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Writing Carries With It A Responsibility

Updated on August 26, 2013

An Admission Before We Begin

I admit it! I am a writing snob. There, my secret is now out in the open for all to reflect upon. I will even take it a step further and say that I am proud of my snobbish approach to writing.

I remember my high school and college days, bent over one of the Classics, wading through the words of a writing legend, trying to absorb it all and somehow learn to write by osmosis. At a fairly early age I respected those works, somehow subconsciously understanding the long hours necessary to construct such marvelous treasures.

I imagined the sheer tonnage of hours that went into such a work, the laboring long into the night just to find the perfect word, the perfect phrase, that would capture for all the meaning intended.

I marveled at the determination necessary to excel in that craft, the years that were spent in anonymity and I imagined the torment as self-doubts crept in and the authors wondered if they would ever be recognized and become successful.

This was, of course, before self-publishing. The word “ebook” had not entered the literary scene, and for a writer to “make it” in the world of literature there had to be a perfect alignment of the stars and planets. Some were never recognized during their lifetime, and only after their death did praise come their way. Decades spent juggling verbs and nouns only to die never having had their works read by the public…..a scenario that each of them faced as they continued to polish their craft.

So it is in their honor that I write this reflection. May the lessons they taught us forever stay with us, and may we climb upon their shoulders each and every day that we write.

The masters are watching you
The masters are watching you | Source

So What Is the Point?

The point is a very simple one my friends: writing is a craft and as such should be treated with respect.

So many types of writing these days….we have the SEO content writers and we have those who write for newspapers. We have magazine article writers and we have bloggers. We have those who would be the next great novelists and we have those who simply write as an outlet and expression of their ids.

No matter the type of writer that you are, it must always be remembered that writing is a craft.

A craftsman toils for hours, days, months and years to perfect his craft. The idea of settling for mediocrity should never enter the mind of a craftsman. An artist, a sculptor, a musician or a writer, all should be…..should be….attempting the impossible, namely to reach perfection. Of course it can never be attained, but that should not deter the effort nor alter the goal.

Why? Simply because we are talking about an art form.

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anais Nin

Yes, I believe those words and so, I am a writing snob.

The Genre and Style Matter Not

It makes no difference if you are an SEO keyword specialist. It makes no difference if you write children’s poetry or spin tales of western adventure in 1850. Hop aboard a space ship bound for Mars or take the anal temperature of a local politician. Whatever you choose as your avenue of writing, do it well and continue to improve….or stop writing.

I have no patience with mediocrity and I’ll be glad to tell you why.

We have been given a precious gift. We are on this planet a limited number of years, and it is my belief that we should be wringing every ounce of living out of that time as we can….and….it is also my belief that to settle for mediocrity is to cheat ourselves and those around us.

It is beyond me why anyone would want to do that. Why spend one hour writing pablum for the ignorant when you could spend days writing a feast for the enlightened? Why place your name firmly among the millions who are pleased with drivel when you can soar with those who understand that man was not created to crawl.

When I was a teacher in a previous life, I would hand back to students their papers if they did not show improvement over the previous work. In other words, the bar was constantly being raised and I expected them to meet each new standard of excellence. Naturally there would be an irate parent wondering why their child’s work was rejected when they had done the minimum required, and my response was always the same: the work was rejected because they had done the minimum required.

Steinbeck did not become Steinbeck by meeting minimum requirements. Blake and Bronte, Hawthorne and Hemingway, none of them went to bed at night satisfied with meeting minimum requirements….and you shouldn’t either!

The teacher wants to see improvement in all writers
The teacher wants to see improvement in all writers

So Here Is My Message to You

If you are not making every attempt to improve in your writing then you really shouldn’t be writing. If you are not trying to improve your writer’s voice and develop rhythm; if you are not trying to expand your vocabulary and alter your style; if you are doing none of these things then please, step aside and let serious writers rise to the top without having to battle their way through the logjam of complacency and apathy.

I don’t care if all you do is write recipes. I don’t care if you write “how to” articles or if you write about the Top Ten Rock Songs. No matter your topic and no matter your style, do it better.

I can’t possibly be the only one fed up with half-assed efforts that are labeled literature. For the love of Edgar Allen Poe, take pride in your craft and make every effort to improve, or go take up crochet or bridge as a hobby and leave writing to those who understand that it truly is one of the arts.

One Final Word and Then I’ll Leave You to Practice

I believe that writers are my peers. I do not believe that writers are my competition. I want to help you but I can’t do it if you do not ask for help. You can contact me any time and I’ll be happy to give what assistance I can. You can contact me and I’ll be happy to have you do a guest posting on my writing blog. I want nothing in return. I have helped quite a few writers and received nothing for it other than the satisfaction that comes with reaching out a hand of assistance.

Are you stuck in your writing? Drop me a line. Are you mired in a slump, or is your career hitting rock walls? Drop me a line. The teacher in me wants to instruct. The human in me wants to help.

May all of you write your personal best this week, and then write a new best the next week, and then a new……

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Bill, you have already helped me by inspiring me to write more. Thank you for teaching us so many important things about writing. Have a great day!

    • Annette Hendley profile image

      Annette Hendley 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Very inspirational, but now I am wondering if I am one of "those". In any case, I love the " ... learn to write by osmosis."

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

      Made, if I have helped you then I am happy, and I love your writing.....so keep writing and keep finding joy in it! :) Have a great day and I'm sending a hug across the Atlantic.

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

      Annette, I was actually concerned about that when I wrote this hub.....actually, I don't friend anyone on HP if they don't have writing tools, so that leaves you out. :)

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Well said Bill. The Internet has spawned vast armies of "writers" who would do better to find another outlet. Yes, writers do have a responsibility.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, you are one in a million and know your offer was from the heart and so very sincere. Please don't ever change and just so proud to call you my friend!! Have, of course, voted and shared all over. Have a wonderful day!!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Sir Bill--Stop

      You mentioned Classics--Stop

      I got excited--Stop

      It wasn't the Classics I thought of--Stop

      I got depressed--Stop

      You are not my favorite teacher anymore--Stop

      I want my apple back--Stop

      You mentioned craftsmen but no mechanics--Stop

      I got more depressed--Stop

      I'm not enjoying your classes you Snob--Stop

      I'm stepping aside for SERIOUS writers--Stop

      Bye bye--Stop

      PS. Have a great day--Stop.

      MJ. Stop Forever.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      So true dearest Bill.

      I believe the more we read, the more we learn, and the more we write, the better we become!

      Thanks for inspiring as always.

      Great article.

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      One of the things I like about this site is that it allows me to write, and write some more, and gradually learn more, and improve my writing skills. Your articles are very motivating, and help me to focus on what is important.

      Thanks again, my friend. Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, you're a master at the opening line!

      What? Bill, a snob? No way!

      And as I read on, I delighted in the clever way the glue of your compelling writing and use of complementary media brought it all together. Rhythm, cadence, grammar, carefully chosen words, references to the masters, images of a young boy reading for hours, the young teacher with the dark mustache, the appropriate placement of ads, the choice of books for those ads, and the ever important summary.

      That's why I don't ask you for help. I never have to. You are always so generous leaving us with our mouths open.

      Thank you for continually handing our papers back. I am thus challenged to go beyond the minimum requirements.

      Aloha, my friend!

      Joe

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

      Thank you Russ! I know you understand this very well.

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

      Janine, I want to believe others feel the way I do, that if we all help each other then we will all find success....pretty simple formula my friend. :) Thank you as always for your friendship and support.

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

      MJ, say it isn't so....Stop

      Mechanics are beyond craftsman....Stop

      I didn't want to insult you by comparing you with a craftsman....Stop

      Take two aspirin and call me in the morning....Stop

      bill

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

      Faith, I believe that as well, but there has to be a willingness to do the work in order to improve. Writing is a tool and that tool needs to be sharpened by using other tools....that's what I want serious writers to do.

      You are such a joy to everyone who knows you. Thank you!

      blessings always

      bill

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

      Kathryn, thank you. HP has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible people, like you, and for that I will always be grateful.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sometimes we all need a kick in the ass and you are just the one to fly the boot my dear friend! It seems to me (judging by the comments) that you have stricken a nerve. And that's just what it takes!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Call it great minds thinking the same, i had just been having a conversation with Mickster prior to my reading your hub and had said "always be true to yourself", do your very best so you will be happy with your achievement be it in writing, sports or painting a wall.

      I have learnt an enormous amount from you Bill and enjoy the banter and slagging you give my beauty stuff!!! Only I would put up with you like that!! LOL Must be the Irish in us!

      Cheers for another valuable lesson here my friend!

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

      Joe, I will make this short, because sometimes the truth is uncomplicated....your hub today was brilliantly beautiful....you are growing leaps and bounds in your craft my friend.

      Aloha

      bill

    • Annette Hendley profile image

      Annette Hendley 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Thanks Bill that will inspire me to fix all those "lazy" hubs that need some work.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      I love the way you write and I love your generosity. I agree with you - writing is definitely a craft though I do think a lot of it comes from the heart. Thank you Billybuc.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I was very lucky in high school. I had a teacher much like you, and her name was Mrs. Bailey. She quietly and wisely inspired us to be creative, to reach for a high point, to continually work at being better. She even encouraged me to write an essay that eventually got me inducted into the National Honor Society, much to my surprise and delight. I had no idea she had even entered my name. I still have the pin!

      If we all have teachers like you and Mrs. Bailey to inspire us, we cannot help but succeed! Please keep on handing back those papers, dear friend ;) Pearl

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

      Oh Sally, yes....writing must come from the heart.....I want to write things that will make people gasp and laugh and shout with celebration...and I can only do that if I write with my heart....but....if I do not learn my craft and become the best writer possible, my inspirational lessons will never be read generations from now. :)

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

      Annette, you are very welcome, and thank you for being willing to learn and grow in your craft.

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

      Suzie, there are times I have to back off with the "slagging." You really are a very good writer who has found a niche and has pounded that niche for all it's worth....you are doing exactly what I have said for months now, that we need to narrow our focus and become an expert in our niche.....you are the poster girl for doing this writing thing correctly, and I respect what you are doing. Well done my dear friend, and thanks for putting up with me.

      hugs from Olympia

      bill

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

      Sha, I have no patience with half-assed efforts, and I know you don't either.

      Now get busy and do your thing. :)

      love,

      bill

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      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      You've convicted me, Bill. Unfortunately, over time I'm probably going to forget this conviction and lapse back into sub-par work- happens in all areas of life, doesn't it? Ah, well, that's why God put the motivators on this earth and into our lives at just the right times to keep us on track. You are doing a fine job! Be blessed.

      Voted up, useful, and shared.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well I can certainly attest to your generous nature and willingness to help a fellow writer. Thank you for not making it a competition. You have fostered many great words here on hubpages. I know I am not alone in thanking you!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh Billy another gem from you !!

      We must indeed 'Stretch' to reach that new target !!!

      I will let you in on a secret now in that I always thought I was useless in anything crafty except the craft of words of course!!(I even doubted myself there too until recently) .I never knew I would adopt a great passion for photography an then another passion for creating collages for online scrapbooks which of course can be extended into hard copies at the touch of a button too.

      I am 54 years old (55 in October) and I am surprising myself as to what I shall feel passionate about daily these days ;each day is a new parcel to unwrap!!!

      Oh yes my life is now truly for the living; to stretch my wings to feel a stirring in my heart that I never felt before.

      One little note I would like to add also is that I did go through a stage of great anger(not so long ago) when I realised what I could have achieved back in my younger years had I had had a different childhood but I am not one to wallow in self pity and today I feel no anger just pride and self satisfaction that I am living my life as fully and as happy as I am. Thank you also Billy of r being a wonderful friend and lots of love from my little corner of Wales.

      I vote this one up and share.

      Eddy.

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

      Pearl, I would have liked Mrs. Bailey. Hopefully there are a few more like her in the teaching profession who will not settle for second-best. Thank you for comparing me to her; I am flattered my friend.

      bill

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

      Alise, I will assume you meant that I convinced you rather than convicted you. LOL I would never do that.

      We all need a push....today it was my turn to be the pusher. :) Thank you!

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

      Randi, I am a bit miffed at some on HP who do not help others....they are in it for themselves and I simply cannot do that. If we all help each other then we all succeed....there are enough readers out there to go around for all of us. :) Thank you as always...now let me win at Words, would you please? LOL

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

      Eddy my friend, your thoughts and reflections mirror mine in many ways...but I only have myself to blame for not writing sooner....and yet blame is such a waste of time. I am now on a mission my dear. I am going to be the best writer I can be, and I am going to create beauty in this sometimes ugly world, and I am going to inspire as many people as I possibly can.

      So it is time to get to work and do just that.

      Thank you for sharing your experience,strength and hope with us all.

      love,

      billy

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

      Wow.... Bill, you don't believe in sweetening the pill, do you :) ?

      I agree we need the basic tools to be able to write well, but we must all start somewhere. I do believe however, that one of the best ways to learn this craft, is as you quite rightly said, by osmosis, learn from the best.

      I just love it when you rant :)).

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

      Jo, life is far too short. I will support any writer, but I won't support comfort in mediocrity....life is far too short, my friend, to accept anything less than full effort. :) Glad you like my rants....I like to toss one out there every few weeks to stir things up. :) Thank you and blessings coming your way.

      bill

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 4 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      If,I could only remember how to spell "correctly"! Oh,I just did! lol!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Bill, you are one in a million! And I, too, love it when you rant. Sometimes you get away with saying things the rest of us would like to, but can’t. What’s your secret? I agree that writing is an art that needs to be practiced. I love some of the personal stories that people tell so eloquently.

      Anyway, I would truly like to see Hub Pages as a writer’s webpage, not a place where dumb butts can rant anything, and I see too much of that. I’m not talking about struggling writers who need help. I, too, am glad to assist those in any way I can, as long as it isn’t technical assistance with the page because I haven’t mastered that yet. I think your hub will encourage them. Voted up ++

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

      someonewhoknows, thanks for the laugh. I needed that. :)

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

      MizB, I almost didn't publish this one. Even I thought I might have gone too far. LOL Still, it needs to be said. Too many people think writing is something that does not have to be worked at....if that were the case, and heaven forbid this thought, we would be inundated with diary entries. LOL

      Thank you my friend. I greatly appreciate your support.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So, so true. I am sure you have read the same as me just pretty words. Some think if they just throw pretty words together it equals a poem but not so, it must say something to us. I would much rather read someone who doesn't know as many words but has a message from their heart. I can even forgive their errors. ^

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

      Thank you Jackie. I can even forgive someone who is a poor writer if they are trying to become a better one....but to keep publishing junk with no intention of improving is to me a sin against the memories of the great writers. :)

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      watergeek 4 years ago

      Well, I had an English teacher in high school who used to criticize my interpretations of novels. She would say, "What do you think so-and-so was trying to say?" I would tell her (write it for an assignment) and she'd tell me I was wrong. Well, hell. How does she know? Isn't there room for the reader's interpretation and isn't that as valid? I wasn't a writer then. English was boring (although I always got "A's"). Now I know that one job writers do is give their readers food for thought. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. I've taken writers off the pedestal my father and teachers put them on. Writers are people too, and what we read is their own insight, dreams, and imagination. The craft shows in articulation. Now it's my turn to share.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I agree. I try to stretch myself every day in my writing experience. I went back to college for the most part to improve my writing experience. I am challenged every week to express my mind critically. I actually feel cheated when an instructor congratulates me for writing so well. I prefer an instructor that insists that I stretch my skills. I keep thinking about what Hemingway said.

      "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know."

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      QUOTE: "Writing Carries With It A Responsibility"

      Oh dear... having scrapped the bottom and running out of ideas, I was planning to write poonography. I didn't know that writing carries with it a responsibility. I thought all writers have literary license. Let me check the fine print, LOL.

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

      Watergeek...inform, entertain and inspire...those are my Big Three when writing. If I haven't done one of those three then I have wasted my time and the time of my readers. :)

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

      cygnetbrown, thank you for sharing your experience. That is what writers should do but I sense few actually do.

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

      LOL...Walter, you have done it again....you had me laughing out loud. Thank you!

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Cygnetbrown: "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." -- Ernest Hemingway

      Great quote! Sets me wondering whether I've ever written a true sentence. By the way, all fiction is the creation of the mind and is untrue. Even science statements and autobiographies are approximations, at best. The only true statement I ever heard before was from US President George H.W. Bush: "Watch my lips". It's so short and sweet. But I would rather watch Tina Turner's lips, LOL.

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

      Walter, I don't know what to do with you. LOL You keep me smiling all day long as I toil over the keyboard.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Is that Magnum PI in that picture?

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

      LOL...Lizzy, you have a discerning eye for sure, or one hell of an imagination. :) what would I do without you?

    • shielamaeparreno profile image

      Shiela Mae Parreno 4 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

      I'm hit! I remember back in high school I would read, write, re-write and forever proofread my articles (or should I say diary!) to make the words sound more like how I feel. But these days I write to be paid and usually, write with half a heart. tsk tsk.

      But I won't be stepping aside coz I believe I am a writer. =)

      Thanks Sir Bill! May I call you sir? It's a wake up call indeed.

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

      Shiela, you may call me that or you may call me Bill...whichever you prefer, and thank you! I hope your love of writing shines through in each of your pieces....never lose the passion my friend.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Thank you and now, hopefully the mediocre writers of the world will read this! I'm the last one to throw stones and I know I make errors and there is always room for improvements; but sometimes I wonder if some people even try. If you've ever been hub hopping, I'm sure you've seen stuff that makes you nauseous. Time might be money, but slapping words on paper and saying 'done' is worthless. I enjoy reading in all genres and I'm not particular to a kind of style... but I am particular to effort... in which you always exceed!

      Excellent hub Billy,

      Cat

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

      Cat, I have nothing to add to that. I swear, online writing has created a whole new wave of mediocrity, and I refuse to applaud mediocrity. Put in the effort and I'll be in their corner for life....otherwise, don't waste my time. :)

      Thank you dear friend!

      bill

    • ienjoythis profile image

      Marissa D. Carnahan 4 years ago from Nevada

      Hi Bill! It's been a while since I have been on HubPages, but I knew just whose writing to read first. Your pieces always inspire me. This is a great hub and all writers should take it to heart and heed your advice.

      :)

      Marissa

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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's amazing that you come up with one inspirational hub after another, Bill! Thank you for encouraging us to be the best that we can be.

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

      Alicia, I want everyone to succeed...pretty simple. :) Thank you my friend!

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

      Marissa, it is so nice to see you back...where have you been young lady? I hope you stick around awhile now. Thanks for stopping by and don't be a strange. :)

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      Jonathan McCloskey 4 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      I agree one hundred percent with all the statements made in this article, Bill. While writing during my day I leave my phone on vibrate just in case an emergency pops up and someone needs my council. However, sometimes whilst (It's a crime that we don't use 'whilst' more often these days, by the way.) I'm writing, someone will invite me to brunch or to do an activity and I explain that I'm writing and we can do it another time. They sometimes ask why I do all the writing, and I respond that writing is a friend I have to make time for as well. Miss your child's birth chasing a juicy plot? No. Reschedule brunch? Yes.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for the encouragement.

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      CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Another great hub Bill and I think that it is important to keep striving to improve our writing skills. If I look at my early hubs compared to my recent ones, there is a big difference as I have developed my style and confidence.

      I get friends asking me to write things for them, which I am happy to do, but I do ask them why they don't try to do it themselves. The answer is invariably 'but I can't write' and I point out that writing is a skill that can be improved and perfected, but they have to start somewhere. I think there are a lot of potential good writers out there, who do not have the confidence to try and have a belief that the great writers were just born that way and did not have to work at it.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      "For the love of Edgar Allen Poe"...you pick my favorite author no less! Sensei we allow you to be a snob because you reach for perfection. You teach and share your knowledge at the drop of a hat so there is no reason for us not to learn, and there is always so much to learn. Yes, I know I have adopted the name Sensei for you because that's what you are, a teacher. Each of your hubs, whether about writing or life, teaches us something new.

      Am I learning? I hope so because I do want to improve my craft.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

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

      LOL....Jon, what a great comment. Thank you for sharing that, and I agree, whilst is a great word that I fear few understand.

      This is a job and a passion...maybe the passion part is what is hard for people to understand. :)

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

      Always Martin! If writers don't encourage each other, who will besides family? Thank you!

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

      CM, great comment that I agree with. If great writers are born that way then I would be in trouble. I am where I am because I work hard at it daily, just like anyone with a trade or craft. Why is this so hard to understand for writers?

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

      Mary, I truly am flattered. I have received so much love and encouragement here on HP....how could I not give back? I am so happy to have you and others as friends....if I help you in some way then I am the one who is grateful. Thank you my dear.

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love writing, Bill, but I'm not a writing snob. Not everything someone writes has to ooze emotion. It you want to be a serious writer. then okay but that is not for everyone. I don't want to discourage others from writing just because it doesn't ooze emotion every time they write. "The masters are watching" - oh the pressure! lol I think there are different types of writing for different reasons and situations. It is all relative. You and I love writing, we love the masters and hence we tend to try to emulate them. We are serious writers. But there are other genres and types of writing that doesn't have to be so serious. I say writing anything is better than not writing at all. Just my way of seeing things.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I respect you and I respect your opinions. Thank you for weighing in on the subject, and doing so with eloquence. :)

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      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Great hub!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok....I appreciate you always being here.

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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Bill - You are such an inspiration! Your question " Why spend one hour writing pablum for the ignorant when you could spend days writing a feast for the enlightened?" struck me so.

      This is going on my fridge, bathroom mirror, computer and television. Why, the TV? Well, when I do take a few minutes to see what's showing on the History Channel, I will think twice about whether I want to spend that time at the TV or working my way to writing a feast for the enlightened. :)

      You always give me something wonderful and enlightening to 'chew' on.

      We writers are so blessed to have you here. You are priceless Bill. I have a mountain of knowledge to learn and my life is getting shorter each day :) Yes, " Writing carries with it a responsibility " and I thank you for "pumping me up" and sharing your vast expertise with little old me. Blessings and love to you Bill.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you are a doll and I thank you!

      I must receive an email per day from some writer who is discouraged and trying to find a reason to carry on.....and I hate to see that. I want everyone to feel the joy I feel when I write. This is a gift....we have the ability to reach out to others and make a difference in this world, one person at a time. My God, what a gift that is!

      Blessings and love to you my dear friend.

      bill

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Well, Bill, you are slowly but surely becoming the 'Writing Go-to Guru' of Hubpages. If we as writers are not doing out best to improve with every new piece we write, then we are satisfied to be less than the best.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I think you just summarized it perfectly, and thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it greatly.

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      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Hear, hear! It's an art. A true artist can make their reader laugh or cry no matter what the topic...a recipe or even a crummy commercial (I have cried at many Hallmark commercials!). :-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, don't tell anyone but so have I. :) Thank you!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      So inspiring. I wish I could show this to people who don't understand why I fuss over every word I write. 'It's fine,' they say. Since when did 'Fine' become a great compliment? 'Fine' just means the pages won't be used for toilet paper.

      I want more than 'Fine.' I want great, outstanding, meaningful and fun. Fun is good too. I that is why I pore over every sentence, scrutinize the grammar and triple check the spelling. I want perfection. I realise that, being human, it's something I may never achieve, but is that any reason not to try? So every day finds me doing some kind of writing; whether it's something new or editing something old.

      Once again, great post. It's something one can refer to when the doubts start to creep in.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, in recovery, FINE was an acronym for.....Fuc*#@& up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional......I think I can do without fine. LOL

      Thanks as always and I have no problem picturing you laboring away, making sure that every sentence is perfect....just another reason why I respect you.

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      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Thank you - Bill. There is always room for improvement no matter what one does. Here on this website we are getting a good portion of it whether you like it or not. If you wrote an article last year - it passed - and now it is incorrect - time for a change and update. My brother was an English teacher for 20 years and I am familiar with student's papers that needed help. We are all students and the teacher is life. Writing these Hub articles are a part of life and yes - we should give it our best try. Writing can be a Hobby if you are not out to set the world on fire. Mediocrity is not caring in what you are saying to others, 'half-ass work' as my dad would have said. No one likes criticism especially writers or artists. It generates anger. Yet - once you get over that - one should be able to sit down and get to work and see where the mistakes lie. You are a godsend. Useful,Awesome and Interesting. Thumbs Up.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I think you said it all more eloquently than I did. I should be jealous but instead I'll just say RIGHT ON! ;) Thank you for a great comment.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's it, Billy, get those creative juices flowing. Once you have tasted a new aspect of writing, you'll want to learn more. It is like a treat from Pavlov. Get one, then reach for another!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is indeed, Deb, and the thrill of the treat shows in your writing.

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      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      I love your hub, even if you confess to be a writing snob! ; ) Great thoughts into writing with good advice. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us! Voted it up and awesome!!

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      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Good afternoon William D., happy Father's Day .

      Exceptional . Every paragraph, every sentence is inspirational, great lesson... I thought for awhile that I'm " breathing through writing, crying out in writing ,singing in writing... " Absorbing every word. No, didn't write " my best" yet, why should be credible what am saying. Hearing what you've said, why settle for mediocrity and cheat myself ?!

      Making a summary of what I'm getting after reading , came this episode to my mind: I've read somewhere ( I know where ), when a needy has been asking for help only to hear a response , ' it's not good to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." Thank goodness, for the brighter part of the story coming out of reply yet,' even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table'. Waiting in hope became beneficial, ' what you want she'll be done , as the " final answer."

      Already I'm grateful .

      Voted up,awesome and useful .

      .

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

      Thank you dreamseeker. It's nice to have you visit my site.

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      Ben Blackwell 4 years ago

      This, in a way, can serve as a reminder of who we are and what we should aspire to be. Thanks.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, what an eloquent comment, and thank you for the Father's Day wish.

      It has been a good day my friend and I am just getting around to reading comments....yours was well worth the wait.

      Thank you my friend, and have a wonderful week.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ben, I totally agree. Great comment and reflection.

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      Richard Parr 4 years ago from Oz

      I feel elevated to snobbery by your motivating words and promise to refine my craft.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Parrster, you gave me a laugh with that one....long live the writing snubs of the world! LOL Thanks for the visit.

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      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Ah, Sir William. I am dedicating this week to working on my manuscript. So I thought what better way than to read this hub before I get down to it! It was tempting to mentally underline every point; but the admonition and the advocacy that increased the beating of my heart were these:

      "...to settle for mediocrity is to cheat ourselves and those around us."

      "The teacher in me wants to instruct. The human in me wants to help."

      And the beautiful soul in you continues to inspire. L.

      Two thumbs, uh...wings, way UP!!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, what a lovely birthday gift to give yourself...working on your manuscript. I love it, and thank you so much for always being so supportive of me and my writing.

      Bless you my friend. Have a great week.

      bill

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      Beth37 4 years ago

      I have heard this argument before Billy, only concerning music. My question to you is, "Is all artwork artistic expression on some level?" So if a 5 year old draws a picture of a woman smiling, is her effort meaningless because it is not the Mona Lisa? Or was it an assertion of her creative desires? What of a disabled person, whose mind isn't operating at the same level as her peers? Should she put down her pencil and stick to building blocks? Does something have to be pleasing to every pallet to have merit?

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

      Beth, my answer is the same whether we are talking about art, music, writing or whatever, and it is the same no matter what level of artistic expression you are at, and it is the same no matter whether you are a housewife of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.....never settle for mediocrity.

      Thanks for the visit and the reflection.

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      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - I am so grateful that I am not the only writing/history snob. The world, America, the twenty-first century needs more snobs. To raise the bar, to do quality work, to inspire others and so on and so forth -- I realize I am preaching to the choir.

      Several years ago a young man in one of my classes (who thought he was cool and all teachers were lame and was mad because I gave his essay the C it so richly deserved) rather sarcastically and contemptuously said, "You must think you are pretty good at what you do." Without missing a beat I replied, "No, I don't think I am pretty good. I know I am great at what I do. You could be great too, with some dedication and hard work."

      He snorted derisively, but I thought then and I still think now that several other students in the class "heard" me.

      Thank you for all the encouraging and exhorting (we talked about this once) you do. Most of us need to be pushed and pulled from time to time to get past the "average." I so agree with your statement that, "it is also my belief that to settle for mediocrity is to cheat ourselves and those around us."

      Blessings. Theresa

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      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Phdast7, I am not a history snob, I'm a history snoopy. My next hub is entitled "The Vedas, the Oldest Literature in the World". Two weeks in the writing and still trying to get past mediocrity... Do not pass Go! Do not collect 200 dollars! Keep pushing... a diagnosis of severe constipation.

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

      Theresa, talk about preaching to the choir. Thank you for echoing what I was trying to say here. I don't care if someone just writers for enjoyment or they writer for money, but they should try to perfect their craft, and they should try to do better in every endeavor. Life is much too short for mediocrity, and I'm so happy to read your comment about this. Thank you my friend.

      blessings always,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, I have no doubt that you will push beyond mediocrity. There is nothing mediocre about you my friend.

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      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, you are right. I excel at mediocrity but now I've to push beyond that, LOL.

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

      Walter, that's a dangerous game you are playing. LOL There is safety in mediocrity.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      It was almost like a song that was sung each day in the classroom...do it better. And here it is coming from you. I had one writing teacher in high school who inspired me to do my best writing and to improve it each time. And when I was teaching, the children were encouraged to write and let it rest, and write some more and improve and improve. It is that extra attention that separates ordinary from remarkable.

      You are a gift to the writing community, Bill, because you are willing to share your strategies and thoughts that will make each one of us a better writer.

      Angels are winging their way to you this early Friday morning ps

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

      PS, I guess I don't know any other way. Try your hardest and then improve upon it. It just seems natural to me, as does giving. What is mine is yours my friend. I give it freely and gladly.

      hugs and blessings, and a whole bunch of thanks

      bill

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