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, 21 June 2011

U is for ....... Unicycle, Unimpressed and Under the Radar

No, I haven't gone mad, I promise you. But what could unicycles possibly have to do with writing? I hear you ask. Well, it's all a question of balance. When you first start out trying to learn how to ride a unicycle you are naturally going to be a little unsteady. You may well fall off a few times. But once you've practised a bit you'll get steadier and steadier until you're bombing around without a care in the world.

It's the same with writing. You start off a little unsure, a little unsteady. You wobble a bit, deciding whether to write and send the piece off. But once you've written a few things and sent some off and had something published, you gain more confidence, and so you keep going. You may well fall off here and there, but you get back on that writing unicycle and you keep trying to gain your balance. So have fun with your writing and if you fail, don't be afraid to hop right back on and keep practising.

I've realised, since turning 40, how more unimpressed I've become with things in general! I'm a very tolerant person and easy going, but if pushed to far or if people try and take advantage of me,to their shock, they soon find out my displeasure! It's the same with writing. If something isn't working in your writing, or if you're unimpressed by how editors are treating you then instead of moaning about it and letting it fester, I'm a true believer in making your feelings known.

If you're not getting responses from editors, then don't be afraid to ask them why. If you've had a manuscript under consideration for a long time  - longer than they say they take to read manuscripts, then you are quite within your rights to contact them to find out what the delay is. If an editor of a magazine has accepted your work but you've seen no payment or even a hint of a publication date, then you should contact that editor and ask them about it. In writing, if you don't ask you don't get! Remember that you are a business and if you are business like and professional with editors, they will extend that behaviour back to you.

Ever feel as though you're not getting to where you want your writing to be? Ever think that every e-mail pitch you send is just pinging into the great in-box of the ether? I've been feeling a bit like I'm moving just under the radar of editors recently. There's something in my short stories that's just not hitting the mark, not showing up on the editor's radar. This negativity can lead a writer to a very bad place - you start to wonder why you're even trying when all you get is no answer or a no all the time. Well the remedy to this is to keep trying. Keep reading the magazines you want to pitch for. Keep honing your pitching skills and sending the pitches out there. I had a pitch turned down recently as the editor had just accepted an idea along similar lines to my idea - no-body's fault, it happens. But at least I know that my idea was right for that magazine but someone just happened to get there first with it - better luck next time!

Get yourself on the radar!

Happy writing

Julie xx


Diane Fordham said...

I enjoyed your post. Thank you Julie. I needed a bit of a lift, and your post did just that! Thank you x

Julie P said...

Hi, DianeWe all need a lift sometimes - hope you're flying now!

Julie xx