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, 23 January 2010

Guest Post: Friends in Blogland

That title almost sounds like a fairytale – but this is no children’s story. This is a tale of encouragement and support beyond your wildest dreams... all available at the click of a mouse.

First of all, huge thanks to lovely, Blogland Friend Julie, for the invitation to contribute to this blog. Such a good idea and it’s always great to visit friends, especially in cyberspace.

And it’s the support of friends like Julie that has made all the difference to my writing over the past couple of years.

When I first started to write I had no idea what I was doing (there are those who might argue that I still don’t – but that’s another story). I’d write in fits and starts, sending wildly inappropriate material to various women’s magazines, hoping something might just hit home. Occasionally, I’d be lucky and make a sale, but mostly my SAEs would come winging back with the speed of light.

I didn’t have anyone to read and critique my work. Nobody was interested in whether I’d received a rejection with a rude message scrawled across the front (that did actually happen once). A couple of my real life friends showed mild interest if anything of mine was published, but mostly their eyes would glaze over at the merest mention of my obsession.

The hint was taken pretty quickly – I’m not quite as daft as I look – and I soon found it best to keep my writing a dirty little secret. Scribbling away after dark became my habit and, unless I was specifically asked, I hugged my first true love to myself.

The result of this was that I gave up – often. The years passed by, often without a single submission leaving my grasp.

And then I found blogging.

I’ve never written or submitted so much material in my entire life before and it's all thanks to support and encouragement from friends I've yet to meet in real life.

Here's a list of just some of the wonderful things about Bloggland Friends who also write:

1. Sharing of information. There’s no professional jealousy here, no spiteful keeping of writers’ guidelines to oneself. If someone reads a good writing book, they pass the news on, if a website or blog of interest to writers is discovered, a link is soon posted.

2. Genuine interest in the success of other. This is perhaps the most surprising and touching thing of all in these days of limited markets and ever increasing competition. If you report a sale to your Blogland Friends, they’re genuinely pleased for you – stand back and enjoy the celebrations.

3. Unyielding support. Feeling low at your lack of writing success? Upset at a rejection (sorry, Julie, declination)? Is a piece of writing refusing to gel? Blog about it and, within the hour, encouraging messages will appear by the score.

4. Fact finding. Need information or to check a fact? Put the call out on your blog and the answer will appear, as though by magic, in the comments section.

5. Critiquing. Some of us had no access to a suitable writing group in our area – that’s no longer a problem. Finding a like-minded group of people has never been easier and the advice you can glean from sharing your work can be invaluable.

6. Companionship. Knowing others share your dreams...although it can be scary when you first find out just how many others there are – but when you get over the shock, it’s actually wonderful to know you’re not alone.

We all need friends – they brighten our lives, support us when we’re feeling down and generally help us on our way. Blogland Friends are no less wonderful than the real life variety. But in Blogland, there’s a genuine shared interest in writing and helping each other achieve our dreams.


klahanie said...

Hi Suzanne,
Well, I'm over here now. Hello.
Great guest post and I heartily agree with everything you have noted here.
I like to think of 'Blogland' as community of support, encouragement, caring and friendship.
I wish you and all my friends in this 'Blogland' world much happiness in writing. May it be, no matter the reason for writing, be fulfilling and inspirational.
With respect and kindness, Gary x

Diane Perry said...

A great post Suzanne, my lastest post echoes your feelings. In all my time of blogging, I have developed as a writer, learned new skills and made wonderful congtacts. It's a great way to share information and really does encourage us to write something often.
Best wishes

Suzanne Brandyn said...

A very intersting post, Suzanne and Julie,
It is very true about writing. Onine offers so much invaluable help, that's impossible to pass.

Imagine if there were no internet, no emails, and no computer. Life would be tough.

It's the support of like minds that keep writers writing.

Suzanne :)

Julie P said...

It's a fantastic post and so true. Thank you to Suzanne for posting it. And thank you Suzanne B, Gary and Di for commenting - much appreciated.

But the biggest thanks must be for Carole Ann Carr who started all of this off!

If anyone else would like to guest blog here then let me know.

Julie xx

Caroline Storer said...

Oh I couldn't agree more! I'm a relative newcomer to blogland - about 6 months now - and I can' tell how nerve wracking it was posting my 1st blog! Would anyone leave a comment? Was it all going to be an embarrassing failure? But guess who the 1st commentator was? Yup - the lovely Suzanne! The lovely Suzanne who *always* stops by and posts words of support and advice and who again came to my aid when I once again (nervously) posted a blog about getting a critique partner. She and Judy Jarvie (*waves* at Judy) kindly agreed to read my ms's. So I can't tell you how much I appreciate ALL my blogland friends - both pubbed and unpubbed. You all ROCK! Have a good Sunday. Caroline x

Sue Ross said...

I couldn't agree more.
I am a newcomer to blogland and wish I'd done it years ago.
It's great to mull things over and share thoughts and feelings. A bit like talking to yourself but getting sensible responses.
I take it your next article is going to be "Ten things we love about blogging."
I'll look out for it.

Kaye Manro said...

Great post Julie and Suzanne!

I so agree with all you say here.

Thanks for sharing!

Olivia Ryan said...

Hi Suzanne - from a fellow Blog-Guest of Julie's!
You are SO right in all you say. And I think it's also true that writers in general - those I've 'met' on internet forums, through writing organisations and in real life (!) as well as those on blogs - are mostly wonderfully supportive of each other. As you say, considering how competitive the markets have become, you'd expect the profession to be full of jealousy and bitchiness - but I just haven't ever found that to be the case. Even the most successful authors give of their time, expertise and sympathy freely to encourage others. It's one of the nicest things about being involved in this business - and it's hard enough nowadays, so we do all need all the friends we can get! x

Suzanne Jones said...

Hi Gary, great to see you – thank you for you lovely comment, and I wish you much happiness, too.

Hi Diane - you’re so right, it is a great way to share information. I’ll pop over to your blog and read your post in a moment.

That would be a horror story, Suzanne. What would we do without our support network?

Thank you so much for the invitation, Julie. You’re right, we should thank Carole Ann Carr, too, for such a brilliant idea. And, if anyone else is thinking of guest posting, I can only advise you to go for it – it’s great fun.

Oh, I’m blushing now, Caroline. Thank you for such a lovely comment.

I know what you mean, Sue, I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and gaze enviously at blogs that have been going for years – all those years when I could have been part of this vibrant, supportive community.
Aw thanks, Kaye.

Hi Olivia – I saw your terrific guest post – and I’m a follower of your blog. That’s what makes Blogland so special – friendly words from every quarter. I know how supportive and kind all you established writers are towards beginners. And we are very grateful for those insights and words of encouragement. You make a very good point – we do need all the friends we can get.


Diane said...

Popping over and saying "Hi" as requested. :o)

Great post and very true.

Suzanne Jones said...

Thanks, Diane - great to see you here.