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Are You in Control of Your Writing Career?

Updated on September 10, 2014

An Interesting Question, Is It Not?

I’m sure many of you shut down completely when you saw the word “career” in the title. Fine! How about we change the title to “Are You in Control of your Writing Journey?” Now do I have your attention?

Let’s weed a few of you out right now. If you simply write for the pleasure of writing, and you have no goals in mind, then stop reading and go feed the cat. I can hear her stomach growling from here. The rest of this article, then, is for those of you who actually have a goal in mind. Maybe you want to write a book. Maybe you want to make some passive income on a site like HubPages. Maybe you want to work as a freelance writer and write copy for companies. Whatever the case may be, this article can help you if you let it.

I’m assuming, since you read the title, and read my warning, and you are still here, that you feel in some way that you are out of control of the writing situation. Nobody likes that feeling; nobody likes to feel they have lost all control. Ugly vibes for sure, and the sooner we get you back in control, the better.

So let’s begin. Take a deep breath and relax. Uncle Billy is here and all will be well.

A writer without a goal or plan
A writer without a goal or plan | Source

Let’s Begin with the Goal

You have one, right? What is it? Give me one sentence that perfectly captures your goal in writing…but be specific. Don’t say “to earn money,” but rather say a specific amount. Don’t say “to write a book,” but say “to write a book within the next two years.”

If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, then you cannot formulate a specific plan, and without a specific plan you are like a rudderless ship in a hurricane called Katrina.

So sit down right now and write out your goal. Then take that slip of paper and tape it above your computer where you’ll see it each day. That is your guiding star, your true north, and you need to steer by it every day that you write.

Now It’s Time for a Plan

What’s your plan? Be specific. No la-la, nebulous b.s., please. I want to know how you are going to achieve the goal you just mentioned.

Sit down, once again, and write out how you plan on achieving your goal. Are you going to write two hours each day? Are you going to create a website to promote your work? Are you going to contact editors and publishers?

And what about your writing platform? Do you have one? Are you adding to it on a regular basis?

Let me tell you about this writer. Three years ago I quit a full-time teaching position and declared to the world that I was a freelance writer. Mind you, I had no training or experience, but I believed in myself, and I also believed in the saying “fake it till you make it.”

I had one other thing that has proven to be invaluable: I had a business background, with degrees in Marketing and Economics. I remembered my earlier training, and I sat down and wrote out a business plan. I was as specific as possible. I wrote out a timeline of small goals I needed to accomplish, and I have stuck with that plan. It was a five-year plan and I am just finishing year three, and I am right on schedule.

That’s what you need to do! If you are serious about writing then treat it seriously.

Sit down and write
Sit down and write | Source

And Now It’s Time for Business Management

One of the many rewards of being a writer is that we have no boss hovering over our shoulder giving us orders and instructions. Conversely, one of the hardest things about being a writer is we have no boss hovering over our shoulder giving us orders and instructions.

Take this as gospel: it is not easy being a full-time writer and answering only to yourself. There are so many distractions during the day. Who is going to know if I decide to goof off this afternoon? Only me! Who is going to know if I fell short of my goals this week? Only me! Who is going to know if I’m really giving it 100%? Only me!

If writing is important to you, and you are your own boss, then it’s time to crack the whip. If you are waiting until tomorrow, then you have a major problem if tomorrow never comes.

If you are waiting for fame to find you, then get comfortable, because that wait will be a very long one.

Envision success
Envision success | Source

And Now It’s Time for a Heart-to-heart Talk About Commitment

And that leads us to the matter of commitment. I have no time for excuse-makers or whiners. If you want this writing gig bad enough, then make it happen.

“But I can’t find the time to write.” How many times have I heard that nonsense? It’s not that you can’t find the time, but rather than you haven’t made the time. Get up an hour earlier in the morning. Go to bed an hour later at night. Watch less television. There are countless way to make time for writing, but you have to be willing to do it.

“But nobody believes in me, and nobody praises my writing.” Well, I’m sorry…I really am…and I’m so sorry that I’ll tell you right now that I believe in you, but only if you are willing to get up off the couch and actually sit down and write.

Writers write! Period! Make the commitment to write, and make the commitment to work through the adversity and be successful. If you aren’t willing to do that, then get yourself some chocolate, pull up your favorite chair, and watch some soaps this afternoon.

Are you in control of your writing?

See results

And Now It’s Time to Do It

There are literally millions of writers in this world. It can definitely seem like a daunting task, being a writer and finding the recognition and success you seek. My goodness gracious, there have been days when I’ve questioned my sanity in pursuing this career choice, and there have been days when I have thought of quitting.

But I refuse to, and would you like to know why?

Because writing is in my blood. I love it! Writing makes me feel alive, and writing is a way for me to make a difference in this world, and how many people, working a job, can say that?

When I craft a perfect sentence, I am on a high no drug can ever give me. When I reach someone, and they comment that I have touched their heart, I actually get goosebumps. How many people can say that?

I am in control of my writing destiny. There are a ton of excuses I could use, but the bottom line is success or failure is dependent upon me and the amount of commitment I give to my writing.

And the same is true for you.

Are you in control of your writing career?

If so, congratulations! If not, maybe now is the time that you get control and reach for the rewards that are waiting for you.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Love how you say to be specific and that does totally help when you have a writing career. Thanks always Bill for sharing your wisdom and expertise on this. Happy Wednesday now!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Well now, I saw the title and promptly went off to feed the cat... well actually, the dog.

      But I came back, so I guess I decided to take control. You continues to amaze and inspire, and probably much more than you know. I hope you're having a wonderful day, my best to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Janine. I know for a fact that you have goals and a plan, so I appreciate you reading even though it didn't really help you. Enjoy your Hump Day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you had me laughing...read the title and left me. LOL I do appreciate you coming back, and I don't mind playing second fiddle to your cat. Thank you for the kind words my friend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub and the writing in your blood is helping so many of us to learn all about the world of writing. Writing and reading comments definitely gives a great high. Thank you for sharing.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I wrote down a specific goal and stickied it above my monitor as soon as this article asked me to. Now I need to work towards that goal. I actually have someone who has reached out to me and is giving me homework to overcome my fear of actively seeking personal clients of my own. I need real clients so I can let go of the company that sends me assignments on average of every other week. I can't earn a living on that kind of activity.

      Anyway, this guy is affiliated with a program who sponsored a webinar I attended a while back. He has taken the time to look at my website, discover my niche and has even read some of my blogs. He believes I should have no trouble finding clients given the quality of my posts. So he gave me some homework to do and checks in on me every day since this past Saturday. Last night I emailed him to let him know I can't afford their program. Get this - he responded that he kinda figured that because my business is in the transitional period and has no intention of pushing me into the program. However, he's going to continue to work with me to help me build a client base - regardless of whether or not I buy the program! How awesome is that??

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 2 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I hope to get more in control of my writing once I am no longer working 40+ hours a week to pay the bills. Your Hub is inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Vellur, and it really is a high. Carry on my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very awesome, Sha, and you don't run across people like that very often. Take advantage of that and then pass it forward my friend, as I know you will. Thanks for sharing that uplifting story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      suziecat, working full-time would take the control away from anyone. Good luck and I hope that magical moment comes soon for you.

    • AliciaAH profile image

      Alicia Alarco-Hernandez 2 years ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      Great advice, made we think more about my goals and what are intentions when it comes to writing and life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I'm glad if this helped. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Have a wonderful day in Old Bridge. :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      I'm standing on tip-toe and stretching my arms out but those rewards are still beyond my reach. Darn, perhaps my arms will stretch overnight:)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Writers write and I'll go a step further, they can't help but write!

      I have a plan, I just hope google goes along with it ;)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Specific, difficult goals are better that "do your best" efforts according to research. Good post. And congratulations on those Hubbie Awards! Well done!

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      Having visual reminder of your goal, is a great idea. I will have to do that.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      You gave me a good pep talking here, Uncle Billy. Having a long term goal as a writer is important. I take care of my, Mom full time at home, and make her my priority. But, I do have a short term goal to at least get out of HubPages' boot camp this year. I do believe I can move that goal ahead further after that. Living in the moment is one thing, but being in the land of Is of the moment with someone who suffers from dementia is another, and it just doesn't get any better. - Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, we can only hope. LOL They will my friend. Keep working at your craft. Hey, we got some Angora rabbits this past weekend. Going to make some nice angora wool. I thought of you when we picked up the rabbits. :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Too true. Writers write. And the only way to succeed is if we do that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Brie, I sure hope Google does too. Good luck. At least you have a plan, and that a huge step in the right direction. Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. I hang with some good people. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope it helps, Pawpaw! Good luck and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Colorfulone, best wishes with your mother. That is such a difficult situation...I know from experience. Blessings to you my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Right on, Michelle! Thanks for stating that and for always being here.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, with less freedom to write, I'm doing as much as I did when I had more time. Seems I have some control there. It's all about the goal. Thanks for your motivation.

    • agapsikap profile image

      agapsikap 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hello there, Uncle Bill!

      I'll probably 'fake it till I make' it for now. What should I say? I wish to have that career but then its like time is insufficient for me. Am I in control? Argh! I can control my kids...for now but when the time comes that they don't want me taking the lead, then I'll probably grab a pen and write more goals that I can remember trying in this kind of journey!

      Thanks for always inspiring us!

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      My fingers control my writing, but my mind controls my writing...wait...what? :) I just want to say that I have never had more a fervor and determination to keep writing than I do now, especially after discovering HubPages and meeting all my new friends. Thanks!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I've been on hubpages a few weeks now, and I have to say what an inspriation you are. Your advise not only applys to writing, but life itself. You have to set goals and follow through. As for me I've been writing on a part time basis for a little over a year. I do it because I like the fact I'm creating something that might help others, and of course I'd like to make a little extra income. After reading this, I see that I do need to be more specific in my goals. Thanks so much :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I am one of those fake it till you make it kind of person. I do the research and then when the positives outweigh the negatives, I jump in. But, there always has to be a plan - a goal of some sort or I know I will drown. Your advice fits well for writers or people in any career, journey, or path. I tend to start off small and general. Then, when I have hit that mark, I go deeper and more refined. The point is, Bill you are 100% right about setting goals. It is almost impossible to succeed without them.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      The word career in the title is actually what grabbed my attention. I like the business plan idea, long and short term goals. I should have done that a long time ago instead of my constant to do lists. You are carving out one heck of a niche in how to write successfully and I for one really appeciate the useful advice. God bless you!

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 2 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      A business plan! Now that is something that I hadn't thought of. Thank you so much for that suggestion. I have a goal and an informal plan of how to get there, but you're right, I should probably write it all down. Two things I found that have really help jumpstart my writing career: 1. committing to a writing schedule and 2. telling people that I have my own business as a freelance garden writer and speaker. For some reason, when I make it "real" for other people, it makes it "real" for me. Fantastic hub. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I love that...less freedom and more writing. You obviously have a firm grasp on your writing career. Thanks for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agapsikap, you had me smiling with that comment. As long as you can control your kids you are having a great day. LOL Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I love that, Mari, and I hope that fervor never leaves you. Thank you for being such a loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      esmonaco, thank you! If I inspire then I am a very happy writer....because that's one of my goals. Best wishes to you and again, thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, whatever you are doing my friend, keep doing it. You are headed in the right direction and it's a joy watching your journey. Thanks as always.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Straight to the nitty-gritty; perfect. Discipline is the key.

      I know what you mean about getting a high when you know you've got something spot-on or you've touched someone's heart. It's so good, isn't it?

      Hope your Wednesday is a perfect one, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And God bless you, Rhonda. I didn't really intend for this niche....I just sort of fell into it. One article led to another and now here we are. As long as people find value in it, I'll continue. As for you....you are the business, and your writing is your product. Think of it in those terms and a plan will come. Thank you, Rhonda.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      OldRoses, I love your last statement. Make it real to others and it becomes real to you. Thank you for sharing those words of wisdom.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is good, Ann, like reading your article yesterday was good...like Christmas morning opening presents good....thank you. You always have me smiling, and that is a gift you give daily.

      So far my Wednesday has been picture-perfect, thank you. I hope the same is true for you.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Yes, great thanks. More sunshine and life is good! I'm still on a high from yesterday!

      Ann

    • CharlieClaywell profile image

      Charlie Claywell 2 years ago

      Excellent advise -- especially the five-year plan idea. One method that has kept me going is sitting down on Sundays and listing the article titles I intend to write for the week. That way when I sit down to write, knowing what to write about is already settled.

    • Francis Carter profile image

      Simon 2 years ago from Ireland

      very very inspiring. you really hit the nail right on the head. very simple, clear and relevant advice.

      thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As well you should be, Ann!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good approach, Charlie. I do basically the same thing over the weekend, and actually do a little pre-writing in my head before I sit down Monday to write. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Francis. I'm glad you found this helpful.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very inspirational, Bill and I give you such credit for never missing a day of writing! I wish I had that much determination. Many days I do, but I have trouble finding the time lately. I love the idea of hanging the post it above the computer too with the goals in mind. I have a to-do list, but it's hidden in the depths of my computer- I need to put in the PC. Great idea!

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Control? Are you kidding? lol The only thing I have control over is my breathing, and even that is questionable if I am counting from one to ten when someone has ticked me off! lol

      The plan is in place - as long as there is no fork in the road, it should go off without a hitch. Just gotta believe.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 2 years ago from California

      Wise words! It has been proven that actually writing your goals down helps, so I'm glad you mentioned that. I hope to one day be a full-time writer, but I'm happy with the progress I've been able to make this far. It's truly a process, but I believe it's worth it!

    • Ally Lewis profile image

      Ally Lewis 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      If you don't mind me asking, how do you still have the finances to support yourself if you quit your job? Or, on the flip side, how would you suggest that people be able to literally afford this? I'm only 22 and still live with my parents for now, and I know I definitely don't have the means for that! I so wish I did, though.

    • Francis Carter profile image

      Simon 2 years ago from Ireland

      oh that's a good question...finances....

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I thought I was in control of my writing journey.. but this hub gave me a different.. but new perspective.. billybuc.. and ally has good questions that I may like to hear answers to.. can I suggest the mailbag? Oh, and can I still feed the cat?

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think that you were practicing "tough love" to all the whiners out there that keep saying they want to be writers but never actually do anything about it (myself included). I think this is the kick in the pants I needed! Enough excuses! I just wrote down my goals and now I'm formulating a plan. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I fell into that same trap for years. I finally figured out that I need those goals right in front of me daily. My built-in forgetter is always working if I don't guard against it.

      Thanks for the visit and i hope you are doing well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, too funny. Count to ten my friend. Deep breath! LOL Thanks for the laugh and yes indeed, we just gotta believe.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Torrs, it's a marathon and not a sprint. Stay with it when you can and good things will happen. I'm glad you are here. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ally, I don't mind asking. I took early Social Security, so I have that monthly income. I match that by writing for customer businesses....I get by. I could make more if I chose to do more customer work, or write for magazines, but I concentrate now on novels.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope i answered it, Francis, for you and Ally.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, feed that cat before she claws you. Yes, the mailbag...next Monday....and thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I've been waiting patiently to read those words from you. Good for you. Now start writing please. :)

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Let me, today, totally support your five-year plan concept. If worked properly, as you clearly lay out, it works. I worked 5 consecutive 5-year plans, successfully, from 50-75, doing just what you are doing. I 1) went back to school, earned a PhD in Business Management, 2) earned promotion and tenure in minimum time at my university, 3) made full professor in minimum time meeting all requirements, 4) served as Dept Chair, building my pension, 5) became a published author, in retirement, and created a successful writing platform with extensive writing venues. And, it was intentional. I had my wife's strong support, I was encouraged by a daughter and brother who had been through the process. But, the dedication to sticking to the plan, was the key. I suppose I now write for fun, but, I still have a plan, just not quite so strict. Great article, Bill. Keep them coming!! ;-)

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you Billy I think it is a matter of of taking your belief in yourself beyond what is imaginable. That is how I have found sense in my own journey. As you said it, "fake it till you make it." You will never know the possibilities without effort. It is great to know that I am not alone in my madness :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I should,ve stopped and fed the cat but i don't have one. Hee..I don't write for money as you know, but i love to write and anything i can learn to make me be a better writer is worth my time and you write something that is beautiful ' occasionally ' smile.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for that affirmation, Bill. I have tunnel vision when it comes to plans. I rarely let anything derail me until the plan becomes reality, and it sounds like I have found a figurative brother in you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh goodness, mdscoggins, you are not alone. We west coast people are driven, and I wouldn't have it any other way. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Occasionally indeed, Ruby. Smiles coming back at you, and a whole bunch of thanks.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      I think I'm in control of my writing career. My current plan of action is marketing. I know I should've been doing that even before the first book was published and I tried but nothing seemed to be working. My goal now is to make those things work.

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

      I have so many great ideas, I just have to get them down in the computer.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      To be honest, I think I'm at the stage where I'm at the mercy of my mind. I have things I want to write, and I'm prioritizing the writing over some other things I'd normally do. I don't think that'll be the case in 12 months, but I'm just holding on enjoying myself.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Another winner Bill. Even though I'm working a full-time job I do have a plan. It may take a while to reach but everything is done with a purpose. Many thanks for all the tips and advice, have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I have no doubt you'll get it figured out. Marketing seems to be the bugaboo for many a writer. Best wishes my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Caseymei, I hope you do. Best wishes to you and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DealForALiving, I think the number one thing for writers to hold onto is the enjoyment of writing. Without that, writing is just a job, and it should be much more than that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Bill, and I have confidence that plan will work over time. Good luck my friend and thank you.

    • Craig Easom profile image

      Dreammore 2 years ago from Great England

      Great advice Billy. I'm guilty of finding excuses not to write, but I never go a single morning without pondering over what I will be writing next.

      After reading this hub I think I'll write up a plan, so that I can set short-term and long-term goals. Thank-you for sharing this hub, it has enlightened me, and I now know just what I need to do. THUMBS UP!

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks, I needed that pep talk! Not to mention the honest down-to-earth advice which is very wise. You've inspired me to set some goals. Great hub! Now, off to check out your blog!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      It's a shame there isn't an "inspirational" button to click on this hub. :) They should add one. You're preaching to the choir on this one. I am sure a more lazy writer than you or myself could find this to be quite helpful to get their mind back on track. Another lovely hub on what it is to be a writer.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Craig, I'm really happy to hear that. Good luck with those plans and goals. I look forward to seeing the result. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sparrowlet! I love giving pep talks as a former teacher. Best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Social. I'm still not sure I enjoy writing these writing hubs, but as long as people find value in them, I'll keep doing it.

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      Cynthia Calhoun 2 years ago from Western NC

      My problem? I have no business background. So. I'm back at work for awhile. But I'm working at a school that is also a non-profit organization as their "Marketing and Community Coordinator." I have no idea how I really landed myself there other than the fact that I truly can write - and THAT is what the Board mentioned when they said, "she can teach Spanish AND help us in the administration."

      All that notwithstanding, I'm learning the ins and outs of marketing - real, true marketing. And graphic design. And videography. And they're sending me to get this: social networking and marketing school after I finish my master's.

      I so miss writing creatively - almost desperately right now - but A, it's temporary and B, holy moly, these skills are useful, useful stepping stones.

      Keep on keepin on, BB. Glad I could stop in for a time or two today. :)

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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I am like you Bill, writing is my life's blood and it is the only thing that makes me feel good about myself. Even the simple act of publishing a hub here can make me giddy with pleasure. I really do need to formulate a tangible plan, as you say. I don't make excuses about writing, I write every day, but I go off on too many tangents that don't peter out sometimes.

      Your words, as usual, are incredibly useful. The only thing I disagree with you about is that Mrs. Bush told me that the storm my rudderless ship was lost in was called "Karina," not "Katrina." But besides that I'm good, I'm down with the plan! Great hub - and congratulations on your award. You're going to threepeat next year, I know it!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cydni, you are so young. Take the education while you can get it. When the time comes, you will have a fountain of knowledge and experience to call on as you start on your creative path. I know you are busy, so thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Way to go, lil Sis! You rock!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I yield to Mrs. Bush and her wisdom. :) Thank you for the kind words. I know you'll get this plan thing figured out eventually. :)

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      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Another thoughtful Hub, Billy!

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      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Hanging the goals where you can visually see them is a great idea. If you see these every time you sit down at the computer, it will motivate you to write. Hope you are resting by now and accomplished your goals for the day.

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      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I do have an aim and slowly but surely I will reach there. Another helpful and inspirational hub by you. Thanks for the motivation!

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Okay, so now its time for me to get serious. Life often gets in the way but I like your suggestion about getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later.

      I know there's a book in there and I'm going to get it out! Thanks "Uncle Billy".

      Voted all but funny, pinned and shared.

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      Comfort Babatola 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      I try to map out my goals, but I'm also being pulled in many directions right now. So, sometimes the goals get shoved aside.

      And Bill, that toilet bowl actually reminds me of the face of Thomas the train engine, when he's crossed.

      As always, thanks for a great hub! Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Will! Thank you! I hope all is well in your world.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dianna. All is well in my world, and I hope the same is true in yours.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that ChitrangadaSharan. Best wishes to you and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Mary, you are very welcome. I do hope you write that book. ONe day at a time my friend.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Comfort....LOL...I see Thomas there for sure. Thanks for the laugh, and good luck with those goals.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      So interesting and you are certainly a talented writer.

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This is one seriously motivational piece of work. You can definitely light that fire under anyone who may be teetering on the edge of "Should I or should I not? CAN I or can't I?"

      The loudest message received by this reader is: "I will never know until I TRY....and to not "try," must never be considered an option. " Open that damned door and let in the light and fresh air. That's the basic start to LIFE. All I must do is choose to do with that life what I know, with every fiber of my being, what it is I am meant to do.

      Inspiration is a wonderful thing. How do we thank you, bro?...Up++++

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, DDE. Thank you for the kind words.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I've been thanked so many times in so many ways....it's just a joy for me to be here with so many good writers and more importantly, good people, and that ain't no b.s., Sis. :)

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      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      BTW Billy, congratulations on the top award...Best All Around Hubber!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, thank you! I am grateful for the friends I have here.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I almost got up to feed my imaginary cat, but then I realized that I do have goals. I write for the love of it and if some money comes along with it, that's great. I do think this article gave me inspiration to fine tune my goals. Thanks, billy. Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful and awesome!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Breakfastpop, I think you most definitely have goals....the topic you write about speaks of a person who cares deeply about this country and wants to be heard...that's a goal my friend.

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      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Bill, I remember well when you came to HP, and also how my inbox filled up rather quickly with notices of your new hubs after I became a follower. To be honest, the way you pump out hubs one after the other is rather intimidating to someone who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to HP in the first place. (I'm not ashamed to admit to being a shy introvert by nature.)

      So for me, writing is not and never will be a Career with a capital C. I do it for pleasure, and if I make a little money from it, that's fine because it's not my only source of income, and I'm glad to have reached a point in life where I no longer have to rely on what I enjoy doing to keep a roof over my head. I have just enough Irish blood to appreciate the meaning of the Irish blessing "May you always have enough".

      Control, you ask? There's a reason I no longer have a cat or a dog and gave up live houseplants for silk ones! It's just me and the bon-bons and 30,000 dead ancestors to keep track of these days, and THEY don't have to be walked OR watered. Now where did I put those bon-bons?

      Upped and shared. ;D

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Jama, that's the best comment I have read in months. I literally laughed out loud. Oh my...I was dragged to HP kicking and screaming as well. I did not want to do this....but....my work ethic took over. If I had to be here then by God I was going to work hard at it....now I can't find the off switch. :) Thank you...and I'm Irish....and I want two less dogs. :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Bill, glad you got a good laugh from my comment! I always strive to entertain as well as educate. (-:

      As for the "dragging kicking and screaming", a friend who was already here at HP who had complimented me many times on witty emails and genealogy pieces I'd composed for her about her English ancestors thought I'd be a great hubber. Did I mention she can do a perfect imitation of a Jewish mother? Nag, nag, nag...nag. After two months of almost daily nagging by phone and email, I joined pretty much just to shut her up! Six months later, though, I dragged HER "kicking and screaming" to blogging, so it all evened out in the end.

      Hope you never find that off switch! You're such an inspiration to the rest of us! ;D

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      These days I feel like my career is in control of me, lol. I am successful writing non-fiction for others. Successful enough that it's hard for me to stick with goals to write what I want (fiction, for one thing) because paying jobs keep coming in that I can't turn down. Great hub. Definitely advice I will be thinking about in the coming days. Thanks!

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      Gary 2 years ago from California

      Bill, I have several things to say to you; I hope these words are more encouraging, than not!

      I have been writing for over 10 years, dabbling in and out of the "sport." lol.. I have wanted to write professionally, as both a direct contributor and as a "Free-lance" writer; but have struggled for some time with motivation, and other more personal fights with bouts of clinical depression. I do have hubs, on HP, which I fully enjoyed writing; but with the depression being so hard to deal with, and then partnered with severe and chronic bouts of Anxiety; I had intermittently and simply lost interest. Writing has been probably one of the most highest on my things that brings me joy, but I just have had some hard times of getting there and staying in that world.

      Although I slowed, (some would say 'stopped') putting out hub posts. However, I reached out and after 30 plus years of dealing with my situation, in silence and denial; I reached out and got some professional assistance. That assistance, has been prodding me to get back to the writing; so, I started a blog which is more directly related to the roots of my passions and my situation, on Blogger.com. (Please excuse the 'Plug.") If anyone is interested, just message me..

      Anyway, Bill, I wanted to say that through the prodding of my network and after reading this piece, It has re-newed my vigor in writing and production of my blog.

      I never thought of bringing that subject matter to HP, as I felt it was in appropriate. However, after seeing some like kind materials I will start hubbing that subject on my hubs.

      What I am trying to say is this;

      Thank you for your work. I came in to your postings and read more of your work and I am very impressed with the tone of motivation, these posts has served in getting me off of my rear and working with a new sense of purpose and vigor.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is yet another inspirational hub, Bill. I love the toilet bowl photo!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jama, it is only fitting that you dragged her to blogging. Serves her right. LOL Thank you so much for your kindness.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wiccan, I hear that. It is a common refrain for writers who are just starting out. We have to pay the bills, dammit, and that takes us away from what we really love to do. Sad but true my friend. Best wishes in the future. I hope the balance shifts a bit for you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      repoprimo, my heart is soaring, and I mean that. I write to encourage. Writing is a tough and at times lonely business, and I don't want a writer quitting before the miracle happens. I am so happy that you found strength and motivation in this article. Carry on my friend. It is good to have you back.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Alicia.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Most days I feel as if I'm in control of my writing. Today, all bets are off. It's one of those more difficult days. But tomorrow is a new day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ologsinquito, I think we all have those days. Happily, that feeling usually goes away after a good night's sleep. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Good Saturday afternoon Bill Holland.

      Your truth is always rightly difficult. As any other 'calling '( sounds more gratifying than 'career') - writing according to your gospel is urging me to be sure to know "what do you want ?" To write down a plan is kind of 'convictible' : how would I defend myself being guilty of… No I won't do it simply is not given to me during this time of transitioning. However I continue believing in my conviction that the one giving me gift of writing will keep me in shape to carry on the message.

      Up and useful.

      Make a happy weekend my friend- both of you and Bev.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, only you will know when the time is right. I'm sure when that time arrives, you will be ready.

      Have a wonderful weekend and know that you are appreciated.

      bill

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for guiding us through our writing careers with this great words of advice Bill!

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      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for sharing your tips, Bill. Much like James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, you are the hardest working man in freelance writing. If anyone should be offering advice on freelance writing, it is you. Voted up!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, vkwok. I appreciate you always being here.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, that was a very kind thing for you to say. Thank you very much.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The most rewarding thing is hearing people tell me that when the paper arrives on their doorstep, they throw the door open, grab section 'C' and find my column FIRST. There is no high like that one.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, for a writer, I can't imagine anything cooler than that. Way to go my friend.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Well I answered your poll by saying that I am in control of my writing Bill. That being said I think that goals change over time and due to changes in situations. I've always been pretty laid back about my goals and have always been pleased at any results. I'm all for goals, but I do think that some people set the bar way too high and then distressed when they can't reach that bar.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, thanks for your thoughts. I set the bar way too high and then get upset with myself for not reaching it. LOL It's a no-win situation for me.

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