Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Problem photographs

As you know I am relatively knew to this article writing lark and this blog is supposed to be a record of my journey! I am afraid I have been rather neglectful of this blog as I had a dip in my enthusiasm for article writing. I find my interest in article writing wax and wanes like the moon - I'm sure my writing career is affected by the phases of the moon! If I start howling and getting hairy - RUN!!

Sometimes I just have no idea of what I want to get out of my writing and what I want to write. Because I also write short stories and poems I find my attention span on all of them is relatively short. Consequently I have lots of half finished projects on the go that aren't going anywhere! Yes I do drive myself mad by my inability to finish one of them before moving on to something new.

I feel as though I'm standing at a crossroad now in my writing career. I can either carry on going straight ahead as I am, never really getting anywhere with anything.Or I can start the uphill climb to getting my articles in the kind of magazines I can only dream about at the moment. I have a real confidence problem when it comes to approaching editors with my article proposals and will generally only do so if the wind is blowing in the right direction;I'm feeling rather brave and reckless, or someone else pushes me to. This is not a good trait in a wannabe article/feature writer!

I have seen my articles in print in the local free community magazines and in the National Association of Writers' Groups magazine and this was a great confidence boost. Having an article accepted for Writers' Forum was also great. But I think a big part of my problem is that I feel detached from my successes. I see my articles in print and my name underneath them but somehow it seems unreal, as though another Julie Phillips wrote them! Does that sound crazy?! How do I get over this 'I can't do it' phase? I'm usually so positive about things.

I think it was this business with the photographs that has confused me and made me uncertain. I sent a synopsis and sample images to a magazine as they requested. But from the reply I got I don't think my images were good enough. They did ask me to supply the rest of the images on a disc - which I have done - but I have an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I may be reading too much into it. I don't know - It's impossible to second guess any editor. But if it is my images that have let my synopsis down and I lose the chance of publication I will be gutted.

A positive to come out of all this uncertainty and lack of confidence is that it's made me think of what I can do to improve the quality of my photographs for next time. I bought a book on digital photography this morning and so far I have only skimmed through it but I have discovered a whole range of functions on my little point and shoot digital camera that I never knew I had! And some quite sophisticated digital photograph software on my computer that I didn't know I had until now! It's amazing how feeling a bit down about your work can help you discover these things!

To be anywhere up to scratch with the professional writers out there I think I am going to have to write articles and features with illustrating photographs. But to do this I'm going to have to up my game and learn how to use the ruddy camera properly - with a view to upgrading my camera equipment when I get a few sales. It's my new mission in article/feature writing - to fund myself through my writing to get better equipped and genned up on photographic techiques. I'm not talking about doing it now, but maybe in the future if this part of my writing quest takes off.

Another thing I've been toying with is doing a couple of courses on the subject of article/feature writing and photography. Trouble is I have a chicken and egg dilemma - I need to earn cash from my writing to get the equipment/training I need but I need the training and equipment to help me get work!! I've got to get my professional head on. I have to remember that it took me three years of hard work to become a nurse, and seven years to reach sister status, and I should take the same approach with my writing career. The trouble is I see myself as a 'hobby' writer at the moment and it's taking me some time to shift my way of thinking. If I want to become better at writing and taking photos I'm going to have to give it more time and commitment than I have been. It's a big step and one that scares me! I do want to be a writer and I would love to see a lot more of my work in print. So I'm taking baby steps at the moment. I will still approach editors and see what happens.

I have to remember that I have come a long way already and have had many articles published when I thought I wouldn't have any!

So it's a case of watch this space!

Julie xx


  1. Dear Julie
    First of all - It is real, YOU HAVE HAD ARTICLES PUBLISHED! You will get more. I have experienced so many similar things to you, just this week. I had terrible problems trying to send multiple photos and had to send both Editors one picture at a time. I felt so un-proffessional, yet both were so patient and emailed me back to they, had got them. I still don't know if they will accept my work after all that. These problems will come to test us, but then when we have success, we learn. Keep it up and remember you are not the only one! I too am considering buying a new camera but I have to sell a lot of work before I can start looking - that is what inspires me.
    Love Di

  2. Thanks, Di! I was talking to your mum in the Town Center about photos and articles the other day. It is so frustrating when you're trying your best isn't it. I get so disheartened sometimes it's unbelievable. But I shall persevere - I'm like you; I need to sell some work before I can even think about improving my equipment.

    Good luck with your articles too.

    Julie xx