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

Friday, 14 September 2012

What to do?

When I was at the National Association of Writing Groups' Writing festival in Nottingham recently, I had some wonderful teaching by Linda Lewis (Catherine Howard) about how to write short stories. Probably one of her best nuggets of advice for me was, if you're writing for the womag market, is to concentrate on one market at a time and market research, read and target your stories at one market at a time. Linda immerses herself in one womag she wants to write for as she said this is the only way she can make it work.

She writes for most of the Womags and has been published in most of them, so there is method in her madness! I know I tend to flit between two or three womags at the same time, so I wonder if I might be more successful if I adopt, Linda's approach. I know it might not work for everyone as we all work in different ways, but I'm going to give it ago. TAB FF here I come ...... again ;0)

Happy writing



Kath said...

The thing is, Julie, it's quite nice to flit around and, for instance, after writing something quite intense and relationship-based, give yourself a change and try a ghost story! I suppose it depends on whether you're a proper professional, trying to earn a living from writing, in which case I suppose it might be more efficient to remain "in the zone", or an amateur like myself who primarily writes for fun.

Julie P said...

Hi, Kath,

Yes, and we all work in different ways which is absolutely fascinating. I find that if I don't settle and make myself work on one project, I end up in panic mode and don't get a thing written!

So I'll spend a morning on non-fiction and an afternoon on fiction (if I ever get a day at my writing which is rare these days!)

I tend to do my writing in 2 or three hour slots now and it seems to be working. I don't physically write everyday, but I'm thinking about writing, even when I'm not doing it! It all counts!

Julie xx

Carol Riddell said...

Fantastic blog, Julie. Very impressive. It just goes to show what a passion for writing, the will to succeed and the necessary drive can achieve. The stories I used to write and submit were far more left field than what could ever be considered mainstream, so although I had a number published (non-paying e-zines mainly) after a while there seemed little point and now when it comes creative writing as opposed to anonymous internet articles which do carry a guaranteed payment, I merely write as and when for myself.

Perhaps where the mainstream writer does hold a distinct advantage is that when they get their initial break, it's almost inevitable that they will sell more. I know this from people I've interacted with on writing forums in the past. One in particular - Patsy Collins - went on to sell stories on a very regular basis indeed and I'm pretty certain she started out as most of us do, thinking there's no way I'll ever get accepted. So the proof's in the pudding really. Women's fiction's a great area to get into if that's your niche, but, as you know, it does take massive determination. So I have to commend you, really, not merely for your own achievements, but for taking the time to put together a blog of this quality which I'm sure has helped and inspired so many others, many of whom might otherwise have simply given up. Apologies for deviating from the original subject, btw.

Carol x

Julie P said...

Hi, Carol and thank you! Well done on your publishing successes too. You're absolutely right. It does take determination and a lot of hard work to get published.

I'm lucky in that I write both articles and short stories and so I have a wider field to try and get published in. I love writing both fiction and non-fiction and have been lucky enough to have been published in both.

But if it wasn't for the support of writing friends, the writing group I belong to, in particular (Wrekin Writers), I wouldn't have had half the drive and success I have had. I thoroughly advise anyone who loves to write to join a writing group!

Good luck and keep writing