Friday, 21 April 2017

Guest post by womagwriter Tracey Walsh

I'm joined today by womagwriter and pocket novelist, Tracey Walsh.

This week's #writingchat (Wednesdays 8pm-9pm on Twitter) was on the subject of Writing Tips. I was slightly off subject when I tweeted:

Bought PF mag today. Showed shop assistant my story. Her response: "You wrote it? Why did you do that?" Discuss! #writingchat

It had been niggling me all day. Whenever I've had a story published before I've had overwhelmingly positive comments. The only other odd comments were things like:

"Do you make them up in your head?"


"They pay you?!"

But the lady in Tesco really took the wind out of my sails. The next day I nearly headed to another shop for the morning papers but I decided to be brave. After serving me the (same) sales assistant asked, "Did you show your story to anyone else?" 

So, come on folks. Share some of the interesting comments you've had about your stories.


Bernadette said...

Oh dear. What an odd comment!

On a writing course I went on the tutor asked if anyone had been published. I told him I'd had several womag stories published and he said 'Oh, they're just written to a formula, aren't they?' as though it didn't count. I replied that it would be a lot easier to write them if they were!

And one time in a local newsagent I was buying two copies of the same mag (one for my mum!) and when he pointed it out to me I told him why. For weeks after that every time I went in the shop he asked me if I had a story in that week. Which was nice, except I didn't have another one for ages!

Patsy said...

I'd been writing for ages, had dozens of short stories published in magazines and just won a novel writing competition, when my mother-in-law told me I'd have to change my name as a proper writer was using it.

She'd spotted one of my stories in a magazine and it never occurred to her that it could have been mine.

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Yes, I've had the 'writing to a formula' accusation too, from a writing group! Your comment above Patsy, made me chuckle, however the worst was from a family member who knew I'd had stories published in mags.
They said 'You've got be quite intelligent really to write these stories, haven't you?'
Er - I hate to tell you this - but yes!

Rhoda Baxter said...

"Which one of these characters is you?"
Um... I make them up.

I write romance novels so: 'Oh, I suppose you can churn THOSE sorts of books out fairly easily'... and 'when are you going to write a real book'. Actually, the 'real book' comment gets raised about ebooks as well.

Kate Blackadder said...

I bought two copies, in a supermarket, of a magazine I had a story in.
Checkout assistant (lady of a certain age): You've got two copies of this.
Me (sensing promotion opportunity): Yes, I have a story published in it.
Checkout lady: Oh, aye? (moves quickly on to next item).

Same scenario - but in local newsagent, young Asian man behind the counter. He was thrilled and insisted on being shown the page. Made my day!

Anonymous said...

I rarely mention my writing successes, as on the rare occasions I have I've had very odd responses, too. Interestingly, though I recently showed two of the magazines with my stories in to my seven year old Godson - one was a story about a parrot and one a story about a dog. I thought he may like the illustrations! - I was surprised by how very pleased he was for me. He gave me a very big hug and a 'Well done.' Cheered me up no end. Good wishes KH

Tracey Walsh said...

I suspect that's will happen to me now, Bernadette. I have no prospect of seeing another story for a while. I might have to start walking the extra mile to the next shop ;-)

Tracey Walsh said...

My mother-in-law tells everyone I write books. Maybe one day :-)

Tracey Walsh said...

I'm starting to understand why people use pen names ;-)

Tracey Walsh said...

The "it's easy" comments are so frustrating!

Tracey Walsh said...

That "oh aye" moment sounds just like mine - down to earth with a bump!

Tracey Walsh said...

That's lovely. My 10 year old God-daughter said she was disappointed not to have a copy of my first pocket novel & wants my latest one. They're romantic suspense though so not sure they're suitable 🤔

JacqCooper said...

I've had the 'those are easy' comments too. I just say yes they are. Dead easy. You should try it. And they pay loads of money. Then I walk away with a smile.

Patsy said...

I've heard suggestions that certain types of story or book are really easy to write too, often from writers! It's odd how none of these people are successful in the area they talk about.

Tracey Walsh said...

I will do that from now on :-)

Karen said...

I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but the worst comment I had was a colleague at the library where I worked, who asked why I didn't do some 'proper writing' instead writing for womags, which 'anyone could do'. I challenged her to give it a go and her response was that if she did write something, it wouldn't be for 'one of those magazines'. I never mentioned my stories after that, because even though my other colleagues appeared interested and supportive, I used to wonder whether they thought the same behind my back.