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, 19 February 2011


A writer's life is never an easy one, but for me, not writing is not an option. I've learned a lot on my writing journey and met a lot of interesting people, not least the members of my writing group. It was the Wrekin Writers' February meeting this morning and it didn't disappoint. We learned about how to get the best of dialogue in our writing from Chairman Darren and had discussions on where the group is going and what we'll be doing in the coming months. As a bonus I came third in January's Chairman's Challenge that had the theme of  hot, hot January. We have to write up to 100 words on a given theme and the winner wins a fiver and our efforts make it in to our annual anthology. I hadn't entered it for a while and had made a promise to myself that I would make a greater effort to do so this year.  I also won a ream of printer paper in the raffle! Can't be bad.

I think that socialising with other writers is essential as writing can be such a lonely job, and I look forward to the meetings which are always fun and we learn so much. Because I feel talking with other writers is so important I set up a mini-group which meets between the main meetings and it's working well. Just as we are flagging a  bit half way between meetings these mini meetings charge us up again!

But when I got back, my happiness was slightly marred for about five minutes when I saw I'd received two rejections from Take A Break! But, as every good writer knows, I did the best thing I could and immediately sent out another short story. The rejected ones are in my folder and will be worked on next week to be sent elsewhere too.

That's why the title of this post is circle. It's because sometimes I feel like a hamster frantically running on my wheel  -  as I send one short story out, one comes back rejected and so I send another one out, and so on and so on. Writing short stories is like walking around in a circle  -  it's never ending. If you don't keep yourself motivated to keep writing and sending stories out and you don't toughen up about rejections, you'll come flying off the wheel and find it difficult to get back on it. So get yourself on the wheel and start running! Yes it's not easy and you will get many rejections, but it's worth it  -  there's no better feeling than seeing one of your short stories bursting through and being published. I never thought it would happen to me but it did, and it has for many other writers just like me. It will happen for you too  -  just keep at it.

Now for a glass of wine.

Happy writing

Julie xx


Jarmara Falconer said...

God luck my dear friend, I'm sure you will make it in the end.

Don't forget a circle of friends...
That what us bloggers are :-)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Very good advice, and yes, please, pass the wine!

Alex G said...

>>I think that socialising with other writers is essential>>

I agree. To extend your titular theme, I think you need to step inside writers' "circles". Yes, because writing can be lonely, but also because writing as a way of living demands you get out and be social, interact, interview, talk to people and so on. You can't succeed solely in front of your keyboard and screen.

You've inspired a future 'mistake', Julie! (Thanks!)


Julie P said...

Thanks, Jarmara.

Yes blogging writer friends are just as important - I don't know what I'd do without you lot and your support. It's fab!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole Ann

The wine was lovely. It's mulled wine and I'll be having some more later!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Alex

Absolutely. The very nature of being an article/feature writer, or any kind of writer for that matter, means getting out there speaking to people, researching, inerviewing and the like. You can't do it in vacuum. You have to socialise. I think I'd go stir crazy if I was stuck behind my desk typing all day. I'd soon run out of material.

Glad to be an inspiration! I'm intrigued now!

Julie xx

Simon Whaley said...

Ooh, you want to be careful of inspiring Alex's mistakes!

You could argue, that as someone who constantly runs around in a wheel, you are kept 'writing' fit and healthy, which enables you to continue running around inside the wheel. Whereas someone who slips off the wheel and stops running, becomes unfit and healthy, and has difficulty and further challenges trying to regain their fitness to get back onto that wheel. (ooh, that was a bit deep and meaning! Didn't intend it to be!)

Julie P said...

I know, Simon. Inspiring one of Alex's mistakes is an occupational hazzard I try so hard to avoid! There's no hiding from him! I'm feeling very vulnerable and sensitive in the run up to my thirty-tenth (not!) So I hope he's gentle with me. I'm very scared now! What have I done?

Very true about the hamster wheel, though. I'm running round my wheel at a cracking but sustainable and comfortable pace at the moment. But I am aware that I am prone to slipping off so I'm being very careful not to do that - my short story output is definitely benefitting. And once I get in my 'office' I'll be well away.

This thirty-ten thing could catch on!

Julie xx