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, 13 March 2010

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Darn it! I had hoped to have written three stories (as I had promised I would in a recent blog) by now, and have them flying through the post to their target editor. But, alas, I have not. The reason being is that I have had two 24 hr stomach bugs recently and now, over the past week, two migraines (visual disturbances and all!) and a  ruddy cold that has ended up on my chest. Last night was a particularly bad night due to coughing and a tickly, scratchy, irritated throat  -  the result being a sleepness night of me drinking orange squash and lying awake coughing for Great Britain.

Consequently, I have been very tired and have little energy to get through my normal everyday activities let alone writing! It's as though all my creativity and the urge to write, which is normally strong, has been sucked out of me. I'm finding this very frustrating - you know me - I have to write! But I also realise that it's no use flogging a dead horse and so I am spending today relaxing, drinking plenty, and trying to tease the last dreggs of my cold/cough out of my system. I know my cold is nothing serious or life threatening but it's still annoying!

My husband and daughter have gone ice skating to give me some peace and quiet and so I thought I'd try a bit of light blogging to ease me back into the flow of writing. It's not as bad as I feel it is - I have the first draft of one of the stories done and half of another story first draft, plus the bare bones of another so I am getting there! I think that although a lot of my inertia on the writing front is down to my recent illnesses, some of it is down to my own reluctance to complete the stories for fear I am wasting my time and they are just going to get rejected as my other 40 odd did. This is a defeatist attitude and I must rid myself of it ASAP!

I love the lighter evenings that are creeping upon us now, and the slight increase in the warmth of the sun that is making more of an appearance and the spring flowers forcing their way through the barren earth, exploding in vibrant purples, yellows, and whites. Spring is definitely springing and after the cold, snowy, icy, long, dark winter it is most welcome!

What is also lifting my spirits is the fact that the programme is out for the Much Wenlock Poetry Festival 9th - 11th April 2009 http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org/ of which Carole Anne Duffy, poet laureate, is the founding patron. There is lots on offer and I'm going to the creative writing workshop on the saturday and I'm booking my daughter in to a couple of activity for kids over that weekend too. It's going to be a fantasic festival so if you are able to go do go! I will see you there!

I'll be going through  the short stories I'll be hopefully finishing over the next few days (cold/cough allowing) and comparing them with stories in the recent women's mags to see how they hold up and whether their tone, pace and style is relevant to that magazine. I will then leave them a couple of days to let them stew and I'll do one final edit and read them through again to check for flow and any inaccuracies before I send them to a fellow writer to take a look at - take on board what they say, make any changes they suggest and send the stories off to the editors. Despite my reservations and squeamishness about starting to submit my short stories again after a break and the many rejections I had, I know that this is the only way to go and so I will make myself do it. If they get rejected - they get rejected and it's back to the drawing board again. But what if they don't.............?

Happy writing!

Julie xx


womagwriter said...

Hope you feel better soon - sounds like it was a pretty dire week for you. Good luck getting those stories finished and subbed.

Julie P said...

Hi Womag and thank you!

I'm much better than I was and I've still been able to go into work etc but it's been very draining. I'm on the upward climb now and can feel the buzz of creativity beginning to vibrate in my fingers so I'm sure I'll soon get back into the swing of it - you know what it's like!

Julie xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Sorry to hear you have been battling with poor health, Julie, the better weather should help you, and urge you on to more success! Hugs... xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole! I've just had a bath so I'm feeling part way human again now! It's so nice to see the sun shining - makes all the difference.

Julie xx

Fee said...

I am glad you are feeling slightly better. It is horrid when a cold hits and it is annoying. Keep warm and well as best you can.

Best of luck with your writing and getting those short stories out in the post.

Thinking of you.


Julie P said...

Thanks Fee

I'm so much better today - still tired but well on the road to recovery. Been to Wenlock today to see my dad and the sun is shining so went for a walk around Linden fields where I used to walk as a child/teenager while Dave and Isobel played on the playground. It was nice to reminisce and get some fresh air.

Glad you are also feeling a little better.
Julie xx

Kath said...

Glad you're feeling better now, Julie.

Julie P said...

Thanks Kath

It's such a relief to be able to think straight for a change without having a pounding head, stuffed up nose and stomach cramps!

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

That's rotten, Julie. But I'm glad you're feeling better now. Good luck with the short stories - it's only a matter of time before those sales start rolling in.


Sue Ross said...

It's because you've started working with kids. You get everything that's going at first, but it will soon pass and then you'll be back on fire again Julie!
You're right, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger, so just think how strong you're going to be.
I knew you'd be going to the Much Wenlock 'do' and I'm so cross with myself for saying to my husband that I'd be able to go away for a few days over Easter.
The creative writing workshop sits slap bang in the middle of the Easter fortnight. While you're getting creative with a load of other like-minded souls, I'll be trying to drown out 'Talk Sport' and fighting to hear myself think.

Olivia Ryan said...

Poor you, Julie. xxx Hope you're on the mend. There have been so many nasty bugs around recently - I blame the long and horrible winter - and like you, when I went down with the first one I just kept getting something else, my immune system couldn't recover in time to shake off the next thing around. Also you're working with young children which makes you very susceptible to picking up their germs!! The sunshine is making me feel a lot better now - hope you've got sunshine where you are, too. xx

Good luck with the stories.x

Simon Whaley said...

Oh, the dreaded lurgy again! I don't like being ill when you feel tired and your brain doesn't work! Even reading can be a challenge. I hope you're on the mend now though!

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzanne!

I've nearly finished the first story - just needs a bit of tweaking I think and then it will be off. But I don't want to rush it. I think that was half the problem when I last submitted some stories - I was in too much of a hurry. I'm thinking tortoise and Hare now!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

You'd think I'd have had every bug known to man by now - it's getting very tiresome! Bit I actually feel a lot better today than I have in a long time. Maybe it's the Spring air and sunshine - I don't know.

Sorry you can't come to Wenlock. I'm going to take notes and distribute them to the WW members who want them and can't go. I'm looking forward to it - I hope it's not just me going!!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi. Olivia

Yes, we have sunshine here and I had to take my coat off when I was walking back from school this morning! A sure sign that Spring has almost sprung!

I was getting so tired of picking up infection after infection.I eevn bought a mini bottle of that antibacterial/anti viral alcohol gel hand rub in desperation, as well as washing my hands compulsively - but I still got a cold! And there's a faint whiff of alcohol about me - the school will think I drink too much!

Feeling a lot better today - just tired, the usual post viral stupor!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Simon!

Yes, I'm alright now - still tired but at least I can half think straight now!

See you at the WW meeting on saturday - but remember - NO tambourines ;0)

Julie xx