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, 28 February 2016

There's something about birthdays

I celebrated my birthday a few days ago. Another year of circling  the sun. Another year of writing. I find birthdays are a time when one can take stock of one's life up to now and whether I have achieved what I set out to do. In a way, I have. I got side tracked, admittedly, with the Great War, but I have achieved some success in my writing life, even if it wasn't what I had originally envisaged!

If you'd have told me a few years ago, on my fortieth birthday, that I would have 4 books published with a forth on the way with a reputable and successful publishing company in half a decade, I wouldn't have believed you. But that's the beauty and the fear inducing reality of this writing game; you never know what's around the corner and what opportunities may arise.

What I actually wanted to do was get my short stories published regularly in the major women's magazines that carried fiction - I did manage to do that with one of them, so I was partly successful there, but the others have, so far, alluded me but it's something I am still working on. The main thing here is that I am doing all I can to give my stories the best chance they have: reading published stories in the magazines I want to see my own work in, writing lots, coming up with ideas, posting my finished stories on a critiquing blog I run so other writers of women's magazine fiction can give me pointers, reading and commenting on other writers' stories on the same blog and subbing short stories. They won't get published if I don't sub them! So there is every chance that I will succeed.

Researching and editing my Great War Books has been an experience that will help my fiction writing too - it takes great determination and organisational skills to write three books on three different towns within 18 months and these skills are transferable to my fiction writing. All that research I did won't just remain with the non-fiction books; it will crop up in a few short stories too I am sure. It would be a shame to waste it.

Anyway, back to birthdays and reminiscing/taking stock. Whilst I was lying in my sick bed, feeling very sorry for myself and miserable, I decided that my poor sore throat could do with a soothing throat sweet, so I duly popped one into my mouth. No sooner had I done that when I took on an almighty coughing fit and inhaled rather abruptly. Yes, you've guessed it - the sweet disappeared. There was a dreadful second or two when I wasn't sure if I had inhaled it into my breathing apparatus or it was winging its merry way into my stomach. I was alone in the house and there was no-one to help me. Luckily, I found I could still breath so it had, fortunately, gone into my stomach. The incident, none the less, scared the living daylights out of me - something I might work into a story at some stage.

You see, anniversaries, thinking about the past, near-death experiences, lying ill in bed on an enforced rest does lend itself to providing inspiration for writing and now that my eyes are also sufficiently rested I can get typing some of those ideas up - but not for too long. I don't want square eyes.


Lynne Hackles said...

A belated happy birthday, Julie. When it comes to writing, you are doing the right thing. Staying open to any ideas or opportunities. It makes for an exciting writing life. You are turning into a butterfly writer. Enjoy it!

Maria said...

Julie, you made me smile. I can identify with the birthday thing and the cold.
You have definitely achieved over the last few years and 'so what' if you got sidetracked, that's part of the fun of the journey! Regroup, get better, make a new plan for circling the sun.
Best wishes! :-)