Monday, 31 December 2012

So many magazines, so little time!

As you say goodbye to 2012 and welcome the New Year in tonight, spare a thought for your writing and which magazines you will target your articles at in 2013. Smart thinking and structured targeting and reading of potential markets for your work are important as it helps you to maximise the time you have available to pitch and write your articles and prevents you from wasting the editors' and your own time.

Pitching an article can sometimes feel like you are shouting into a howling gale - your voice lost to the rushing winds around you. Will your message get through? Will you get a positive response? Will you get any response at all? You never can tell! It can be frustrating and scary if you are trying to pitch to several magazines at the same time that you've never tried before. My advice would be to limit your choices and pitch to one or two new ones a week - especially if you are just starting out. Sometimes it can take many pitches before the editor will accept one and it will be your tenacity and determination that will have got you through. Sending good quality, well angled and appropriate pitches to the same editor shows them that you are professional and a serious contender - so keep at it and don't be despondent at the first refusal.

So, have a think about which magazine you are going to target tomorrow - yes tomorrow. It doesn't matter if you have a hangover or indigestion from to much turkey and sprouts - strike while the iron is hot and as you mean to go on!

Happy smart targeting!

Oh, and happy New Writing Year!
Julie xx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Where will you go in 2013?

We had a wonderful workshop at my local writing group a couple of weeks back by Simon Whaley. It was about how to spice up our travel writing. I wasn't sure about attending this workshop as I don't travel very far and certainly not abroad. I had mistakenly thought that travel writing was just for those writers who went on exotic holidays to exciting shores on far flung places - how wrong was I! Everyone is a traveller and everyone lives in, or near, a place other people will be interested in. You don't have to travel far to find a good angle or a place people from other areas will want to hear about. Your back yard is a tourist place!

He also advised that we add all of our senses to the writing experience that will allow the reader to experience the place through your words: sights, aromas, sounds, tastes and touch all add texture to the piece and allow the reader a sense of being there with you.

This is my last post of 2012 - have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for your writing in 2013!


                                               



Don't forget to spice up your writing and take notes and photos of any place you visit while out on your travels!

Julie xx

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Where Next?

When was the last time you went to a newsagents, randomly picked up a magazine you've never read before, taken it home and read it, noting down ideas for articles you could write for that magazine? I must admit that I don't do this half as much as I should do. But, as a freelance writer, I need this spontaneity to kick start my creativity and write about something new. And if you want to continue being published, it would be a good idea for you to do it more often too.

I've challenged myself to pick up at least one new magazine a week and to come up with article ideas for that magazine - I will check if they take subs from freelancers first as I don't want to waste my time on magazines that don't. I also intend to send out at least one article pitch a day -  I know, it sounds a tall order, but I have lots of article ideas every day and so it will just be a case of me honing them and channelling them towards the appropriate magazine. It's not impossible and it will be interesting for me to see how I get on and what my success rate will be!

What is your writing challenge going to be for you in 2013?

Happy writing

Julie xx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Be careful what you wish for!

If you could have just one wish granted for your writing career, what would it be? Come on - don't let your grown-up nay- sayer and all round party pooper put you off. Think like a child and believe in the magic of Christmas before you had to run around like a disorientated demented reindeer, desperately trying to get all the shopping done, presents wrapped and mulled wine drank.

Trying to hone it down to just one thing you want for your writing career can be difficult - especially when you have as many writing projects on the go as I have. But by thinking about what you would wish for if there really was magic in the air can get you to make the right decision. What is really important to you will leap out.

If you lost the ability to write tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret. Which project would you most grieve for that you didn't get off the ground? That's the one you need to get done.

Make that decision and get it done - it's the best Christmas present you could ever give to yourself and your writing career. The real magic out there is when inspiration kisses you from nowhere. It's up to you where you take that next.

Julie xx

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The man with the bag cometh!

 
                                                                     

It's nearly that time of year again, when the world goes mad and that ancient festival of spending more money than you've got and eating and drinking more than you should will be upon us. Some people do cling on to the true meaning of Christmas for all that they are worth, but, I fear they are a dying breed.
                                                                         
This isn't going to be a lecture on the philosophy and theology of Christmas and religion, you may be relieved to hear. What I want to remind you is that this is your time to make giant hints as to what you want for Christmas. A writer's fortune is rarely prosperous so we need to take as many chances as we can to stock up without paying for it - no I don't mean shop lifting.

I few well placed reminders: a full note pad here, a pen that's run out there, a picture of the latest Macbook on the coffee table, a few noises of admiration and longing when the advert for a new DSLR camera comes on the telly - whatever it is that you need to help your freelance writing business along, will have to be positioned if you have any hope of the non-writer present buying family member or friend getting them for you.

Of course, there will also be inspiration abound for new articles to be had during the run up to and the festive season, whether you have religious leanings or not. So, in between all the cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, telly watching and the rows with your relatives, don't forget to keep your note book handy and write it all down: the smells, the sights and sounds, the tastes, the feelings, the touch, the emotions and all that goes with it and let the article ideas flow like wine!


It might be too late to submit something in time for this Christmas but come August 2013, you'll have a treasure chest of Christmas based articles to pitch and get published so you can invest that money into Christmas 2013!

Don't forget to head out and about as well to capture lots of photos of the season: towns, cities, villages, the countryside and seaside all have their jewels in Winter that you can use to illustrate your future Christmas articles.

Happy idea gathering

Julie xx

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Every little helps

There are thousands of magazines out there. Magazines that need articles for every issue. The editors are not going to source all their articles from in-house readers. What they want are freelance writers who can give them what they want: good copy. Go to any newsagents or supermarket and you will find row upon row of racks of magazines on any subject you care you imagine.

So it isn't beyond the realms of fantasy to imagine yourself picking up a couple of these magazines, taking them home, market researching them, think of an idea for an article appropriate for that magazine, pitching it, getting the okay from the editor, writing it, having it published and getting paid for it, is it?

Some writers, and I have been guilty as charged on this before, won't push themselves and their ideas forward to editors because they mistakenly think they can't write an article that the editors will buy. Well they can, if they do their homework and pitch it to the right person, at the right time, in the right way. Persistance is key.

It can also be good experience and a way in to magazines if you start with writing a letter to the letter's page. You could earn some money that way too. Every Little Helps - to borrow a well known supermarket's catch phrase!

Try it and see what happens.

Happy writing
Julie

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Get With It

Christmas is coming, The goose is getting fat and all that. But how do you really feel your writing has gone so far this year? Have you achieved everything you wanted to or nothing at all? Or are you, like me, somewhere in the middle: you've achieved some of what you set out to do but not as much as you would have liked?

Taking stock now of your writing achievements now, before the silly season grips you, will stand you in good stead for the coming year. If you take the time now to perform a post mortem on your article writing you will be able to see where you have come from with your writing, where you are now and where you want to be in the future. By dissecting what went well and what prevented you from doing better you can allow yourself to move forward intelligently by learning from your mistakes and taking on board what worked for you and what didn't.

In my case I've had a fantastic year with my article writing and achieved something I never thought I'd get - a regular slot in a writing magazine! I also had an article published in a national women's fitness magazine and attended my first ever writing festival. That's worth celebrating and them some!But I can't afford to rest on my laurels. No writer, whether experienced, professional or amateur can. There are a lot of writing goals I didn't achieve this year that I would have liked to and these are what I am focusing on now and in the coming year.

So have a think about your own writing career and what you can do in the New Year to carry your writing forward to where you want it to be. You can achieve your goals but what are you prepared to change to make that leap?

Happy writing
Julie xx

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Whacky Races

Do you remember the Whacky Races? There was Mutley and the Ant Hill Mob and Miss Penelope Pitstop all dashing about, desperately trying to outwit each other anyway they could? Doesn't it feel, sometimes, that as an article writer you are in some strange, psychedelic version of the Whacky Races?

There you are at the starting line, revving your engine. eyeing the competition. Everyone's keen to attract the attention of the editor who only has so much space for freelancers to fill. So you frantically scribble your pitch and send it off in a bid to get yours in first before the next writer pips you at the post. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't and most of the time you won't have a clue why your pitch A was accepted, yet Pitch B ricochets back to you within minutes of you jabbing 'send!' Sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason. So you dust yourself off, restart your engine and re-enter the race amongst hundreds if not thousands of other Whacky Races Writers!  Best not to reason why and just go with it because you'll still be none the wiser. But doesn't it make it all more interesting and much more fun?

It's all part of the game .......

Which Whacky Races character are you?

Happy racing!

Julie xx

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Rattle your Writer's Cage

Go on. Grab your inner writer and give them a good shake!  Your aim is to rattle the negativity right out of her/him. I know what it's like. I've been there and I still go there more times than I'd like to admit. And once you're there, you can have hell of a game crawling out again. But claw your way out, inch by inch, is what you must do if you want to be published!

Trying something new, reading something you wouldn't normally read, playing a game, eating out somewhere new - tasting a cuisine you've never tried before, visiting a new town or city, taking a walk in the wilds, talking to someone who is totally different to you and who you've never spoken to before ......... the list is endless.

So, what can you do to kick start your writing and blow your inner writer out of the doldrums?

Happy rattling!

Julie xx

Sunday, 21 October 2012

We're busy doing nothing ......

Is a writer truly ever doing nothing? Are we ever off duty? I don't think we are. In my experience, wherever I go, whoever I see, whoever I strike up a conversation with, whatever I overhear, whatever I notice is fair game and gets written down or noted in my head, ready for use at another time.







                                                               

This can be both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because I am never short of anything to write about, but it's a curse because it sometimes drives me mad when I can't switch off from it! I know. I can't have it both ways. And, if I'm honest. I'd rather have my head buzzing full of ideas rather than none at all.




                                                                    

The issue then becomes which idea to go with first. To iron out this crease I tend to write down the first three that spring immediately to my mind as if I've remembered them then they obviously have something about them by virtue of the fact that I've remembered them off the top of my head! Then I can expand on these three ideas and see which is a short term project that I can get done fairly quickly - these tend to be letters or fillers, which is a medium term - usually an article with a deadline I can park until later in the week, and which is a longer term project - usually larger articles or a series of articles that I can do the preliminary research for now, but don't have to think about finishing until a month's time, for instance.



                                                                           



So never think that just because you aren't engaging in the physical act of writing that you aren't writing at all - because you are. If you're thinking about it then you're writing about it in your head. The important thing is to get past that stage and actually write, though. Don't keep it all in your head or you might never get it published!

Happy thinking and writing

Julie xx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pitch Perfect Tips





As promised, here is the hand out for a workshop about pitching article ideas to magazine editors that I did recently. I hope you find it helpful.

Pitch Perfect Tips

·        Identify what it is you want to write about: write a list of subjects you know about and/or things that interest you.

·        Try and hone it down to specific ideas that might make good material for an article

·        Do your homework: go to a variety of newsagents and other outlets that sell magazines and look at those magazines that carry the kind of articles your material might cover.
 
 
                                                            
 
 

·        Read the magazines from cover to cover: letters page, editor’s comment, adverts, articles, news – everything.
           Look at: 
·    the tone of the articles in the magazines, the language used, the sentence structure, the paragraphs, the structure of the article.

·        Take note of the magazine’s introduction to the articles at the start of the article – what is the premise? 

       



                                                                 

·        What is the ratio between the writer’s words and dialogue from experts?

·        When you have settled on an idea lay it out in rough with:

A working title – this can be changed later.

The key words and phrases you think should feature in your article.

The ethos of your article in one paragraph – try and capture what it is your article is about.
 
·        The pitch itself should be around two to three short paragraphs long – this should hook the editor’s attention, so make it snappy and specific. Be clear about your intentions. Do say whether you can supply images or not and do put a mini biography at the end that should include what you’ve had published before, any relevant qualifications, etc.
 
·        SELL YOURSELF! The pitch is your chance to get the foot in the editor’s door and get your name known so make sure your pitch is as spectacular as you can make it. Don’t waffle and don’t be vague – clarity, professionalism  and brevity are key.
 
 
 
                                                           
·        Don’t forget to pay attention to grammar and spelling. If the editor see’s mistakes they may be less inclined to accept it even if it is a brilliant idea.
 
·        Don’t be afraid to be different: find a different angle but keep within the magazine’s frame.
 
·        Know who to send the pitch too – the editor’s name should be in the magazine – if unsure, ring the magazine up!
 
 
 
                                                          
 

 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Where in the World?

A facet of article writing that as so far escaped my attention is travel writing. My illogical mind had decreed that because I've never ventured abroad no-one will be interested in what I have to say (don't start Mr Whaley  -  I know, I know!) Now, as anyone who is a serious, professional writer will know, this is not the attitude to take. Theoretically, a writer can turn their hand to any writing they so wish and, in fact, should be able to adapt their writing style to any given publication. It's what they/we do on a daily basis - or should be. So what stops us?

I think fear of the unknown is a big issue - can you write in an accurate, engaging and authoritative manner about a subject you are not an expert on? Of course, the answer I hope to hear is a resounding YES! The answer should be positive as you can research a subject and find out about it from the Internet (but be very carefully about the authenticity of the sites you use,) experts who do know what they are talking about and members of the public who have experienced or know about what you are writing about. The range of topics and themes is endless!

So, I intend to remedy this sorry state of affairs and write about places I do know about or places other people know about. For me, this means places in the UK - but there is nothing to stop me (or you) from interviewing someone who has been abroad and writing about their experiences is there?

Happy travelling

Julie

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Paper Thin Inspiration

Ideas for articles are all around us and one of the easiest ways I know to be inspired and find something to write an article (or several) about is to scour the local papers - there's enough fodder in there to keep you in articles for months! It's like your journalistic Christmas, Birthday and Easter Diwali, Hanukkah and whichever festival you can name all come at once!  Even the nationals have plenty to offer too. Is there a national issue that has implications in your locality too?

If you're ever stuck for a topic to write an article on you know where to go - and it's also a good excuse to put your feet up, have a cuppa and read - all in the name of research, of course!

Happy reading

Julie

Friday, 21 September 2012

Learning to Write?

Can you be taught to write creatively? There are hundreds of writing courses out there that say that you can. But do you need writing qualifications to become a writer. The answer, I think, is no, but the courses themselves can help you to get the knowledge that you need. They can also get you writing and keep you writing - if you need that kind of nudge.

There are writers who have writing qualifications that haven't been published and those who don't have writing qualifications that have been published, so having a certificate that says you've passed a writing course doesn't necessarily mean that you will be published.

You can do writing course after writing course and never improve. Don't get me wrong - I've done writing courses and I'm doing a journalism course with the Writers' Bureau now. I've also attended many writing workshops. I've even given a couple of workshops myself. My recent attendance at the NAWG Writing Festival was also hugely beneficial and enjoyable. So I think that writing courses can and do help some people with their writing.

The trouble is that they can become addictive and not all courses are of a quality that will help writers and if you're looking at writing courses, you need to be careful about which one you think will help you. You could be wasting your valuable writing time by doing a course that doesn't suit your requirements. I've been lucky in my course choices and can thoroughly recommend the Open University and the Writers' Bureau but would suggest you look at other options as well.

At the weekend I will be doing a one day basic photography course which I am looking forward to and I'm hoping it will give me some pointers on improving my image taking. The only value in taking writing courses is if you actually take on board what you've learnt and use that information to improve your work. If you just take a writing course for the sake of taking a writing course and don't apply its teachings you're just wasting your time and money.

Another way of learning about writing is to join a writing group and tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience the members have. I've learnt such a lot from the writing group I belong to and it's been interesting for me to do a couple of writing workshops for them too.

Whether you do a course or not, you have to to keep in mind that in writing there can be no substitute for simply getting your pen and paper or computer out and writing. The more you write and learn from writing the better you will become. Of course, writing courses allow you to do just this - practise and learn about writing.

Happy learning and writing

Julie

Friday, 14 September 2012

Time? I Don't Have the Time to Think About Time!

Time. There never seems to be enough of it. And when there is some left over at the end of the day - we often neither have the inclination or the strength to do anything with it! At some point in their careers, writers struggle with finding time to write: life happens, kids happen, a leaky roof or a broken down boiler happen, a computer virus happens. It's inevitable. Life has a habit of throwing obstacles in our way and sometimes it's like trying to balance on a unicycle whilst juggling four or more balls in the air - or trying to keep ten plates spinning at once. Not easy.

But the things we want most in our lives are often never the easiest to obtain. And writing is no exception. I know that I have to make a real effort sometimes to make the time to write. But as my writing is particularly important to me I know I have to juggle things around to get that time. Quite often I have to just sit in my office and close the door, regardless if my husband's moaning, my aunt phones, the weather's nice outside and I fancy a walk or any of the other numerous interruptions that can and do frequently occur - I have to shut that out and get on with my writing. It's what those professional writers do. It's their job - no words on the page = no publication = no money. They soon get motivated!

I've done quite a bit of writing recently and managed to get the next assignment posted to my tutor for the Writers' Bureau course I'm doing (Journalism.) I've got 7 more to do and I'm aiming to do one a month. Several short stories have been subbed and a few articles have been pitched, subbed and some of them have been published! But I could do with more writing time. Couldn't we all? Or maybe too much writing time would be a bad thing? What do you think?

Happy writing

Julie

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Comfort Zone Busting

Last week I went to the NAWG Writing Festival at Nottingham University. I'd never been before. I'd thought of going, but never got round to it. Something or other stopped me. There was always an excuse. One of the reasons was that I sometimes find crowds a little daunting. I'm okay if I know a lot of people in the crowd but if I don't it can become a little uncomfortable for me. I don't know why, as strangers are only friends we haven't yet met - well, I like to think so anyway, being a glass half full kind of person.

But, this time, I made the effort. How could I possibly know whether I'd enjoy a festival of this type if I have never experienced one before? It's a question to ask yourself about your writing and if you're feeling overwhelmed or daunted by it. How do you know what you are going to write is going to be dreadful if you've never written it before? Think positive, as Simon Whaley is always telling me!

I was lucky in that I got a lift down with Simon - he was one of the tutors - so I had a friendly face in that crowd. I also had met Lynne Hackles before and had seen Alison Chisholm's face and writing in the pages of Writing Magazine. I  had read many of Linda Lewis's short stories in the women's magazines and her columns in the writing magazines. I had had email conversations with Morgen Bailey about an article I was writing - so I did, when I actually thought about it 'know' a few people there. And it was great to meet other writers and discover we all have similar worries about our writing and go through similar things (rejection being the biggie).

The point I'm trying to make is that because I pushed my reservations aside and attended the festival I met a lot of new people who all share the same passion - writing. I've picked up so much valuable advice on writing that I don't know which bit to use first and I now have new friends who were once strangers - it pays to be positive!

My point today is to get out there and go to these events. Try new ones if you can. NAWG was my taster - next year it's Caerleon Writers' Holiday in Wales. I'm booked and deposit paid. I have the brochure stuck to my writing room wall and every time I glance at it, it reminds me to be brave and take a chance.

NAWG and writing events like it push you. They lift you out of that rut and spur you on to deliver the best writing you can. And it's not just through the excellent teaching. It's the networking and talking to other writers in the same boat as you. You are not alone. We all get rejections and we all need that kick up the backside sometimes.

I hope to meet some of you at a writing event soon!

Julie

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tools for the Job

So what would you say are the most important pieces of kit a freelance writer actually needs in order to do a decent job? I suppose it depends on what you write, how often you do it and what you're trying to achieve with your writing. The days when all you needed was some paper and a couple of quills have long gone. And the speed with which technology has, and continues to advance is mind boggling (and ever so slightly scary).

When you are first starting out, do you need a computer or laptop? I would argue that in one sense yes you do, but, in another - if you find the expense is beyond your means, you could try your local library or Internet cafe, or borrow a friends - but this would probably only work in the short term. It's an option if you're keen to get started and while you save up for a computer of your own. You can also print your work out at the library, though it could be expensive. You can also use the Internet - a must in this day and age.

Obviously, copious amounts of pens and note books are a must (as is regular browsing at your local stationery store - believe me, it's good for your writing soul.) Books offering advice on how to write? Magazines you want to write for? Punch pockets, a desk, folders and printer? There's quite a bit of kit when you think about it and it can be an expensive business. But don't forget if you intend to make money from your writing you will have to register yourself employed status within your business with HM Revenue and Customs (easy enough to do on line). But the good news here is that virtually everything you buy for your business is an allowable business expense!

Writing can be as high or low tech as you want it to be. No you don't need the latest, top of the range, super dooper computer, but you do need a decent one that works and performs the basic tasks that you need it to do for the purpose of your writing. At the moment I'm typing on a tiny netbook - it's not ideal, but it's fit for purpose until I've saved up enough for a laptop - I can still write my short stories and articles on it and e-mail or print. It's not stopped me from getting my work published.

I'm also saving up for a DSLR camera. My little point and shoot does the job up to a point but I need a better one. Again, my lack of a bigger camera hasn't stopped me from getting published, but I'd like to take better quality photos.

What is the piece of kit that you as a writer couldn't do without - and what piece of kit are you salivating for?

Happy writing!
Julie xx

Monday, 20 August 2012

Workshop Wonders

Last week I did a workshop for the writing group I belong to. It was called Pitch Perfect and was about pitching article ideas to editors. I like doing workshops as they are always interesting to prepare and a wonderful way of passing the knowledge and experience I've picked up along the way to other writers. I like to see other writers inspired and motivated to give it a go themselves - even fiction writers can benefit from pitching and writing non-fiction and vice versa.

I write both short stories and articles, flitting between the two so that I always have both fiction and non-fiction pieces of work out there. Variety is the spice of life as they say, and if I'm getting a little fed up of fiction, I switch to non-fiction for a while and when I'm ready to go back to the fiction - I can do so with fresh eyes.

Quite often, writing a non-fiction piece will spark an idea for a fiction piece or vice versa, which is why I like to both. Doing workshops also has the same effect! As I'm preparing for my workshops, I really like to think about what I have learnt and what would be the best way to get that across to my writing group so they will feel inspired and motivated to have a go themselves. This makes me narrow what I'm trying to say down to the important points and it reminds me why and how I do what I do. It also inspires and motivates me to write more too - to practise what I preach!

So why not consider getting out there and doing your own workshops too? They are fun to do and even if you are a little nervous, doing your workshop among a small group of people you know in your writing group will break you in gently and give you the opportunity to try out your presenting techniques.

Go, on -  give it a try!

Happy writing

Julie xx

Friday, 10 August 2012

Get Pitching

Next week I will be doing a workshop for my local writing group Wrekin Writers called Pitch Perfect. What I will be doing is giving advice on how to identify possible markets and how to structure an idea into a pitch. I've been pitching a lot recently, both for my own writing and as part of the Writers' Bureau course I'm (still) doing. I love coming up with new ideas but I have had to learn to contain my excitement from the spark of that idea and work it into a well structured pitch where my enthusiasm for the subject still shines through but where I also show prospective editors that I have thought the idea through properly and come across as the professional writer that I am. Editors should see from the pitch that you mean business and are not an amateur.

So what I wanted to say about pitching is that I'd advise you to take a good look at the magazines out there and pick two or three titles. One should be a magazine you would absolutely love to write for, one should be one you think you can't write for, and one should be one that you've never seen before. Then spend time reading them, cover to cover, adverts and all. Reading the editor's page/comment is very telling, often, of what that editor likes to see in their magazine.

Having a variety of magazines like this should give you plenty of inspiration to come up with lots of new ideas to pitch. Look at the articles that have been published and write a pitch you would have sent if you had written that article  -  this can really help you to hone in on the important aspects of the article and help you to structure your pitch for your own article ideas. What are you trying to say with your article? What are the key points? How will you back up facts? Who are your 'experts?' Why should you be the one to write it? Do you have qualifications and/or experience in the field of what your article's subject? Have you been published before?

Your pitch is your opportunity to sell your writing - if you don't show the editor that you are professional and well capable to write this article no-one else will and the editor may favour another writer's pitch over yours. Be brave, be bold and be brilliant!

Happy idea searching

Julie

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Where do we start?

So you want to write articles? Where do you start? I can't write articles and can get them published can I? What? Me? Don't be daft. Don't you need years of training and experience and a degree to do that?  These are questions that I asked myself when I started writing in 2007. The last question stopped me from subbing my writing for a long time. I did not have the confidence or the gall to approach editors with my inferior, amateur, excuses for articles.

It took a lot of time, a lot of reading lots of articles in different publications and starting a blog and a lot of help and coaxing from a very good writing friend to get me to sub an article. Even then, it was to a free publication. I wouldn't entertain that anyone would want to pay me for the rubbish I was churning out. But, eventually, someone did pay me and my confidence grew and I grew as a writer and here we are today! I have a regular slot writing about writing groups in Writers' News (thank you editor!) and I have cracked a new market in the women's fitness area with an article out 8th August!  I now have the confidence to try multiple new markets as I have the proof that I can do it and I have cuttings to show other editors. This has helped me tremendously.

If you are relatively new to this and have got yourself into the mind set that what you are writing isn't good enough. Stick your fingers in your ears and sing, very loudly, LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAA - I'M NOT LISTENING, I'M NOT LISTENING so that you drown out that irritatingly negative nay saying voice then get that article pitched! Yes, there is the possibility that your first pitch(and several after that) might be rejected - but so what? Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? No. You just pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get pitching again. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your writing career. I'm 5 years down the line from when I started and I get rejections all the time but I also get more acceptances. If I worked at it full time, I'd get even more done - but I don't, time is limited as I'm sure it is with most of us, so I get by and do what I can.

Why not give it a go? Promise yourself that you will always give it just one more go, no matter how many rejections you go. You'll never know, otherwise, if your next attempt would have been the one that got published.

Happy writing

Julie

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Back to Basics

I decided this morning to restart this blog again. You may remember that I closed it down at the end of August last year due to time constraints but as my article writing and short story writing are so different I wanted to have a blog for both again so I could do each facet of my writing justice.

I have had great success with my article writing and I'm working hard to keep the momentum going. One of my biggest successes has been the article series in Writers' News on writing groups and I'd like to say thank you to all the writing groups that have contributed to these.  Another recent success has been having an article accepted by Women's Fitness magazine which is to be published soon.

When I first started writing I never even dreamt that I would get articles published in magazines such as these, but I have and I'm working hard to write articles for new markets too. It can be done! You need a lot of determination and perseverance but it's not an impossible task - even when you consider the competition out there and the recession.

This blog will be bringing you snippets of the good advice I received when I was starting out and what I've learnt since then . I hope the advice given here will also help you too. If you have any questions about getting your articles into print or any advice you would like to offer then do contact me.

Best wishes

Julie