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, 9 January 2012

Every experience counts.

I sometimes hear writers bemoaning the fact that they have nothing to write about.  I must admit when I'm in the doldrums I do on occasion tend to strike a pose akin to a child wailing that they are bored - but it doesn't happen very often as I know that writing ideas are everywhere and are hiding in every aspect of our lives: home, family, friends, pets, distant relations, work, hobbies, health, everywhere you can think of, just waiting to be found.

If you keep your mind, your eyes and your ears open and ask lots of questions about the world you inhabit and the people/things you know then you should never be without something to write about. It can be hard to extract a short story or article idea from your life experiences due to the many facets of that experience. But it is possible to narrow that experience down to a couple of points - this way you will get several pieces of work from one experience, for example:

A trip to the Dr's could give you:

a) What to expect from your GP
b) How to get the best out of your GP visit
c) Your GP surgery isn't just for ailments -what else can your surgery offer you?
d) When things go wrong - What can you do?
e) How to cope with .......whatever ailment you or a family member is/has gone through.
f) How to get over the fear of going to your GP
g) Waiting room anecdotes/humour
h) Five things you should see your GP about.
i) How to broach embarrassing health matters with your teenager with help from your GP
j?What can the nurse help you with?

There are loads of them. I only chose this subject as my dad had a GP appointment today and I used to work as a nurse in a GP surgery so I know a lot about them!

Another subject might be Getting a new cat:

a) How to choose the right cat for you.
b)Buy from a breeder  or cat rescue?
c) How to deal with a stray cat.
d)Keep your cat in tip top condition.
e)Keeping your cat entertained.
f) Top five cat ailments - what to look for and how to help.
g) Bereavement: how to help your surviving cat(s) through it.
Bereavement: Is getting another cat the answer?

Again, there are many, many, many possibilities. Yes, people have written on these topics many times over but YOU haven't and YOU have a unique take on it - so go for it! Never think that your experiences are not good enough to write about, because they are.

Make a list of some of your experiences that you've had and under each experience's heading write a list of the possible issues to do with that experience that you could write about.

That should keep you (and me) busy for a while!

Happy writing

Julie xx


Frances Garrood said...

Some god ideas, Julie. (I was a practice nurse once, too.) But I'm still pondering sadly about your bereaved cat...

Diane Perry said...

Great advice Julie, even the most ordinary situations can give you an amazing idea to write about. Di x

Olivia Ryan said...

You're right, Julie, and your suggestions are all brilliant. There are ideas everywhere, all around us. So why do I so often sit there with my head in my hands wondering what to write about? Maybe there's just too MUCH to choose from!

Carole Anne Carr said...

My problem is that I may not live long enough to finish the sequels to my existing stories... :0)

Diane Fordham said...

Good advice Julie x

Martin said...

You're an inspiration, Julie.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Frances.

My old cat was 17 when he died - he was in a sorry state and I still miss him, even today. He dies three years ago. About 6 months later we got two young cats from Cat Protection - they were brother and sister. But one week after we had them the boy cat became ill and died a few days later at the vets - he had heart failure, He was only 5 month's old, bless him.... But we had the other brother from cat's protection about a week later and all is well now.Julie xx

Julie P said...

They certainly do, don't they, Di!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

It can feel that way, sometimes, can't it, Olivia!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

It can feel that way, sometimes, can't it, Olivia!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Oh, Carole! You're doing great with the books you have published - so many of them - I'm exhausted just watching you!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Diane! And good luck.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Martin!