliches? Do you love to beat about the bush, or have too many cooks spoiled your broth? Have you been burning the candle at both ends? Or do you have a black sheep in your family? I think some cliches can form the basis of a good poem or short story - they make particularly good titles. Hopefully if you have a think about come cliches you might find some inspiration to write.

NaNo is still going great for me. I'm up to 68% done now. I'm so glad that I made it through the bad lands of the mid point and just forced myself to write something, anything on the page! I didn't write much of the NaNo novel yesterday as I was concentrating on getting an article finished which I did, and I sent it to Best of British this morning. £1.80 it cost as it was just a smidgen over the 100g for a normal large letter and I didn't want to chance sending it with insufficient postage. It doesn't create a good first impression and the magazine just wouldn't bother to collect the envelope and they definitely won't pay the surcharge to retrieve it. So make sure that if you are in doubt, get your packages measured to make sure you pay the right postage, otherwise all the hard work that you did on your article/short story/poems etc will go to waste.

I had a glimmer of hope through my post box this morning in the form of one of my SAEs. I eyed it suspiciously as it lay there gloomily on my mat. I picked it up thinking, oh buggar another rejection - which one is it this time? But, as I picked it up I noticed that it was unusually light and whatever was in there was very thin and only took up half the A4 envelope. I was intrigued. So I opened it, tentatively and saw that it was a pink piece of paper with the heading 'Guide For Contributors'.
My heart slumped. But then I turned it over and saw that it had come from This England/Evergreen/Beautiful Britain magazines and they've kept my recently submitted article 'Target Practice In Shropshire' for further consideration. So I cautiously allowed myself a little burst of excitement before putting the slip of paper in my drawer and getting on with NaNo. They may not accept the article, but at least they received it and are considering it. That's an achievement in itself for me.

So do keep sending your work out there even though you feel that all is lost and you'll never get published - or if you have been published, you'll never get published again!

Keep writing.
Julie xx


Simon Whaley said...

Congrats re the This England/Evergreen/Beautoful Britain piece. It may be a long wait until you see it in print, but they don't hold onto stuff they don't need/want, so that's a great sign.

Glad to see the NanoWriMo is going well. Keep up the good work!

klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
I really admire your dedication and the encouragement you give to your fellow writers. This makes for most positive interaction, of which I am grateful.
Oh, please don't get me started on hackneyed cliches. Then again, maybe I'm just clutching at straws as I laugh my socks off whilst crying over spilt milk.
Okay, I off to interview a brush. How daft is that?
Happy writing, Julie.
With respect, Gary.

Sue Horder-Mason said...

Fingers crossed for your article Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Simon! I'm just relieved they didn't send it back by return post rejected. I shall await the final verdict with interest. I've never had a slip like that before - so it's a novelty for me.

Yup, NaNo is going great, me and Sue are flying the NaNo flag for WW! Glad to see you are alive and well in the wilds of the Lakes!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Gary. I hope your interview with the brush goes well. But do be careful as I hear they can be a bit prickly and stiff. You might not get a lot out of it. Do be careful not to make any sweeping statements that might make it bristle.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Sue! Re-editing the two articles I've sent off this week has been a welcome break from NaNo - got to keep my hand in haven't I. When I get a bit fed up or I find my minds wandering a bit when I'm NaNoing I switch back to the articles and then I find that gets me back in the mood for NaNo. You're doing very well with NaNo too.

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

Great news about the article and NaNo. You're doing so well.


Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne,

I shall need a holiday after NaNo!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

I smiled at your response to receiving the SAE in the post - Oh, another rejection! We're such pessimists, aren't we! I must admit I always think the same thing. And sadly, I'm very often right! Keeping my fingers crossed for you though, re the article. x

Julie P said...

Thanks. Olivia. I'm just glad that on this one occassion I wa proved wrong and it wasn't a rejection. I could do with being wrong more often!

Julie xx