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, 13 April 2014

Keep Trying

We're told that Rome wasn't built in a day and that good things come to those who wait and the same can be applied to writing short stories. You wouldn't expect to be able to wire a plug or drive a car without having a few lessons and/or read about how to do it and practise what you've learnt.

Apart from writing, one of the other activities I enjoy is cake baking. Now I've been making cakes for years, having been taught by my mother as a child. I didn't just suddenly wake up one morning suddenly able to whip up a sugary, butter cream masterpiece. People do ask me how I make them and I do tell them - but it's something that cannot be rushed. It takes practise and a lot of trial and error.

It's the same with writing. I started writing, playing around with words would be a more accurate description of my early dabbles, in 2007. I hadn't written much since my school days and a short foray into poetry as a teenager. So what possessed me to start writing again I don't know. But I felt compelled and I just started. But I also knew that as much as I wanted to write I also needed help. That help came in the shape of an OU Creative Writing Course.

After that, I joined a writing group and I continued to read as much as I could, both short stories and books on how to write, I attended workshops and talks on writing and I wrote many short stories and sent them off. I've had many, many rejections but in between (two few and far between for my liking) I had a few successes, and it's those successes that kept me going. The love of trying to write a good story also kept me on the writing road.

I've had a bit of a break recently from writing short stories - writing anything really  - and I think that that break has helped me by giving me time to think and hone down what it is that I actually want to write. So now I am in a much better position to write again and, hopefully, get some more work published.

I read somewhere recently that in order to be successful in whichever job you do, you need to be prepared to put the hours and effort in, the theory being, I think, that you reap what you sow - but if you put hours and hours in but just churn out the same old rubbish that's destined to be rejected, you're wasting your time and the time (and probably the  patience ) of every editor you sub to. You have to continue to learn and improve your writing and that's the process I'm going through (again) now.

But the one thing that I've learnt that resonates with me the most is that you don't ever give up. If you stop writing and stop subbing your chance of publication has gone. But if you keep writing, keep subbing and keep trying, your chance of being published is still there. Don't let yourself be the one who gave up.

Happy writing

Julie xx


susanjanejones said...

Good advice Julie, and hope you get lots of sales soon.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Susan!