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, 24 January 2011

All The Fun of The Fair

Does writing ever make you feel as though you are on a merry-go-round? You get on, choose the horse or the carriage, sit down and get yourself comfy and slowly the merry-go-round starts to revolve. So you grip on to the gold painted spiral pole and with the breeze ruffling your hair, you start to enjoy the ride. Luckily merry-go-rounds don't go very fast so, generally, they are just a bit of fun.

Writing is a lot like a merry-go-round in that just as the horse goes up and down, so does our writing. Sometimes you get a piece of your work accepted and sometimes (well, quite a few times actually,) your work is rejected. Writing can sometimes be a gentle ride, like plodding along the beach on a donkey, but at other times it can be like swooping up and down on a roller coaster with your heart in your mouth, gripping the safety bar for dear life.

It can be difficult to get yourself on an even keel with writing. I've been lucky recently and managed to get a couple of pieces published, but at the same time I've also received rejections  - one minute you are up and the next your down. But the important thing to remember, and one of the things that keeps me writing and trying to get published, is that it is not you personally who is being rejected, it is your work. And that work can be re-edited, improved and sent out again.

It can be hard to pick yourself up again after the rejection letter plops through your letter box, or pings into your in box, but pick yourself up you must. I've had experience of this many times in the past and it also happened today where I received a rejected short story through the post and one of my pitches was rejected via e-mail. But I haven't sat here grumbling and plotting my revenge (well maybe just a little bit ;0)   I sat down with my short story and gave it a good talking to! I changed the point of view and shortened it so I  think it reads much better now. I'm going to post it off tomorrow and see what happens.  I'm also going to think of more article pitches to send out. It's the only way I know how of lifting myself out of the writing doldrums.

If you let rejection stop you in your tracks then you're never going to get published, but if you look at the reasons why your story didn't make it through. It might not be immediately obvious why it was rejected  -  particularly if you've just got a standard rejection letter with nothing to indicate why the editor didn't want it. And if you're annoyed or upset about it, you might want to take a deep breath and put the story away until you're in a  better frame of mind to deal with it.

Then get it out again and have a tweak. I love a good old tweak, me! Read it through, read it out loud, read some other published stories in the magazine you are going to send your re-worked story to and with a jig and a poke you might just get it published this time. If you don't, have another at look it and send it somewhere else until you've exhausted all possible outlets. Then you put it in your drawer for a year or two, while you write and submit more stories, then you get your old rejected stories out of the drawer, jig and poke them some more and send them out again! Stories do come in and out of fashion, so you might strike lucky next time.

But the most important thing to do is to have fun writing them. There's no point if writing becomes a chore. And you won't have a 'next time' if you don't keep writing and submitting. You never know what's waiting round the corner for your writing.

Happy writing  and enjoy the ride!

Julie xx


Teresa Ashby said...

Great advice, Julie and what a lovely thought about it being like a merry-go-round.

HelenMHunt said...

I had some rejections today as well, so I know exactly what you mean!

Julie P said...

Hi, Teresa

I love merry-go-rounds and I love writing so maybe I should try writing on a merry-go-round!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Commiserations Helen! The merry-go-round horse will be on the up again soon!

Julie xx

Simon Whaley said...

I like the positivity of this - what goes down, must go up!

Julie P said...

Hi, Simon.
Oh yeah! ;0)

Sue Ross said...

Depends upon your age.
Sometimes things just go down. Gravity can be a sod.

Great post Julie. I really enjoyed reading it.

Sue Ross said...

Hey Julie, do you think you could find room for good old Doris somewhere on your blog?
She doesn't take up much room.
She would be happy with a brief mention now and then.
She's happy to rough it in a corner somewhere; just chuck her a bun and a bottle of gin.
Oh, wait, that's me.