Monday, 2 February 2015

Encouragement to Persevere

Sometimes, writers need a little encouragement along the way when we're slogging away at a lengthy novel, or sending work out without success. We can either give up and find work outside the home, or get involved in another absorbing interest that sees quicker results. However, I suspect most writers cannot give up that urge to write and for many, the act of writing itself is enough reward.

I'm in both camps: I wouldn't be able to give up writing completely, and I also want to be published and earn from my work where possible. So, it's immensely encouraging to see my words in print or online every now and then, especially as a change from writing longer fiction. As many of you know, I write short stories, articles, poetry and children's fiction in addition to novels and novellas and that's unlikely to change!

Today, I'm delighted to see my article on D.H. Lawrence published in Thresholds online. I was fascinated by Lawrence's life and work when studying him in my literature degree and wanted to examine some of his short stories, as opposed to his more famous novels for a change.

At the end of last week, I was surprised and pleased to see my little flash fiction story get on the longlist of the recent Brilliant Flash Fiction contest which had a theme of 'Life is Good', as I just emailed it in at the last moment. It may not have reached higher up the list, but it's a pleasure none the less to know it's published on their website! You have to scroll right down, if you want to read it.

If we happen to be writing novels, there is another advantage of having these little bits and pieces published now and then: it brings our name to a wider audience perhaps. It's especially helpful if we're allowed an author profile or website address at the end, as with the Thresholds site.

So, don't give up, whatever stage you're at, and do try different genres and varieties of writing - you never know where it might lead!



Anonymous said...

Such an encouraging post, Rosemary. It's good to have lots of bits and pieces on the go, not least because if one fails to deliver you've still got others out there which may come up trumps!

Wendy's Writing said...

I agree with keeping other things going while writing the longer stuff. I continue to write short magazine stories and articles at the same time as the novel - I couldn't give it up.

Jean Bull said...

Thank you, you're right Rosemary.
As Tesco says 'Every little bit helps!'

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Tracey - thanks you very much for your lovely comment!

It becomes a way of life, Wendy!

Absolutely, Jean!

Rosemary Gemmell said...
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Anita Chapman said...

Congrats on the D.H.Lawrence article, Rosemary and the flash fiction story. I love writing flash fiction, because it can be done so quickly, compared to writing a novel and it's always interesting to see what my mind comes up with when challenged!

Frances Garrood said...

You're a woman of many talents, Rosemary!

Patsy said...

When I first started writing I had a few letters published. It was veery encouraging to discover people would pay for what I'd written.

Maria said...
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Maria said...

Well done you! I agree writers should have a few other writerly distractions whilst working on longer projects.
I love flash fiction, but often can't find opportunites easily.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Anita! Yes, it's good to try short forms now and then as a change of pace.

Why thank you, Frances! I'm sure you are too.

You're right, Patsy - I remember a few letters here and there and I thought I was maybe a writer!

Thanks, Maria! There are more opps for flash fiction than there used to be - will let you know when I come across them.

Joanna said...

Congratulations, Rosemary, on these lovely successes.

I still try to send off an occasional short story when I need a break from the novel writing and definitely benefit from it. I return to the novel with a new approach after having some distance from it. And I still feel a huge thrill from any short-listings etc that come my way. x

Karen said...

Congratulations on the successes, Rosemary. They do help us keep up going.

I don't think I'll ever give up writing short stories - I like the fast turnaround, compared to writing a novel :o)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Joanna! It's good to shift the focus for a while and you're such a good short story teller that I'm glad you still write them.

Thanks, Karen - and you've put your finger on it exactly!

Joan Fleming said...

I never fail to be impressed by your ability to write (successfully!) in so many genres, Rosemary. I do think the occasional different focus when you're writing a novel is beneficial.

I really enjoyed your DHL article.