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

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Read to Research

I haven't been writing short stories for a few weeks now and so I decided that it was about time that I started up again. I do have several in various stages of completion/editing process and I will be working on them from next week.

It was my copy of Take A Break Fiction Feast clattering through my post box that reminded me to get going with them again. So, as I have been feeling decidedly under the weather in recent days that prompted a day and half in bed, I took the chance to read some of the womags that have been piling up.

Now, as many of you will know, I have undertaken this research many times before. Do I think it helps? Yes and no! Yes, because it allows you to see the types of stories, lengths, tone, styles that these magazine editors like and by reading them you are a step closer to knowing what the editor might like and being published. If you don't read them, at least occasionally, you will be writing into the wind a lot of the time. No, because I am often flummoxed when a story I've sent to a womag comes back rejected even though I've carefully researched the market and written what I felt was my best work for that market.

But a rejection can be for many reasons other than the editor felt that your story didn't fit in with what they were looking for or your story was rubbish (we always think the worst don't we?): they've already accepted a similar story for example, or they've already filled their 1000 word story quota, etc. But when you get story after story after story rejected and see the same names having their stories published you could be forgiven for wailing and throwing a writerly strop - but will that get you published? Nope - it will just give you a headache and make you look rather silly!

I've lost count of the amount of stories I've had rejected - and it's never a pleasant thing. You could spend hours agonising over why it was rejected and never know the answer. The only way forward is to take a break from writing them and then get back in there with a fresh start. A lot of writers will take the bull by the horns straight away and edit their rejected story and send it out again somewhere else within hours of it's return. But I can't work like that. I have to let the rejection work its way through my system first until I'm ready to look at it and let it go again.

You have to find a system that works for you but don't let giving up be one of your options. You can and you will do it if you keep reading, keep writing and keep sending your work out and learning from other writers and your rejected work.

Happy subbing

Julie xx

5 comments:

Wendy's Writing said...

Hi Julia. My story 'Remember' was in 'sick bed' Fiction Feast - seeing it helped acted as a salve for the mass rejections I had from FF in Jan! I hope you are feeling better now and look forward to hearing about the your next writing successes.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi, Julie, I recently sent out an invitation to bloggers to join my new closed blog, I'm posting chapter by chapter of my adult book. It has to be a private blog, otherwise it is technically 'published, and I don't want that, It is one book I shall be sending out to agents, publishers.
You very kindly said that you would take a look at River Dark. I've decided to blog that too on the closed site, it give me a break from Snakeskin, and wondered if you would like to join the group and read and comment? Don't worry if you'd rather not, but if you have the time!!! then you are most welcome and I'll add your email address to the new blog so that you can login. Just let me know if you'd like to be added. Hugs... xxx

Julie P said...

Hi, Wendy, yes I'm fine thank you - just tired now! Well done on your publication and may it be the first of many.
Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole,

Yes add me on, by all means.

Julie xx

Wendy's Writing said...

Hi Julie. Just to let you know that I have nominated your blog for an award. Details are over at my blog: Wemdy's Writing Now.