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

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Work it

Writing is jolly hard work. People who are not writers don't seem to appreciate that. Writing is not a logical or linear, chronological activity. There are many false starts and we quite often find ourselves going round in circles. We go round and round like demented hamsters on a wheel that never stops. If they wired us up to the national grid we could probably supply enough electricity to light up a city the size of Birmingham.

We stop and start. We start then stop ....... then we start again. We let one project stew while we pick up another. We edit our work to within an inch of its life and then we edit some more. A writer's work is never done. Even when we are not writing we are thinking about it. And sleep provides no respite. Our dreams are invaded by our writing too - there are many a good writing idea to be had from dreams as we are allowed a glimpse into the mysterious world of our subconscious.

I think people new to writing are sometimes surprised by just how much hard work goes into producing a publishable piece of work.  The time frame between the conception of the initial writing idea, to the working it into some kind of story or poem, to the countless edits and the subbing of the piece, to the waiting for a reply from the editor can take months, if not a year or so.

One of the things that keeps me going over the years I've been writing is that I  always make sure I have plenty of work subbed to editors, so if a couple (or several) come back, rejected, then I know I might have more luck with the ones I have left. I have a one in - one out policy here. One comes back rejected - another one gets subbed immediately.

I struggle to send my rejected short stories out there again. I don't know why. But I'm making a concerted effort to make myself look at them again after they've been sitting back on my desk for a week. Then I re-edit them ready for another market. I'll let you know how I get on with that.

I tidied out my writing room over the weekend and bought new note books, pens, highlighters, paper clips, pencils, etc. I find doing this very therapeutic on a psychological level. I'm preparing my brain for writing - out with the old, cluttered, messy working environment and in with the new, ordered, a place for everything and everything in its place writing space. I fully recommend it for ridding your brain of clutter. You'll also save time trying to find stuff and a clean and tidy workspace seems more inviting somehow.

So, de-clutter your workspace, put things in there that lift your spirit, I have: a white porcelain Buddha head, a fluffy giraffe toy, various mugs with giraffes on, a Shropshire Astronomical Society mug, Wenlock Books mug, various stones and pebbles from the beach at Barmouth, two lovely plants that two of the kids at school gave me as a thank you and pictures my daughter has done for me. They make me happy when I see them and when I'm happy, my writing is better. Having things that are beautiful to you around you in your writing space make the writing seem less hard work.

Happy tidying up and writing

Julie xx


susanjanejones said...

Hi Julie, I found a golden buddah last week on the market, the one where we got soaked. He's sitting grinning at me hopefully bringing luck. Also I have a Mr. Toad, a photo of me and hubby up the Roman steps, near Barmouth, a huge crystal ball, and ink bottles etc. Good luck with the re-writes. Like you, I aim to re-write rej's, but I tend to shove them in a cupboard and leave them for a while.

Nari said...

Definitely a good idea to have a tidy, happy working space. I would like to say I have been as organised as you, but unfortunately my writing space has slowly but surely become our dumping ground again. I have started working on the sofa, with my husband gaming, which, as you can imagine, is not quite as productive.

So, on my next day/half day off, I am going to take a leaf out of your book and have a blitz of the study. My fish, Shanequa (who lives there) will be ever so happy. Thanks for another inspiring blog.

Nari X

Julie P said...

Hi, Susan,

I love Mr Toad! I've sent off a fair few re-writes now and I've actually found it quite caathartic. It's done wonders for my creativity - I came up with half a dozen ideas for new short stories afterwards!
Good luck with your subs.
Julie xx

Julie P said...

Unfortunately, my study also tends to be a dumping ground and it's a constant battle to stop it! I'll have to go in there tomorrow and have another tidy up!

Good luck with your tidy up and writing.

Julie xx