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Does Your Writing Career Suck? Five Ways to Unplug Life Support and Gain Success

Updated on May 22, 2015

How’s That for an Attention-grabbing Title?

If the article comes close to the title for impact then I’ll go viral with this one, and as everyone knows, viral means instant success and fame, right?

Whatever!

So, how’s your writing career coming along? Have you reached your goals yet, or are you floundering like some beached beluga?

Some of you are just looking for some supplemental income. Others are looking to write the next great world-acclaimed novel. You’re pounding away at the keyboard day after day and not making the kind of progress you think you should. Doubts are starting to creep in. You are beginning to think a part-time job at Jiffy Lube sounds pretty good right about now. In the words of Dr. Phil: “How’s that working for ya?”

I understand. I don’t have much sympathy but I do understand. And because I do “get it,” I’m going to toss a few thoughts your way. The thing about lists is they are completely subjective. My list of “ways to improve your writing career” may or may not match a list you would make, but that’s really the fun of it. The water-cooler debates can start up immediately. You can mumble to yourself that I’m an idiot, which will make you feel better about yourself, and we all go away happy and over-flowing with excess ego.

So let’s begin. We start with the assumption that your career as a writer is on life-support. How can you fix it before “they” start digging your six-foot hole?

Do you have more recycled material than you do finished product?
Do you have more recycled material than you do finished product? | Source

Learn the Damned Language

Do I really need to expound on this? Well I will anyway, because I consider this to be the number one failing of writers who give up and start scouring the want ads. They just don’t understand the language.

I’m not talking about the definition of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. I’m not talking about the technical definition of “prepositional phrases.” I’m talking about how to use those things so that your words sing and choirs of angels smile down upon you. I’m talking about writing so pure that it brings a smile to the face or your reader, or makes another reader cry, or invokes memories that, in turn, invoke related emotions. I’m talking about writing so that your readers will actually be interested in what you have to say.

Listen, it would take me five minutes to teach you how to compose a proper sentence, but proper doesn’t mean interesting. I could teach you in five minutes how to use punctuation, but that won’t make you a good writer. Language is more than rules. Writing is more than the application of those rules.

Do you want to be a technically-proficient writer, or do you want to be a writer who leaves your readers gasping?

Work Harder and Smarter

I don’t like whining, so if you’re an excuse-maker, keep on moving.

Life is tough. I get it. And my response to you is so what?

But I never get any comments! But I’ve received 2,217 rejections on my novel! But I have kids and I can’t find the time to write! But I can’t find a good-paying writing gig!

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!

Now can we move on?

I’m a big believer in the 10,000 Hour Rule. I believe writing is a craft, and I believe one has to work at a craft to become proficient at it. I’m not at ten-thousand hours yet; thus, I don’t expect success until I hit that mark. Sure it’s possible to make some supplemental income from writing after a few months, but if you want to really be successful, and really make some decent money at writing, then you have to pay your dues and put in the time.

And not only do you have to put in your time but you have to put in your time wisely! If you only have a limited amount of time to spend on writing then you better use that time to your best advantage. Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels like a ’78 Chevy with a busted transmission.

Learn About Marketing

If your goal is to make money as a writer (and I happen to think this is a stupid goal) then you are running a business, and I don’t know of any business that exists for an extended period of time without marketing.

Marketing is the promotion of your product, and a writer’s product is his/her writing. It really is as simple as that. You can be the next Steinbeck but if no one reads your words, you’ll just be the next poor Steinbeck.

How can you attract readers? How can you attract an agent or a publisher? How can you impress a magazine editor? How can you advertise on a limited budget? How can you use the internet for your benefit? How can you reach the greatest amount of people for the fewest dollars? How can you convince readers that you are the second coming of Hemingway?

Figure those things out and you just might reach your goal, but I still think it’s a stupid goal. Writing should be about writing and not making money at writing. Improve your craft and the money will follow. Kind of like the movie “Field of Dreams.” “Build it and they will come!

Is this how you feel at the end of a day of writing?
Is this how you feel at the end of a day of writing? | Source

Get Creative

There are literally millions of writers out there. How are you going to stand out and rise above them all? What makes you different? What makes your writing different? What makes your topic different? What new angle have you taken in your writing? What new approach are you taking in marketing? What new twist do you bring to the literary world?

Anyone? Anyone? Ferris? Ferris Bueller?

I have a writer friend on the site HubPages. Her name is Deb.

Deb loves birds. Deb loves writing. Deb loves photography.

But so do a lot of people, right? I have no idea how many writers are out there who write about birds, but I’ll bet there are a lot of them. Same thing with bird photographers….quite a few. Deb saw the same problems I saw. How was she going to find a creative way to combine all of her loves and actually make some money at it?

She started writing about a local lake in Oklahoma…Boomer Lake. She went to the lake weekly, took pictures of the local species, wrote interesting facts about them, and called the article “Life at Boomer Lake.” She wrote that series for months and months and months, and when she was ready, she approached her local newspaper. Lo and behold, she sold her series to the newspaper….and then she did the same thing at another lake in another part of the state, and sold that series.

In other words, Deb got creative!

Writing is the reward
Writing is the reward | Source

It Just Doesn’t Matter

At one time I was a teacher. I achieved some national recognition at it, and I mention that only because I want to illustrate a point. I loved teaching. I loved working with kids. I often told my friends and peers that I would have taught for no money at all because for me, teaching was a passion. It fed my soul, and I think that attitude was one of the reasons I was so good at teaching. I loved it, and my love showed through in my work within the classroom.

If you are a writer, do you love writing? That may seem like a ridiculous question but I don’t think it is. I don’t think all writers love what they are doing, and I think it shows in their work. To be good at this writing gig….to really be outstanding….you have to have a love affair with the craft.

And if you have a love affair with writing, then making money just doesn’t matter.

Have you ever seen the Bill Murray movie “Meatballs?” A rag tag group of kids competes in a camp sporting event, and that’s their cheer….IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!....whether they win or lose, because for them, the fun was in the competition, and just competing was the reward.

There really are very few in this world who can do what we do. Yes, there are millions of writers, but compared to the latest population total of 7.2 billion, millions is a drop in the bucket. Do you understand how lucky you are to be able to write? To follow your dreams? To do something you love doing?

Money can never be the fuel that propels your writing career. The love of writing must do that and if it doesn’t, it will show in your product.

Let Those Debates Begin

Well I had fun and I hope you did as well. Agree? Disagree? More to add to the list? I’m all ears and eager to hear from you.

No matter what you think of this article, I want you to at least consider the very last sentence…..the love of writing must do that and if it doesn’t, it will show in your product.

Love what you do!

Live long and prosper!

And I hope, tomorrow, your writing doesn’t suck!

2015 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 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, I'll try to use a warmer bucket of water in the future. :) Thanks so much for stopping by. You are always welcome.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      Well Bill to be honest sometimes I do feel like that beached whale flopping around on the sand. Then I read a hub like this and it is like a bucket of water on my face and you shouting get back into that water!

      I am bookmarking this to return to in those low moments.

      Useful and inspirational, as always.

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb! Whatever it is, you've done well, and I love that you are doing something you totally enjoy and helping nature too. How cool is that?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, Billy, it was just one article that was published in two papers. The beauty of all that, that people have somewhere to turn with questions, the exchange of information, and simply some social time with a like-minded person. All of that really, is a piece of cake. The challenge is to keep the people wanting more. That's where other trips to new locales come in.

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

      True words, Lawrence. Very true words. Thank you for them.

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

      When will they ever learn, Heidi? I don't know how many times you and I have to remind them. :) Thanks and Happy Monday to you.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Got to remember as well some of the greatest novels written didn't get regarded as great until years after they were finished! Yet it never stopped those authors persevering!

      Keep at it for the love of the craft! One day it will be rewarded

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Catching up on my billybuc reading!

      Should we call the writers who don't market "Starving Steinbecks" instead of "Starving Artists?" :) You make good points in suggesting writers be very aware of who they are and who their audiences (both readers and writing buyers) are.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, there are so many truths in your comment...you work long hours but still find time for your passion. Bravo to you, my friend. You must feed that passion.

      Thank you for sharing that and blessings always

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      So with you on this one. I work a 65 hour week in my 'day job' I even love the day job (ok I enjoy that it pays the bills and I like it) but writing is a passion!

      I've read the stories of a couple of famous writers and the most common thing is they wrote because of the passion and not the money.

      The money and fame may never come, but that's not going to stop me doing what the good Lord put me here to do and enjoying doing it, if I bring a little happiness on the way then all the better.

      By the way even a 65 hour a week job doesn't stop the writing, it just means I've got to a little thinking outside the box, then again what is a box?

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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

      Shyron, to say the least, you've got a mess on your hands. Very clever little poem. Stay dry, stay safe, and kick that muse in the butt for me. :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill, this is what I need to read everyday

      But time is not on my side

      My muse wants to run and hide

      My phone is ringing

      Hubby is calling

      I don't mean on the phone

      The rain if falling

      The grass is growing

      The lawn needs mowing

      Gray hair is showing

      It needs to be covered right now

      Thoughts in my head,

      Need to be written down but can't find a pen

      Oops the computer went down

      I think I will drown

      It's raining in Texas again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kevin! I hope things turn around for you soon. Keep saying better days will come and perhaps they will.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      This article was very helpful Billy. So far, all of the writing that I have done I have received comments with a positive attitude about my writing. Unfortunately, it is the only job which I have found and I was hoping to receive outside comments to keep food on the table until my food stamps go through. Otherwise I would simply do it for a passion. I voted this up, shared and pinned it.

      Kevin

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

      I think that is fantastic, Glimmer. If you're happy then that's all that's important. It is, after all, your writing. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I'm not gonna lie...I'm fairly happy with my writing career. When I started almost 3 years ago, it was on a whim and I've had loads of fun learning how and what to write online. Of course, I did not have very high aspirations, so for me it's been a fun ride so far. Hope you are well.

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

      Thank you very much, Akriti!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Well written.

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

      Audrey, that is such a kind thing for you to say. Thank you so much. If I'm an inspiration then I am a very happy writer. It always feels good to help another human being. I know you know that. So thank you and you are very welcome.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      You are a cheerleader for writers, and it shows, Bill. You write with passion and honesty and make people believe in themselves. Some days we may not think we are good writers, especially when we work hard on this site and then our scores plummet for no reason. However, you would say we must believe in ourselves and ignore such nonsense. My daughter says if you don't like your brain, retrain your brain. Look up, not down. You are an inspiration to me, and I thank you for that ability, cheerleader friend. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

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

      Thank you Mary! Like you, I can't imagine not writing. I may never reach fame and fortune, but what I have written will live on for hundreds of years, and that ain't bad. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      "I hope tomorrow your writing doesn't suck." What more could a writer ask for?

      Its the love of the hunt, the hunt to write, and you've said it so well. Its taken me years to realize its the love of writing that matters. I know the correct grammar and punctuation though sometimes I slip up on it. That doesn't stop me as I try to improve, and continue to write.

      Another great inspiration with a bit of a kick in the pants Bill. Just what writers need to keep them going.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. We had a very nice weekend. Now, back to work.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, there is no stopping it...the green is spreading over me now that I've read about your latest sojourn. Thanks a lot, friend.

      Love your thoughts on writing. We are kindred spirits for sure.

      Time to get to work. Have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing those pics of Portugal.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Word, thanks for adding to the discussion. I like your thoughts and I appreciate you stopping by...throwin' down....LOL

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very inspirational hub containing some great advice, Bill. I hope you're having an enjoyable weekend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I don't care if I never get paid a penny, I love writing; always have, always will. I hope it shows. What I do need to do is hone it more so that it's crisp, clean, precise, polished, shiny, sharp..... and more!

      The best bit is, we are never perfect. Why is that the best bit? Because it means we never stop trying to be better and better, we never stop trying to polish up whatever we've already done. We look for response, we listen for feedback, then we take note and use that to write a better product for our readers. How much clearer does it have to be?

      Some get it, bill, some just don't. The ones that get it keep on trying and they're the ones who will succeed.

      Hope you're having a great weekend. We are and we're off to Portugal on Tuesday - more photos! More writing! Sorry, not really trying to make you green (not too much anyway), so please don't stop being my friend :))! Seriously, it's a place I've never visited before so I'm hoping to be inspired to produce something a little different.

      Keep on sharing your wisdom with us, bill! We all need that jolt into reality once in a while.

      Ann

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hey billybuc, this is real cool. You be throwin' down. I think what adds to being a good writer is to know that you can write about any simple thing and be courageous about it. Do not leave out any details. Always have a dictionary source to understand the appropriate words to use. Try to stay with the heart of the subject. Don't venture away, at least not too far. Lastly, self-experience makes the best story teller. However, don't go do something crazy just to tell the world about it. There are a million good, simple things to write about. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for adding your experience, Nadine. It's always good to hear from someone in the publishing business. Your opinion matters because of the experience behind it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank! I'm not big on pussyfooting or excuse-making. You succeed by doing these things....or you move on to another pursuit. Pretty simple, 'eh?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailey! It's nice to know someone in cyberspace thinks my jokes are adorable.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      As always great tips. (If your goal is to make money as a writer (and I happen to think this is a stupid goal) Yes I agree do not do ANYTHING just for money! How often do we tell that to a new writer who wants to be published. Today we only take on new writers who already write articles on their topic, thereby showing that their topic is their passion, including writing about it.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      This Potshot hit its mark.. gives you a kick when you need it or tell you to go ahead and take that job at Jiffy Lube.. everything you want to succeed in takes hungry work, dedication and learning what you already think you know..LOL This was hepful, youthful and maybe it really opened eyes and minds for writer want to be.. or those hidden Hemingways.. bravo my friend :)

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Another beautiful article, Bill. I can't imagine spending so much time writing, while hating to write! Your message is clear. Thanks! Your jokes were adorable. Thanks for that!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anne, it is rather surprising, the number of errors I spot in work done by "professionals." I don't understand it but perhaps it's not important that I do. :) Thank you!

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

      Awww, thank you Genna. If I had other work demands maybe I wouldn't be singing this song to the rest of you. :) Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you and yours.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      As always, billybuc, such great points. I could whinge about the number of (financially) successful writers who seems oblivious to how our language works, but that is beside the point. Be the best writer you can, and, as you say, that is by reading, learning the craft by putting in the hours of practise and fine tuning.

      Voted up

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Beached beluga.” Lol. Uh…yup…that about describes it. But I have no excuses other than work demands. Nevertheless, it’s all about choices, and I don’t delude myself into thinking that they aren’t there, shadow boxing with my muse, who has not yet deserted me. (She is as stubborn as I am.) Thank you for this shot in the arm and the tough-love fix that we all need. You continue to inspire, holding our feet to the proverbial fire in encouraging and supportive ways. Have I said, “thank you for being you”? Great write, as always. Happy weekend, my friend, and my best wishes for a pleasant, enjoyable Memorial Day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissae, it's whatever you want it to be. For me, it was just a step up on a small soapbox, spouting whatever popped into my mind at the time. Thanks for reading and enjoy the heck out of your weekend.

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

      Maybe, Pop, your goal is to simply write. Seems like a good goal to me. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rebecca, I love that....in real life. The hardest part of writing for many writers is actually getting out and promoting the writing...many a career has died by not doing that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you completely, Venkatachari M. I can't imagine working a job that one hates. I've done it and life was not enjoyable....now I pick and choose when I work and what I do, and it all depends on liking that work.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, not a lie....a temporary setback you did not foresee. :) Sounds much better than a lie. :) Thank you my friend. Have a blessed and restful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill! If the title caught your attention then my work is done. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Lil Sis, good to see you. The most important thing you wrote it "I'm in heaven working with these kids." There you go. It's all good, and when you take the next path, it will all be good, and if it isn't, you change paths again. Life so easy, right? :)

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      Is this advice? Motivation? A stab at making me self actualized? If any of those fit your purpose, then I am not sure it worked. However, your ideas are spot on, and you entertained me.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      It has just occurred to me that I really don't have any goals!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Bill, the part about Deb and the lake reminds me of something the agents/editors said at the conference I went to. They used an interesting term several times. ..IRL. It stands for in real life. They said that an online presence couldn't beat getting out into the community to promote your writing. Great article!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Awesome hub, as always, with great message. One should love whatever s/he does. Let it be any kind of work. May be writing, teaching, cooking, sewing, crafting, singing. Whatever you do, when done with utmost interest, love and attachment; it will definitely show up in the results.

      Thanks Bill, for this valuable advice and tips. Voted up and awesome.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Good evening Bill.

      Great article as always, giving me chance to peek at the leading advices for the writers.

      My spot slipped out the back door. I lied to you not long ago - (please forgive me,) - that my workaholic career has ended. It didn't. Thus it applies to me " your writing carrier suck."

      Voted useful, interesting.

      Good night my friend, and blessed weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sis! You are great for my ego. :) With people like you in my corner I'm a winner even if I don't make much money. :) Seriously, you are a gem and I appreciate you greatly.

      Have a stupendous weekend, Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi John, and thanks for the visit. Yep, if money is going to be a goal at some point, you'll have to give some t thought to the target audience. Sad but true, my friend. I wish that creativity automatically meant money but it doesn't. You have talent and I have to believe that sooner or later you'll find a way to make that talent pay.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Well that was certainly interesting. I completely agree with you. If you have a passion for something then it's not work and the money will follow. It seems like a pretty simple concept yet most people chase the job with the money. Also, I love the title. It certainly caught my attention. Have a great weekend Bill.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 2 years ago from Western NC

      Wow. Loved this. :)

      And, well...10,000 hours...hmm...between grad school, the writing here, the unfinished novels and my blog...I MIGHT be approaching that.

      But, eh, I have NO regrets about my path. It didn't exactly go the way I thought, but I'm in heaven working with these kids and this program. When life slows a little, you KNOW I've been plotting to paint and write and have all these ideas stuck in my head. And I want to work on the second draft of my ghost story. Maybe publish it. And not make money. But still...it is a love, isn't it? And it ebbs and flows just like anything else. Hope you've had a great day!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro....Newflash: you not only WERE good at teaching, I have a strong feeling there's an entire HP Community who would insist you ARE a great teacher.

      Like Deb with her successful series on birds and her smart move to do something different, I will agree this is a huge key to helping a dream come true.

      There's a definite reason why we "listen-up" intently bro, and follow your lead. Simply put~~ You walk your talk and you do it openly, proudly and successfully! What a gift!

      Nothing comes off as BS or empty words....and our pied piper feels a smart & safe guy to follow.

      Maybe you've considered selling your teaching series to a writer's periodical...or better yet, putting it all into a very successful book?

      BTW...If my goal was money......I starved to death many years ago, along with many of our struggling fellow-writers. But still here!!

      Awesome bro!...UP+++

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Like others here Bill, I love your title. This article especially resonates with me. I agree with every word. Does my writing career suck..hmm? If success or ability is judged in monetary terms..yep, I guess it does. If it's judged in creativity and loving the process of writing then I think it is a resounding success. You have told me a few times that you admire my creativity so I don't think I have enough of that. Shauna's comment made me think though..I really have no idea of the best market for my work. That is something I really need to think hard about if I am ever going to try to make any real money. Thanks for sharing your wisdom once again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I remind myself of that daily. I am living a dream many never live....how cool is that? :) Thanks for the visit and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, you can mini-rant here any old time. I don't know why that particular rule is so hard for people to understand. I was a teacher and I have no idea how many times I marked that wrong over the years, and it annoyed me every single time. :) Thank you!

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

      Very true, Marlene. And I don't know many writers who love marketing. LOL...Luckily, I have a degree in it. :) Thanks and Happy Weekend to you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for Deb's story among other messages. I'm also borrowing your question to ask of myself: Do you understand how lucky you are to be able to write? Great motivation here!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wonderful advice, as always. Passion goes a long way in tempering some of the mechanical shortcomings that I come across, but no matter how heartfelt an article, if it's filled with obvious grammar and spelling errors, well, I'll never know because I'm usually gone after the first "you're" versus "your." Why is that one so hard to get across to people, anyway? (End of mini-rant.)

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      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I agree! You have to LOVE writing like no other thing or else it would be difficult to keep it up day after day. The other thing you have to love almost as much as writing is marketing. But, that's only if you want to sell what you've written.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I happen to love the word "plethora." :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb, and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another plethora of great reminders. Thanks, so much, for keeping them coming... ;-)

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      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      I am so glad to hear Deb sold her series! Great article, as always, Bill. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing part of your story, Cat. I love passion in people. I love to know they are alive and loving the experience. I don't care if they agree with me; just as long as they are passionate and respectful in their point of view. Writing is a great medium for those who enjoy standing on a soapbox, isn't it? :) Happy Weekend!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It sure doesn't, drbj. That should be the starting point of any writing career...sadly, many skip that first step.

      Thank you and Happy Weekend to you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As always, Manatita, I thank you! Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

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      Catherine Tally 2 years ago from Los Angeles

      Good morning, Bill. I have the passion for writing about the things I love and enjoy expressing myself and sharing advice. These are the things which motivate me here. My husband knows how I like to get up on my soapbox and rant , and he's the one who prompted me to get started at HubPages while I was recovering from hip surgery; hence the name Cat on a Soapbox. I am so happy he did! ( I'm sure the feeling is mutual -haha) Thank you for the tips here and for the inspiring story about Deb's success. Have a good one! Cat:)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, I smile every single time I see you have visited. What is it about you? I've never met you and yet you are a dear friend. Well, whatever it is, I'm glad it is there. Thank you my passionate, kindred spirit. Have a superb weekend and tell Mickster I send best wishes.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Sally! When this ceases to be fun this boy is done. :)

      Happy weekend to you too.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! We are both just plugging alone, trying to steer the ship in the right direction. We learn and we grow...and I'm glad you are on the journey with me. Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      'The love of writing propels your writing career.' Truer words were never spoken, Bill, I mean, written. And a knowledge of grammar and correct spelling doesn't hurt.

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      An intelligent, straight-talking kind of Hub, Bill, with lots of great ideas. Excellent Work!

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Well you hit so many nails on the head here and had me nodding, smiling and agreeing. We have heard these tips from you before in different pieces but you know what - I NEVER tire of reading them!

      As you rightly said, passion for your craft shines through your work and I have always believed this. I look back to my Make-Up Artist work and I would eat, sleep and breath my work, honing my craft by reading, practicing, watching and pushing the boundaries. Writing is the same you have to learn your craft, practice it and push those boundaries!

      Thanks my dear friend and Yoda, have missed you but glad to be back here ! Have a wonderful weekend, love to Bev and hope you both have a good one!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Loved reading this Billy. I agree, there is no point in writing if you don't enjoy it. The day I don't enjoy it, is the day I stop writing.

      Have a good weekend

      Sally

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      I don't think this Beluga has reached 10,000 yet, but I'm whittling away at it. I am thankful for the time I have spent on HP and the friends I have made thusfar. I feel that I have learned a lot, but there is so much more to do. Your advice and encouragement have been invaluable.

      Thanks for a great hub (which I have bookmarked). Hope you and Bev have a great weekend. Weather should be great; fire up the grill.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you know I just love the metaphor. Thanks buddy. I'm glad I could provide a tune-up free of charge.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lee. I appreciate it and I'm glad you found it useful.

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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I have an old car -- at least by today's standards. I maintain the thing well and it runs. I have never and never will upgrade it, no new features and no new tricks. I have an old mind -- at least by today's standards. I maintain the the thing well and it runs. But my mind, especially my writing mind is upgraded nearly daily -- by you. I like most the upgrades and try to use them. This article was a boost to those upgrades. Thanks

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      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      A seriously important article, well done, packed full of sound advice, thanks for sharing, voted up, Lee

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Persistence should pay dividends, Larry. Good luck and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Buildreps, I love your honesty. Thanks for the chuckle this morning and Happy Weekend to you.

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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Just got to keep with it. Very helpful article.

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      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Agree! But my writing career still sucks. All excuses I know... blah, blah, blah.... Great title:)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish. I thought I'd have a little fun on this one.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear that, Carol. As for testimonials on the marketing, I have never known anyone who has used those services.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What a great title. You can really hook people,

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      I meant testimonials on these venues for marketing. I think I wasn't clear. I have actually had some good feedback on my book..

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, DJ, at least I know you're still alive. Too bad about that muse, but she's a fickle bitch at best, so don't take it personally.

      LOL You are a hoot. Still no ending to the novel? Walk away from it and don't push it. Leave it alone for a few weeks and don't think about it. The muse will return. She has nowhere else to go.

      Bill

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Update: Word on the street is, my muse met an untimely death.

      Some incriminating verbs are being thrown around.

      Suspicions abound!

      Thoughts of moving to a tropical island in the Caribbean having been

      dancing in my mind. I am actively canvassing parachute riggers for

      old chute fabric with which to make my bikini.

      Must be prepared for all scenarios!

      Lying low,

      DJ.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Tim! I appreciate you stopping by...."writing sucks"....merely an attention grabber. Trying a little marketing myself. :) I'll be by to visit you shortly. Have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I couldn't agree more, Sha! I think narrowing it down is vital. It focuses you, and gives you a quantifiable goal. Thanks for mentioning that...right on my wise friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Mike. I'll take a look at that series this afternoon. I appreciate you stopping by. I see you have a new article so off I go.

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      Tim Mitchell 2 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Great article addressing simply passion. It seems you are suggesting one must have passion for writing firstly. I am not sure of the implication one's writing sucks, however I understand that within the context of some type of professional writing within a competitive marketplace. As you shared marketing is key for the commercial enterprise for writing as an author of work as it is with any product within a marketplace even if it is widget. A well written hub Bill offering wisdom, humor, and a reality check while presenting one must realize the dream in order to discover the vision.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I think a writer also needs to determine what type of writing they want to do. I think most of us aspire to be novelists, but not all can or will make a living at it. Do you want to write for magazines? Copy for webpages? Product descriptions? Local businesses? Big business? eCommerce?

      Once you determine what type of services you want to offer, concentrate on the market you want to target or feel comfortable writing for. Then, research and reach out.

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      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Looking at your Youtube clips a thought occurred to me that in those spare minutes you have you might enjoy the Blank on Blank series that can be found there.

      Now, I am going to try to dissolve the words, 'writing career'

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, great question and I will answer it Monday. It won't take me long to answer that one. LOL Have you done book signings? Readings? Libraries and local reading groups? Retirement homes and senior centers?

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      I loved this hub and I am going to bookmark to reread. Getting creative with marketing...and getting creative with your topic. Food for thought for me...for sure. There is no magic bullet or easy way....ANyway I hope this is okay to ask a question for the mail box...What do you think of all these people who promise you for a small fee to be in all the search engines, emails, social media...which would reach millions of people? I have been asking for testimonials and none have appeared.