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

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Where are you?

I'd like to ask all you womag writers out there to stop writing and think for a moment. Where are you with your short story writing? We have just nudged past the half way mark for this year now and while you're enjoying the sunshine, or enjoying wherever you are on your annual jollies,  take a minute to consider whether you're on target with where you wanted to be with your short story writing, or not.

I know I'm still a long way off where I want to be, but I have made some serious inroads to get to where I want to be. I broke into the UK market this year and just to make sure it wasn't a fluke I got two short stories published in the same magazine in the UK!  But I was hoping for more (aren't we all?) There are various reasons why I haven't achieved as much as I would have liked (and they are mostly, funnily enough, my own fault: I haven't written or subbed enough short stories, the stories I've written haven't quite hit the mark, there's more competition as the markets diminish, I have a life and responsibilities that take me away from writing, I can't just spend all day sitting on my bum typing (this is probably a good thing as I don't want my bum to get any bigger!)

When I ask you stop writing and take stock of your short story situation, I don't want you to dwell on the negatives, what you haven't achieved, and get depressed. I want you to concentrate on the positives, what you have done, and what you are happy about. There will always be competition out there - I know a lot of writers, both in blog land and in in the flesh who I count as friends, but lets not forget that they are chasing the same fiction slots as you and  I am in the women's magazine - they are the competition, but that's not a negative point, as we aim to support each other and nurture each other's writing projects. We are happy for those writers who get a short story sale, who get a book published, whatever their success is. Well I am! I find that other writer's successes spurs me on to write more and to write better short stories. By reading the short stories that make it into publication we can improve our own.

So have a seat in your garden, or a park, when the weather's nice and raise a toast to your writing achievements and the achievements of other writers. Make a vow to turn the corner and have your own success in the future. Work hard, write hard, learn hard and submit hard and you will get closer to your writing goals. But don't forget to kick back occasionally, take stock of where you have come from in your writing and where you want to be and make firm plans to bridge the gap.

Happy writing and cheers to your future writing career!

Julie xx


suzy doodling said...

Hi Julie,
I'm quite proud of my achievements so far. Like you, I'm noting who liked what I sent and who said, 'not quite right'. If we've had anything accepted at all, I'd call that good. I'm entering competitions now with stories that haven't found a place. Living in hope. Take care.

Diane Fordham said...

Another top post - thank you Julie. Funny enough I have been doing a lot of thinking about where I've gone and where I want to be with my writing. I wanted to beat my record of ten short stories in one year in Australia, so far have had seven published. I really wanted to crack the UK market this year, even one story being accepted in the UK would make me happy .. ah well, guess the year isn't over yet! :-) (Congrats to you by the way!)

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzy

Keep going with the comps - it's good practice and the more you enter and improve your stories the more likely you are to be placed.

What out me off doing comps for ages was the thought that there are better writers out there than me entering - but that shouldn't stop us! A great story is a great story!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Diane,

It's a great achievement to get 7 short stories published! I had the same problem as you but in reverse: I got two short stories published in an Australian mag when I was desperate to get into the UK market - but I did it eventually! And you will too!

Julie xx