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Twenty Writing Tips To Improve Your Writing

Updated on February 27, 2013

WE ALL NEED HELP FROM TIME TO TIME

I have said often that writing is a lonely business. As writers we spend countless hours sequestered in our writing studios pounding out words, separated from the world, roaming about in our own heads. It is easy to get so wrapped up in our writing that we forget some very basic principles about our craft.

With that in mind, I thought I would compile some simple tips that might help you during those long writing hours. As always, use what you need and leave the rest for the next person who comes along. I am sure that you already do many of these things. Some may not apply to you and that is fine. I just toss these out, like noodles, and if any of them stick to the wall then my work is done.

The Writing Process
The Writing Process | Source

WRITE WITH PASSION

I can’t imagine writing if there is no passion. Writing is an Art, an expression of thoughts and a mirror of life itself. With our words we have the ability to either alter reality or clarify it, but either way we should be excited about it. Otherwise it is just so much scribbling.

WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW

Why do research when you are a fountain of knowledge? We all have expertise in something, whether it be parenting or knitting, motion pictures or teaching. This falls under the category of not reinventing the wheel. Tap into that encyclopedia that rests inside your brain and use your life’s experiences to fuel your next piece of writing.

ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY WORDS

Good writers are minimalists. They use just the right combination of words to get their point across and then they stop. If you have chosen your words properly then there is no reason to beat your audience over the head with words that are merely window-dressing.

SIMPLE IS SOMETIMES BETTER

I have seen writers who are so enamored with the English language that their main point gets lost in that language. When I think of James Patterson I think of a writer who has shaved his writing style down to the foundation. He writes what needs to be written in a very simple, straightforward manner, and it is quite effective. Sometimes dazzle is better left for the 4th of July and Vegas floorshows.

PAINT A PICTURE

A writer is a painter who uses words instead of paint. Through your words a scene must be constructed. The reader should be able to gain a vision of that scene by reading what you have written. If that scene is blurred you have not done your job as a writer.

LEARN FROM CRITICISM

Nobody likes criticism but most people can learn from it if willing. I keep a file of every rejection slip I have received, and I refer to it often. I re-read negative comments several times and try to learn from them. It is not something I enjoy but it does pay benefits. A writer must have a thick skin but they must also be eager to learn.

BE UNIQUE

There was only one Hemingway so quit trying to write like him. There was only one Steinbeck and there is only one James Lee Burke. Keeping that in mind, there is also only one you, and that is an asset you must capitalize on. Be yourself and develop your own style.

FIND YOUR OWN NICHE

Everyone wants to follow the crowd. We are, by nature, a herd species. As writers, we are constantly trying to follow the latest trends. Instead, try to establish a new trend. Try to find a niche that has not been beaten to death by a million other writers. To borrow from StarTrek, boldly go where no man has gone before.

DON’T EDIT THE FIRST DRAFT

Let your writing flow on the first draft. Allow your subconscious to take you on a test drive. Check out the handling, see how she responds to the tight curves and push the pedal to the metal on the open road. Once you have the first draft done then you can go back and edit and spell-check. In other words, don’t disrupt the creative flow by worrying about proper grammar on that first draft.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Who is going to believe in you other than your spouse and children? You are the one who has to sit there hour after hour, day after day, week after week, pounding out words with no positive feedback. You are the one who will have to face rejection and hammer back the self-doubts. If you don’t believe in yourself then it might be time to take up a safe hobby like crochet.

Have a camera with you all the time
Have a camera with you all the time | Source

READ YOUR WORK OUT LOUD

You will be amazed at the mistakes you catch by simply reading your work out loud. I’m not sure why this works but it does. Read it like you have an audience. You will be surprised what you discover.

WRITE DAILY

Writing is a craft and as such it needs to be done on a daily basis. One does not perfect a craft simply by willing perfection. The craft guilds of old had different levels to designate the proficiency in that craft, from novice to apprentice to journeyman to expert. The only way to move up to the next level is by writing daily.

CARRY A NOTEBOOK AND A CAMERA

This is something I learned years ago. I always have a notebook in which I jot down ideas, and I always have a camera to capture unique scenes that I might want to recreate in my writing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust my memory. I am more than willing to use these tools to help me along my journey.

DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH ADJECTIVES

I might add that you should not fall in love with adverbs either; some famous writer once said that adverbs were the crutch of an inexperienced writer, and the same can be said for adjectives. The majestic tree brightly shimmered in the sunlight…..what the hell does that mean?

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS

Speaking of famous writers, they are famous for a reason and that reason is because they are damn good. You can learn a great deal by reading the masters. Every single time I read Steinbeck or Harper Lee, I marvel at their sentence structure and the way they force me to feel.

The rules of grammar cannot be overlooked or ignored.
The rules of grammar cannot be overlooked or ignored. | Source

TO BE A GOOD WRITER, FIRST BE A GOOD READER

Back in my teaching days I would always tell parents during conferences that the greatest gift they can give their children, other than love, is a love of reading. People become good writers because they were or are good readers. We learn the language from reading, so it follows that the more we read the more we will learn.

GRAMMAR IS KING (AND QUEEN) OF GOOD WRITING

I consider myself a reading snob. If I come across poor grammar I will quit reading. It is as simple as that. I refuse to waste my time reading drivel. Your job as a writer is to entertain and educate. Your job is not to make your readers sick to their stomachs. Learn proper grammar or again, take up crochet.

GET RID OF EXCUSES

I don’t have enough time. I don’t get enough comments. I don’t have enough followers. I was dropped on my head as a child. Nobody loves me. WHATEVER! Toss the excuses in the garbage and start writing. That is what writers do, so quit finding reasons why you can’t and grab hold of the one reason why you can…..you are a writer!

TURN OFF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

I happen to believe that most writers are insecure. I think most writers are fragile and I think most writers have an ego that is easily shattered. The voice of self-doubt echoes in our brains as we struggle from day to day in relative anonymity.

Positive in/positive out…..PIPO! That should be the credo of every writer in the world. I am positive that I will succeed. I am positive that I will be read by millions and I am positive that my message will be embraced. Armed with that mindset and a willingness to move forward, how can you fail?

DEVELOP DISCIPLINE

When are you going to write today? How about tomorrow? I can tell you without hesitation that I will be at my computer writing from seven a.m. to four p.m. every day this week. I have to do that because there are too many distractions that can derail me if I don’t do it. Life has a way of obstructing my writing unless I develop discipline.

Did any of these tips help you?

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Some thoughts on Writing

NOW GO FORTH AND WRITE

I hope some of these helped you. I will give you one more tip as an added bonus, and it is one that carries a lifetime guarantee. If I can be of any help to you then feel free to ask. I believe we can all help each other if we are willing to spread the wealth of knowledge and talent that we possess. I am willing to help you; all you have to do is reach out and ask for that assistance.

Best of luck to you this week and always. The world needs writers. The world needs painters and poets, sculptors and musicians. We are the ones who provide some beauty in a world that all too often seems bleak to many. Remember that the next time you sit down to write.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips, Bill. Thanks for sharing!

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      "TO BE A GOOD WRITER, FIRST BE A GOOD READER" That hits home here. My reading typically consists of research, not pleasure reading so I find that my writing skewed to the technical. I really have trouble loosening up.

      Thanks for the great advice!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I learn so much from reading articles such as this to help me write better, and also to motivate me to write. I'm a great one for excuses. My biggest excuse is, "I can't get inspired to write today." Another one I use is "I don't have the time today to write."

      I voted this UP, and I will certainly share.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I love your articles about writing and as always awesome tips. Have pinned to refer back to, because truly some wonderful advice here. I also voted up and shared as always, too!!

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

      Thank you Kathy and you are very welcome!

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

      college, that is a common refrain from writers. Try tackling a favorite memory from when you were a kid. Do it as an exercise, write it in your own voice, and see what happens.

      Thank you for the visit!

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

      Mary, in two days I'll post a hub with tips on getting inspired. Maybe that will help you get rid of that excuse. :) Thank you as always for your visit.

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

      Janine, I hope these help you. You are already a very good writer with a unique voice. I would love to see more hubs from you delving into your feelings, but I'm sure those will come in time. Thank you sincerely for your loyal following.

    • innerspin profile image

      innerspin 4 years ago from uk

      Well, I can't imagine you crocheting so it's great that you can write! Excellent advice, as always, thank you.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you so much for these writing tips billybuc. They are so valuable and filled with wisdom and experience. This is also a timely piece for me!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Great tips Bill. I am always learning and I appreciate any advice which might improve my own writing.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Spoken like a true writer my friend. These are great tips for both a new writer and the more accomplished. Reading the works of others is so important as is reading your own work out loud. In my short nine months here on Hubpages, I have learned so much from others and the lessons are invaluable. Passion, art, discipline - oh yes, they are all critical components of good work. I have much to learn but that is part of the journey. When I stop learning it is time to quit writing. This one is one for bookmarking for return visits when doubt or stagnation set in. Great job kindred.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      This is a great list of tips. I find it difficult to find the balance between painting a picture to keep things interesting while not being to wordy or using too many adjectives or adverbs. I guess that's why we practice, right?

      Putting these tips into practice is a challenge, but little by little we learn and get better. It's encouraging to look back at stuff you wrote just a few months ago to see how far you've come.

      I tried to think of something off-color or sarcastic to say, but I got nothin'.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Great Hub Bill. Two weeks into my new writing career I find myself spending as much time reaquainting myself with grammer, social networking and learning SEO as I do writing. And I still have so much to learn on how to create a stellar hub and how to get traffic. And, of course, battling self doubt. But it is all very exciting. This article is inspiring.

    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 4 years ago from Virginia

      I always stress to my English Composition students to "write with your heart and edit with your head." Your hub reiterates this idea. Great article!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I like reading my pieces out loud. And I often find something that doesn't sound quite right when I verbalize it.

      I have always loved reading. It's what got me into writing. The thought of writing my own stories, my own poems, my own article, fascinated me. It is similar to how a carpenter feels when he/she builds something. I have the power to build my own book, and that is inspiring to me. I love to create.

      I always bring a notebook with me. I have a camera (or at least my cell phone's camera, at other times) with me often, because I like to be able to catch the vision of a moment. I had never thought of it as an inspiration for a scene, though. That is a clever idea.

      Some of your tips remind me of what Stephen King says in his book "On Writing". About adjectives/adverbs, and about grammar. He has always been my Master Motivator. I read his book periodically, and it feels like a familiar friend giving a pep talk. Now reading your articles gives me the same feel!

      This is a great piece, Bill. Thank you for sharing your advice with us.

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

      inner, okay, here is a confession that few people know....when I was a kid I used to crochet pot holders and give them as Christmas presents. LOL

      I'm glad I'm a writer now. :) Thank you!

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

      Career, you are very welcome and I will be happy if they help you. It's good to see you again and nice to slowly get to know you.

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

      Julie, you and me both, and I'm glad if these help. Thank you!

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

      Linda, when I stop learning it will be time to shovel dirt over me. LOL Thank you Kindred! You are an excellent writer and you will only improve with time, like a fine wine. Raising a toast to you my friend!

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

      Liz, we need to mark this day down on the calendar. The day the Dunedin Dynamo couldn't think of anything sarcastic to say. LOL

      You make a great point my friend. Looking back at our earlier work is a great benchmark for how far we have come as writers. Thanks for pointing that out.

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

      Sheri, I have seen a lot of new writers on HP, and you are far advanced over most of them. If I can be of any help please reach out and ask. People helped me when I first began.

      Thank you Sheri!

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

      Sherri, I agree with that completely. I wish more people on HP did the same. :) Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks Bill once again!

      Wow, I believe these are the best top 20 writing tips ever. I need to remember to bring along a notebook and camera (I have my cellphone, but it does not always take great photos, as I tried to take a photo of a beautiful sunset one time on my way home, and it did not turn out, so I was disappointed). Also, I am always inspired by something, but if I do not write it down at the moment, it sometimes leaves my mind. Yes, I believe the top two are: writing about what you know and writing about something you are passionate about. I know when I venture out and attempt to write on something that I really do not know that much about, it does not turn out well. And most of all, have fun when writing, as we do not want it to become a chore.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Many blessings and love always, Faith Reaper

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

      Kathryn, what a lovely comment. Thank you for that. I hope you are well, and I hope spring will arrive soon.

      I have loved writing since high school, but lacked the self-confidence to do anything about it until I was in my forties. Now here we are, and the future looks bright indeed.

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

      Faith, if I am not inspired by the subject my writing sounds wilted and lifeless, and that is not what writing should be about. I am slowly discovering that my niche is passion itself....the passion of life...the passion of love....the passion of experiencing everything around us with the awe of a young child.

      Anyway, I ramble. Thank you as always!

      love and blessings, today and always,

      bill

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 4 years ago from England

      Masterful advice. I'm taking it onboard and will share it with my followers. Thanks so much.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      Great hub Billy....wonderful advice.....it's so easy to forget the points you came up with, when caught up in writing something. Thanks.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 4 years ago from Michigan

      Excellent Hub full of helps. Yes we all need help to be better writers, to communicate clearly and engage our readers.

      I appreciate you and the quality hubs you always produce.

      Have a Great Day Billy,

      God bless you!

      Mekenzie

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 4 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Great advice! I admit my grammar is horrible at times and my punctuation is not at it's best. However, I am a work in progress and with hubs like this, I am learning from the best. Thank you! Feel free to critique and edit any of my work. I have skin like a gator!

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 4 years ago from Texas

      Great information and tips here. I need to bookmark it. Thanks. Voted Up and more!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      20 excellent suggestions that all deserve merit. I particularly paid attention to the niche ...I know how important that is as people get to know you by your topic..I do vary a lot but try to stick with the main one..Good grammar and spelling.. Spell check helps but is not the total thing as it does not pick up misuse...of course we know that. I think writing about something you already know..for women it is often cooking and cleaning along with all their other talents..this is not a sexist comment..honest.. Because I have done many things in my life and cooking and cleaning are constants. Great hub Bill Voting up+++ and pinning ...

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

      JCielo, I appreciate the kind words and sharing. Hopefully these will help others become better writers. :) Thank you!

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

      one2get2no, your point is well-taken. It is easy to forget some of the basics. We all need reminders my friend.

      Thank you!

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

      Mekenzie, thank you, I will have a great day, and you do as well.

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

      wildove, I usually do not critique the work of others unless they ask specific questions. I just don't feel that is my right to do so. I agree that you are a work in progress, like all of us, and you will improve in time, like all of us. And I'll be along to watch the transformation, and that is very cool. :)

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

      KT, thank you for your visit. If any of these help then I am happy.

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

      Carol, I didn't take it as a sexist comment....just the truth. :) Thank you my friend. I think you are headed on the right path and you will see the benefits of that path eventually. You have come a long way in a short amount of time.

    • MKayo profile image

      MKayo 4 years ago from Texas

      Great Hub, as per usual for you! Always packed with good and useful information - voted up, useful and awesome.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Bill,

      As always another great article for writers and one that really does cover all the points. I relate to so many of them. Thanks my friend for this great reminder that I will be saving as a great resource . From asking the question "Can I write" less than a year ago I have learnt so much and continue to daily with friends like you. Many thanks and hugs from Dublin.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      GET RID OF EXCUSES

      I don’t have enough time. I don’t get enough comments. I don’t have enough followers. I was dropped on my head as a child. Nobody loves me. WHATEVER! Toss the excuses in the garbage and start writing. That is what writers do, so quit finding reasons why you can’t and grab hold of the one reason why you can…..you are a writer!

      Great advice Billy and here I am at times guilty. There are so many wonderful tips here and I am certainly taking note.

      Thank you once again for another great huband have a wonderful day my friend. Lots of love from my little corner of Wales.

      Eddy.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great pointers and great reminders too! I really like to read my "deathless" words out loud as you suggest, since it slows you down and you really see, or even say, things that are somehow cockeyed. This is a hub to bookmark if we had bookmarks anymore. But I know where to find it!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      billybuc, you always have so many comments, that by the time I get to the end of them, there isn't much left to say. But here goes:

      Writers write.

      My fist litmus test for hubs are the 5 'W's. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

      If a piece of writing doesn't meet that criteria, then it must be rewritten.

      Any piece of writing must also have engaging characters striving against great odds to acheive a worthwhile goal.

      That's is in a nutshell.

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend

      Good tips and reminders, all!

      One of the things I use MOST, myself, is the test of "Would I want to READ this, if I randomly came across it?" It can be tough to remain objective on that... but honestly, as writers we sometimes just "churn out words" that don't actually have a place being published, even if they seem "good." A helping of "word soup" just doesn't cut it, for me, even if it's EXCELLENT word soup.

      I tend to "write" my best articles while I'm cooking breakfast. Or sitting in traffic. RARELY do those ideas strike while I'm sitting down in front of a blank screen... so the "pen, paper, camera" tip is ESSENTIAL.

      Good stuff!

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      As one venturing into the realm of creative writing I find your hub interesting with excellent ideas for good writing. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MK, I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Use what you need and leave the rest. :) Thank you!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Excellent advice! I especially like the advice to not edit while writing the first draft. I even follow this advice when I'm writing my novels!

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

      Suzie, what an incredible year it has been for both of us. I did not ask exactly that question. I asked "can I write well enough?" There has been great growth for both of us, and as an added bonus a friendship was born. How cool is that? :) Thank you my dear; sending hugs and the love of friendship your way.

      bill

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

      Eddy, I think we all need reminders from time to time. I just started sending material to magazines to try and get published. Why haven't I done it before now? Afraid! Simple fear!

      Thank you my dear, and I'm sending hugs and love your way.

      billy

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

      Jim, I'm not sure how to bookmark either. Thank you as always and I hope some of these can help you.

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

      Lela, I agree totally. I have to remind myself from time to time of the 5W's. I get so wrapped up in the message that I forget how to deliver it. LOL Might be old age but I'm not ready to admit that yet.

      I am quite blessed with the comments I receive. Good friends can always be counted on.

      Thank you Lela!

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

      Denmark, you make a valid point, but objectivity would be a tough one for sure. Most of my ideas happen before breakfast and especially right after waking up. That seems to be my most creative time, so I always have a notebook by my bed.

      Thank you my friend. It's always nice to have you visit.

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

      Arun, a writer could not ask for more. If you found this interesting then I have done my job. Thank you!

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

      cygnetbrown, your name is hard to type. :) Thank you and I'm glad to hear that you don't edit on the first go....let that creativity flow.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      The only thing you left out is that writing is in your blood...sometimes it runs hot, sometimes it runs cold, but it always runs!! “Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” ― Mark Twain - see, even he agrees with you!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Although my "tools" are always within arms reach ("Elements of Style", Fiction Writer's Workshop", etc. etc.) I enjoy these motivational hubs you have been publishing. They often provide the kick in the ... I need to simply just write.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Thanks for the helpful and timely reminders, Bill. The one about eliminating unneccessary words resonated with me, because I struggle with that one a lot.

      Reminds me of something I saw in Ripley's Believe It or Not many years ago. I don't remember the whole piece, but it begins and ends as follows.

      "Promulgating your esoteric cogitations and articulating your superficial sentimentalities, beware of platitudinous ponderosity. Let not your extemporaneous verbal or written expatiations demonstrate a lack of clarified conciseness...In other words, say what you mean, and don't use big words."

      Have a great day, my friend ;-)

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

      Mary, I love it! Great quote and thank you as always. Now go forth and write my friend.

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

      David, we all need a kick in the.....

      Thanks buddy! Enjoy your day as shall I. :)

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

      Michael, you had me smiling with that one. I have to remind myself constantly about using too many words and allowing the meaning to drown in them. Simple is oftentimes better.

      Thank you and I hope you are having a great day as well.

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Another one worth saving ande keeping for future reference Bill

      ... some very great suggestions here

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

      Thank you Laurinzo! I greatly appreciate you stopping by my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Great tips, as always, Bill. One I personally will take with me is to read my works aloud. I never thought of that. I read, edit, re-read and edit again, but never thought of reading aloud to myself. I don't know why - I talk to myself when I'm in the company of others, so why do I become silent in the privacy of my home office?!

      I just love how you are helping us aspiring writers. You have personally helped me tremendously!

    • NicoleMessenger profile image

      NicoleAnn 4 years ago from Illinois

      awesome hub there billybuc. You had me from the beginning and to the very end. Each section is well outlined along with informative. I could learn a lot from you :)

    • NicoleMessenger profile image

      NicoleAnn 4 years ago from Illinois

      i shared and will keep coming back. =)

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

      Sha, reading out loud is a trick I learned a long time ago and taught in school. It's amazing how many mistakes we can catch by doing that. Thank you for your kind words. We all help each other here on HP and I know you have done your share of helping as well.

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

      Nicole, thank you my new friend! We all learn from each other here on HubPages, or at least that is my hope. I'm glad you find this helpful. If I can help you in any way feel free to ask questions.

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

      Thank you again, Nicole!

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      All of these suggestions make so much sense. Well done, Billy!

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      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      Thanks for the helpful tips! You're right when you say that a good writer is a good reader. I've learned more from reading others than I have from any English class. I've started reading the classics again. Voted up, useful, interesting, tweeted and pinned. Aloha, Stephanie

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb! I appreciate it!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, I always have a classic nearby. I don't read them daily but I always want one near in case I need some inspiration and lessons in how to write. :) Thank you for stopping by!

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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      These are all great tips. While I do not write daily, I certainly read daily and generally have some works in progress. You have certainly found your niche! You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Up and useful and will share.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Bill these ideas are great. Especially for people like me, when writing does not come naturally. I have to work hard at it, but the more I write, the better I am becoming. I like the writing process diagram.

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

      Aww, Peggy, thank you! I'm just trying to give back to a community that I love. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carly, I was just thinking about you today. I submitted the Spirit Lake article to a magazine, and I was thinking about that awesome picture you made for me. It still hangs above my writing desk. Thank you my friend and I'm glad if these tips helped.

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 4 years ago from Philippines

      Among your 20 advice, 3 of the hardest to do would be to write with passion, believe in yourself and getting into the habit of writing daily. I tried my hand at writing when I accidentally came across hubpages two years ago. I have gone through the excitement of a first article publish, in trying to build up readership, having a sense of fulfillment when an article is well received and disappointment when a hub turn out to be a dud. Earlier, I wrote for the sheer pleasure of writing without thought if my writings were amateurish. SEO and the numbers game have change that. I hope to rekindle those early feelings and these 3 advice in this article have remind me what writing is all about.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Silent, I am very happy to hear that. Best of luck to you and I hope this time you find the passion and desire.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      When I read something you write I am impressed with the ease you express your tips and suggestions.I think this hub is no exception.Then I rate it interesting and entertaining.Filled with awesome information I put to use often.You inspire and teach.When I think you have done it all you prove to me it is only the tip of the iceberg and we have many more icebergs in our way.The best thing I love about all your hubs are your personal videos that see deep into the mind of a writer and a wonderful caring person.Off to practice the craft and when I get lazy kick my butt into gear.Have a great day.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      I think these are great tips, Billy. I especially like the one about not editing the first draft, but letting your writing flow. I think it is so much easier that way. I have done that clear back to a creative writing class years ago. The only one I do not agree with is equating researching a topic with reinventing the wheel. I love to read hubs and I also enjoy researching and learning new things. Have a great day!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I think of you too often. I am so glad you like the image I made for you. Keep me posted about the Spirit Lake, that is some important work you are doing there my friend. I have missed you. ;)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Write with passion-check. Write what you know-check and will keep in mind to apply the rest of the tips. That being said, I'm not only bookmarking this hub but also actually printing it and pinning it on my board.

      "We are the ones who provide some beauty in a world that all too often seems bleak to many." - I will remember this whenever I'm discourage to write.

      Thank you Bill. You are born to teach and indeed a great teacher!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub and I love your tips. I hope many people will read this hub and we can learn together to improve writing. I'll bookmark this one. Thanks for share with us. Voted up and success for you :-)

      Prasetio

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Good tips, bill.

      Could not disagree on any of them.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great writing tips ... and we all need a reminder of the basics once in a while. I love the graphic you used, too!

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

      Dream On, thank you so much! I love to write and I think it shows in my writing. I know others struggle with this art, but right now I'm riding a wave of ideas and inspiration. Don't know when it will end but it's a great ride so far. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gail! I love to write and I want everyone else to love it too. Once a teacher always a teacher. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carly, the trial is going to begin in April so we'll see what happens then. A report just came out from the government agent whistleblower who said nothing has happened for the better. I'll be writing about that soon.

      Thank you my friend and I'm sending you a hug and a smile.

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

      Cris, thank you! I think writers and artists get a bad rap. Toss in musicians too. If not for all of us, where would the beauty come from? Keep on writing my friend, and never lose that passion.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Praesitio, thank you my friend. If they help you then I am a happy writer.

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

      Ruchira, thank you so much! I hope things are well tonight. Blessings today and always,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah-Diane, my oldest follower (not in age)...my first follower. I smile when I see you pop up. I am reminded of a time when I had very little confidence in my writing ability and you gave me encouragement. Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You give the best advice on the web and i will remember to read aloud and most of all, check my spelling.......lol..Thank's Bill..

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Thank you for some highly useful tips. I really like the acronym, PIPO and further, I like the idea of dedicated writing time. To me though, the most important is the message of believing in yourself. It's really hard sometimes, but you're right. It must be done or nothing gets done. God bless.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great tip. As always Bill you motivate and inspire. Passing this on.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, very well written, voted up and shared.

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

      Ruby, I'm glad if this helped. I know reading aloud has worked for me for many years.

      Thank you as always my friend.

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

      Poetvix, believing in myself would be one or two on the list....hard to choose between that and writing with passion.

      Good to see you again my friend; you are always welcome here.

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

      Thank you Gypsy. I do appreciate you always stopping by.

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

      Pretty, you have the best hub name on this site. LOL thank you for your kind words.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, we need to keep language simple, especially with writing articles.Thanks for sharing.

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

      Thank you MIchelle...always nice to see you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the very useful tips, Bill.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      I have bookmarked it and its very useful for the ones like me who enjoy writing. Being a good reader to be a good writer, and that's what i always thought of from the beginning. Thanks for reassuring my belief here. Your sharing this tips will sure help the wannabe writers like me of course a lot . God bless you always and thanks for sharing this. I am sharing it also. Votes all up way.

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      alloporus 4 years ago

      Great tips Billy, thanks.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting. Thank you for this.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible information here, with tips like these one can be most encouraged in writing and sharing their work with an open mind. Be positive, and be yourself and write what you know brilliantly pointed out.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I'm so glad I came across your article about this today, Bill! I think I'm going to open a rejection file as well. Great idea! Love this part: "I don’t have enough time. I don’t get enough comments. I don’t have enough followers. I was dropped on my head as a child. Nobody loves me. WHATEVER!" So true!

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

      Alicia. you are very welcome. Thank you for the visit.

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

      dghbrh, thank you so much for sharing. I hope these tips help you and best of luck with your writing.

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

      alloporus, it is my pleasure. Thank you!

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

      Thank you Martin! It's always nice to see you.

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

      DDE, thank you my friend! I hope these help you in some way.

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

      Mel, writers have to be strong. Lord knows we face enough negatives in our life as a writer. I'm glad you found this too, and thank you!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      Oh no. I like to crochet. Now I am doomed. I'm just kidding. When I crochet, it is just another creative outlet, because I design my own patterns. At one time, I designed for magazines.

      I'm not a serious writer, but enjoy creating new things. Maybe I need to get more serious about it, since it is one of the more enjoyable things about my life.

      This article is helpful to both improve my writing and get more serious about it. Stephen King also said to never use words that end in ly or use the word very. I catch myself doing it all the time. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara Kay, I catch myself doing it quite often. :) As for crocheting, I actually used to crochet when I was a kid....shhhh, don't tell anyone. :)

      Thank you for your visit my friend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill

      These are all tips that all of us should adhere to for sure. One of them that helps me so much is to read out loud. I can proof and proof and proof and still miss things. When I read out loud, the would be error stands out so easily.

      Voted up up and away +++++

      Sending many Angels and blessings to you this evening. :) ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks PS! I'm glad someone else realizes the wisdom in reading out loud. Naturally it was another teacher. :)

      Keep those angels coming. The more the merrier.

      hugs and blessings today and always,

      bill

    • lov804 profile image

      R A Lovelace 4 years ago from Portland, OR

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the push!!! I really needed to get out of my head and back to the paper.

      Ray

    • profile image

      atein 4 years ago

      Excellent hub .

      Except "Carry a notebook and camera" and "learn from the masters" I agree with all other points.

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

      Ray, it is my pleasure. Good luck getting your head out. LOL

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

      atein, thank you! Take what you like and leave the rest.

    • shin_rocka04 profile image

      shin_rocka04 4 years ago from Maryland

      Very good hub right here. It helps to make your writing much more crisp.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shin, I'm glad these helped you. Thank you for the visit.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Ok - what the? I know I left a comment here! Good thing I came back to read these outstanding tips for writing. Excellent advice, by the way.

      You leave the read with some very good thoughts to ponder. "Toss the excuses in the garbage and start writing. That is what writers do, so quit finding reasons why you can’t and grab hold of the one reason why you can…..you are a writer!" Yes! Thank you my awesome friend:)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Very interesting, and very useful. I think believing in yourself is a very important part of any creative process. And not an easy one...

      Thank you for these great tips!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, that happens on HP every once in awhile. I leave a comment and it disappears. Gremlins I think! :) As for writer's block, sheez, I think it might be nice to have for one day. LOL I can't shut my brain off.

      Thank you my dear friend and have a wonderful day.

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

      Monis, anyone practicing the Arts had better believe in themselves because it can be a very lonely journey.

      Thank you for the visit. You are always welcome.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Billy,

      I learnt the art of writing in my creative writing program. Thanks for this reminder.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, thank you for the visit my friend. I hope you are having a good weekend.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 4 years ago from Canada

      Bill, you did it again. Excellent advice. The first one, about writing with passion, is one I have been thinking a lot about lately, and am trying to follow. And creating a new niche ... that also fits in with some other things I had read lately. Shared and voted up and more. Thanks for this, Bill!

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

      Sharilee, it is so nice to see you. Thank you and I'm glad that this helped in some way.

    • djohns profile image

      DJ 4 years ago from Concord, NC

      Thank you for some great insight! I have been considerring a concept for some time, and it's taking shape. You have given me the push I needed to actually put something on paper! It's exciting! Thank you for the great tips! Voted UP! DJ

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I am excited for you. Fantastic news, and good luck with that idea. Thank you for the visit.

    • twistedc profile image

      Clint Mann 4 years ago from Florida

      Loved this hub to the point and a great help thank you

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

      twistedc, it is my pleasure. I hope some of these help. Thanks for stopping by.

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 4 years ago from Croatia

      Great tips, I just started writing and do not really have a style yet.

      Loved the camera and notebook tip. I am going to be doing that myself from now on.

      I am an avid reader, And am hoping to be a good writer, finding my niche seems to be my problem. Voted up interesting and useful.

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

      ketage, I hope these help you in some way. Good luck with your writing career. If I can be of any help feel free to ask questions.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Well I don't write everyday, but I carry my notebook everywhere I go for ideas. Love the idea of letting it flow and then coming back. I usually do that and come back the next day to finish up a hub or something. Really useful hub.

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

      Thank you Glimmer! If any of this helps then great, although it sounds like you are doing most of it already.

    • rajan jolly profile image

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

      Useful tips, Bill. I think you have covered them all. I like writing process chart above plus especially the tips like, it is imperative for a writer to write daily, be confident about one's ability and be in love with writing.

      Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, you certainly understand the process, and you write daily and seem confident. You are well on your way my friend. Thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I feel like I have just had a wonderful seminar presented from a Master of Writing. Thanks for all the advice you are providing readers. One would be wise and profit from listening to your wisdom.

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

      Dianna, as you well know, once a teacher always a teacher. Thank you for your kind words my friend.

    • profile image

      James E. 4 years ago

      One of the best summarized, informational, and inspiring articles on writing. Thank you for your time in putting this masterful How to - together. I wish they included a Inspirational button near Useful above!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      James, thank you very much, for the kind words and the following. Welcome to my site my new friend.

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      billybuc,

      Your tips are right on target. I'm working at just letting my subconscious mind take over so that I can write more and not concern myself with editing until I;m finished . I am in the process of writing a book and cannot post in HP every day. I'm shooting for (2)new hubs within a (5) day period. Love reading your hubs!

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

      Lady, I love that you have goals for the week and the future. Stay on task and best wishes to you.

    • profile image

      James E. 4 years ago

      Your welcome!

    • profile image

      CarlaCano 4 years ago

      Thank you! There were a lot of great tips but there was a bit of a kick in the butt too. I needed that today.

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

      Carla, it was meant to be a very gentle kick in the butt. :) Thanks for the visit and I hope these help you.

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