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The Writing Mental Process

Updated on October 4, 2013

“If you have not yet done so, would you be willing to write a hub (or a blog article or series) on the tips and tricks you use to be consistently very prolific, with consistently high quality? Do you use voice recognition software? Which? Do you have a personal assistant to shave you and spoon feed you and tie your shoes while you keep writing nonstop? Do you have mental tricks for staying focused? Do you speed type? Do you have ways to give yourself "deadlines" even though you are your own boss? Is being free of procrastination, frittering, daydreaming, and sidetracks a divine gift? Do you use time management software or have a time management system? Do you have daily or other time unit writing goals? Do you do first drafts by longhand, by typing, by dictation, or other? Do you think as you write or have the whole work in your head before you start writing -- or other? Do ideas come to you out of the blue in a constant stream of inspiration?”

Welcome to my world
Welcome to my world

The Answers to Those Questions

I spent exactly 42 minutes finding the comment posted above; I couldn’t remember on which hub it was made, so I had to scan a few before I found it. It came from a friend of mine on HubPabes; Brian is his name, and his comment gave me a chuckle, especially the part about a personal assistant who shaves me and spoon feeds me while I write nonstop.

But there are some serious aspects to that comment that I think I’ll respond to today, mainly because I have seen variations of them quite often over the past eighteen months on HubPages.

If you are ready then let’s dive headfirst into the whole writing process. I’ll tell you how I do things and then I’ll have some suggestions towards the end that might give you some inspiration.

Unbelievable potential in every writer
Unbelievable potential in every writer | Source

Time Management

I can only tell you what works for me, and regarding time management what works is to treat my writing career like the job it is. It is a job of passion to be sure but it is still a job Monday through Friday, fifty-two weeks per year. I am up every morning at six and I am in my writing studio by seven. Customers are dealt with from 7-10, and from 10-4 I write articles, submit articles and work on other projects that are always lurking in the periphery.

Friends and relatives know that writing is my job. They know that I am not available to meet for coffee or to go play or to visit during my workday. I am dead serious about this and they know that.

I realize that not everyone writes full-time. Many of you have jobs and kids and whatever, and you only have a limited number of hours that you can devote to writing….still….I think it is extremely important that a designated time be set aside for writing each and every week, and that time is sacred if you are serious about writing.

I don’t know what kind of person you are with regards to organizational skills. I am a very, very organized person; some would say I have tunnel vision and an obsession with writing, and that may be closer to the truth than I care to think about at this time, but the fact is that I let nothing get in the way of my writing. I only have a limited amount of time left on this planet and I have a ton of things I want to accomplish. I have a grand plan that I am working on, and if I’m going to achieve that plan then I need to be serious about it.

Writing Goals

I have written before about goals and the importance of having a master plan, but for those of you who missed those articles, I’ll briefly gloss over it again.

I have a master plan. I know exactly where I want to be with my writing career in five years. Why five years? Because that’s how long it took Harper Lee to realize her dream with “To Kill A Mockingbird” and I figure if it was good enough for that genius then it is good enough for me.

Once I established what my goal was, I then had to break it down into manageable bits and pieces, and I have done that as well. In effect I made an outline of my plan with subheadings, and each subheading is aimed at achieving the ultimate goal.

I have spent the past eighteen months establishing a body of work. Now that I have done that I can move on to being published in magazines and newspapers, my next step in the plan. Imagine a pyramid if you will. I have built the foundation and now I am layering towards the top.

Are you a first draft and done type of person?

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First Drafts or Whatever

I have an unorthodox method of writing, completely at odds with the way I taught creative writing when I was a teacher. I always taught my students to outline and do rough drafts, mainly because middle school and high school students have a hard time with organization and staying on track.

I, however, have no such problem, and I will generally write an entire article and be done with it after the first draft. I do not outline. When I wrote my novel “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today” the outline was in my head. 80,000 words later the novel was done. I could see the entire story as I wrote it, and all that was left for me to do was create scenes and develop characters that fit within that mental story outline. At times the characters wrote the book; they took on a life of their own and I just left them alone to tell the story in their own words.

My method of writing is not for everyone; in fact, I don’t recommend it for many writers. I am a big advocate for re-writes, and I will touch up most articles that I write, but rarely do I do a complete overhaul of an article. That has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with working with a process that works well for me.

Organization of Ideas As I Write

Brian asked if I think as I write or have the whole work in my head before I start writing.

Often times an article begins with a single thought. I will see something while out walking, or I will hear someone say something, and that becomes the genesis for an article. I will go home and write down a working title based on what I saw or heard.

I was listening to a baseball game on the radio the other day, and the announcer said something about a high and tight pitch, and that reminded me of my high school days when I would regularly brush back a batter with a fastball up around their eyes just to get their attention, and that in turn led to an article about using the tools that we have to accomplish the things that we want. In that case I knew exactly what I wanted to say in the article.

In other instances, I will sit down and look at the working title and the article, and I will write an introduction. By the time I am done with the introduction I know where I am going with the article. It is a subconscious process that has developed over time.

If I were to make one point about this process that I think is important it would be that writers need to trust in their abilities, and they also need to trust in the process. Allow your imaginations to run at times unfettered, and trust that you will get exactly where you were meant to go once it is all over.

I just love this video and you will too

INSPIRATION

And yes, Brian, ideas just come to me out of the blue. I can’t shut them off. Bev looked at me the other day while we were walking and she said I had that look on my face that signals that I’m thinking of a future article, and she was right. I had just seen a mother pushing her child in a stroller and an idea came to me.

Writers have to be open to ideas. As I have developed as a writer over time I find that my subconscious is much more receptive to inspiration than it was when I was much younger. I think like a writer. I feel like a writer. My five senses seem to always be on alert just waiting for the next idea, and once that idea appears I gobble it up as a starving man would gobble a Big Mac.

Having said that, I must also mention that at sixty-four I now have a rather faulty memory, so I carry a small notebook with me to capture the new ideas when they come to me. I jot the idea down when it arrives and then smile with satisfaction that I have once again won a small battle against the aging process.

There are times when inspiration needs to be sought from outside the writing studio
There are times when inspiration needs to be sought from outside the writing studio

Finding Inspiration

And now is the time when I’m going to toss out some suggestions that might help you find inspiration. I’m going to just list these ideas and you can do with them as you will. Keep what you need and leave the rest for the next visitor.

  • Turn on a radio station that you have never listened to before and give them ten minutes to inspire you
  • Meet a friend for coffee and just chat about life
  • Make a new recipe for dinner of a dish you have never tried before
  • Go for a walk in the woods and imitate Thoreau
  • Go for a walk downtown and people-watch
  • Do something risky with your writing; in other words, boldly go where you have never gone before
  • Go to a writing retreat or conference
  • Visit a new blog once a week and absorb the different writing styles
  • Try a new experience once each month
  • Write about something you know nothing about
  • Lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by
  • Splash in a mud puddle and giggle like a little kid
  • Spend time with some little kids
  • Find a pen pal and learn about another culture

That’s enough for now. I’m overflowing with inspiration and I need a break before my head explodes.

THANK YOU BRIAN, and thanks to all of you for roaming around inside my head. I hope you found something useful in there. Now, where the heck did my personal assistant go off to? J

2013 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 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diana, you got that right. I started writing full time when I was 62 years old so no worries...keep the dream alive my friend.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is another great article I find inspiring. I wish I could devote more time to writing. Someday I hope I can. It's never too late to tackle a dream.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, thank you so much. Be careful roaming around in my head; it can be a scary place. LOL

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi billybuc - I read this several days ago and found you to be a master at your trade. Your mind must move quickly to enable you to work so efficiently. Maybe I can try some of your ideas. I either mind map my outline or put my words on a voice recorder on my IPhone. However, I know what I need to say. I will try, as you do, not to have ten drafts with a paper trail cluttering my computer space. Thank you for allowing us to get in your head and learn a more efficient way to write. Keep up the good work. Audrey

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I'm glad I could provide you with food for thought, and I hope your Sabbath was a rewarding one. Thank you my friend.

      blessings

      bill

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

      Wow! You talk about a prize in a box! This is fascinating and it has sparked some thought to the question you have answered and hope others will answer and share too.

      This is such a great read to find on this Sabbath day.

      Blessings always...Shalom

      tweet, shared and up ++++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, without a doubt you have the best prompts in writing with Boomer Lake.....love the series and love what you do with it.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      When I sit down to write, the plan is in my head and I just put it on paper. It is as simple as that. When I have a dream for an inspiration, I must awaken and do it immediately, or it will be gone. When I write "Life at Boomer Lake, " the week's photos allow me to tell the story.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alise, and I appreciate you stopping by. I look forward to seeing that experience translated into your new writings.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      I love that suggestion for spending time with little kids. I have been spending time, with my table parked next to a particular CSA at our local farmers' market, getting to know the 20-something-year-old interns. Such energy and perspectives! I've been having a ball. We'll have to see how the experience contributes to my writing...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alok, you raise points I am not qualified to answer, and in all honesty I'm not sure it is important how it happens, as long as it happens. :) Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, it is always a pleasure having you stop by. I'm not sure how modest I'm being, but thank you!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bill

      I find writing factual prose and fiction easier; it is the poetry that takes more editing......rhyming is a blessing and a curse!

      I always have a notebook and my memory is fine. You are just being modest and you really carry one because your ever ready to be inspired and it definately has nothing to do with age ;)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and more importantly your excellent tips.

      Anna :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I am honored to know it will be used in your class. Thank you so much for that.

      Have a great Sunday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I wish I could help you get started, and I hope you find the impetus you need to get the verbal ball rolling.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am teaching English Comp this semester and will use this post as inspiration with my students. Thanks!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Billy (billybuc) great tips, they are a great help, but I have interuptions, and daydreams, sometimes I think about writing my daydreams. It is so hard to get started on a new hub. Voted-up UI and will share, and pin on my Art-Writing board.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok! Have a great weekend and Aloha my friend.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Incredible hub as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you drbj...I will stop by and read that hub shortly. Have a great weekend and stay inspired.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, that is where I am now...I can't stop writing...and I love it.

      I hope you are well my friend. It's good to hear from you and thank you very much.

      Have a great weekend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, nicely stated....even the mundane things inspire....indeed they do my friend. Thank you!

      Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Fascinating to get inside your head, Bill, since we share a particular writing trait in common. I refer to getting an idea for a topic and then, more or less, letting the character (s) help you write the rest of the story. I shared my topic-inspiration thoughts on my hub: 'How You Can Find New Topics for Hubs.'

      Have a pleasurable weekend!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I'm not organized at all. I write when I have some time over, often when the rest of my family is sleeping. Right now I haven't written in a while, but I know it will soon come a period, when I can't stop writing. I liked this hub very much!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, thanks for giving us a peek into the whole process that goes on in your mind. For a writer even mundane things inspire. Thanks for teaching the value of keeping the mind receptive to what's going around.

      Voted all the way up and across and passing it around.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, instead of "love is in the air" we'll change it to "inspiration is in the air." It really is all around us if we are receptive to it.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cris! I know how busy you are and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Have a great weekend.

      love from Oly

      bill

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill,

      Voted up and across. I like the comment that inspired you to write this, and I also liked your suggestions and thoughts. There's inspiration all around us!

      Take care, my Olympian friend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Just want to let you know....I was here, came by to bookmark another great hub.

      Like you, I simply write, no formatting required. I just let my creative juice flow and write whatever my heart and my mind dictates. However, at times I need to squeeze it in not because there's no idea in mind but because there's an overflowing of ideas and not much time in hand.

      Thank you Bill for another great read.

      Love from the sky~

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Heidi! My best writing happens before lunch; after I fill by belly all bets are off. LOL

      I hope your weekend is great as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I hope that graphic work is going well for you buddy. Thanks for taking the time to read my articles. You are appreciated as always.

      bill

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I am so with you, buddy! I NEVER outline (my freshman English teacher would be aghast!). I just work on writing chunks and move the chunks around until they fit, trashing them if they don't. Don't recommend it as a blueprint for other writers. But it works organically for me. Don't do a lot of overhauling either, just touching up bits here and there.

      Mid-day writing works for me, too. Need to get all the business details done, then I can think clearer. Then I'll write again later after the afternoon onslaught of emails and such. Writing takes concentrated effort.

      Have a great weekend!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      I am like you Bill, I typically just sit and write an article all at once. I don't outline, or try to create a format for my writing, I just write.

      lately I have been focusing on my graphic work in the Virtual world, and attempting to create a small residual income. So I have not been paying much attention to writing.

      I am here though, and I see all your articles, and many others as well.

      Mark

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Melissa, I get down just like everyone else. Writing can wear a person to the nub....and there are days it seems to be a colossal waste of time. :)

      Thank you, and if I hit it big you can certainly ask for a loan. LOL Not sure what my answer will be.

      Have a great weekend....and thank you very much.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I love how open you are Bill, allowing us a peak into your mind. That is so awesome. You seemed a little down the other day, but I can see you fought through that and are continuing with the 5 year plan...You, my friend, are a great mentor for so many other writers. I can't wait until all your hard work pays off (and it has nothing to do with the fact that I want to hit you up for a loan, I swear!).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I can't deny the aging part....so I have to make it work for me. :) Thank you and I hope your Friday is a rewarding one.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting, The only thing i connect with is carrying a notepad and pen to jot down an idea. ( forgetfulness is a sign of aging, oh no! ) Really, your idea's are great. Thank you again....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you for sharing your writing process. Although many of us follow different schedules, I think it is vitally important that we follow SOME schedule....otherwise life just gets in the way and we never do write.

      Blessings and love coming your way

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, good point. Surprisingly, that does not happen often for me. You would think that my own article would give birth to more ideas, but rarely does it happen. Hmmm! Something for me to work on.

      Thank you and I hope it's not unbearably hot in Arizona.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      BNadyn, it sounds to me like you do everything that I suggested and then some. Well done my friend, and best wishes with your future writing. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MPG, thank you so much, and I love that you find inspiration from everyday life around you. You have the tough job done; now, on to organization. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dennis, I thank you very much for all the sharing and kind words. I hope you found something useful in this that you can use.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you can always send me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com and we can chat about your dilemma. I would love to help you if I can.

      Blessings and love coming your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I agree with you completely...it is all part of the fun of creating. That is the challenge for me. I don't care how I get there as long as I get there. :) Have a wonderful weekend in jolly old UK.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, your first point about having different agendas as writers, makes it very hard to write a hub about writing that applies to all writers. Some just aren't here for the same reasons and that is fine....just makes it hard to speak to them. :)

      Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, if I am moral support for you then I am a very happy writer. Be inspired....be passionate....and write!

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Faith! There are two schools of thought about writing what you know....not sure which I agree with to tell you the truth.....I think I lean towards writing about that which inspires you. :)

      blessings always

      bill

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful share Billy and when I first began to write I said to myself that I need no schedule and would jut allow the day ahead to unfold!! Ok some would say "That's great and just what I do!!"

      however that did not work for me and have slowly but surely drawn out a schedule ;not a strict one but it is there all the same !!!

      Today more than ever I adhere to the schedule and feel a self satisfaction as I cross off my to do list. This way I find I can also find time to read the blogs of others as well !!When it comes to the actual writing I do have this self made habit of getting up just before 6.am ;making that cuppa ;feeding the cats and then sitting down with note pad and pen. Maybe I shall edit the rough sketch of yesterday or begin a new thread altogether ;which may just pop into my mind. Then after Dai has left for work I work away on the computer very often editing is I go !!!Thank you for another great share Billy and here's wishing you a wonderful day ahead.

      Eddy.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Organization is not my string suit. I have learned to work around that (for the most part!) Like you, I write it once and revise. One of my favorite things is when the 2nd or 3rd article is born within the 1st! Thank you Bill

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Most of the time I'll just type everything down, leave if for a couple hours or a day and then go back, edit and publish. I carry a notebook around, too, so when I have an idea I'll write it down. I like to people watch also to help me with character-building so a notebook comes in handy. There are times when it's easier for me to write the whole thing in my notebook first before getting on the computer. I agree, as writers, we observe everything and more alert and often, it's a little hard to turn it off. This is an insightful view inside a writer's head and great tips for finding inspiration!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This hub is so inspirational for any writer, young or old. I enjoy writing and have many ideas. The ideas come for every day happenings and people in my life. Now I need to take heed of your advise and get more organised. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago

      Fantastic hub,

      The information in this hub is well organized and beneficial to all who write whether they do so part time or full time. I voted up, interesting, useful and awesome along with liking, pinning and tweeting.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hello Mr. Inspiration! Jeepers, creepers, I need you and Bev to move in :) I'm so not organized which is why I haven't sent you anything yet. Where do I start? (MY Book.) How do I turn my hubs on singing into chapters? My head is so full of "stuff" and I haven't a clue how to get started.

      Don't tell me to send you an outline - 'cause I don't do that. :) Oh boy Bill, I really need your help.

      The video gave me goose bumps. Thanks so much dearest Bill for all you give.

      Love you ~ Audrey

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      You must be getting awfully tired of hearing this but, great hub, Sir. I especially like your swipe at the aging process by using a notebook. I have found, much to my dismay, that I have become more dependent on a notebook too. :(

      I don't believe there is any one, perfect way to write. Some people like outlining first then writing. Some people, like me, get a vague idea, start writing and see where it takes them. But is only through actual writing that you can find what works for you. It's all part of the the fun of creating new worlds and people to live there.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What is interesting about this..to me is that we all have very different agendas about what we want from this writing activity. You are driven and focused and allot time for your writing.....I kind of do that..However, I am not in strong goal agenda because I am a wheel with many spokes. However, though I am not organized with stuff around me, I am about time. I write a list everyday and pretty much stick with it. Getting up at 4:30 helps, as I am very productive in early hours. However, all that being said..I have seen you progress and you are on your way...

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Good evening Bill,

      How I needed this, how I needed, to hear that's all right to deal with those hot and bothered ideas... H'm it's easy to follow a five years plan once you know where your starting point is. I'm with you billy I'm with you; dealing with " Michael " who before been there where need to be now and it's like coming back to accept your assurance that those unsettled wild inspirations are not unusual as they are needed.

      Your hubs are a moral support upholding me not to give up.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      Be blessed and prosperous .

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      I love that Brian inspired this interesting hub here. I also love your wonderful list of inspiration there. Yes, music, people, places and I love how you stated to change the radio station, as that is truly a way to be inspired hearing something different. And I was always under the impression to write about what one knows, but I have found that is not the case, but to write about something you do not know, and you will be surprised!

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Gail, I'm glad my hubs are good for something. :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great Friday filled with inspiration.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      I often keep a yellow pad with ideas about topics. It seems at times it really flows and at other time nothing. I know to pull one of your hubs up if I need some inspiration, motivation or tips.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Lizzy.....one thing I definitely am is focused...maybe a bit too much at times, but that's what I have Bev around for...to keep me grounded on what is important in life. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Jo....you know, it's okay to miss a few. It's not like you don't have a life. :) I really appreciate your loyalty and friendship, and my best to you as well my Bedfordshire friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you whonu....I'm amazed when I hear writers say they have writer's block....I can't shut my brain off. LOL

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      It's similar to becoming an athlete: you need self-discipline and a constant mindset that directs you toward your goal.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, another great hub, interesting and very useful as always. I've missed a couple so I'll be playing catch-up.

      My best to you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, thanks for mentioning that. I take a notebook with me to people watch, and jot down characteristics of the people I see...and they become characters. I love the process.

      I'm glad you find it cozy inside this old head of mine. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, it's an interesting process for sure...I was just thinking about an old song I remembered, and a hub came to me in a flash...then I ran back inside to write it down. I never know when the ideas will hit me but I have to be receptive and willing or I'll lose them.

      Thanks buddy; I hope you are having a great summer.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abby, I love that you have a to do list. A person after my own heart. :) I'm a lister, and I cross things off and add...lately I'm adding much more than I'm crossing off. LOL

      Thank you my loyal friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, thanks for your suggestions and thoughts. Writing a crime novel is a difficult undertaking because of all the facts and clues that have to be entered and remembered. Well done!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dahlia! I am enjoying a very beautiful summer and I hope you are doing the same.

      blessings and a hug are yours

      bill

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      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Nice work Bill. I get inspiration from family and friends on Hub Pages, as well as from news casts and events happening every day all about me. The world is full of writing topics..some more demanding than others. Thank you for this well learned message and sharing it with us other writers. whonu

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      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Thank you so much for this piece. I love the tips. The thing that impresses me the most is the realization that when we are searching for inspiration, we need to step out of doing ordinary day-to-day things. I get inspired when I go to the park or to the lake and people watch. It's fun to watch people interact with each other and it helps me create believable characters. Thank you for opening the door to your head. It's kind of cozy in there!

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips and ideas Bill. I also carry a small note pad to write down ideas. topics for articles come to me at the strangest times and if I don't write them down I sometimes forget them. And you are correct about having a schedule for writing. With a full time job I have to be very disciplined with my time. Great job Bill.

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      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great hub, Bill. That's great about having a 5 year plan! I also have a plan, but so many interruptions sometimes make me wonder if I'll have to increase it to 6, 7, 8... . LOL. When I write books, it's different from the way I write online. For books, I do make an outline. Then I will research to make sure my facts are together and to have references for my readers. Then I write. I usually have editors look over, but I also re-read it several times, but it's sometimes difficult to find errors (even when there are some) due to googly-eyes of looking at the same content day in and day out. LOL. For online articles, I just write. Rarely do I change anything except grammar. But, I am also a very organized person and will have a To Do list for each day of the week. I cross each duty off after I've completed it. If I finish my list early in the day, then I will play a bit or start on something for the next day. Very useful article! Thank you for sharing and inspiring us writers! :-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, my philosophy in writing....just do it! :) Nothing fancy about what I do.

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      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      Great hub! My method varies depending on what I'm writing. With hubs, I write my title and summary and then just let the idea free flow onto the page. I don't stop to rearrange or edit until I'm finished with the article. Only then do I go back and make any necessary changes. With my novels, I start with a very basic outline and jot notes as I go. I write crime novels so my outlines tend to be more along the lines of the detective's "murder book" because I have to remember who the witnesses are, what evidence was collected, and so forth and address those things later in the novel.

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      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      An interesting and useful hub Bill. I should be more disciplined with my writing, I know! Thank you for reminding this again, and for other inspiring tips. Hope you are enjoying the warm summer. Have a lovely day.

      Sending you smiles and blessings :-)

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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for giving us a peak inside your head. I don't outline articles per se; I scribble notes about things I want to include on a piece of scratch paper and go from there. And I don't ever really write a rough draft; I revise as I go along. When my first draft is done, it's pretty close to final. But I do print it out and let it sit for a bit before one final looksee

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      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      Those are good ideas to get inspiration running around in my head. I guess I've never really thought about how I do it. I just write in whatever snippets of time I have. Maybe I do need to think about the process more though.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting pespective, Mel; thanks for sharing that. I'm quite happy with my process and see no reason to change it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting, Vinaya. Thanks for sharing your own experience with us.

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      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Some very fine writers, such as Stephen King and Ray Bradbury do not outline either. They claim that it ruins the story, because if a writer does not stay interested in the story no one else will either. King said that writing a novel is like excavating an archaeological find; you have to uncover the earth slowly and carefully to find what is underneath. I don't outline either because if I do I'll probably just scrap the entire project out of pure boredom. Very good tips. Great hub!

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      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Bill,

      when I was writing full time in newspaper, I could not produce more than 9 articles. When I write full time on HP, I cannot publish more than 11 hubs. These days I write both for print and online, and cannot write more than 10 articles in a month.

      Thanks for speaking your mind.

      Cheers

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I swear, my writer's mind never shuts off, and for that I am grateful. I can't imagine having writer's block and I hope I never do have it. I love the creative process. :) Best wishes to you my friend and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, thank you! I'm just doing what I was raised to do. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, that inspiration can be elusive at times. I'm sending you some of mine in hopes it will jump start some ideas for you. :) thank you Sir!

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      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Bill- I love this article and yes and it is inspiring! So many of my ideas come from just regular things that many wouldn't even think twice about. My idea for my book Phobia stemmed from a pleasant walk at the beach one night, the 'thriller' portion of my brain found something scary about what most others thought was peaceful! Music can definitely trigger ideas as well. As for being organized, I pride myself on that as well, however, I'm finding that ideas for hubs, blogs and books are sneaking into my brain while I'm working my 9-5 job...going to have to do something about that! ;) Have a great day, Bill. Always great to read your hubs!

      Liz

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Another great Hub, Bill.

      You give of yourself, day in and day out.

      Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.

      DJ.

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. My problem is that I cannot visualise things inspiration does not come easily. Organization and logic certainly are my stronger points. They though come after the inspiration. I shall try some of your recommendations. Brilliant as usual Bill.

      Graham.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much DDE...it's always a pleasure having you stop by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I totally agree, and I rarely second-guess myself. I trust in my writing abilities and have to let them flow freely or it just doesn't work for me.

      Thank you my dear friend; I hope you are having a great day.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, there is great comfort in knowing that others do it that way. Yes, just like a movie in my brain; all that's left for me to do is put that movie into words. :) Thanks for your perspective.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I love that you use photographs for inspiration. I do that too but not enough. Thanks for the reminder, and as always, thank you for your loyal friendship.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome hub you did this so well on Inside the Mind of a Writer, right on and well explained, sound advice.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, my process is very much like yours. I get a thought or first line in my head and write it down. Once my thoughts expand, I open up Word, give my article or story a title and go to work on the intro or 1st paragraph. From there it usually just flows. If not, I save it and wait for the next line or idea in the story to hit me. Usually, once I get going, my thoughts keep coming and I try my best to force my fingers to keep up with me. I don't write drafts or outlines. I write until my mind creates the conclusion. I read, edit, re-read and edit again. Then I post. I do occasionally go back into my Word files and edit my older pieces for grammar or flow, especially if I'm sending them off as samples of my writing, but I've never completely revamped anything I've written. That would be second-guessing myself. First instincts, even in writing, are usually the ones that are true.

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      anndango 4 years ago

      "I could see the entire story as I wrote it." Holy cow!! Okay, so I thought I was the only one who could 'see' the story. Glad someone else outlines in their head. I don't know about you, but I 'see' my story's structure, like it's an actual physical structure. I see the characters. My story is like a movie running through my mind, fully formed. It's hard to explain and an odd sensation when you start seeing things!! (I'm a normal person. I really am. Except when I'm writing.)

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I would have to thank your brain too for sharing all the good thoughts and ideas! I, like you, write based on an idea that pops into my head. My days of outlines are gone.

      My favorite inspirations, aside from movies of course, is looking at things I might want to photograph, the ideas flow from that.

      As for organization, ninety percent of my writing (and reading) is done in the morning. The nights we stay over at my in-laws usually leaves the next morning out...that's two nights a week, but I try to make up for it early in the evening. Thanks for sharing yet again, more inspiration and information.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I do believe it's going to rain here....something we haven't seen in quite some time. I must say I kind of missed it. LOL Shhh, don't tell anyone that.

      Just doing my bricklayer thing, buddy, and hoping that others will pick up a trowel and join in.

      Have a great day and thank you my friend.

      Aloha,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, you are absolutely correct...the unique angle is what we all seek....or what we all should seek. :) Thanks as always for the visit and words of wisdom.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      holistic, I hope so...best of luck and thank you!

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Excellent piece, Bill! Inspired (a compliment in itself) by Brian's comments, you did your unique bricklayer thing once again and built another strong foundation layer towards the ultimate realization of your 5-year plan. I learned a good deal about your drive, dedication, and passion for your work from this hub, and if I can survive the angry clouds and promise of rain at any second this morning, I'll take that inspiration along with me as I walk. And if I decide to avoid the thunderstorm, I'll do the same with my writing this morning. Thanks for sharing, and a shout out to Brian for instigating yet another billybuc creation. Aloha, my friend!

      ~Joe