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, 8 May 2012

Moving on?

You know how it is. Life as a writer can hardly be described as plain sailing - but which profession is? Writers must get used to the fact that not everyone will be as enthusiastic about their work as they are. Over the course of their careers, writers will be subjected to many rejections and near misses. It's the way it goes. There's no easy way round it and you can't bypass the process. It's a hard lesson that writers must learn if they want to succeed.

But what if you've got to the point where it seems that everything you write and submit is being rejected? It happens to us all at some stage. It's the moment when the umpteenth rejection that week pings into our inbox or plops through our letter box, that sinking feeling of yet more disappointment. It's a wonder any of us have the strength or inclination to carry on. But carry on we must!

I had four short stories rejected from the same magazine this week and the month before I had three rejected from another magazine. And in between those unappetising layers of bread was the equally tasteless filling of having to rewrite and resubmit an article in a tight time frame of a couple of days, including sourcing more quotes. But rewrite it and resubmit it I did. And I will continue to do my utmost to learn from the rejected short stories by continuing to read more short stories and trying to improve mine. I know I've been doing this for a while now but there is no time limit on getting your stories to a standard that an editor might just like to publish.

One has to remember that there are many issues at play when a story gets rejected:
- The editor may have just accepted/published a story on a similar theme.
- The editor may have filled their quota of stories.
- The story wasn't quite in the right style for that particular publication.
- The story didn't sparkle enough or stand out amongst the competition, ie, the editor received better stories than yours.
- The story wasn't a story at all, just a list of events with no change or credible, well rounded characters.

The list of reasons go on and you will drive yourself mad trying to figure out which one applies to you as most editors don't have the time to tell you why they rejected it. If they do, hold on to that precious nugget of information and learn from it.

Must there come a time when you should move on? After receiving a batch of rejections it can be tempting to give up, but resist it. What I do is move on to a different project for a while until I'm ready to go back to the rejected stories. It works for me - and the distance gives me time to gain some perspective and get over the confidence knock rejections sometimes dish out so I can move on and try again. So don't give up, just move on.

Good luck and happy writing



Carole Anne Carr said...

Very sensible comments, Julie. By the way, in a month of two I shall be having a book launch of River Dark as paperback and eBook. And shall shortly launching Thin Time as an eBook. Do you think you could come to my virtual launches on facebook and post on your blog about this on the days? I'd send you the details of what to post before they happen. xx

suzy doodling said...

You are so right Julie, imagine if one month you had every story accepted. In my case this would be some kind of miracle, but we have to keep positive, and your reasons are perfectly true. Sometimes, it's a good idea to enter a competition or two, or try an online magazine. It's all about being on the wavelength of the editor I imagine. Once we've cracked what they want, there'll be no stopping us. Keep writing, I will too.xx

Julie P said...

Hi Carole Anne and thank you - yes, sure, just let me know what you want me to do and when.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzy,

I think if all of my short stories got accepted one month I'd fall off my chair! I'll be happy if just one gets through! But we have to keep writing, you're right.

Good luck

Julie xx

Diane Fordham said...

I so much needed to read this today. Things have been a bit too quiet for me in the short story acceptance department. Good advice. Thank you Julie x

Yvonne Sarah Lewis said...

Julie, you're an inspiration to us all. Keep going!

Julie P said...

Thank you, Yvonne, though I don't feel so inspiring to day! Rotten cold! Julie xx