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Writers Are Scavengers

Updated on February 13, 2015

The Inspiration for This Article

I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you who missed it the first time, let me repeat myself.

My first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” was written as a lark. My wife, Bev, had challenged me to write a story in the style of Tom Robbins. I had never read one of his books until Bev gave me a copy of “Another Roadside Attraction,” and I was blown away by how wonderfully strange the author was while at the same time being a very interesting and fascinating writer.

I took Bev’s challenge, wrote an opening chapter, and then the story just grew from there into a full-length fantasy novel. It was great fun and it was the birth of the author known as William D. Holland.

I had the writing bug, so six months after the completion of my first novel I embarked on the second journey. This time I wanted to write in my own style, and at that time my style was full of reflection about life and the human condition. I was heavily influenced by James Lee Burke, a mystery writer who weaves stories that are filled with angst and lessons about life that we all can relate to.

The end result was “Resurrecting Tobias,” a story about a guy who just couldn’t get out of his own way and allow life to unfold as it was meant to unfold. It was a story of failure, and triumph, of monumental mistakes and adjustments, and it was ultimately about the universal truth that the most important thing in life is love.

With that novel self-published, it was time to move on to the next, and as I write this article my latest novel, “Shadows Kill,” is almost completed. This is a psychological thriller/mystery, a genre I have always enjoyed reading but never thought I was capable of writing. It is the closest of the three novels to my own actual voice and style.

The scavenger awaits his next inspirational meal
The scavenger awaits his next inspirational meal | Source

There Is a Point to All of This

I am sixty-six years old. It’s been a full life. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve known thousands of people over that time. I’ve held something like twenty-five jobs; in fact, I’ve been working now since my first job, setting pins in a bowling alley, when I was fifteen. I’ve owned three businesses. I’ve played college sports, had step-children, had a son of my own, and been married twice. At one time I wanted to be a Catholic priest, a fact that still gives me a laugh from time to time.

I am a recovering alcoholic with eight years of sobriety. I’ve owned twelve homes and I’ve been homeless. I have degrees in Marketing, Economics and Education, and I was a teacher for eighteen years. Over the years I have probably read close to a thousand books, and that estimate may be low.

I have climbed mountains, hiked hundreds of miles, snow-shoed hundreds more, and fallen on my knees in awe at the splendor of life.

I am all that and more. I am the net result of sixty-six years of experiences and relationships, and I am still growing….and….borrowing.

I've borrowed from these people
I've borrowed from these people | Source

I highly recommend this video

We Are Scavengers

Some of Tom Robbins’ style can still be seen in select articles that I write. Some of James Lee Burke can be seen as well, and some of Robert Frost, Thoreau, Lee, Steinbeck, Muir, Michener and Hemingway will also find its way into my writings.

Some of my father is there and yes, some of my mother. Some of my old friend Frank will sneak in from time to time, and some of my wife Bev can be seen if you look closely enough.

Hell, truth be told, some of the next door neighbor is there, and some of the homeless guy on the corner; some of the newborn baby two houses down is there and some of Sister Mary Charles from Second Grade; they are all in my writings, as are all of you.

I borrow but do not steal. I am influenced and yet I follow my own light.

I am a writer and as such, I am a scavenger.

I am the vulture picking over the carrion.

I am the raccoon nibbling on the road kill.

I am a liver of life, an observer of life, and as such it is only natural that life weave its way into my writing.

I've borrowed from Nature
I've borrowed from Nature | Source

Do Not Fight the Process but Rather Embrace It

Writer’s block….two words that strike fear in the hearts of writers everywhere. It is the paralysis of the creative process, the slayer of free-flow and the crippler of all that is beautiful about writing. Perhaps you have experienced it, and the mere thought of it will leave your skin clammy and your fingers with a case of the yips.

If you want to avoid writer’s block, or slay it forever, then all you have to do is embrace your experiences, be open to all that is around you, and celebrate each inhale and exhale. It is just that simple.

Scavengers in nature never suffer from lack of food.

Scavengers in the writing world never suffer from lack of inspiration.

I have zero tolerance for a writer who would copy and steal the work of another writer.

I have nothing but admiration for a writer who uses the work of others as gasoline with which to spark a new idea and to serve as an aid as the search continues for his/her own identity.

How Do I Find My Voice?

I’ve heard that question often. What is your writing voice? Do you know if you even have one? If you want one, how do you find it?

Trust in the process!

Four words packed with meaning.

You are an accumulation of all that has come before you. You are a quilt with squares of your lifetime stitched together in search of a pattern. You can’t rush this process. You can only be welcoming to it. Put in your time. Continue to practice your craft. Borrow here and borrow there, and eventually all that borrowing will morph into your own voice and then magic will happen.

I do not want to be Tom Robbins? I have no desire to be the next James Lee Burke, or Thoreau, or Michener or Lee or Steinbeck.

I want to be Bill Holland, and I’m ever so close to actually meeting him for the first time.

How about you? How close are you to meeting the writer within you?

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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

      Thank you Peg. A writer has so much to write about if they are open to their surroundings.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      We use our surroundings and experiences as "gasoline with which to spark a new idea". I like that. We are all influenced by the things that touch our lives, including books and other authors. Good one, Bill.

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

      Genna, you are so very kind in your comments. I truly do appreciate your kind words. Thank you!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bill, this is my favorite article. You have lived an amazing life, my friend. And I love your reference to writers as scavengers, because that is exactly who we are, in a sense. Sometimes I think you have read my diary. Loved this!

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

      Thank you very much, Anna. I love writing for people who understand.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      So true Bill. Every little piece of contact has an effect on who and what we are. Your true writing voice sounds pretty clear to me.

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

      Thank you Deb. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and your scavenger talents are first rate.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That is such a wonderful way to put it, meeting the writer insider us.

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

      vkwok, that's exactly the point. Keep doing what you are doing because it is working quite well. Thank you!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I take what I learn from other stories and put that in my own stories. Thanks for sharing, Bill!

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

      Chris, we cannot run on empty for sure. Thanks for your thoughts....I can't imagine writing without reading.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Well, we all borrowed chromosomes when we came into this world, yet we are unique human beings in spite of that fact. I think when I read the works of others yet at the same time am constantly writing, I will assimilate from those I read and process it into my own voice. I'm finding that writing without reading is pretty tough to do. You called it the gasoline that fuels a new idea. We can't run on empty, can we?

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

      Well, Tami, I owe Rose a thank you!

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

      Tami, thank you very much. It's always enjoyable meeting a new writer, and I'm so happy you found this worthwhile.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I have not thought of myself as a scavenger before I read this but yes, you are right. I borrowed from the nature, from my friends, other writers and from my own experiences but I don´t steal. I have not found the voice in me yet. I hope I will one day. Thanks Billy. You are indeed an inspiration to all of us here. Happy weekend!

    • Tamirogers profile image

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Sorry! @randomcreative reposted this epic blog..Thank you!

    • Tamirogers profile image

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      I am so happy Flourishanyway reposted this. I am new to the hubbing world (though not the writing world) and am so grateful for the amazing writers I keep stumbling upon. This piece moved me to my core. It sums up the reason why writing means so much to me. I had never thought about it in terms of how we're all our own "patchwork quilt" unique with our stories, troubles, hardships, happiness and joy. And that truly is where we find our most authentic selves and our writing voice. Thanks so much @billybuc..I am a huge fan!

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

      Audrey, I assume the tears were good and not the result of my poor writing. :) If this helped you then I am a happy writer. Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      This made me tear up today--but I am in a thoughty mood today--I feel as though I am almost at a corner that needs to be turned--and today I am finding that the words of others are helping--thank you for that!

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

      Flourish, you got that right...Bev is a gift. As for the Catholic priest thing.....at least I came to my senses in time. LOL

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      First, let me say I enjoyed your analogy to a scavenger. Second: a Catholic priest? Oh, the roads not taken! Kudos to Bev on the way in which she challenges you (e.g., writing a book in the style of a particular author). The person who can challenge and energize your mind and inspire you to action -- that is a gift.

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

      It really is my pleasure, Zulma! I love to see people succeed.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I should be thanking you (and I do). I don't think I could have traveled this far without your encouragement.

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

      Zulma, there will be a great many readers out there happy that your writer has emerged again. I am looking forward to the results. Thank you for allowing me to travel this path with you.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      The write within me. I've met her on occasion but we don't talk much. I just pretty much let her do her thing while I watch. When she's done, I take over and sort out the mundane things that keep life going. I don't have multiple personality issues (that I know of). The writer is just another facet of myself. A facet that has been denied for so long; and now she's out. She is becoming the person she was meant to be and I don't want to interfere with the process.

      Yes, we do scavenge. I never thought of it that way. Interesting hub.

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

      Thank you Vox. It's good to see you back among us. I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 2 years ago

      Hi Bill! I think it's really important not to imitate anyone and write in your own voice! Good point! The best writing comes from the heart and one can do it well only if he or she has gotten to know himself/herself. Interesting hub as always :)

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

      Thank you very much DDE!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great way to think of life and of how some people can be.

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

      Catherine, your series is a perfect example and thanks for mentioning it. Exactly like that....well done!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      You have written this so beautifully. Scavenger is a great metaphor for any one who must observe people to ply their craft. You made me realize that when I do my "People Almost Met" series I am scavenging--taking a passing moment and turning it into art. Like artists who go to the junkyard and turn their finds into sculpture. Voting up I and U and B and A.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Great write, I have so many voices in my head I just borrow from them :-)

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

      Faith, you a nun and me a priest? That just might bring the Catholic Church to its knees. LOL Thank you for the chuckle...and just for being you.

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

      Thank you Frank. I think I've got a few more good years ahead of me. Robert Parker.....he could spin a tale for sure.

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

      Lizzy, I have heard of them but I have not read them. Perhaps it is time for me to do so? Thank you and I sense your true writing voice is closer than you think.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      I agree with others here, passionate and inspirational write! I believe I have found my voice through a culmination of life experiences and those I have met along the way. I am often inspired by music as it will remind me of a certain life experience and those involved at the time. Life is an endless supply to never experience writer's block. I love your line about climbing mountains. I once thought about becoming a nun, Sister/Mother Theresa, tee hee ...as I am one to always have deep reflections on life and so I thought I would have plenty of quiet time to be in meditation as a nun ...I, too, laugh about that fact. Peace and blessings always

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I wonder who said this : By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil.... so I won't judge but on the contrary agree that writers are scavengers.. congrats on the eight years.. stay strong live long.. and write like Billybuc not Robbins..:) although I wouldn't mind writing like Robert Parker... bless you my friend

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      You certainly share and 'put yourself out there,' unapologetically, and for that, I salute you. You speak the truth; the craft cannot be rushed or forced.

      Writers are indeed borrowers. Ha! And that phrase makes me think of the childrens' book series, "The Borrowers," by English author Mary Norton. Perhaps you've heard of them? They are the tiny people living inside the walls, and who are responsible when small things such as thimbles and needles and thread go missing from your house. The stories were delightfully written, and I can enjoy them to this day. ;-)

      I am still finding my true writing voice, even though I have been a writer of sorts all my life; I'm only now exploring the idea of writing actual books.

      Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dianna. Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, it was sixty degrees here today. We were planting berry bushes. I know I can turn it over to you and you will do the job for me...besides, it's not like I'm making money here, so what do I have to lose? LOL

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      "Life weaves its way into my writing", that says it all. Thank you for being so open with your thoughts that inspire those who write.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jo......bill must be delirious. He's leaving us in charge!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, Paula, carry on without me. I'm taking the rest of the day off. :)

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Paula, no apology necessary. Girls just wanna have fun, this place could do with a little lightening up now and then. ;-) My best to you, any little sis of Bill is considered a friend.

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

      Paula, I've got your back, Sis! If they come after you they have to deal with me.

      Stay warm!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jo.....I apologize to you in advance for any problems you have for being associated with me!! Go easy on me. I'm still dealing with the last lawsuit!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, it sounds like you and Paula are cut out of the same cloth. :) Thank you and Happy Valentine's Weekend to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      fpherj, yes, you're a very naughty girl, but what is life without a little spice. Red stilettos... most definitely, just add a bottle of bubbly, massive box of chocolate, (dark of course) and watch out for the extra big smile on Bill's face. ;-)

      Bill, I hope you and Bev, also all those lovers out there had a special Valentine's Day. My best to everyone.

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

      lesliesinclair, I hope you do become reacquainted with that book. As an old mentor once said to me, don't give up a minute before the miracle happens. Thank you for visiting and for following me.

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

      Thank you Bill. I'm sending you some of our sixty degree weather, buddy. Stay safe and warm and keeping believing that spring has to arrive sooner or later.

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

      Thank you Jackie and Happy Valentine's Day to you. I remember being in my twenties and believing the sky was the limit....I'm back to believing that after about a forty year hiatus. :)

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

      Thank you Robert. I have written several articles about self-publishing. Scroll down and you'll find some, or you can check the Mailbag I post every Monday. We always have discussions on self-publishing on that article.

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

      PS, I think the conclusion we can draw from all this is that I need to listen to Bev more often. LOL Don't tell her I said that.

      love,

      bill

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

      Sandra, that was a classic description...freezing our ass off....love that line. Thank you for the smile you gave me, and Happy Valentine's Day to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PAINTDRIPS.....whatever works, my friend...whatever works. Our muse takes on different shapes and forms. As long as she keeps whispering to you then that's all that matters.

      Thank you and Happy Valentine's Day to you.

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

      Pop, thank you so very much. It has been an evolution. Not always an easy journey, but one well-worth the effort. I am so happy that you are enjoying Tobias. He's special to me and it pleases me greatly that you like the guy. :)

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

      Dora, you are too kind, but thank you.

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

      Kailey, it is a pleasure getting to know you as well. Thank you for your kind words.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      This article reminds me of the rewards in writing and creating from the nooks and crannies of our lives, something a reader or viewer (me, a visual artist) could get lost in and possibly find themselves. My book's nonfiction and sits so often abandoned on my hard drive. After my move to the country we may become reacquainted.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I have to say that I love your evolution and I am privileged to have crossed paths with you. I am reading Resurrecting Tobias and I am hooked and in love with your writing. I am comforted by the fact that the book is thick, because I do not want it give it up. Billy, you are extremely talented and I will sing your praises to everyone I know. I vote you up and awesome!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is the sermon my soul needed. Thanks, preacher, teacher, scavenger. Awesome!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Bill. My writing is certainly a reflection of my life experiences so far, especially the traveling. And when I think about I really am scavenging from the people I meet and also from the style of other travel writers. For instance, I am constantly reading Rick Steves travel articles and trying to figure out what makes them so popular. He is clearly giving readers the info they are looking for and I am constantly trying to do the same.

      Great job Bill. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      This is a lovely self-reflection piece. I'm enjoying getting to know you through your writing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Reading past writings of mine take me back to writing it and the why and feelings behind it and sometimes make me believe I could do anything. lol

      Happy Valentine's Day!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 2 years ago

      Thank you. This article has many good points. Do you have an article about your experience with self-publishing?

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Scavengers we are one and all even if we do not realize it. It seems we are the sum total of all of those of whom we have read and whose voice seeped into ours for a bit.

      How lovely it is that you accepted the challenge from Bev....it leads on to many more writings for us to read and consider

      Angels are winging their way to you and yours once again this morning.

      ps

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      We have arrived as writers when we can lay naked in front of the world and wait for the falling snow to hide our imperfections while freezing off our ass until the covering is complete. Cheers to your open spirit and finding your true voice. It is a goal you appear to have achieved. Stay warm my friend.

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

      Mashgibson, thank you very much.

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

      Thank you Kristen. It has been a full life and a fascinating one. Not without pain, but I've learned from that pain. I appreciate you stopping by and Happy Valentine's Day to you.

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

      It really is my pleasure, Venkatachari M. I'm glad you found it helpful. Thank you so much.

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

      John, from what I've seen, being John Hansen is good enough. Carry on my friend, and happy weekend to you.

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

      Thank you Kalinin! You are a nice young lady. Happy Valentine's Day to you.

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

      Thank you very much, Jaxter!

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

      Aesta....you said it perfectly...scavenge, borrow and embrace the flow. Thank you!

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

      Marilyn, thank you for such kind words. It means a lot to me. Part of why I write is to help other writers to believe in themselves. If I have helped you in any way then I am a happy writer. You can be wordy any old time you want on my comment section. This was a lovely and insightful comment and again, thank you.

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

      Thank you Jan! Actually, this entire article is an example of the message....we find new ways of saying things that have been said before, and that's where our unique voice comes into play. I think you are much closer than you suspect.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 2 years ago from Fresno CA

      Great words to live by. I don't know if I scavenge as much as I glean what's left behind after the professional pickers are done. I always find nuggets in my own life and experience to write about. And often it's of interest to those around me, amazing. Thanks

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Nice insight on how to be a successful creative writer, Bill. You've lead a full life. I read Tom Robbins and James Lee Burke. I write novels in the same genre--thrillers and romantic suspense. Great hub!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting hub. It is true that we borrow things from others when inspired and try to improve ourselves. Our own experiences also teach us much. So, we must be able to form our own styles without copying as it is. You have expressed great views on how to accomplish it. Your video also conveys very inspiring message. Thanks for providing these great tips along with your own personal experiences.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, thanks for being so open with us all and sharing your life and inspirations. We all scavenge from other writers that we have read and enjoyed..it is only natural and can't be avoided. we live and learn and borrow what we need to create our own voice. There are many writers who's work I enjoy reading and I am sure their style has influenced me, but I have no idea who I write like other than John Hansen. Thank you for your wise and insightful words once again.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Finding your voice is such an interesting process. I love that feeling that you've expressed yourself perfectly on the page. Such a rush! Always great advice, Bill :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rebecca, that is very gracious of you to say. Thank you so much.

    • mashgibson profile image

      mashgibson 2 years ago

      Great Article. I see much effort being put there... keep up the pace.

      http:// goo.gl/MIJiVM

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub containing some very valid points, Bill. Writers certainly are scavengers!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Since reading some of your hubs, I have gotten more in touch with my own voice, gained more confidence in my writing and learned how to better at expressing myself. Yes, aim for the stars...scavenge and borrow and embrace the flow.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good evening, Bill; writers fall into three general categories - teacher, educator and storyteller. You are a combination of all three.

      I think that our past, as active alcoholics, might just give us a slight advantage when it comes to writing about the dark side, whether it's feelings, behaviors or thoughts. Since both of us are in recovery, I think we both tend to see the brighter side of situations now as well.

      I didn't trust my voice; I thought it sounded preachy and pedantic and even using those to describe it reinforce that my vocabulary gets me in trouble sometimes. But, I've also learned to trust that schoolmarm, the inquisitive child, and the wounded woman voices that now collaborate to create together.

      Who have I borrowed from to find her? Since I've been reading since age three, that's 64 years worth of books, and I dare say that some things rubbed off. Copied? Not consciously, but certain writers excite me, others impress me, and still others speak to the muses.

      They like the familiarity of some words and gets influenced by the word choices and structure of other writers.

      I have a muse board. Quotes to keep me going. I, like you do not suffer writer's block. When I'm stuck, which happens, I know to put my fingers on the keys, see that one word connects to another and so on. Then cull.

      My favorite quote is: “If I ever saw my muse she would be an old woman with a tight bun and spectacles poking me in the middle of the back and growling, "Wake up and write the book!”― Kerry Greenwood

      If you look at my photo, I am that old woman with a tight bun, glasses on top of her head, and a pen resting on my ear. The muses, the voice, the writing that makes us different is just the product of patience, perseverance and pushing through. You taught me that whether I've ever acknowledged it or not. I thank you, Bill.

      Coming back to Hub has been good for me. While my book is being edited, I'm not getting rusty. In fact, with the challenges, the committee in my head has been having fun writing fiction. Again, thank you, Bill

      Enough, comments shouldn't intrude this much on the writer's article, but I got on a roll. Excuse the wordiness. ~Marilyn

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      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      A statement Ray Bradbury made has always stuck with me. The more you write the more you remember. He claimed he could remember things from when he was still in the womb. So I guess even that counts in life experiences.

      I don't know about the womb part but at least in theory I think a writer should just sit down and write and not worry about the various theories on writing.

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      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Probably one of the best writing hubs I have read of yours. Well done! Jamie

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      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Bill, you certainly have a way of presenting a fresh, new perspective on how we see ourselves as writers. I love the way you challenge us to challenge ourselves. I'm not "there" yet but I definitely feel the form molding. I think this is some brilliant writing. Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting.

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      (Psssst! Jo Alexis.....that's what Bev says too, she loves it when bill gets passionate. She bought a pair of those red stilettos too! :) I know. I'm bad.

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      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I like your sayings, quotes at the end. I walk around looking for story ideas a lot, so I can relate to the scavenger concept. You are so blessed to have your talent!

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      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      I can't imagine being the writer I am without the life experiences I've had. Good living makes for good writing. Here's a joke: Good livers make good writers....so don't drink and write.

      I love your statement: "You are an accumulation of all that has come before you. You are a quilt with squares of your lifetime stitched together in search of a pattern." Beautiful and true.

      I definitely have my own voice and style to my writing; that I don't doubt. However, after reading your 900+ articles I think a little billybuc squeaks in every once in a while.

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

      Bill, I'm sure even the best of the best have scavenged some time in their lives, it's a wonderful thing to be able to inspire others and you my friend, is nothing if not inspirational. I love it when you get passionate. :) My best.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, I have seen the picture of your family many times.

      Are you the little boy standing in the back?

      My muse is on vacation. Things have been a little slow in coming.

      Yet, my mind is forever working out details of my novel. Sometimes, my

      husband will look at me and ask, 'What are you think? I can see the wheels turning in your mind.' I just reply, "Sorry, I am in my book."

      I have learned that some of the most hurtful times in my life, some of the most bitter words, can be changed a bit and become an identifying trait of one of my characters. It can be most cathartic! It is almost like the

      bitterness is being replace with an understanding, which was not possible before.

      As you said, 'trust the process'. When my mind gone on hiatus and I feel like I am losing my creative juices, I just write a paragraph or two a day, and suddenly, here it comes, back into focus and I cannot seem to type fast enough.

      I really enjoyed the videos, today.

      And, of course, your words bring a clarity to some dark corners of

      my mind.

      Happy Friday 13th. And, I hope you and Bev have a most, ah-hum,

      delightful Valentine's Day, tomorrow!

      DJ.

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro-bill.....We scavengers not only read the printed word, but quite clearly, we read the minds of fellow-writers as well. So often I have wondered about this "voice" thing.

      It occurred to me that if we are able to recognize our own writing, amongst a stack of dozens, wouldn't this be convincing to us? I don't know. Has this ever happened to you (or any of you)?................

      I came across a very old trunk, filled with "stuff"...memorabilia. on the very bottom were notebooks, every page written in long hand. Into about the 2nd hour of reading....I don't recall how many times I asked myself aloud, "I wrote this?.....Where was I in my life at this time?.....this is great, this is terrible, what was I thinking? Are there still those old parts of me left or have I ventured off into a completely different world?

      Is this what I should be thinking in terms of your hub? Perhaps we're each thinking very differently from one another.

      This is yet another one of those works of yours that crawls right inside my head & travels throughout my being, hoping I have enough awareness & heart to just let it be what it will be.........Thanks bill.....I want to believe you understand....UP++++

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Bill, I'm glad. We'll call it kismet for lack of a better term.

      Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to that article next week.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. I'm now going to roam the roads and see if there is any road kill that will give me inspiration. :) Have a great weekend.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hear ya, Kim. I think a lot of writers nowadays are impatient with the process. Developing our voice take a good many years. Enjoy the process and it will happen. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      With a title like this, I couldn't resist reading this! Very inspiring, and I can totally see your point. Finding your own voice isn't easy, but who could possibly do it better than you?

      Happy Friday the 13th!

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      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      It is interesting that you compare writers to scavengers. I never thought about it until now. Like a squirrel gathers nuts, writers gather inspiration from everything around us, which makes every experience a valuable nugget that we can use to enhance our product.