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, 15 January 2010

Another story declined!

I just had another declined story through the post from Take A Break. I refuse to use that dratted 'rejection' or 'rejected' word - far too negative for my liking! It was the story I'd had published in That's Life Australia, and it was a test to see if TAB would publish it - but, alas, no! So I think that's all my short stories accounted for now so I'm going to have to get a ruddy move on and write some more. Part of me doesn't want to bother and is being extremely naughty and lazy, dragging it's feet, going all floppy in resistance to being carried and forced to have another go - rather like CND protesters who lay on the road so lorries couldn't get through - or chained themselves to the railings chanting, 'we shall not be moved!' But I will overcome and conquer - some day! I love writing short stories so the rest of me is eager to get going on them again - it's a challenge and I love challenges.

I survived the first week at my new job as lunchtime supervisor at my daughter's school. Where did the time go?! And I've just had a comment on my blog written in Japanese or Chinese that I couldn't decipher. It had an explanation mark at the end, but in the interests of decency I've had to reject it in case it said something unsavoury! I wasn't willing to take the risk. I'm sure it said something encouraging and innocuous and I welcome any comments (as long as they are fair and decent) but only if they're in a language I can understand!  My husband is learning Polish so if there are any Polish speakers out there who want to comment, you can test my husband's progress too!

Planning on doing a lot of writing tonight (before and after QI and Silent Witness, two of my favourite TV shows! ) and over the weekend. I Need to get an article done as much as I can until I interview a contributor to the article on Weds. But I also plan on finishing the first draft of a short story and some more of my NaNo novel. Although I've not been sending a lot of work out since Christmas, I've been doing a lot of preparatory work like research and plodding along with reading and writing notes etc - and that's just as much as big a part of writing as sending work out there. I'm really digging down deep with my writing this year and finding the flaws, trying to see why 30 odd of my short stories were rejected and what I can do to improve the quality of my stories and therefore increase my chances of publication. If any of my findings and strategies work you'll be the first to know and I will, of course, pass on any advice I have if I make it through!

I won £50 worth of Amazon book vouchers from getting a 'winning letter' in a magazine for school Governors this week - well I haven't got them get and I haven't seen the magazine but the school Governor manager for Telford and Wrekin emailed me to congratulate me as he'd seen it, so I can't wait to receive the vouchers! He's aso invited me to submit articles to the local school governor's magazine. Writing letters, if you get them published are such a good way to supplement your writing income or boost your confidence as it's nice to see them in print and it can give you a lift when all you are getting otherwise is rejection after rejection! And they can lead on to other things.

Happy writing and have a good 'snow free' weekend.

While you're put and about, spare a few moments of thought for those poor people in Haiti. Such a terrible tragedy but I am heartened by the response of the world to their plight.

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

A very positive upbeat post, Julie that encourages us all. And glad to hear your first week at school went well. Much love, Carole xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole

I really enjoyed it in school - despite their Ofsted inspection they had on Weds and Thurs! Spent most of the time hiding from inspectors!

Have a lovely weekend

Julie xx

Teresa Ashby said...

I think its so much nicer to say declined than rejected. I had a couple declined today.

Congratulations on the Amazon vouchers win and surviving your first week in the new job x

Julie P said...

Oooh commiserations on the 'declined' stories, Teresa. It is a nicer way of saying it, isn't it! Better luck next time for both of us, eh?

I'm really enjoying the job - plus it's a bit of regular money coming in.

Julie xx

Elizabeth McKay said...

Me too, Julie - two declined today from Woman's Weekly. Glad you survivied your first week in the new job. I'm sure the children will give you lots of material for stories.

Julie P said...

Hi, Elizabeth. Sorry about your story declinations too. It must be the week for clear outs! We're all in good company.
The kids are great - so funny! It's been wonderful listening to them and talking to them - so sweet. And they will inspire me I'm sure.

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

Hugs for the declined story - I've read that one and it's a good 'un. Have you thought where else you might send it?

£50 of Amazon vouchers is a fantastic prize - make sure you treat yourself with it.

And great news that you enjoyed your first week in your new job.


Mike said...

You're getting your work out there, and acceptances too. Well done.

Mike xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne

I'll tweak it a bit and see if I can find another market for it. I know it's been published before so it's not impossible. I'm feeling the 'buzz' to start writing short stories and take a look at the ones that were rejected - so I'm sure I'll be starting on that soon.

I have to admit that I'm a bit hesitant and I'm tending to lean towards writing the articles and novel at the moment, rather than the short stories - once bitten and all that. I suppose it's only natural to want to write what you've been most successful in. But I'm going to give the short stories a go - I'm sure the knowledge that other more experienced writers such as Teresa and Elizabeth are also getting rejections makes me feel better or worse!! Better because I know I'm in good company and rejections happen to every writer but worse because if they can't get their short stories accepted - what hope is there for the rest of us! At the moment I'm keen to try again regardless and I'm sure my recent research will help me.

Well done on your short story acceptance at The Weekly News though, fantastic!
Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Mike

and thank you. I hope you and Susan are feeling better now - I bet you are especially glad that the snow and ice has gone.

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Sorry, Julie - I've only just read this post. Bad luck on the 'deferred acceptance' - that's a much nicer term than the 'R' word! Can you adjust it and try it somewhere else? xx