Sunday, 22 May 2011

So How is it Going?

I'm always telling you all about my intrepid adventures in the world of article writing, so I thought it was about time we had a chat about you instead! We're about half way through the year now and it's at this point that I like to take stock of my writing journey and plan where the next six months might take me.
So how is your writing journey going? Have you had as much success as you expected or more? What can you change to take your writing up to the next level? These are all questions I ask myself regularly. Sometimes I don't like the answers but I know that if I am to progress with my writing I need to answer them honestly and so should you.
Two of the things I'm doing to improve is to finish the journalism course I'm on and look at starting a photography course. What are you going to do?
What I'd like is for everyone who wishes to take part to tell us the one thing that has kept them going with their writing. I'm still looking to set up a resource of a list of magazines that take freelance work so let us know if you've come across any of interest.
I'll start the ball rolling with one of my reasons I'm still writing:

1. Being able to meet interesting people and go to interesting places and showcase them through my writing.
Let us know your thoughts.

Happy writing
Julie xx

Friday, 20 May 2011

Building resources

I'm hoping that through this blog we can build a resource together that can help us when we are researching markets to pitch to. If you know of any magazines out there who take work from freelancers and you are willing to share details then please let us know so I can add it to a side bar here.

Happy writing

Julie xx

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Thank you to Sally Jenkins for giving me a Versatile Blogger award! I am very appreciative. So I have to tell you seven things about myself and pass the award on. Here goes:

1. I hate wasps. I don't mind bees as they are sort of cute and fluffy, whereas wasps are, well, waspish. Bees don't single you out and chase you like an assassin as wasps do, either. They are out to get me!

2. I love fresh raspberries, rasberry jam and rasberry flavoured things but I hate tinned raspeberries. I love fresh bananas, but I'm not keen on banana flavoured things. I love fresh cherries, tinned cherries, cherry jam and cherry flavoured things but I hate glace cherries. I love fresh strawberries and strawberry flavoured things but detest strawberry jam and tinned strawberries - all strange but true!

3. I was once a life model for a college in Hereford (in my much, much, younger and fitter, slimmer days.)

4. I love to dance but not in public - which is why I love zumba so much as it's dance based exercise.

5. I used to sing a lot too, in public. I was in my secondary school choir and my local church choir, but I rarely sing now.

6. I'm not related to anyone remotely exciting or famous but I do have an American cousin  who is a heart Dr/Surgeon.

7. I can't stand all these reality type shows on TV! But I'm a CSI (original, Miami and New York) addict. And I love all the Patricia Cornwell books that feature Kay Scarpetta. Some may say that I'm learning how to plan the perfect murder ..........

So there we are. Nothing particularly spectacular there but a girls got to have some secrets, eh?

I would like to pass on the award to:

1. Jan Mader

2. Mythological Mike

3. Olivia Ryan.

4. Sally Zigmond

5. The Scribbling Sea Serpent

6. The Write Idea

7.Working 2 Write

Friday, 6 May 2011

And We're Off

It's been an interesting and industrious week, article writing, for me. You may recall that just before Easter I'd submitted two assignments for the Journalism course I'm doing with the Writers' Bureau. Well I got them back today with lots of encouraging comments from my tutor and some good advice on how I can improve.

I feel like I've turned a corner on the course, as I hadn't sent any assignments in for some time (to my shame!) But I'm determined to get the course finished this year, and having such great feedback has ignited my fire again. One thing I will say for the course is that it has certainly made me think more about the magazines I can target and how to give my pitches and articles the best chance I can. So if you're struggling a bit with your article writing and want to improve your skills, or are starting from scratch and want to learn how to do it, a course might be the way to go for you. It's certainly helped me.

Another thing of interest to article writers that I've come across today is an article in the current issue of Writing Magazine by Rebecca Lees, a freelance writer, who talks about getting paid for your work and how to ensure you get the cash owed to you for your writing. It's an informative article, so get a copy if you can. It will come in very useful.

In the article she also looks at the pros and cons of writing for free and the question of whether writers should write for free or not. She holds an interesting argument and says that we, as writers, need to value our work. She's not a fan of writing for free except in exceptional circumstances. I have to say that neither am I, although I have done a few pieces for the local paper for free. But to me that writing for free has allowed me to hone my skills and as they were short pieces, I can now expand them to form longer articles that I can send out to paying markets. All the research and photographs are there and ready for me to use. I can get at least three articles out of those initial ideas!

Sometimes writing for free has its advantages: highlighting local issues and community projects is a favourite for me. I understand the other side of the argument too from writers who say it's exploitation and if writers will write for free they undermine the position of professional writers trying to earn a living from their writing. Why should editors pay a writer for their work if they know someone else will do it for free? It's a complex issue. Which side of the fence do you fall?

I'm looking forward to tackling my next assignment for the Journalism course and pinging my next batch of pitches off. How is the challenge I set going on? Has anyone had any success yet?

Happy writing!

Julie xx