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, 8 February 2014

Try It And See

You don't know what you're capable of until you try. That's true in all aspects of life but especially so in writing. Think back to when you first started writing. No I don't mean professionally, I mean when you were a child. That moment when you first clutched that pencil or crayon in your chubby little hand and scribbled (probably on your mum's lounge wall!) Think back to how that felt - your first messy creation.

Then remember those seemingly endless handwriting sessions at school - the phonics where you learnt your letter sounds and what those letters looked like on the page. You must have worked extremely hard to learn all that. Okay, the first few attempts would have been scruffy with lots of mistakes, but eventually your letter formation would have improved and you would have begun to write almost legibly.

It takes years for children to learn how to write. They start off with letter formation, learning how to write the letters individually before matching them up into basic words and then, as they get more confident, moving on to more complex words and spellings. It's a hard slog. I know. I watch and help children do it everyday. They have to practise, practise, practise.

Yet it soon comes second nature to us. We get to a point where it becomes almost automatic and we don't give it a second thought, save a few of the more challenging spelling and grammar points. So when it comes to learning the craft of short story writing, we can be forgiven for not getting it right on our first attempt. Just as we had to learn how to write as children, we continue to learn as adults. Writing takes time, patience and determination. So the next time you have a short story rejected, it's time to harness your inner child and pick up that pencil in your chubby little hand again and keep practising.

At the moment I'm fighting a battle with myself on the short story writing front. I've lost count of the number of short stories I've had rejected and there's part of me that wants to give up, which is the part that has won for the moment. But the other part of me, the child part of me who practised and practised and practised her writing skills 38 years ago, knows that the only way to get a short story published is to keep writing them, keep practising that skill, and she will. Because she also knows that life does not go on forever. Our time on Earth is finite so if you have a writing goal, get on to it now as you need to finish it. What a shame it would be if you ran out of time and didn't have the chance to realise your writing dreams.  Keep practising.

Happy writing
Julie xx

So next time you


Frances Garrood said...

You have such an impressive list of published articles, Julie. Why are you so intent on writing short stories? Maybe non fiction is your thing?

Julie P said...

Ah, but we always want what is elusive don't we, Frances?!