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, 2 January 2010

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Just as in that classic early black and white SciFi movie (my daughter loves it for some reason and she's watching it now!) The Day The Earth Stood Still, my world has come to a grinding halt. Well, my writing world that is. I think if my writing were a movie it would be called The Day(s) The Writing Stood Still! I feel uneasy about my writing and, to be honest, I'm finding it difficult to proceed. (Slaps face with a wet fish)

I enjoyed my break but I'm feeling positively bloated and lethargic writing wise and I can't figure out why. I mean it went well yesterday and I was pleased that I managed to get a further 1000 words of my NaNo novel done, which I hadn't touched for a while, but I can't shake this feeling that I'm never going to string a coherent bunch of sentences together to form a half decent short story or article again!

I think a lot of my current writing mood is due to the rejections I recieved last year and my heart sinks and my brain wails 'Here we go again!' When I put pen to paper to write a short story. It's not so bad on the article front as I have two that I can edit so I'm not starting from scratch there. I have loads of rejected short stories in my cupboard that part of me wants to get out and see if I can revamp and send out again. But the other half of me is saying that they were rejected and so therefore aren't worth bothering about. I'm keen to write out some fresh stories first and then go back to the rejected ones when my confidence has grown again and I'm back into the swing of it all.

It's crazy! A case of first week (New Year) jitters maybe? I've made plans of what I'm supposed be doing writing wise over the next few weeks so at least I have that to refer to and spur me on. But then I received my copy of Freelance Market News (Well done Keith Large on winning the short story comp in there!) through the post and the Editor's comments (Angela Cox) made me sit up and take notice.

She's having a mid-life panic about turning 40 in February and has decided not to procrastinate anymore and has adopted the Nike slogan of 'Just Do It.' That's hit a chord with me and so I'm adopting it too! I'm going to Just Do It! I won't get published with an attitude of I can't do it, or I'm too tired to do it, so I intend to take it slowly, one day at a time and buiLd up my store of stories again and get out the ones that were rejected and try to see where I went wrong.I have come such a long way over the last year and since I started writing seriously in the Autumn of 2007. How about you? Are you going to go back to your rejected pieces of 2009 and see what you can do with them in this new year? It's often frowned upon to go back into the past but I think a writers we need to look at our past failures (missed opportunities) in order to learn and move forward. So let's JUST DO IT!

Julie xx


Elizabeth McKay said...

Hello Julie, and Happy New Year. Don't panic. What you're feeling is perfectly natural and I'm sure every writer goes through the same thing from time to time. I think the time of year probably has a lot to do with it. You've had an extended break, doing lots of nice things with your family and friends and your writing-self has had a rest and probably got a bit lazy. Added to that there's all the excitment of how the new year will bring lots of changes, challenges, opportunities,etc. But then reality hits and you realise that nothing can really change unless you make it and that's when the doubts start creeping in. And I'm speaking about my own experiences here! Relax and enjoy what's left of the holiday and then ease yourself back into your writing. Don't worry if what you write to begin with is rubbish. The fact that you're writing something is a positive step and the good stuff will start to come back. I'm quite sure it won't be too long before you're posting about an aceptance. loAnd now I must read this message and apply it to myself!

Julie P said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way. I'm going to be editing two articles today and try a short story later. I started to write one before Christmas so will try and finish that off.

Happy New Year and I hope we all have some acceptances to post about soon.

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

Hugs Julie. But instead of thinking about the rejections, concentrate on all your successes. There were so many in 2009.


Lynne Hackles said...

Welcome to the club, Julie. Most writers go through what you are feeling now. I've interviewed lots of successful writers and one thing they nearly all say is that they worry that one day someone will find out they're not real writers and everything they've had published has been a fluke.
Just do it.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne!

I think I just needed to have a whinge about it here in Blog Land as my writing mood has lifted considerably since this morning and I've edited that article and am about to do the other one - so it's back to all systems go!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

And it's a club I'm proud to be a member of, Lynne! That's exactly how I feel - that I'm just an imposter and people will realise how truly awful my writing is! But I've given myself a stern talking to this morning after I posted this and listened to Elizabeth's wonderful advice - I feel so much better now and feel I'm getting back on track. As you say Just Do It! It's the only way.

Julie xx

Abi said...

Hi, Julie. Sorry will comment on your blog post shortly but am just wondering where your other blog has wandered off to!

Julie P said...

Do you mean Article Antics? Should still be there somewhere - mind you I have been playing round with the fonts,colours and templates so who knows! I knew I shouldn't have given in to my fiddling urge!

Julie xx

Abi said...

I have Article Antics saved on my favourites and when I click on the web page says "The blog you were looking for was not found".

I've noticed you've been playing with the webpages. There's not many blogger designs I like for my blog so I need to get my hubby to look at how to import my own design.

Julie P said...

Hi, Abi, if you try it again now it should come up! I've found out I'd changed the name of the blog accidentaly - I have no idea how - in the settings - have reset it all now to original settings - let me know if you still have problems accessing it!

Julie xx

klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
I think it would good if you take your previous writing successes and use them as an inspiration that, despite any possible future rejection, your determination will see you through.
Let your passion for writing be a key element. Here's wishing you much success and satisfaction in your writing quests for 2010. A new year, a new decade, a fresh start.
Kind wishes, your way, Gary x

Simon Whaley said...

Don't let the B*//?!!S get you down! Editors are only human - they make mistakes too - talk to the 43 who turned down Frederick Forsyth! And remember that example I keep harping on about - I sent exactly the same article to the same magazine three times (a different editor each time) and the third one accepted it - so it proves there was nothing wrong with my writing - the first two editors clearly got out of bed the wrong side on the day my submission arrived in the post.

The only way to overcome rejection is to get some more stuff out there again. And you will do that. Remember your successes and they'll spur you on. Good luck!

Martin H. said...


I can only underline much of what has been said here already. Relax, and remember that you are a writer. Yes, there will be rejections, but there will be success stories too. I doubt many writers can honestly say they have never felt as you do just now.

Stick with it, and every good wish for 2010!

Julie P said...

Thanks, Gary

I'm love writing and will endeavour to carry on as best I can - I can't imagine not writing now. Once I see a few more bits published I know I'll be back into the swing of it!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Simon!

I think it's the unpredictability of the editors that can be so frustrating! You never know what they're going to say. My persistance paid off several times last year so I see no reason why it shouldn't throughout 2010 too.

By the end of next week - when my daughter's been back at school I'll have more time to write and get back into my routine, so will have sent some stuff out then too - always makes me feel better!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Martin.

It's reassuring to know that most wrters have felt/are feeling this way too. I already feel much better from the support I've had on here from everyone and I've kicked myself into gear ready for the coming week.

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Julie, I can only echo what everyone else has said here. Believe me, all writers do go through these feelings, and I know this isn't going to make you feel better (!), but to put it into perspective for you, I have to tell you that even after having some moderate success, many of us (me included) still suffer some shattering rejections and have to fight those same old feelings of loss of confidence and loss of enthusiasm for going on. But we do go on - don't we! - because if we don't, we certainly will never get published again, whereas if we do ... there's that little spark of hope, and that's what makes us writers, rather than wannabee writers, or ex-writers. As others have said - you had some great successes in 2009, and 2010 might just be your year for AMAZING success! And if it's not, then 2011might be! Keep the faith! I'm sure you're going to succeed. xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Olivia!

I've pulled my socks up now and given myself a good talking to and now I've written some more of my NaNo novel and edited the two articles I started before Christmas I feel a lot better!

I feel I'm in a much better place with my writing than I was a year ago so the fight will continue! I can and will do it despite the rejections - I will get there but it's going tp take some time.

I picked up the latest (Feb) issue of TAB Fiction Feast today and have started to read the fab stories in there (will Teresa Ashby please stop writing such brilliant and heart rending stories about dogs! They make me cry everytime!)

Anyway. No school tomorrow as my daughter's not back in until Tuesday so I'm going to enjoy the day with her and get back into the writing proper then.

Thank you, as ever, for your wonderful support and encouragement.

Julie xx