Saturday, 23 February 2013

Half Full or Half Empty?

What kind of a person are you? Is your glass half full or is it half empty? Do you have a generally positive outlook with your writing or are you more pessimistic? Our attitude to our writing and, indeed, our life in general is a big indicator as to how our lives and writing might go. If we think that we can't write and let every rejection prove that, then we become a self fulfilling prophecy. We think we can't do it so therefore we don't do it. I suspet that most of us live somewhere in the middle of the two.

If, however, we adapt the more positive mindset of we can do it and we have done it so we can, therefore, do it again, we become more productive and each rejection that comes our way loses its sting somewhat because we have more work out there that may well be an acceptance.

Simon Whaley's  marvellous book the Positively Productive Writer goes into more detail about how being positive can help you to be published so I'd recommend this book if you haven't yet read it. I'm also featured (a tiny bit) in it where Simon takes you through my little TV experiment. Simon and I also attend the same writers' group where positivity positively pings round the room every time we meet! So it does work!

So next time you're feeling less than enthusiastic about your writing career, where those around you seem to be having more success than you, or you have a mental block on how to move forward, ask yourself this: what would be your biggest regret should something prevent you from writing ever again? What would you wish you had finished? What would you regret not having the chance to have tried to have got published? Sobering, but motivating and positive thought.

Happy writing,

Julie xx

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Capture the Sun

I know that it's not possible to capture the sun. It's too hot - you don't say! But, isn't it amazing how this huge ball of energy that shines down on our planet makes us all feel just that little bit better about life? How do those rays do that? The grey, misty rain we are so used to makes way for the warmth and colour of the sun and suddenly the world seems a better place.

I think writing articles should be a little like that. There's far too much doom and gloom going on in the world and I think our articles can help to counterbalance that. Inject some of that solar energy into your writing. No, I haven't gone all New Age - not that there is anything wrong with that. I just think if we can infuse our writing with energy and drive and a new perspective, our enthusiasm and positivity for the subject will shine through. People want to read something dynamic not boring.

So while you're planning your next pitches and writing projects, remember how that first warmth of the sun against your cheek after the cold winter feels and see if you can't tickle your typing into passing that feeling along to editors and readers who want to be made to feel good from what they read not bored and miserable!

Happy reading

Julie xx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Straight Road

If only the road to publication was a straight one. Think how much easier our article writing and publishing journey would be. If we didn't have to slow down for the bends or be delayed by fog. If only what we wrote was exactly what the editor wanted every time! There would be no rejection, no wasted effort and no frustration.

But don't you think it would be a little boring. If we didn't take that little meander off the beaten track to rest awhile at a gate we hadn't noticed before, to stare out across the fields of golden corn and the friesian cows grazing in the lush green fields beyond?  If we hadn't have taken that wrong turning in the middle of nowhere that led us to the middle of nowhere with no way out of the middle of nowhere, we might have never happened upon that old country pub where the owner's great grand father was an officer in the army in WW1, and the chef who wrestles crocodiles in his spare time. Okay - a little far fetched I know ..... I am a creative writer after all!

But you get the picture. If we stay on the motorway, all the good, interesting fodder for our articles will just whizz past us, unnoticed. Where would the challenge be if we knew that all our articles would be published? Where would our delight and swell of pride be if every e-mail we opened was an acceptance from an editor? It's good to have your pitches knocked back every now and then - it reminds us to keep moving forward and that standing still is not an option if we want to be published.

Take the scenic route.....

Happy writing
Julie xx

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Little Pleasures are often the Most Profitable!

You may remember me banging on about fillers and sending letters and photos off to magazines. I've send quite a few out recently and was pleased when I had a Tip of the Week published in Pick Me Up and a Picture of the Week in That's Life magazine! Together, they earned me more money than a short story! So it's well worth the minuscule amount of effort to do them and send them in. When compared to the amount of time it takes to get a short story written and subbed, a filler, photo or tip has better returns in many ways for far less effort.

Most of the magazines like Chat, Take A Break, Full House, Pick Me Up and That's Life have sections in their magazines that you can send funny anecdotes, photos, tips, letters, etc in. All you have to do is pick up an issue, read it, and see what you have that could fit in. I just use things from my daily life. It really is that simple. But, be aware - they receive hundreds if not thousands if tips, photos and letters every week - the trick is to be persistent and keep sending them in.

So give it a go! They boost your confidence as well as your bank balance when the shore stories or articles aren't selling so well.

Julie xx