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

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Green Eyed Monster, only five days left, and a series of strange coincidences

You know the feeling. You scour the women's magazines that carry fiction and in every issue there are names you recognise. It feels as though the same names are appearing week after week, month after month. But there's one name missing -  yours!

Now there are two types of writer here and their behaviour is very different. The first writer throws the magazines down in disgust wailing, "Pah! The editor obviously only takes short stories from his/her favourite writers and other writers like me don't get a look in. I don't know why I bother. I'm not sending my stories to that magazine again. The second type of writer sits down, calm and relaxed and takes the time to actually read the stories that were published. They note what it is about the story that works: the tone, the theme, the subject, the title, the characters, the problem/conflict, the dialogue, the pace, the length and over all structure. They also look at the magazine as a whole: the features, the adverts, the editor's welcome piece, illustrations to get a feel for who the readers are and they hone their own writing to better fit the magazines profile. The really clever writer will read several back copies in this way too. And if they are really, really clever they'll read several stories by the same authors and compare them with their own writing and how they can improve it.

So get rid of the green eyed monster. It serves no purpose other than to stop you writing and make you miss writing opportunities. Open up your options instead and eventually you might just see your name in the women's mags! You won't if you let jealousy consume you.

Only a week left until the kids go back to school after their six week break. Has it really been that long? Some of you might be shouting with joy! But I'm a little sad. I've really enjoyed my time away from school with my daughter: clay, robots, aliens, dolls, walks, picnics, writing, playing, swimming, ice skating, steam trains, cafes, we've done loads! And I've also sent out six short stories to various magazines with another two in the pipeline. It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. I'm conscious that when we go back to school my writing time will be reduced again (I'm doing a teaching assistants course) but I won't forget about writing completely -  there's always time to write in even the busiest of schedules and it's up to us to find it  -  if we're serious enough about our writing and respect it enough.

Ah yes, the  strange coincidences. We (that's me, my husband and daughter) had been running around supermarkets(well I had, they were sort of dragging along behind me!)  trying to find this ruddy carnation caramel stuff for my daughter's birthday cake I'm making next week. Could we find any? could we heck! Until we got to Asda and acquired some. Whilst we were there, my husband bumped into three people he used to work with and hadn't seen for years (one of them said the last time he'd seen my daughter she was in my belly!) Then I bumped into Sue (Wrekin Writers). Now we Wrekin Writers have a customary greeting when we are out about and bump into each other by accident  -  we look at each other and we laugh! Well me and Sue did anyway.  My husband says it was quite funny and we don't really know why we were laughing! We rarely go to Asda and as Sue lives the other end of Shropshire that me, the chances of us meeting there are low.

Then the day after I went with my sister to a boxercise class. It was a toss up between dance aerobics and that class and the boxercise won. It was the first time we'd been and when we saw the instructor (an ex-boxer) misshapen nose, training boxing gloves, pads and all, we knew we were in trouble (my arms are still sore now.) I though I'd recognised a chap who was in the class but I couldn't work out where I knew him from. I didn't talk to him straight away as I was afraid I was wrong and we'd never before and he'd think I was a mad woman. Anyway, at the end of the class I did speak to him and we did know each other - he was a doctor (trainee GP) at the doctor's surgery when I was a practice nurse. So he knew I was a mad woman anyway! It was good to catch up with him. It was his first time at Boxercise too. (Ouch my upper arms.)

I was trying to explain who he was to my husband who had picked me up from the class and he just said he thought it was just some strange man I'd picked up from the exercise class! Just what aspersions is he casting?! You couldn't make it up or write a story based on it could you! Or could you?...........

Look out for my article in the October issue of Writers' Forum about NaNo! Out now!

ZUMBA tonight (again, ouch my arms!)

Happy writing!

Julie xx


Teresa Ashby said...

THe school holidays have gone much too fast haven't they, Julie. Lachlan goes back on Thursday and I'm feeling very glum about it.
I enjoyed your NaNo article in Writers' Forum - it was the first thing I read. I'm kind of tempted to have a go.
Good luck with the boxing - it sounds good fun (if a bit painful!)

Sue Ross said...

I thought the traditional greeting for WW was to roll up your right trouser leg, hop on your left foot and shout 'Knickers!'
Is it just me who does that then?

Julie P said...

It does make you glum doesn't it, Teresa! I just can't get over the speed the holidays have gone. Not long til half term though - it will soon fly by!

The boxercise was great fun but ruddy hard work - my arms are still protesting.

Julie xx

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Shhhh, Sue! I thought we weren't supposed to let anyone know that 'secret' greeting!

Julie xx

Diane Perry said...

It's a good job YOU are a clever writer then Julie. Yep just keep on studying how the successful ones get there and you will too.
Look forward to seeing your article, will have to go and get a copy.
Di xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Di!

We both know the value of peseverence don't we! I should think we both have rejection shields made of steel by now! I'm off to give my shield a quick polish!

Julie xx