Powerful stuff

What an ego boost to find yourself on the front page

So, there I was, in the bath, reading The People’s Friend on Readly (so much cheaper than buying all the womags every month) when I turned the page and found myself staring at the start of a new serial called To St Peter’s Field.

That’s mine!

I had been told it was coming out this week but somehow slipped a cog and didn’t equate the date with the day.

So this morning I nipped over to the shop to buy a hard copy. Even better, I’m on the front page right along with the word ‘powerful’.

I like that very much indeed.

It’s the first time my name has made the front page of a womag and it feels very special. The glass half empty person says that’s the first and last time so enjoy it while it lasts. The glass half full person I’m trying to cultivate is searching around for the next serial plot. Because writers just have to keep on writing.

The email critique group I’m in for my womag writing is having a lot of success at the moment – lots of sales this week for a number of members. Yes, we all go through droughts as well but if you keep on writing and honing and keep on sending, you’ll get there.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining today – a rare thing in these parts. So I’m going to be tidying outside in the garden, hoping I get some plot inspiration along the way. And if you’ve got a great idea for a plot, you know where to find me…

Or you could just write it yourself.

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That’s Life!

Just when you’re giving up hope of being a writer, when you can’t decide if you should aim at short stories or novels…or neither, out of the blue comes an acceptance!

I’d never submitted anything to That’s Life Australia before and, to be honest, had forgotten I’d even sent the story. Nor had I entered it into my submissions spreadsheet. But there it was, an email telling me my story had sold. Coming out in issue 8 and they’re going to send me a decent wad of cash as a result. Shame I won’t be able to get my hands on a copy of the finished article which will be published in Australia. A small price to pay.

It just goes to show, if you’re a writer and you’ve gone a long time with no luck – don’t despair. Chances are, like most of us, it’s only a matter of time before you get some good news. Keep writing and keep sending that work out. Work that remains on your hard drive will never get accepted.

When I went back to reread this story, it was remarkably tight. There was nothing I could criticise at all. This was the result of feedback I’d had from my writerly helpers. Every last plot point was covered with just the right words to make it clear – not easy with a word count of under 700 to play with.

And that’s another rule, one which I keep flouting myself. If you’re sending stuff out and you know there are one or two things that aren’t quite right, or are having to explain to other readers, chances are the editor will have the same feeling. Keep at it until you are 100% happy with your story or article and you will increase your chances of success.