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, 7 June 2012

Hold Your breath

Earlier on this week, at 03.45 in the morning, I walked up the very steep Wrekin. (a big hill in Shropshire.)Why? You may well ask. I can think of a hundred better things to be doing at that time of the morning - the most important and appealing one being sleeping.

No, I hadn't lost my sanity (although some might say that I didn't have any to lose!) I had the opportunity to attempt to see the transit of Venus across the sun. So there I was, alongside thirty other crazy people from the Shropshire Astronomical Society, huffing and puffing up t'hill at such a rediculous time in the morning. Yes, I wanted to catch a glimpse of the transit if I could, but I had other reasons to go too.

Sometimes we can play it a bit too safe in our lives. We don't push ourselves or we don't take the opportunities that are offered to us for fear of failure or making a fool of ourselves. Sometimes we don't even see these opportunities because we are so blinkered, so stuck in the groves of our own path. So I set myself the challenge of walking up that hill at that silly time in the morning to see if I actually could do it. I'd been up there before but not for a few years and certainly not at that time. This was my opportunity to do something different and see something that won't happen again in my lifetime.

I remember thinking, as I started the walk, how interesting it is that adrenaline will only get me so far on the journey. I was so excited to be out in the wilds so early in the day that I practically glided up the hill until the adrenaline left me and the sheer bloody mindedness kicked in! I WAS getting up that hill no matter what! There were a couple (well, several if I'm honest) of times when the thought that I could still be tucked up in a warm bed dreaming did cross my mind,  but I didn't give in and made it to the top. The sense of euphoria (and relief) when I reached the summit was electric (and it didn't have anything to do with the gigantic telemast that I was standing near! Excellent mobile phone signal, though.)

I was so glad that I resisted the urge, when my alarm went off at 2.45 am, to just roll over in bed and snuggle down back to sleep, because although it was too cloudy to see the sun, let alone Venus, the views across the Shropshire plain were amazing. And when the sun did put in an appearance (far too late for the transit) the sun rise was beautiful.

We knew the chances of seeing anything were slim but we did it anyway. And it's that tenacity, against the odds, that sees me through with writing too. I know, when I pitch an article idea to any given editor, that the chances of it being taken up and published are quite low. It's the same with short story submissions. Statistically, I have a much better track record with articles being published than short stories. I can count the number of short stories I've had published on the fingers of one hand - I've actually forgotten how many articles I've had published but it must be in the fifties. But for every one article idea that is accepted by an editor there are probably 5-10 more that are rejected. But still I carry on. It's part of a writers life.

Succeeding in reaching the summit of the Wrekin gave me such a boost, despite not seeing the transit, and getting the one article commission despite the odds and the other ten ideas that have been rejected, doesn't bother me as I  love to write and know that if I try I have a chance of seeing my words in print. If I don't keep my eyes open for the writing opportunities that are out there and I don't take the risk of rejection, then I know I won't be published. Hence this week I'm sending out article pitches to new markets I haven't tried before as well as those I have. I'm also editing short stories and will sub those too. So don't be afraid to hold your breath and jump in. How will you take a new risk with your writing?

Happy writing
Julie xx


Diane Fordham said...

Awesome post Julie. Inspirational! I wish you well with your article pitches. :-)

Julie P said...

Hi, Diane, and thank you! You never know when an editor might say yes to an article!
Julie xx