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Attention All Writers: Do You Want to be More Successful?

Updated on July 23, 2014

Just an Average Monday

Rested and refreshed from a wonderful weekend, I sat down at my computer this morning and scanned the articles waiting for me. Oh, yes, there is one on how to make a grilled tuna sandwich. Oh, look, there is one on what to see in South Carolina. Oh joy, someone wrote how to homeschool your child.

Boring, more boring, and incredibly boring!

And if I find them boring, then can you imagine what a magazine editor must think?

Let me tell you about an event that impacted me greatly.

I wrote a perfectly lovely article two years ago about the history of a 150-year old barn in western Washington. I had interviewed the current owners of the farm, done my research, taken some great pictures, and wrote what I considered to be a brilliant article.

The next step was to pitch the article to some local and state magazines, and because the query letter was adequate, I received a couple responses asking for the article, always a good sign when dealing with busy magazine editors. Much to my dismay, however, the editors decided against the article, and I would like to share one of the rejection emails with you:

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your query and submission. Although the story is well-written, I’m afraid what we have here is one of thousands of articles written each year about barns. What I need is a new angle, a fresh approach. If you discover that approach, feel free to submit once again.

Sincerely,

Ms. Too Cool For Words

OUCH!

A new angle? A fresh approach? It’s a barn for God’s sake! What do they want from me? How am I supposed to make a barn interesting when everyone and their mother has written about barns before?

Or, to put it another way, how am I supposed to make a grilled tuna recipe interesting when millions of writers already shared their same recipes?

There, my friends, is your quest! There is the holy grail of an article writer.

Are you up for the challenge?

This is what a magazine editor thinks of average writing
This is what a magazine editor thinks of average writing | Source

Attention Magazine Writers

If you are just writing for passive income on a site like HubPages or Bubblews, then maybe you just don’t care about a fresh approach. Maybe you are happy making fifty bucks each month. Hey, pay for your cable bill and be happy, right?

But, and this is one huge but (not butt), if you are planning at some point to raise the bar and be published in a magazine, then you need to get creative with your approach.

Do you write travel articles? Then write about something nobody else writes about. Maybe France is your specialty….you and about 100,000 other writers…what can you write about French tourism that hasn’t already been beaten to death?

Do you write recipes? Then for the love of Betty Crocker, find a way to approach recipes that has not been done before.

Otherwise, start practicing saying “Baaaah” so you can fit in with the rest of the sheep.

Follow your own path
Follow your own path | Source

Attention Novel Writers

I am a mystery-novel junkie. I can’t get enough of them, and I’ve been reading them for about twenty years now.

Having said that, there are a great many mysteries out there that are mundane at best, and, at worst, downright insulting in their simplicity.

Is that how you want to be remembered as a novel-writer?

I have raved about James Lee Burke in the past and I will continue to do so. There is a writer who has, and does, approach writing like a craft. If there is a writer out there who paints a scene better than Burke, then I really need to start following that writer.

Either invent a truly memorable character, or develop a truly unique voice, but do something that separates you from the masses.

Attention Non-fiction Writers

In 1980, while doing research for a Civil War unit I was going to teach to my middle school students, I came across a trilogy about that war written by Bruce Catton. Up to that point, I had never read creative non-fiction, but after reading “Glory Road” by Mr. Catton, I was hooked as surely as a mainline addict in search of his next fix.

How many books have been written about the Civil War? I would venture to guess the number is in the thousands, and yet Mr. Catton had managed to approach that subject and breathe new life into it.

By the way, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts.

A good non-fiction writer does not re-write history. A good non-fiction writer makes history so interesting that it seems alive. If you do not understand the difference, then don’t even go there.

Fifteen years ago, while vacationing in Yellowstone, I discovered a book written by John Muir called “My First Summer in the Sierra.” It is a transcending piece of literature. His descriptions of nature were, and are, like a symphony. Now I ask you, how many books have been written about nature and the environment? The answer would be thousands, and yet Muir’s stands as a masterpiece.

Find a unique approach to non-fiction and readers will find you.

This is where the work begins and the excuses end
This is where the work begins and the excuses end | Source

Attention All Writers

During a conversation with a good friend last week, I was asked how I define success in writing.

Obviously, the definition will be different for every writer, but the question was asked about me. How will I know when I am successful?

I thought long and hard about that question, and finally realized that I will consider myself to be successful when readers look at me as talented in a unique way. I want my work to stand alone, to rise above the mundane, and to be easily recognizable as my work and no one else’s work.

And that is what I want for you, and that is the purpose of this article.

Do you want to succeed as a writer? Then find your uniqueness!

Practice your craft and yes, writing is a craft. Put in your time, learn the nuances of the language, and then develop a voice that literally screams for recognition.

Once that voice has been developed, then start blazing a new trail. Get your pick and shovel and start chipping out a path. Clear the brush and allow those vistas to show.

Hundreds of thousands made the trek along the Oregon Trail during the 1800s. In many places along that trail, the original wagon ruts still show, so great was the traffic. One had only to set the wagon wheels on the established ruts and point the oxen west. It was literally impossible to get lost despite the great distance and the lack of road signs.

Day after day, week after week, and month after month, the pilgrims moved forward, one weary step after one weary step, dust so thick that it would still be settling on the campsites hours after the train had stopped for the night. Despite the bone-aching weariness, there were certain spots along the trail where the travelers would detour, sometimes for miles, so see a site like Independence Rock, and there they would climb to the top to carve their names.

They wanted to be remembered.

Do you want to be remembered as a writer?

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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

      Paw, we all take baby steps. Be patient. If you enjoy writing then enjoy it....the growth will come in time.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      I feel like I'm still taking baby steps as a writer. I feel like I need to continue forward though. Not sure why. Thanks for the great advice on how to turn my baby steps into full-fledged walking.

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

      Glimmer, I tend to agree with you. I had not thought about those online searchers who could care less about writing style. In fact, it never even dawned on me. LOL The writer in me wants to believe those people don't even exist. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I think it really depends on your audience Bill. You are different here on HP in that you have many friends who write all sorts of things and have varying niches so you read it all. I have been trying to zing up my recipes by the photos that I take. And for the people that like recipes that has helped my "success" (at least in my mind) on venues like Pinterest. And for some people, all they are really looking for is a grilled tuna sandwich recipe. But I definitely agree that a fresh approach helps and its harder to get that than people think. Very thought provoking hub Bill.

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

      Deb, I am a firm believer in if you can imagine it you can do it. :) I think you agree.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Being memorable certainly is the ticket. Credibility is also another factor, especially when one is moving into research. Imagine writing research material that isn't dry…hmmmmmmm.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, quite frankly I will never understand editors/publishers. The whole system is so subjective, and it seems to change daily. How are we ever supposed to know the rules and follow them?

      All I can do is write to the best of my ability and hope for the best.

      Thank you my friend.

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

      Anna, no need for apologies. You have been here quite a bit today and I really appreciate it. I hope you had fun camping. Nice to know people camp in Scotland....see how little I know about the rest of the world. LOL

      bill

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

      imtii, the life of a writer I'm afraid. We can write a great article, but if there is no market for it, we are left with very little for our trouble.

      Thank you for being here today.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Oh boy, obtaining a fresh approach on any topic is certainly the most unachievable goal in the lives of most writers. I have no idea what it is, so I just write and hope with all my heart the reader (or editor of a magazine) has not yet read a similar approach. Very inspiring article, Billybuc, but also a paralysing reminder of too many failures in my writing career. "WTH, what do they really want?" is a question I have asked myself so many times, and especially when I read articles of the same topic published after mine was rejected.... Somehow editors/publishers wake up every morning with a new idea of a 'fresh approach'.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Apologises for the delay, I have been away camping. Throwing a new light on well highlighted news sounds great advice. Anna :)

    • imtii profile image

      Imtiaz Ahmed 3 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      I really liked the part when you researched a lot for that 150years old barn for writing the best article about. But one of the magazine's "I Don't Need You" :P 'Vote UP"

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

      My pleasure, Debra!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Bill, Thank you for that. It means a lot.

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

      Hard times for sure, Debra, but you have risen above it all and you are a writer....great ending to the story.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      He had another one of the student crying in his class and I had to just walk out because it was too bad to sit there and be involved in that. One of the guys that was also in the class walked out and left the school period. The instructor kept telling that I was not good enough and that I could do better. Well I really could not comprehend what I could have done better.

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

      Debra, different strokes indeed. I will never understand a teacher giving negative comments in any class at any level. And I speak from eighteen years of teaching experience when I say that.

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

      Thank you Ann!

      bill

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

      It is indeed, Flourish, and you do it well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      It's always refreshing to take a tired topic and turn it on its head.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      What a great piece and you write it from your own perspective. That is the difference as you say. It has to be unique but what is unique to you may not be unique to someone else. I just speak to people as if they are sitting right across the table from me. I do not know if that will bring me money, but I try anyway because I love writing about all kinds of things. I don't speak over peoples heads with big words, but more like down to earth. I know that you write very well and I think that has to do with your education. You know I took a few writing classes in a junior college. The first one was a great one and the professor was really good at teach, but then he got on some kind of kick to take out a few of us and started really scrutinizing our writings and I was failing. The day that he started calling me names I went to the administer of the college and asked to be in another writing class. Oh it was nothing wrong with me or my writing because in that class I got an A. Different people, Different strokes.

      Thanks for this article.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Onwards and upwards, my friend! You have a good Sunday too!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, to carry one with one of your thoughts...."I'm not great writer"....nor am I my friend, but we are both good writers, and we can improve, and if we love doing this, which we do, then we will continue...which we will. :)

      I love that you can recognize that your writing style has changed in four years. I know mine has, and I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

      Thank you, Ann, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I'm right with you and Linda. Making a difference....just once...is huge....and we have reached many more than just one. So we keep writing, because that is what we do, and we keep caring, because that is who we are.

      blessings my friend, and thank you

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      We certainly need to make our mark to be successful. I find that when I'm totally immersed in a subject I love and one I know a good deal about, then my writing is so much better. It's feeling comfortable with your writing but at the same time taking a different angle, making it quirky or making it outrageous even.

      Without me realising it, my style of writing has changed over these last four years of hubpages. I've learnt a lot, I've improved, yes, but I've also matured and found a confidence in my writing that I did not have before. That doesn't mean I'm complacent, it doesn't mean I can't do better (God forbid!) but it means I'm not afraid to experiment, to take a few chances, to branch out a bit.

      I'm no great writer but that doesn't stop me trying to be and I have such fun doing so!

      Thanks for yet more inspiration and words of wisdom for us all, bill!

      Ann

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You have my attention, Bill, as always! I believe I am on the same page with Sunshine, as the bottom line for me is to maybe help or inspire even just one person, then that is success to me too. I have received many emails from people I do not even know letting me know what I had written helped them and impacted their lives in some way. No matter how big or small ... the impact is what is important to me. Plus I love to support others and their writing by sharing.

      I always learn much from your writings. You are a wonderful teacher. So glad you shared that rejection letter as it does help to put things into perspective and opens one's eyes.

      The section on writing non-fiction is very helpful to me and so interesting. The example of the Civil War is a perfect example here! So glad you included it.

      Thank you for being you and helping so many.

      I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend, dear Bill.

      Blessings always

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

      Great summation, Linda, and I'm with you every step of the way. You do make a difference my friend.

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

      My pleasure, Kenneth. Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Bill. When you take this on full-time I know we are going to see some very unique travel articles. Enjoy your weekend my friend.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great advice, Bill. I'm happy to say that a few of my hubs continue to make a huge impact in quite a few lives...that's why I write and that's all that matters. From the start I said if I could just help one person, I did that within a month. Since then every one who has reached out to me has been a bonus. So, to answer your question...Yes, I want to be remembered as a writer, but more importantly, I want my words to be remembered :)

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Thank YOU, my friend, billybuc.

      You are very appreciated.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Point taken Bill. I think you are exactly right that a unique, fresh approach is the way to stand out. Otherwise it's me and 10,000 of my new friends all writing about the same thing. Great advice. Hope all is well out there, have a great weekend.

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

      Kenneth, prayers coming your way for your daughter. I should probably send some prayers your way after the way you've been eating. LOL Take care my friend, and thanks for the update.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, billybuc,

      DO NOT worry. I am thankful that those things are not a part of this man's life. I did sleep from 3 a.m. until 10 a.m., cdst. I am baching-it because my wife is with our daughter in a hospital two and a half hours from here--hospital is highly-ranked in our state of Alabama. It is the place where Dr. James Andrews, the guy who works on NFL players, NBA players and WWE wrestlers.

      Our daughter had a bloodclot in her left lung 37 days ago and it set off an infection in her lungs . . .they are suctioning her lungs and treating her so well.

      Oh, I cannot forget Our Heavenly Father. He has kept His hand on her. I do not know if you believe in God for not and I am not preaching to you, but if you do and you are a praying man, please remember her in your prayers.

      I feel like doing another hub. Thanks for being so concerned about me. I have lived off of cold chicken, coffee, and Poptarts. I need to write about the perfect foods for bachelors.

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

      Thank you Cyndi....I was hoping someone else would enjoy that analogy. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you lifegate. If so, I'm a satisfied writer.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kenneth, I certainly don't suggest the booze and LSD technique. LOL Get some sleep my friend and we'll talk again. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank. I think we all need some sustenance, don't you?

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

      Thank you Alicia and have a wonderful weekend.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hey Billy, That's the way to wake us up. If we consider that 1000s are probably writing about whatever topic we happen to choose, it can serve as a reminder to always try to look for a fresh angle.

      I really like the analogy to the wagons all the settlers that traveled the Oregon Trail, wagon wheels leaving their mark. I suppose most writers want to leave some kind of mark and, like the wagons, the ones filled with the most content (and the freshest content, in the writer's case) will leave the deepest impressions. Going off the beaten track and getting out of the rut? Even better!

      Thanks for the wake up call! Voted up

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      " I want my work to stand alone, to rise above the mundane, and to be easily recognizable as my work and no one else’s work." I'd say you're well on your way, my friend.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Great read. Voted up and all of the choices. I wish that HP would include Informative, Helpful and In-depth to the things to vote for. In short, I loved this hub and I will use your advice.

      I close my sharing . . .at 1:14 a.m., cdst, Friday, strange things happen to mind and eyes . . .I thought your artwork of a toilet was a monkey in a space helmet.

      I feel so mentally-exhausted, but also very creative. Naaaah. The late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson never wrote unless he was packed with booze and LSD. I never write until I have slept for a few hours.

      Talk to you later and keep up the great hubbing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Billy, this article, hub is fulfilling.. sustenance for all writers at all levels.. or stages voted as usual useful

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you once again for the helpful advice, Bill.

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

      mdscoggins, it's not easy but it is worth it...best wishes in your search.

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

      You really are very welcome, vkwok, and thank you.

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

      Very true, Sheila. I'm like you: I'm afraid writers aren't making much money off of my purchases. Maybe when I hit it big I'll be able to help them out a bit.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Hi Billybuc, thank you for another insightful article. You bring up some great points about standing out against the rest. I will work at finding ways I am unique and individual as a writer. Voted up :)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for another inspirational, thought-provoking piece, Bill!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      billybuc: I see what you mean about authors having to be more creative. If people started demanding something unique and didn't buy books until that happened, some of the more popular authors wouldn't be as popular. I have to admit they don't make much money from me because I tend to buy the bulk of my books at thrift and second hand stores. What I have found is that while some indie authors tell the same old stories, I'm finding many of the newer ones - the ones that want to grab people's attention (and have grabbed mine) - find unique situations to incorporate into their plots.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maggie, maybe you are being original without even trying to be. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pico, I believe that's the best approach. Our voice will shine through, as will our personality, if we allow it to. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Maggie.L profile image

      Maggie.L 3 years ago from UK

      Great advice here that myself and many others should take on board. I don't find it easy to be original.

    • Pico Triano profile image

      John 3 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

      Great article. Finding a new angle is the trick. Unfortunately there is no formula and that's what a lot of aspiring writers are seeking. I try to be myself. I'm hoping it's good enough.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, twice this week I've heard from you. I am smiling dear friend.

      Doubts? Kick them to the curb. You are a good writer with a solid niche....let's get busy, Irish. Vacation is over for you. :)

      love,

      bill

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Finding that uniqueness, that u.s.p may be daunting but hey, you want to stand out, right? Applause again my friend for a great reminder. I have always wanted to be it (unique that is!) now I have to show it in my words. Thanks Bill the timing of this was magical for me when doubt has crept in while away but determination has kicked that thought away. Keep well my talented buddy!

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

      Eric, if it is, you'll find a way to make it work. :) Thanks buddy.

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

      momsdoworkathome....love your profile name. Yes they do! As for your fresh approach, good luck and I hope you get the response you deserve. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Dabble You, and best wishes on your writing journey.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Is "outre" a niche?

    • momsdoworkathome profile image

      Katina Davenport 3 years ago from Michigan

      This is very useful information as I try to take to a fresh approach to some of my writings on this hubpages account and in my other account. I am learning the value of taking a creative approach while offering valuable information in the articles. I have a few ideas up my sleeve and will be experimenting to see what type of response I get. Thanks for the hub.

    • DabbleYou profile image

      DabbleYou 3 years ago

      Nice points. Unfortunately, most of us are just like, well, like most of us. Ordinary. The writers you have mentioned are the best in their field and that's why they made it. It will never be easy to be like them, because for many of us, it's simply impossible.

      It's nice reading this hub and really good advice. :)

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

      Kim, I don't think quality should be easy, so you are right on track as far as I'm concerned. Keep working my friend, and thank you.

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

      FictionFish, I agree with you completely about ebooks and self-publishing in general. It is up to us, the writers, to ensure quality control. Best wishes to you and thank you.

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

      Good morning Lea! I am honored that you spend time with me when you can't sleep. :) I look forward to reading part of your book. I have no doubt you poured your heart into it. Any writer who wants every sentence to be interesting is a writer I can work with. Blessings dear lady, and thank you.

    • profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago

      Bill,

      Yes. Breathing new life into something is the trick and one you know how to do well. Occasionally, I feel like I hit a stride, but it never lasts. Still, I will keep trying. Thanks for always being straight up. You are very wise. I continue to learn every time I read one of your hubs.

      Kim

    • profile image

      FictionFish 3 years ago

      I found this information was greatly helpful as I am a new writer in the hub field. Most of my work is short fiction and that in itself takes much thought and work, yes I do believe that writing is work. So this non fiction writing is something that is unfamiliar in a sense yet intriguing at the same time. One thing I find is that with the opportunity to publish a work as quicky as it is in this electronic age, it is tempting to just write something to get our name out there in cyberspace.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billy Buc Voted up useful and awesome! My goal with the book I am working on (in between LIFE) is that every sentence be interesting. I WILL be emailing you regarding your writing coach encouragement. I totally agree about a different angle on topics that have been published so many times. This is why I am creating my personal views in my manuscript regarding the second half of life. So many books are out there... I will explain to you soon. I was in Ohio last week so I am behind in emails and hub page notifications. I have yours in my inbox to read. Thank you for this excellent hub. Love your examples. You are so correct. I have so many rejections and I think I have made just about every mistake possible as a writer. Your sharing that rejection letter hit the nail on the head. I can't sleep so I am sitting in bed with my I phone. But tomorrow I will print this out for my Billy Buc folder. God bless. I bet your quails are getting cuter. Sparklea/Lea.

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

      Audrey, you touch my heart with your words. Thank you dear friend. This is what I do...I am happiest when I do it...I suspect I will continue to do it. :) Blessings to you.

      love,

      bill

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      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      An inspiring and motivating hub Bill. This is exactly what I want to hear. I'm saving it on my desktop to read daily. I repeat - daily. I've never met anyone that cares as much about helping other writers as you do. I'm grateful, so very much, for you!

      Happy Days

      Audrey

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

      Vicki, for whatever reason, many writers are either afraid to submit to magazines, or they get discouraged early on and give up. I've found it to not be that bad once you figure out how to do it. Give it another try.

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

      Laura, not only keep you reading, but looking for more by the same writer. Best wishes to you, and thank you.

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

      Thank you Carrie...I'll check your story out right now.

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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I thought I had a good idea for a magazine--but I only pitched the idea once. LOL. I need to try harder. :-) This hub is a great resource for writers!

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      Laura Smith 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      This is advice that I have been trying to follow. Really, the topic of a piece is what will draw you to it, but it's how it is written that will keep you reading. Thanks.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Adrienne, welcome to my neighborhood, and thank you. If I can be of any help as you navigate this place, just let me know.

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      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Simply awesome ! :). You were meant to be a genuine mentor ! :). Its hard to believe your article was rejected because when you get hit hard by rejection you feel like the only one not playing the kick ball. Thanks for your wonderful support. Hey... If you have time check out my cat phishing story :). Stay golden my friend.

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      Adrienne Lea Daniels 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Excellent article here! I'm new here to the scene but definitely recognize a great writer when I come across one. Loved the analogy of the Oregon Trails.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...kalinin, I actually did sell her on a related idea, so it all worked out. Thanks for rooting for me.

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      Lana ZK 3 years ago from California

      I was kinda hoping that in the end you've re-written the barn article and that snooty editor was blown away :-)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marie, thank you....a very insightful comment. I always appreciate reading the thoughts of another writer. The "struggles" you go through, for lack of a better term, I think are quite common among writers. Finding a niche that satisfies us and allows us to spread our wings, that is a tough undertaking. Best wishes to you as you go through the process.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I know for a fact you are a better writer today, so I would say those wings and spreading quite nicely. :)

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      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I'm not sure what my goals as a writer are any more, Bill, but I found the picture of the toilet amusing and, yes, I still have dreams floating around my psyche that get blurry, fade, and then come back.

      Writing success does not necessarily equate to success on Hub Pages, although I think one stands a better chance at the online media if one is successful in another.

      In the past, I remember writing and tears coming to my eyes. The emotions became so strong, I had to walk away from the writing.

      Very often, my work reflects an analytic mind, and I find myself asking, "Do readers really want the level of detail which I engage myself?"

      There are many levels of writing, just as there are many levels of readers.

      I often told myself, if money were the issue and I really wanted to write, then I should do technical writing. Lord, though, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

      I have limited my "groups" here at Hub Pages to 12 categories. The least active category is "Opinion and Technology." I have something on the back burner in my mind to add to the topic, but won't start it until I finish my very slowly moving hub about "Tips on Revision." (Now THAT's boring!)

      I'm honored to have stopped by for the read. Voted Useful. Blessings!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love Ms Dora's comment and i feel exactly the same way. Thank you for your inspiration. I hope my wings are spreading wider and wider...

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, awareness is a huge first step. I know you are aware, and I know you want it...now all that's left is to do it. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, true story...when I took that picture of the toilet, I didn't see the frown face. It wasn't until I got home and downloaded it that I noticed what it looked like. LOL Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for your thoughts.

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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for issuing the challenge once again. I think my Muses are helping me and I'm on it. You are the wind beneath our wings, and I pray that at least some of us fly into the success zone.

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      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      OMG that toilet photo is so funny and brought me to this hub! Totally true and agree with you - I see a lot of boring around and have been guilty of adding to the pool myself too. New angles really can make a boring subject shine if done in a way that hasn't been done before. In a way, it's good writers have so much competition these days - it means they become experts if they hone their craft and learn to ride the bicycle of writing for an audience. Voted useful and up!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I love your reflections and observations about mystery writers and yes, I have noticed the same thing. Of course, if nobody bought those books,the authors would be forced to be more creative, so I guess I'm guilty for being part of the problem. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savvydating, thank you for your kind words. I love that you tell people that about dating. Why settle for less than we deserve? True words.

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I like what you said to those of us who write novels. Something does need to be unique - setting descriptions, the characters, and most especially the plot. I also love mysteries, but it seems so many are written about things that have been reported on the news. Remember "Dragnet" and the opening of "These cases are real. The names have been changed to protect the innocent"? I've read many crime novels by well-known authors and as I read I'm thinking "Wasn't this just on Law & Order? Or maybe it was America's Most Wanted." I think the best mystery writers think like a criminal and create crimes no one has ever thought about before. At least that's what I strive to do.

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      Yves 3 years ago

      You never fail to inspire. Now... how to find my unique voice and a new angle. Hmmm. Actually, I appreciated that you submitted the letter from the publisher. She makes a good point.

      But more to your point, why settle for mundane, average, and ho-hum when maybe, just maybe we can do better. That's sort of what I tell women when dating. You don't have to settle for less. You can do better. Well, I guess it's back to the drawing board for me. Thanks again,for the inspiration, Bill.

      Up & useful.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I have read that book. I devoured everything by Catton once I read the first book. Lesser attainments...we take what we can get, don't we, and strive for the rest. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Have you read REFLECTIONS ON THE CIVIL WAR by Bruce Catton, edited by John Leekley? It's a good book.

      Your article is inspiring. That heart's desire is always before one, to write a masterpiece, a classic. Lesser attainments are pleasing, too -- getting published, getting readers,….

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I did, Melissa. That editor learned quickly that issuing me a challenge is like waving a red flag at a bull. LOL Thank you for your kind words and your faithful following. I really do appreciate you.

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      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Bill, did you ever go back and re-write the barn story? If anyone could come up with a new angle, I'm going to put my money on you! I agree that success means something different to each individual--but who doesn't want to be remembered?! Of course, famous AND rich is even better...but that's just me. Thanks for the great examples!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at you, Ann, taking on a challenge that hasn't been issued yet. LOL I love it, and your little teaser here is enough for me to want more.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! I love your attitude. No, I didn't issue a barn challenge, but I did find a unique way for that editor. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it's hiding pretty good, huh? Well, maybe one day it will see the light of day. I'll be hoping.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Ann, and quite honestly, I never realized how often mundane is written until I joined HP...I want to see more today or I won't read it. Thanks for the example by the way.