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, 19 December 2010

Friendship, bugs and not writing

We Wrekin Writers had a wonderful Christmas meeting followed by a wonderful Christmas lunch at the Buckatree hotel last Saturday. It was so lovely to be amongst writerly friends and spend more time together than we usually do. I cannot stress how important this writing group has been to my writing success. If I didn't have them nagging, I mean egging me on all the time I wouldn't have achieved half of what I have. I have a lot to thank them for.

 It wasn't until that meeting that I realised just how far I had come. Sue, our wonderful Chairman pulled me aside and said that for a minute, during that meeting, she wondered who it was sitting in my chair when, after an excellent writing exercise set by fellow Wrekin Writer, publicity officer, short story judge and soon to be Chairman (we hope) Darren Bailey, he spied that I'd finished writing and asked me to share my writing with the group. Now, normally, this would have sent me into a fluster as I hate reading out loud in front of people. as Sue knows. But, on this occasion, I didn't give it a second  thought and was happy to oblige. It's amazing how your writing and reading to an audience confidence can increase in the space of a year. If you have access to a writing group then it will do you and your writing  the world of good to join them. You could also bring something to the group that they appreciate too. A win - win situation.

Unfortunately, December hasn't been kind to me health wise: first I hurt my back and then I had two bouts of flu for good measure, the most recent bout was just this last week that I'm still struggling to shrug off, so I haven't managed to do any writing or anything else productive for that matter.

One thing that I did manage to do during my enforced rest was to listen to our local radio station Radio Shropshire. I hadn't listened to it for years. It was quite entertaining  -  well through my flu addled ears it was anyway. I think my husband put it on rather like you might for a pet dog or cat for company while you were out at work. It's also a great source of information and inspiration for writers! Song titles, pet phrases/catch phrases the presenters used, local history/local interest stories, it was all in there. Though I did think at one point that they were trying to bore the germs out of me with some of the songs they played. It must have worked as I managed to get out of bed for an hour on Tuesday and actually ventured downstairs (one small step and all that.) Believe me, if you had seen me on Sunday you would know how much of a big achievement that step was for me.

So, my writing advice of the week is to tune into a radio station you wouldn't normally listen to and actually listen to it: take notes on the style of presentation, what news items they cover, the music they play, the general interest pieces they do, advertisements, etc. It occurred to me, in my flu filled  stupor, that radio stations are like big audio magazines, so you could get a fair few writing ideas from them.

Before I go, has anyone got any suggestions as to how I can stave off the germs and bolster my immune system (now there's an article in there somewhere!)

Happy Writing!

Julie (Atishoo).


Teresa Ashby said...

Hope you are back to full health soon, Julie. Take things as easy as you can for a while (I know that's not easy with Youknowwhatmas coming up).
Keep warm and Happy Christmas!

HC Clarke said...

Oh Julie - you poor thing! I do hope you recover from your cold soon.

Heartfelt congratulations for reading your work out to your writing group. I personally have little difficulty reading out loud, provided my audience is either a group of strangers or church. However, drop me in front of a group consisting of family or close friends (as I imagine a writing group becomes) you could put money on me running and hiding before I read out loud.

As for bolstering the immune system, I would recommend a flu jab if you can get one. My mum, who is not only an ex-nurse but also was my dad's only carer during his final battle with Lung cancer and emphesima (sp?), has been getting flu jabs for years. She has been pressing me to have one, but I am as big a wuss for needles as I am for being judged badly by friends and family. At the minute it might sound like closing the door of the stable after the horse has bolted, but my mum swears by them.

Get well soon, and Merry Christmas! xx

Martin H. said...

So sorry to hear that you've been unwell, Julie. Stay warm and give yourself some time to recuperate. Not easy, with Christmas around the corner, I know.

Best wishes.

Julie P said...

Hi, Teresa

Thank you. I'm a lot better than I was. But still getting the sinus headaches - at least I'm up and about though.

Happy Christmas!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks HC

As a nurse myself you'd think I'd take my own advice wouldn't you!! I did consider getting the flu jab but as I'm not in a nursing job at the moment and I don't fall into any of the 'at risk' categories I probably wouldn't have been able to get one - unless I paid for it - which I might well still do. I think I'll ring my GP surgery first to see if they have any flu jabs going spare after Xmas!

I found that I didn't even think twice about reading out at the meeting which was strange! We are like a family, though. I blame the flu germs that must have been rampaging round my body at the time - they disabled my nervousness!

Happy Xmas

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi Martin

Yes I'm getting there now. Got to go Xmas shopping (eeeeeeek!) today so that will probably send me back to my bed later!

Happy Christmas!
Julie xx

Nari said...

Hi Julie, glad to hear you are feeling better.
My recommendations for keeping a healthy immune system is to eat things with sweet potato and red pepper, which have beta carrotene in them. Spinach and broccolli keep up your iron to restore your strength. Of course, lots of orange juice - I swear by orange juice when I'm ill. Though Flu is a little bit worse. Oh and warm milk and brandy :) Never too old for warm milk and brandy.
Well done for reading out your work, it can be a very daunting thing. But I bet you feel the advantages now. I'm considering joining a writing group myself, if I can find one in Hull.
Nari X

Julie P said...

Hi, Nari and thanks for your suggestions. Ive all but recovered now - just sniffles, cough and headaches now - trying not to get reinfected!

I'm sure there must be a writing group in Hull. If not why not start your own?

Julie xx