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, 10 January 2010


As we enter the second week of January 2010, I've been doing some thinking about the areas of my life that are totally separate from my writing and it's a very hard thing to do! Everything a writer has done; where they come from; how they were brought up; their life experiences; the people they meet; their work; their neighbours - everything informs their writing. Who they are is what their writing is.
I don't think I should seperate my 'normal', ordinary life from my writing life as both are so entwined that I would lose my true writing self if I didn't embrace both. There are, however, things, personal things, that I have never and never will write about. That is my choice. I know there are people who do - authors of  the so called misery memoirs that seem so popular at the moment - I hate that term 'misery memoir' ! But I am keen to try new things and adapt to the changes that occur in my life whether they are challenging or just a nuisance. New experiences mean new opportunities and new writing topics.

Writers never seem to be able to switch off from their work - they are always on the look out for new subjects to write about and new outlets to submit to. It's both  a curse and a blessing. I love the feeling I get when my nose sniffs out the scent of a new lead, a new direction. It makes me feel alive and my heart leaps but it also quivvers as my inner editor starts sniping at me and my joy. I start to second guess myself and my old adversary, by the name of anxiety, rears its ugly head as I flip and flap like a grounded fish. Do I write that short story and send it off when I've had thirty rejections already? Do I pitch to that new magazine? Do I send in the finished article to the magazine editor that accepted my pitch, knowing that the chances he'll accept this article are slim when he's rejected three of my articles already?

Everyone who's read my blog knows that I love to write. I'm positive about the whole writing process, the journey, and I like to try and sprinkle some of that enthusiasm over other writers too so they don't give up and they carry on to enjoy their writing, published or not. We all make mistakes with our writing, I know I have, but I was lucky. I had support from family, friends and my writers' group, fellow bloggers and forum users, and the value of that support should never be underestimated. Writing is by it's very nature an activity of solitude - we may need peace and quiet and our own space to write, but that doesn't mean we have to write in isolation. In fact, we should never distance ourselves from the real world no matter how tempted we are, or how absorbed we become within our own little writing worlds. We need to get outside of ourselves, our writing, and into the open to experience real life. For it is that real life that makes us the writers we are, and it makes our writing all the better for it.

Don't have a one tracked mind about writing - think about something else and do something else regularly. People who have jobs and hobbies outside of the home are lucky - although they might not think it or realise it! They have new experiences every day and they get paid for it! People who are relatively housebound can always access the internet, their memories, or books as well as getting out and about every once in a while. There are always solutions to problems and obstacles that life throws at us and that get in the way of our life and our writing. We just have to have the attitude that yes we ruddy well  will get out there and experiece life and we will write! We will also talk about and do activities that we're not going to write about because no-one likes a writing bore!

Fee, one of our fellow bloggers and Wrekin Writer members, went out shopping for a couple of hours - a major achievement when you realise how scared she is of being knocked again by other shoppers when she's in her wheelchair. Whether she chooses to turn her experiences into an article, short story or poem (or possibly all three!) is up to her - but she got out there. She drew courage and no matter how painful it was for her she just got out there and did it.

That's the attitude writers need - you sit down and write and if you want to get published you send your work out and you keep sending it out, no matter how many rejections you get. They hurt, yes, of course they do, but you don't give up. So if you're dithering and wondering if you should bother writing - I can't tell you whether you should send your work out or not - but I did and it worked for me. If you don't try, you won't ever know. If you're stuck on an apect of writing or you're not sure where your writing is going - ask another writer who can help you. If you don't ask, you don't get and you might never move forward with your writing. Blog Land is brilliant at answering questions. You just have to ask and someone in Blog Land will come to your aid. Fantastic! So come on, let's make 2010 our best writing year yet.

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Julie, I do hope we manage to make 2010 the best year yet! Hugs...xx

Mum in a Muddle said...

Hi Julie,

I had some stories rejected this week but like you I'll keep on going. I enjoy reading your blog - your interior monologue sounds so very similar to my own. It's nice to know that someone else feels the same way about their writing.

Julie P said...

Yes, Carole, let's hope so! We'll all be here supporting and encouraging each other, I'm sure!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Sorry to hear about your story rejections - I so know how that goes! Better luck next time eh? And you're right to keep going - it's the only way. We're behind you 100%.

You'd be amazed what goes through my head when I'm writing sometimes! But I try to shut the chatter out and just get on with it - easier said than done sometimes.

Still, upwards and onwards!

Julie xx

Simon Whaley said...

Yes, writers work 24/7. When we're sleeping, our subconscious is busy working away, sometimes generating new ideas and trying to solve problems.

There aren't many jobs where people can work 24/7 in a job they like. The only downside is that if you assume you work 24 hours a day, the hourly pay rate is complete cack!

Bethany Mason said...

I have never sent any work out; it's always been one of those things that I will do one day. I have decided that that one day will happen this year - now I just have to find something to write. Thank you for your blog - you give me the strength to believe that I will keep writing and can keep writing - even when I really don't want to.

Julie P said...

That's why I keep waking up, Simon, to write down the ideas that are whizzing around inside my head and I have to write them down in the middle of the night!

My hourly rate probably works out at about minus £1.00! I'm running ata continual loss - but the pay off is the satisfaction I get from the love of writing - money is a bonus.

Nope, not many have the advantage of working 24/7 in a job they love - we are very fortunate!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Yes, you can do it, Bethany! And you're quite right in that you have to keep pushing forward even when you're less than enthusiastic!

Good luck with your writing endeavours.

Julie xx