Thursday, 12 January 2012

Learning curve

I can still remember the elation I felt when my first story was published. It was in The Lady (sigh) For some reason I never got notification it was accepted and didn't know until they sent me a complimentary copy. I bounced around the house like a possessed Zebedee. Two days later I had an acceptance from The Weekly News and thought I'd made it as a writer.

Of course it's not quite that simple and six month's worth of rejects followed. Now I know that even those who really have made it are still learning and trying to improve. That's good because it means I have something in common with them.

I've been lucky enough to be selected for a one to one session with poet Andrew McMillan. There's plenty of room for improvement in my poetry, so hopefully I'll gain some useful insights. I'll also be attending this interesting looking event with a couple of writing buddies. I've put my name down for the poetry workshop. It's great value and there are spaces left so if you live close enough do think about coming along.

I do have lots still to learn, but at least I know my alphabet!

Of course, one of the best ways to learn how to do something is to have a go - so here's a poetry competition for you.

24 comments:

  1. The same thing happened to me - two stories accepted relatively soon after I started submitting seriously, and then nothing for a long, long... er, long time. Enjoy the one-to-one, it sounds like a great opportunity.

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  2. Congrats on the poetry one to one. I used to write poetry all the time when I was younger. I don't remember the last time I wrote one.

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  3. Me to, me too! You sell one, and you think you've arrived.

    Not.

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  4. I probably have told you this before but I sent off the first proper story I wrote to two competitions, one of which had a critique. The critique came back saying the story was overwritten and boring. I won £250 in the second comp. That was a brilliant lesson to learn right off. Not everyone will like my stuff, but someone will. Mind you, I did think I'd be getting more of the prizes than the pain but oh well, I still love writing.

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  5. I was like that when my first true story was accepted Patsy. Take a break phoned up, I ran screaming round the house. I'm still waiting for a fiction acceptance in a womag. Good luck with the poetry session.

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  6. I'll certainly make the most of it, Annalisa.

    Maybe it's time you wrote another, Jessica?

    Funny how we get less convinced of that as time goes by, isn't it, Frances? (I reckon you are 'there' but can believe that you sometimes doubt it yourself)

    A great lesson, Petra! Not had responses that differed as dramatically as that, but plenty of stories have recieved a standard reject one place then been bought by another publication.

    Suzy, it's exciting, isn't it? You'll be just the same with your fiction, I'm sure.

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  7. Congratulations on securing that session! And I don't think we ever stop learning. Nor do we ever really arrive.

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  8. Good on you Patsy on the one on one session. :-)

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  9. Patsy!! Your a-z cat and rodent poem is wonderful! Good for you!!

    Enjoy your poetry sessions and with Andrew McMillan too - FABULOUS!!

    Take care
    x

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  10. Alex, there's always something new, isn't there?

    Thanks, Diane. I don't know how selections were made - maybe according to those most in need of help!

    Thank you, Kitty. Who'd have guessed you'd like a piece featuring a cat?

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  11. Have a great time at the conference. It sounds like you'll make the most of it.

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  12. I think that's the story of most of our writing lives, Patsy! Hope you get a lot out of your poetry session.

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  13. Congrats on your selection -- I look forward to hearing about your session with Andrew McMillan.

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  14. Thanks, Tonja - I will try!

    Thank you, Rosemary. I'm sure it will be interesting.

    Thanks, Linda. OK - I'll report back.

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  15. I know my alphabet too! I thought this business would be easier too. But I keep trying!

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  16. That's great news about the session. I hope you really get a lot out of it. I'm in awe at anyone who can write poetry.

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  17. The elations are worth the rejections, I think. I need to work harder and send off more.

    My blog won't let me access my comments box and it's been like that for several days. I may be gone for some time!

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  18. Theresa, that's all we can do!

    Sarah, I am a bit too. I try, but I'm not at all confident with poetry.

    Maggie, I think you're right about the good news outweighing the bad - it's that which keeps me going.

    Sorry you're having Blogger issues.

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  19. Well, here's to you bouncing around the house like a possessed Zebedee many more times this year, Patsy.

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  20. Thanks, Cowboy! Yeah, I hope that happens.

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  21. Hi Patsy .. keep on running .. and you will reach the destination - sounds as though you're giving yourself every opportunity to be published. Good for you - love the way you enter competitions and write stories etc .. enjoy the weekend event with your friends, and that one on one will be brilliantly useful.

    Enjoy - good start to the year .. cheers Hilary

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  22. Thanks, Hilary - I'm looking forward to both events.

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  23. Nice blog....NEW follower.

    I am stopping by from the Top Writing Blog competition.

    Just wanted to say hello. This is a great way to find new blogs and visit ones you haven't visited in a while. :)

    Elizabeth - Silver's Reviews

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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  24. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth. Yes, the award thing is good for that. I too am checking out the others.

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