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

Monday, 25 January 2010

What else can one say?

What to post about. Mmmmm. Writing? That is what this blog is about, but what is there left to say about writing that hasn't already been so eloquently written about before? People have written stories for centuries, told them, acted them out, even in primitive times. What can there possibly be interesting enough for me to say that we haven't all heard several times over before?

I'm in to recycling at the moment - not the environmentally friendly kind, although I do do that as well. I'm referring to recycling your writing. I know Di Perry is also keen on this at the moment - and the chap Nick Fletcher who came to our Wrekin Writer workshop last October was also singing its praises. What I am doing at the moment is looking at an article I previously wrote and submitted for the Best of British mag but was declined and I'm rehashing it and using it to kick start off the Journalism course I'm doing with the Writers' Bureau. I started it back in November and managed to do assignment 1 okay but haven't had the time of inclination to get much further  - but I am tonight!

Everything that is ever written is, in a sense, all recycled. All of the ideas and proposals put out there have been put out there before and  are being put out now. So why do we bother, if the competition is supposedly so great, and there are thousands of writers out there sending out similiar ideas? How does anyone ever get published? And people do do it! So it's not mission impossible. I've done it, as have countless other Blog Landers and other writers out there. Some are more successful than others but that doesn't really matter - the fact that we all sit down and actually write, let alone get published is an achievement and to be applauded.

Some writers have the habit of being incredibly modest about their writing. They under sell themeslves and their talents. They don't talk about their writing - it's almost as though they are embarrassed about it. It's just something they do, alone, on the quiet, in the shadows. It's not a 'proper' job, whatever that is, oh no! But it is a bone fide job. Something to be proud of and enjoy. Okay so it's not a high flying, seat of your pants, earn millions, drive a flash, expensive car, type job. But would you really want that job? The money would be nice, of course - but the pressure and pace of life maybe not so. Society seems to think that being successful means to be like Alan Sugar or other high powered business man. Someone with a one-tracked mind, walking over everyone else with their private, family life suffering. There's the term 'hard-nosed business man'. With writing, it's not like that. You can be who you are and your writing fits around your family. You can write when you want to - no gadgetry, no boardroom, no shop floor, no factory - just pen and paper on your own kitchen table - bliss.

So be proud of your writing. My own sister said to me the other day, on hearing how much I got paid for a recent article, 'That much? Just for stringing a few sentences together!" I know, I know. But I forgave her because she knows not of what she speaks! And should I ever make her sit down and attempt to write an article I know she wouldn't/couldn't do it! And if she did, she'd realise how hard it is to do. 

We all have different roles in society and all are important. Where would we be without bin men, cleaners, nurses, doctors, care workers, builders, whatever! And writers are important too. Before I started writing I was probably guilty of thinking that writers had it easy too and so when I  got published I never shone my light about my writing either - it was just a little hobby of mine, of no importance. I just enjoyed doing it - it wasn't hard work - it wasn't even work (believe me, I've been on a ward with reduced staff in the middle of the night trying to resuscitate  a patient and stop another confused patient from harming himself and others - that's work! There's nothing like a life and death situation to point out the imprtant things in life to you).  But writing is 'work' of a different nature. It's creative and not stressful (well it shouldn't be, unless you work as a journalist on a tabloid.) So enjoy your writing and instead of driving yourself crazy searching for new ideas - give yourself a break and rehash what has been declined previously to send it out again. Or send out different versions of the same article, all with a different slant to suit different markets.

Good news today in that I had an email from the editor of our local glossy magazine Shropshire Life and my article on archery is going to be in the March issue - with my article on wildlife rescue going in a few months later. I've had to send in a new supplier form and give them my bank details - it's so exciting! Just when you think you've imagined you had articles accepted, up pops the news they're going to be published - fab!

Happy recycling

Julie xx


Simon Whaley said...

I had a call from the editor of Shropshire Life magazine today. She wants to buy some of my pictures for front covers! Yippee!

Suzanne Jones said...

Brilliant news, Julie. Congratulations.


Diane Perry said...

I agree Julie, we must be proud of what we are doing. I sometimes feel my work colleagues don't take me seriously but I take no notice, I know in my own way I am achieving things. That's wonderful news about Shropshire Life well done.

Julie P said...

Yipeee indeed, Simon! The whole of Wrekin Writers will be in there soon!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I can' wait to see it - actually I can as I get a bit squeamish about reading my own published work!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Di!

We should be proud! We are doing something amazing as the written word, communication and society, culture, is so important. So many interesting stories passed down through the generations.
It certainly is an achievement!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Brilliant news about the Shropshire Life successes, Julie!
And a brilliant blog post, too.
I'm another fan of 'recycling' my writing and I can recommend it: quite a few of my previously-declined stories get accepted in the end, after re-working them and sending them in a different direction. And I do agree about writing - we writers tend to be quite self-depracatory (I think it's because we all have so many rejections!) but hey, the world needs writers! And you're right, it's not hard work, the way other jobs are - it's much less lucrative, for most of us, but we love what we're doing, don't we! If we don't, we shouldn't be doing it, whether we're published or not.