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Are You Proud Of Your Writing?

Updated on October 18, 2013

A Trip down Memory Lane

I had just finished mowing the lawn, sixteen years old and plans for the rest of the afternoon. My chores were done and my buddies and me, we were going to the lake for some sunshine, laughter and hopefully a look at Mary Jane in that one-piece bathing suit that showed off all of her curves.

I had hurried through the lawn-mowing and I might have missed a couple strips of grass, but it was hot out and Mary Jane was hot and hell, I could touch it up when I got back, right?

My dad didn’t agree. It seems to me that he rarely did when I was sixteen and full of piss and vinegar.

I will spare you the rather colorful language he used that afternoon to describe the job I had done on the lawn. Suffice it to say he was not pleased as he told me that if a job was worth doing it was worth doing it well. At the end of the day each one of us, he said, had to look in the mirror and the mirror does not lie. If I was willing to take short cuts on one job then a trend would be established, one that would raise its ugly head over and over again during my lifetime….a trend of complacency and half-assed effort, and was that really what I wanted to be known for?

That truth holds true in writing as well as any other endeavor we undertake during our life. And so I ask you: are you proud of your work as a writer? Do you attempt, in each piece that you write, to improve your craft, or do you just settle for the same old same old?

The greats that came before us set the bar of excellence at a rather ridiculous level, one that we may never reach, but that is no excuse for not trying. If you are a writer who just writes for views and clicks then read no further. If, however, you are a writer who desires to be better; if you are a writer who is not willing to settle for 50%, then I invite you to follow along as I tell you some goals I set for myself every writing day.

I am not capable of greatness with every piece that I write, but I am capable of writing one or two sentences that are vastly improved over previous work, and that is what I try to accomplish when I sit down at the computer. That is how we reach new levels in our craft, one step of improvement at a time.

Here, then, are some things I aim to accomplish as I go about my writing day.

Improvement happens here at your writing desk
Improvement happens here at your writing desk | Source

Improve My Introductions

Mr. Jahner drilled this into my impressionable brain when I was a sophomore in high school, and the importance of the lesson is as valid today as it was then. The introduction may well be the most important part of anything that you write. If you do not gain the attention of your readers in the first ten seconds you will lose them forever.

This is a fast-paced world ladies and gentlemen. The same people who run through McDonalds drive-thru lanes in search of quick sustenance are looking for quick stimulation in the things that they read. If they don’t find that stimulation in your opening paragraph then they will find it online on YouTube or Wikipedia or heaven forbid, from another writer who is writing about the same subject that you are writing about.

Are you trying to improve your introductions? Make them interesting…make them attention grabbers…make them so captivating that the reader will be willing to invest another ten minutes to read the rest of your information.

Helpful writing tips

Similes and Metaphors

These are some of the great tools all writers have at their disposal and yet so few use them. Have you ever written a metaphor? A simile? People want to relate to what they are reading. Similes and metaphors allow that to happen, and if you can get your readers to relate on a personal level to your writings, it will be like a glimpse of Mary Jane in that swimming suit.

And if you were paying attention I just gave you an example.

Do You Have a Voice?

Well of course you do; all writers have their own unique voice. A better question would be are you trying to develop your voice so that it will be memorable? Are you working on phrasing, on word usage, on rhythm and pace? Are you giving birth to a unique tone that only you can claim, or are you allowing your writing to slip forever into the mundane? Worse yet, are you becoming a clone of yourself or are you constantly striving for the perfect you?

Are you complacent as a writer or a raging river?
Are you complacent as a writer or a raging river? | Source

For those interested in making money at writing

Are You Experimenting?

Have you tried writing in a different person? Perhaps you are comfortable writing in first person; have you even attempted second or third? Have you tried writing in a different genre? If your comfort level is poetry have you branched out into the scary waters of fictional prose or non-fiction?

Growth does not happen through the repetition of the comfortable; growth only happens when we stretch out on the medieval rack and have our arms and legs pulled to the outer limits of the joints.

Have you laid down on that rack or are you quite content in your Lazy Boy?

I love metaphors; don’t you? LOL

More helpful words of advice

How Is Your Vocabulary?

A dictionary sits on the left side of my writing desk and a thesaurus sits on the right. They are used daily. I refuse to use the same word three or four times in a writing piece. To do so is to be shoddy in my work and dad didn’t raise no shoddy boy.

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that there are 171,476 words used on a regular basis with another 47,156 obsolete words to choose from.

Use them or lose them! Over 218,000 words at our disposal and each one can be used in a variety of ways. That, my friends, is a dizzying array of tools for you to become intimate with.

Are You Making Excuses or Making Advancements?

I can’t answer that one for you. Life gets in the way of most writers. We are spread thin on the best of days and finding the time to write is not an easy task for those with full-time jobs or parenting duties.

Still……

If you are to improve then you have to write. If watching “Glee” is more important than writing then I guess you have made your choice. If you listen to those who say you have no talent, and don’t write because of them, then I guess you have made your choice. If you listen to the voices inside your head that say you will never make it, then I guess you have made your choice.

Being a writer means that every single day has beautiful sunsets
Being a writer means that every single day has beautiful sunsets | Source

So What’s It Going to Be?

Are you proud of your work as a writer? It is a valid question and requires an honest answer. I don’t care if you write recipes or travel articles or poems spawned from the heart….are you proud of your work as a writer? I don’t care if you write children’s stories or automotive how-to’s or fan fiction….are you proud of your work as a writer?

If the answer is no then get busy improving.

If the answer is yes then keep doing what you are doing because you are on the right track.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      I have written some articles I am truly proud of; others, not so much. I do not consider myself in the same class of writers as you. Some people just seem to have a gift, like yourself.

      Good advice as usual, thanks.

      Voted UP and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, as long as you are proud of your writing then it makes no difference what others think. I have written some that nobody liked but I was proud of them. Thank you for your kind words.

      bill

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      Wow..good question..Sometimes and sometimes not..I enjoy writing but for me it is my main thrust...as you know. However I do try to write correctly--grammar and spelling. For you Bill, it is an art.. Your writing page is your canvas and you paint away.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool stuff, I will work on all of this. I think I am a little prone to run off with Mary, before the work is just right. I will work on that too! Or maybe just work on Mary.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      I think we all have articles we are so very proud of, but some that we may not be as proud of. I believe it is all worth the learning we go through along the way when we write and put something out there. As to what might work that we wrote and what doesn't. Live is totally a learning lesson, so too I believe is our writing. Thanks Bill for your two cents on this and wishing you a wonderful Friday now!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 3 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Hi Bill,

      It seems to me the one's I take the time on, are the one's that come so very easy to me. It is like the words come to me and just kind of flow out of my fingers. But, there are some I have done, that I did it "forcefully" for a lack of a better term. Yet, for whatever reason I went ahead and published it.

      I have found myself recently going back to some of those hubs I wrote that hubpages found "not worthy" and re-working them and have found myself a little more proud of.

      Still, with all of this being said, I find the word difficult using "proud" with most of my hubs. I am nowhere the writter as many on here, and I am okay with that.

      My main purpose of coming here was to vent some of my "rants". Though I have been inspired to branch out and do some fiction writing and poetry, that I never, ever dreamed of doing before my visists here.

      As a mater of fact, you inspired me to write in one of your contests, that I had so much fun with.

      Anyway, thank you for your work and efforts on here. You DO inspire others to be better.

      Chris

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, that was very kind of you....a surprise gift to begin my day. Thank you so much. I hope your weekend is filled with love and fun.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Eric, whatever works for you buddy. Just enjoy it while you work on it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautifully stated, Janine. Thanks for your thoughts and I hope your weekend is rewarding.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, pride is such an intrinsic thing....if we worked hard at a piece and gave it our best, then I think pride is called for. Like you, I have gone back and reworked older pieces, and come away feeling much better about them....but it seems at the time I liked them as well. LOL Maybe we grow as our talent grows?

      Thank you for your kind words. Here is hoping we both continue to enjoy what we are doing.

      bill

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I agree, Bill. I am proud of what I write, but I am also trying to learn how to do things new and differently every day. I always told my kids that if they did their best everyday, no matter what, they would always do better than the rest who simply wanted to get by.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Hi Bill. I can say this, I have a very difficult time signing my name to something that feels sub-par. However, after hours of fidgeting with sentences and thumbing through a thesaurus, I remind myself that eventually I need to lay my cards on the table. But I can move on knowing I gave my best effort. Have a nice weekend.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 3 years ago from Long Island, New York

      You pose an excellent question, Bill. Unless a writer can feel proud of an article or book, he may as well not publish it. Whether it's a blog post , a short story, or a novel, if you don't feel proud of it, what's the point? Good hub, my friend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have put up writings I was not proud of in the day when word count meant more than quality, but I took those down and hope I would never result to that again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that cygnet....at the end of the day I have to be satisfied with my efforts....and I am the toughest judge I am going to meet. :) Rewards will come when they come but I have to look in the mirror at night.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, that's the key isn't it? We will never be perfect, so we do our best and move on. Thanks for mentioning that and I hope your weekend is a fine one as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Russ, I can't imagine what the point would be. :) Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ahhh, Jackie, the word count....yes indeed, I think we have all done that my friend....thanks for the reminder of a past I don't want to revisit.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I loved this! There are some great lessons here. Like you, I have a thesaurus and dictionary within reach at all times. I don't like to use the same words over and over, either; plus, I absolutely love words!

      You are the reason I keep trying to develop my voice and improve pace and tone--thank you very much.

      If you keep shooting for the moon, the worst you can do is hit a star ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bill

      I have written in all genres. Although not recipes. For whatever reason they just ain't calling me.

      If people can feel what I feel. Then I count it as getting where I want it to go.

      It is all about what is inside. If you can evoke the senses. If people feel the emotions, then something is right.

      Some genres are where my heart truly lies. However, I will keep writing the rest as well as it is the only way I will continue to grow.

      Interesting and thought provoking hub :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm proud of my writing - most of the time, anyway. I try not to publish until I'm happy with the piece. Of course, there is always room for improvement and I do work on that.

      Another item we writers need to spend time on is the headline. If the headline doesn't grab, the intro will never be read. I just read a blog illustrating the author's process of refining headlines. The end result in the piece I read today was the final headline brought in over 600,000 page views in one day. One day! You know that blogger is proud of her writing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, I'm laughing at that last quote and I love it....there are a lot of things in life worse than hitting a star in our journey. :) Great line!

      I'm proud of you; you have come a long way and there are good things ahead my friend.

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, I didn't know people fro Scotland said "ain't." LOL That caught me by surprise. I just figured us unwashed Yanks were the only ones who bastardized the language. :)

      Great comments, Anna. If I don't feel it then my writing looks like day old wash left outside too long.

      Have a great weekend and thank you as always.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Are You Proud Of Your Writing interesting question. I am proud of my work but probably need to make some improvement. Great hub and well informed on the many great lessons to be learned in writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, those kinds of figures don't even register in my brain. LOL I count my successes in the low hundreds.

      But your point is well-taken. Thanks for sharing that my dear and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I think it's a valid question for all writers. I think the answers might be interesting. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I believe we should be proud of our work, whatever we write. It shouldn't matter what the topic is, only that we presented it. In a way that makes us feel proud. Thank you, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, I am in complete agreement with you. As long as the effort is there and the desire to produce a quality product, then we should be proud. Thanks for those thoughts.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      You have given some great suggestions of things I really need to improve. I should definitely work on my catchy intros. I struggle coming up with creative titles and captions. Inside my head, I think I'm really creative, but when a blank computer screen is in front of me, I realize I'm just a black and white person :)

      I am usually proud of my work. And I'm unsatisfied at the same time, always thinking it should be better. It helps when people comment with encouragement or suggestions. - Ginger

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I sat on my writing for more than three decades. It was only around the time I joined HubPages that I decided to come out of my writing closet, publish on Amazon, and identify myself as "a writer." I'm so glad I finally did it before my mother passed away. I actually got to hear her introduce me as "my daughter, the writer."

      I've probably sold enough books so far to pay my power bill. But just yesterday a lady I've just met recently at a study group came up to me, handed me a copy of my latest book, and asked me if I'd autograph it for her. Yes, I was proud. OK. I didn't write "War and Peace" - but it was a rewarding moment.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Yes. I'm proud of my writing, but I think... well, I KNOW that I get discouraged because writing hasn't produced the income I hoped it would. And, talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. Man, oh man, it's easy being a technical writer because my audience is "tech-types" who don't appreciate the "music of language" so much as they just want the facts, plain and simply. Writing for a general audience is truly stretching me. I feel like I am learning how to write all over again. That's why I enjoy your writing blogs and articles. You're teaching me the skills I need to be a better writer. Thank you, Bill.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      I so appreciate your wisdom and advice my friend. You are one of those great and inspiring writers, that I am sure will be more successful as time goes on. I really enjoyed reading this.

      I thank you for your lessons and the amazing nack to inspire so many! Voted up ++++ shared & tweeted.

      Shalom

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ginger, I think you just mentioned a common illness of all writers....always thinking it should be better. Your writing is fine; we all have areas we can improve in. The key is in knowing that and knowing which areas. :) Thanks for your honesty and have a great weekend.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Afraid so Bill. If the word is what comes into my head, and is what I want to say.... then the deviated version stands.

      I use 'incorrect' punctuation in poetry too because it feels right.

      Rules aren't always correct. I know from your writing that you agree :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I'm smiling ear to ear at your story. How cool is that? My daughter the writer....or having someone ask for your autograph. It's the little triumphs my friend that make it all so worthwhile. Bravo to you and thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, if you ever give up I'm not going to speak to you again. :) Just sayin'

      The money will come. Put your head together and discuss ways to make it happen with another writer or a marketing person....get ads to work for you on a blog or website...there are ways. You just haven't discovered them yet.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you so much. Your words of praise and encouragement mean a great deal to me. Blessings to you and yours my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do agree, Anna, and I make a living by that rule. LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I set goals. Usually, I try to post at least one Hub a day. But sometimes, I just can't. Also, I tend to do my best writing from the heart. When I write about serious stuff, I have less fun. :D

    • profile image

      Liz Olivia 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, good reminder of the importance of an interesting intro and working on your voice. Useful

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, Brandi! Me too! Thanks and best of luck with your goals.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I'm glad you found this helpful.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I'm proud of each hub I write at the moment I write it. I know I've done my best at that particular moment in time. As I write the next hub, I try new things which I've learned since the last time I sat down to write. And I won't click "publish" until I'm satisfied. A few months from now, I'll have still better skills and go back to older hubs and no longer be satisfied with them because I'll be better three months from now than I was when I wrote a hub even a few weeks ago. I'll still be proud of those older hubs because I did my best on them, but they'll need tweaked so they meet my new standard set by my new skills.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it, Sheila! You and I are very similar in that way. Funny story...I had a hub a few months ago that I finished and was going to publish the next day. Bev asked me what I thought of it and I said I didn't feel like it was just right....she told me to publish it anyway....turned out to be one of my more popular hubs. Go figure! Who knows how well it could have done if I'd been satisfied with it. LOL

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Another beautifully crafted Hub Billy. I strive always to do my best at everything I do. I feel that if a thing is worth doing, then it is definitely worth my throwing everything at it. If it brings others pleasure, I feel I have earned my reward. Have a great week-end.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I couldn't say it any better than that. Thank you for those words and I hope your weekend is relaxing and rewarding. :)

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for a great hub. I am pleased with most of my writing, but I go back and rework my hubs and other pieces even when they have been reworked before. I guess my writing is a work in progress. I have been writing for publication for more years than I would rather admit. Voted up and interesting.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Voted up and across!

      I love that you always strive to do better, and that you urge us to, as well. I also really enjoyed your introduction. You are a master of captivating your audience in the first 10 seconds!

      Thank you for sharing this with us, Bill. With you around, it would be hard to be complacent. You are an inspiration.

      Have a fantastic weekend, and become well-rested, so you will be up to another week of amazing writing!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Smireles, I would be concerned about a writer who said their writing is not a work in progress. :) We all have growing to do.

      Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, what a lovely comment. Thank you so much. I live to write and I live to inspire....but above all, I live to love.

      Have a great weekend and best wishes on that move.

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Hey, Bill, you hub made me laugh – at MYSELF. I spent my first several years writing commercials, nuff said. I spent the next several years writing for McReaders, self-explanatory. I have spent 28 years correcting other people’s work as an editor. Now I am finally learning to write, funny as that sounds. When I first started writing seriously, I realized I was still writing on the 8th grade level and had to learn to use a dictionary and Thesaurus. I feel like now in my dotage I am finally coming of age as a writer, and I like it. i am constantly striving to do better like you advise, but I’ll still never be able to write poetry!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I get it! Ten years ago I wasn't half the writer I am today. Some of us just mature slower than others; I prefer to think of us as fine wines, maturing over time until we are ready to be uncorked. :) Thank you so much for your honesty and fine examples.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Mary Jane . . . that evil temptress. She has been a muse for many a writer, though ;-)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You pose an interesting question that cuts “write” to the heart of the matter. I’m never satisfied with my writing, and often tweak and polish, sand and retouch. If this sounds as though I’m refinishing a piece of furniture, perhaps I am. Sometimes we have to step back and look at it from different angles and perspectives. Excellent hub, Billy, as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      She has indeed, Lizzy! Don't leave home without her. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, truth be told I'm never satisfied either. I always have so much to do; I'm afraid to leave a piece sitting too long for fear I'll forget about it and never post it. LOL I would love to have nothing else to do but write a novel....just one novel and no other responsibilities.

      Anyway, thank you and have a great weekend.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      So many things to comment on here! 1) Since I never intended to become a writer, I'm absolutely proud of what I've be able to achieve in writing itself and the opportunities I've been able to gain because of it. 2) Yes, the first paragraph is THE most important part of any writing (especially for press releases in the "inverted pyramid" structure). 3) The gorgeous photos you've included here are certainly something for you to be proud of. Happy Weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Heidi, I think you are a fine writer so you should be proud and thank you very much about the photos...now that I have a new camera who knows what I'm capable of? :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      A great inspirational write. As you say the introduction really matters and if the reader is bored with the first two to three lines then he/she will simply skip the whole article.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I truly believe if one is writing from the heart, truly passionate about whatever, that then is all that matters and one will have a sense of satisfaction, as opposed to writing to please whomever. Your dad sure sounded a lot like mine! I learned a few choice phrases that I cannot repeat here : )

      Have an awesome weekend Bill,

      Faith Reaper

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Lots of good points to ponder Billy. The one I'm most aware of at the moment is using the same words. Especially when I'm writing fiction I tend to get a word in my mind and it gets trotted out every couple of sentences for a few pages. That's when the thesaurus gets hauled out. It is too easy to use the same words all the time, as you say expansion is required if we don't want our writing to become repetitive

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, it is a lesson some writers never seem to grasp, but it is a very important one. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Faith, if I talked like my dad all the time I would be arrested. LOL Writing from the heart; I can't imagine doing it any other way.

      blessings and thanks this fine Saturday

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      CM, that lesson was pounded into my brain at an early age and I've never forgotten it. We have far too many words in the language to keep using the same ones. Good for you!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Billy: Did you know I have a split personality? I go to other hubs and get told how ignorant I am, but when I come here I always leave with affirmation. You have the gift of encouragement and we all need it.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great hub, BillyBuc! I loved the way you developed your article! I think your father had a great way to instill in you a great attitude. It was probably not your best afternoon! And it's true, the mirror doesn't lie!

      For the longest time, I was quite scarred to write because of non constructive criticism when I was an adolescent. What I mean by that is whatever I wrote or whatever I would do... I was never good enough. I was compared all the time to the guy who was at the top of the class ....who by the way became my husband :-)))

      Anyway, it took me a long time to get over that criticism and start to be more confident. I chose to be a science teacher... so I had to write a lot to prepare my lessons. When I started to write my art projects, it was another step... and then add to that writing them in English ... that was another ball game altogether! But with time and a lot of practice, I noticed that my style changed; I learned a lot and I am still learning more every day! I know that I still make a lot of mistakes in English... but I know that I am still learning :-)

      Voted up, useful and interesting!

      PS : I love your picture with the river; what a beautiful sight!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I can't imagine someone calling you ignorant. You are always welcome here, and thank you for your kind words. Have a great weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      kidscraft, thank you for sharing part of your story. Interesting that you ended up marrying the top of the class. :) Thank you for being a teacher; we need more like you my friend.

    • profile image

      Marlene 3 years ago

      Excellent tips & much food for thought. I caught on to your example of Mary Jane in her swim suit. Imagery is important because it paints a picture in the readers mind and makes the writing more vivid. I actually prefer to write in third person especially if I'm writing a short story. Good point about keeping a dictionary and thesaurus handy. Doc

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I'm so glad you got the reference to Mary Jane. I enjoy writing with similes and metaphors.....as long as they are apparent to the reader. Otherwise they are worthless. :) Thank you!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Good tips, Bill. I never publish online until I'm happy with what I've written. I can't say that I'm proud, though. There's always room for improvement! I do feel that I've accomplished something worthwhile, however, even if I see ways to improve an article later.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello Bill.

      Its tough to give an answer, while a mentor's gazing at me ; that's my impression reading your question " are you proud..." No, I'm not and can't be... Long prior my "former" writing carrier I've met a #1 " teacher " who insisted on my doing right things right according invested abilities in an individual (me). So, doing my best even if there would be an inclination of becoming "proud" of myself- I didn't go beyond my obligation, I only have done as anybody else, what supposed to be done. They taught me in early age that 'pride presides a disaster'- thus in my mind was always warning, not to fall back.

      Doing "ones best" is just a standard in this universe, and as a writer any successful presentation isn't allowing confidence to be proud, rather courage to take a risk to meet potential readers who deserve to be treated royally when they are given what they're looking for. You yourself have said occasionally that everyone of us is a unique, especially as in my situation when English isn't my of any first three languages... Yes, using an English-English dictionary is a " daily bread" for me since my first language has far less that one half of words comparing to the English volume, plus many of you nice and friendly authors already have expressed concern of my English not being a first language to me .

      My determination continues despised facing a dilemma...

      Thank you, professor.

      ( "Overcoming dilemma of any kind, requires a strong stamina"). [mm]

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful and useful.

      Have a blessed Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I love that you feel you have accomplished something worthwhile with your writing. I wish all writers felt that way. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I simply can't imagine what it is like to write in a language that is not native to me. I have no frame of reference to understand what that is like and the hardships that come with that monumental task. I think you do remarkably well considering those obstacles.

      I always appreciate your candor and your thoughts. I hope you are well my friend. Blessings to you always.

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      There are a lot of books I'm proud of writing. Awesome hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As there should be, vkwok. :)

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      Gianluca Fontana 3 years ago from Matera

      I just started writing and although English is not my first language I have to say that I didn't expect to enjoy it. I am proud of the fact that I am trying even if I still make many mistakes. But all this becomes easier when there are people like you that help and encourage us to improve, just wanted to say "thanks"

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      I don't think that I will ever be 100% proud of my writing. I may be from time to time, but then comes the day when I look at a hub and see so many wrongs that I can't believe my eyes. Yes, I have a voice, but reading my older hubs, I hear the voice of person that was captured in a specific era (situation), a voice I no longer have.....

      Mmm, I have to read this hub of yours again and again.... before every hub I need to improve. Thanks, Billybuc :)

    • Jason Marovich profile image

      Jason Marovich 3 years ago from United States

      I enjoyed this hub because you ask a question in your title that, if everyone asked it of themselves, Hubpages would be a better place for all of us. Writing something I'm not proud of is something I avoid. I've written material I wasn't impressed with in the past and sincerely regret hitting the publish button when I did. There are venues where we aren't able to edit what we publish afterwards.

      I spend more time today proofreading and editing than I did when I was a fledgling writer. I'm not referring to unpublished material; I'm simply pointing out that when I write a full-length article or story, I take time to make certain that later I won't return to read it and be embarrassed.

      Whether I'm writing under a pseudonym or writing under my real name, it's important to me that what I've published is worthy of the time spent my readers take to read it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lucas, your thanks are welcome and it is my pleasure. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, you and I fall under the same category...the never quite pleased with our writing category. LOL Gives us something to work on, doesn't it? :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jason, thank you for sharing your experience and philosophy of writing. I am obviously in your camp about this subject. As a former teacher, I have very little patience with work that is the product of half-efforts. I hold writing in too high a regard to settle for that.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Awesome hub, Bill.

      There are some blogs, articles, hubs, and bubbles that I am really proud of while others I look back and say, ah, that could use some improvement. Heck, there are even some comments I'm proud of and some I shake my head and ask myself, "what were you thinking?" I love each book that I've written, however, I can see where I can improve in some areas and in others I wouldn't change a thing.

      I believe we can always improve even if we are completely proud of an entire piece. The next article might not be as good. All in all, if a writer takes their time, they can turn a good article, book, blog, etc. into a fabulous one.

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 3 years ago

      Yikes. I hadn't thought of myself as a clone. One more question to ask myself... you always give us so much to think about. By the way, I came to your site, not just to learn more about writing, but to also congratulate you on your Hubbie Award. I voted for you in another category-- although I don't remember which one. No matter, you won an award, just as I knew you would!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savvy, it's a question I ask myself often; it serves as motivation for me. :) Thank you so much for your kind words and vote. I hang around some pretty special people on HubPages. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, great reflection and words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing that and I agree completely. I hope you had a great weekend and you are ready to go this new week.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, another corker of a hub...much to reflect on.

      My best as always. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Sensei you lead us to greatness yet again.

      "The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence.

      To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck

      That Sir Bill is the pride you speak of and it is certainly the pride a writer needs to go forward.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      My beginning lesson for this week, and a very useful one. Yes, I'm proud of my writing. I can only get better. You're a big help.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I've always loved that word....corker....thank you as always.

      blessings

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great comment, Mary.....Ms. Buck knew of which she was speaking. Thank you so much for your loyalty this morning and always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, that is a wonder, is it not. You can only get better! How great is that? :) Thank you dear friend.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Great hub enjoyed reading it and all the comments. I'm not always so proud but just keep going I figure one day I will get it right. I'm always checking spelling and grammer and still get it wrong. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      moonlake, there you go....keep on keeping on and one day we will all get it right. :) Well said and thank you!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      If I were not proud of my work, Bill, I would never publish a word. But I must admit, that I am prouder of some creations than others.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that, drbj...different levels of pride. I can live with that. :) Thanks young lady!

    • Joseph Renne profile image

      Joseph Renne 3 years ago from Milton

      Always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your answer, Joseph. May it always be so. :) Thank you!

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      I am proud of how far I have gotten. I still think I have a long way to go but I am proud of a lot of my writing. I am terrified of editing the novella I threw together a year ago, but I think if I can bring myself to read it I can be proud of it, too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dreamhowl, I think you speak for a lot of writers. Editing our work is like operating on one of our children; it is not pleasant but it is definitely necessary. :) Thanks for your thoughts.

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 3 years ago from New York

      Just by virtue of your loyal followers, one can see that what you say is meaningful. You are an inspiration to all of us and a great mentor and instructor for writers everywhere. As always, great hub for growing writers and helping them hone careers in writing and to think outside the box.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robin, I have been pretty darn fortunate here at HP. I have an adopted family of hundreds of like-minded writers and I just find that amazing. Thank you for being one of them my talented friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Yes I'm proud of my work; if I don't feel good about an article when I re-read it the next day, it doesn't get published. Being proud doesn't mean complacent; we can always make it better. I often go back to an article some time later, tweek it a bit, change a word or a phrase so that I'm more satisfied with the 'sound' of it or the rhythm. Occasionally, I delete everything and start again but fortunately that's not often.

      The worst thing about my writing schedule is that I'm lazy and I know what you've got to say about that! However, advice from people like you shames me into doing some more; off I go to do that now, to make up for 2 days' baby-sitting. Have a great weekend! Ann

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Couldn't begin to tell you the amount of times Dad uttered the "half-assed" label regarding my effort with the chores. I hated hearing it every single time. In fact, while I'm ashamed to admit it, I hated Dad every single time he put me down.

      Until I got my head out of my lower colon and discovered over time just how much discipline and structure I had in my life, even and especially in the most chaotic times. I learned how to re-frame my self-loathing into constructive tutorials, and I also got better over time and countless mistakes as a father myself in teaching and sharing life lessons with my children.

      In rare moments when I still am able to see Dad, I have the greatest respect for him. Reading your hub...and I'm really focusing on just the Dad part, I know...but a good writer hits you wherever you're most vulnerable, I suppose, and dammit, you're a great writer, my friend, and you just punched me where I needed it most...moves me to call and shoot the tradewinds with him today,

      Thanks, Bill...you did it again...you moved me.

      Aloha, and enjoy your Friday! Cards-1; BoSox-1!

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I was grinning all the way through this comment. You? Lazy? I think not....maybe distracted by so much to do, but never lazy.

      As for pride; I think pride gets a bad rap. I see no problem with pride if the job is well done, and your articles are well done.....

      So have a wonderful weekend my friend and I'll do the same.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I am jealous that your father is still alive. My dad is with me but man oh man I miss him. I would like just one more sit down chat with him; just one more tidbit of down home wisdom. Oh well....

      Thanks buddy; I got a bit teary-eyed there....time to write. :)

      Aloha

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Yes, I'm going to enjoy a quiet weekend for two. Thanks for the compliment. Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Ann!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Writing should be done strictly for the love of it, and it will show, too.

    • profile image

      rcorcutt 3 years ago

      I agree. Well put.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Without a doubt, Deb! :) Thanks for all the visits today and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you rcorcutt; I appreciate the visit.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      Once, I wrote an article for the largest selling daily in the country. It was a tough time in the country. The state was in war with the Maoist guerrilla. In that article, I compared the top leaders of Maoist guerrilla with Hitler and Mussolini. Years later, the two guerrilla leaders became prime ministers of the country. In 2004, no one thought one day the “terrorists” would rule the country.

      I have never thought about pride, but I'm not ashamed of my past writings.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, I can't imagine living in those circumstances. Bravo to you for having the courage to speak the truth as you know it. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend my friend.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, I am really trying hard and since I am very new to computer and writing I can say I am doing a fairly good job.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mathira, you are the one you have to please. I love that you believe you are doing a good job; carry on my friend.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I am probably making excuses, and not advancements... And my vocabulary should way richer... I gave me a lot to think about, BIll.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, you are a good writer. I hope you move forward and become the writer you were meant to be. :) thank you for your honesty.

    • prajwalpokharel profile image

      prajwal pokharel 3 years ago from kathmandu

      hey billybuc great article.... i used to write article so that they were featured in the hub, 2 videos and 3 photos (you know the drill) ... for the first time i have written an article which i could relate to personally ... they are without photos and videos .... only writing as i feel myself to be .... lets see if it gets accepted

      thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      prajwalpokharel, bravo for writing an article from your heart. Whether it is accepted or not, you know the importance of it and that's all that matters. Thank you!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      The title drew me in on this one. I am proud of my writing, but know I need to improve. I have finally gotten to the point a little while ago to tell friends about my writing. I was quite unsure about it and when I first started I would write more personal things.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I think your comment is common for many of us. Being proud of your writing is a good thing, and of course we all need to improve. Knowing we need to improve is a great motivator to be our best. :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bro.....Obviously I'm proud "enough" of my writing to share it publicly. If we are given anything that can be described as somewhat of a gift.....shame on us if we cannot be proud.

      I admit that others think much more of my writing than I do. I'm sure that's because .....well, I'm pretty sure that MOST writers are always striving to be better, don't you agree?

      Also, we tend to admire in others, the talents we feel we do not have. I'm always in awe of the works of artists, because in that regard I have ZERO ability. My stick men are not even recognizable! Oh and I can't sing either.....much to the dismay of my late "musician Dad."

      Enjoyed this hub.....you can always be PROUD, bill....UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula my friend, you speak for many of us. I am never as good as I think I should be; I am constantly raising the bar so that at the end of any given time period it is impossible for me to reach my own expectations. Kind of exhausting quite frankly. LOL

      And my stick figures are worse than your stick figures. :)

      Thank you Sis; I really do appreciate your support and praise.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well...I haven't seen your drawing...but I do know, beyond a doubt that my COOKING is better than yours! Actually, my cocker spaniel cooks better than you do.......all due respect bro!! LMAO!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LMAO...I have no comeback on that one, Paula. I know you are right.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OMG OMG!!! I am right!......That's the second time this year!! Thanks....I forgive for every nasty trick you played on me when Mom and dad weren't home!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...it was all worth it Sis! Way too funny!

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