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

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A Change is as Good as a Rest

It's been a while since my last blog  (sorry if this is starting to sound like a confessional!) I have been busy doing writerly things, honest. The main thing that's been keeping me busy are the three books I am writing for Pen And Sword about WW1. This was a total departure from what I normally write so it became all absorbing.

Usually I am quite reserved in what I will attempt to write and how much I will write - this is due to time pressures and not wishing to miss deadlines, plus I want to do an excellent job of what I do write. If I take too much on and spread myself a little thin, I can't do that. But this was too good of an opportunity to miss and I'm so glad I took it on.

A writer should be a jack of all trades. They should be able to adapt their writing style to any number of writing projects but it can be quite daunting to try new things at first. Was I entirely confident that I could deliver three up to standard manuscripts on time? No I wasn't! But I wasn't going to let my internal naysayers have their wicked way.

When I approached the publisher, now remember they didn't know me from Adam, I didn't for one minute think that they would say yes to my three proposals. They did! At that moment I could of done one of two things: panic, or get on with it. I chose the latter and immediately embarked on a humongous research programme where I met many lovely people  and spent many an hour on microfilm machines in libraries.

If you don't stretch yourself and put yourself forward for writing projects with publishers, you will never get anywhere. You have to lift your head above the parapet and be prepared to give it ago. If you submit your book proposal and it is declined, have you really lost anything? No, but you will have gained so much from the experience. You will know that you have the ability to write a book proposal and the courage to send it out. That's a good start and a step further than a lot of other writers take. So don't be afraid to give it a go.

Also, I've discovered that what I am writing now, WW1, is so removed from what I usually write that I have gone back to my short stories and articles with a fresh attitude and my writing is better for it. I still have a long way to go with the WW1 manuscripts - one had just been sent to the publisher - but I have learnt that taking a rest from writing short stories whilst engaged in the WW1 series of books has done me and my writing a power of good. And now, the reverse is true. Taking a break from my WW1 series has inspired and motivated me to write better short stories and articles.

Yes, writing something different is a risk, but if it pays off, you'll never look back. Researching and writing about WW1 was a challenge for me but it was also a good opportunity to widen my repertoire in writing and the research I did and am continuing to do will be used in my fiction work and articles too.

Is there a writing project your hanging back with, afraid to take it forward? Go on, grab it by the collar and shake it into shape then take a deep breath and take the next step. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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