Five things we’ve learned running The Regal Fox

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It’s been a year since we first launched The Regal Fox and that old cliche about time flying when you’re having fun has never seemed so real.

We first started talking about creating somewhere to share our writing at the beginning of 2016. Living in different states as we do, much of our brainstorming took place via text and email (Although we did take an unrelated trip to Bali together and enjoyed doing some Important Planning by the pool – much like Bachelor contestants do their important thinking near bodies of water). We both liked to write but neither of us felt confident enough to submit our work to any of the literary journals out there. Writing a story without knowing what the ‘right’ interpretation of a particular theme would be always felt like an extra pressure when it was already scary enough to put your work out there.

We decided we wanted to create a safe pressure-free space to post our writing. We would have ‘themes’ but they would be prompts more than anything else – and we would try to make them fun and evocative. And if we were building this space for ourselves, it only made sense to open it up to anyone else that might enjoy exploring and sharing their creativity without the pressure of rejection. So, The Regal Fox was born. (Although it took us quite a long time to come up with the name.)

This website is a labour of love. Actually, ‘labour’ makes it sound like a grind. It’s not at all. But it is something we do in addition to working full time/living normal human lives outside of the internet. We’re always excited and astonished whenever anyone submits a story or agrees to be interviewed.

We’d like to say thank you to everyone that’s been involved in the life of the Fox so far. Whether that’s through reading the work that’s been published, submitting writing of your own or agreeing to answer questions for our interview series. You guys rock, seriously!

As a way of giving back, we wanted to share some of the pearls of wisdom we’ve gleaned specifically through keeping the site running:

Having a fun side project/outlet to work on outside of your day job is really valuable.

You are more than what you do for a living. Working on something you enjoy outside of office hours is a good way to keep this in perspective.

You don’t need official permission to be creative.

Sure, there are some very lucky people out there who do get tapped on the shoulder out of the blue with the offer of a book deal, but those stories are the exception not the rule. If you like being creative, have fun with that. Write what you like to write and do it because it brings you joy. Don’t wait for some kind of publishing gatekeeper to come knocking – life’s too short not to do your own thing.

Done is better than perfect.

Finish whatever you’re working on. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the best piece of writing the world has ever seen. Finish it and start the next thing you’re interested in.

It takes courage to put your work out there, but once you take that first step, it gets easier. 

The obvious but scary thing about sharing your writing is that once you do, it’s out in the world for people to read. But if writing for an audience is something you like to do, having work out there for people to read is a huge first step – you’re miles ahead of anyone that keeps their work stashed in the metaphorical bottom drawer.

On a practical level, having work online gives you samples to share with publications when you’re looking to secure other kinds of writing work. The two of us have both had writing published outside The Regal Fox in the last 12 months – and we reckon being able to share links to our stories here really made a difference in securing those gigs.

One of the coolest and most rewarding experiences for us has been to see writers submitting work here and then going on to rack up bylines across other journals and publications. You guys are amazing! We would never take credit for your hard work but it really does warm our hearts to see you succeeding – and we’ve loved being a small part of your journey.

Everyone’s journey is different. 

We’ve loved speaking to published writers as part of our interview series. Not only is it inspiring to learn the stories of people that have had success in the industry, it’s also been reassuring to realise that there’s no one path to success. And speaking of success? Create your own definition of what that means for you, don’t hurt yourself trying to meet society’s expectations.

 If you’d like to write something inspired by our current themes (‘Fairy tales’ and ‘Winter time’) check out our submission details. Thank you again to everyone for your support of The Regal Fox.

Here’s to the next twelve months!


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