You Can Lead A Writer To Water But You Can’t Make Them Drink

29 Aug

003You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

I’m reminded of that old saying today as I read some articles written by people I follow on HP.  Yes there were some good ones, but many of them are the same old same old, or as my dad was fond of saying, same shit different day.

As a reader I want to be dazzled. I want to be entertained.  Now tell me of a reader who does not want those things.  Oh sure, many online are just looking for information, the McDonald’s drive-through source of all knowledge….but still, if you are trying to establish yourself as a writer and gain views, wouldn’t you think it would be a good idea to improve your craft and become a more interesting writer?

Well a miracle happened this morning. I read an article by a friend of mine who I have followed for about two months now, and she wrote a recipe article that was outstanding.  Hell actually froze over this morning.  Her introduction was exceptional. In fact, it was so good that I didn’t realize there was a recipe coming. LOL Read it here and see if you don’t agree.


Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Benjamin Franklin

It’s the teacher in me and I can’t help it. I want all writers to work on improving their craft.  I am so tired of seeing apathy and complacency and half-assed efforts in society today.  The idea of excellence seems to have very little relevance in today’s world and I think we all suffer because of it.

What have you done to improve your writing today?  Not last week, or a month ago, but today? What new technique have you tried? What tips have you incorporated into your daily writing routine?

I wrote an article last week about HubPages vs Bubblews, and for the most part it was well-received, but I had three people who were quite upset about it.  How dare I attack Bubblews?  I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about!

Well folks, the fact of the matter is that the article did not attack Bubblews…it attacked poor writing.  It was a metaphor about pigs (bad writing) and on HubPages the pigs are well-dressed, while on Bubblews the pigs are naked.  If those folks had taken the time to actually read the article instead of getting their panties in a knot over an imagined wrong, they would have seen the truth….bad writing is bad writing no matter where you post it!

I’m done. Let’s move on.


Pull out an old article right now and read the introduction.  Does that introduction grab the readers by the throat? If not then re-write it today.  One article…one introduction…half hour tops….do it! J


Use an intriguing example or a provocative question for your introduction. I have used this technique many times and it works wonders for grabbing the reader’s attention.



Have fun with it. Write an introduction based on an imaginary article about this picture prompt.


Tomorrow it will be time for A Moment With Bill, so I’ll wish you all a happy and relaxing weekend, and I’ll catch up with you on Monday. Thanks for stopping by, and remember that if you have a tip you want to share, or you want to write a blog entry as a guest writer, drop me an email at


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

31 Responses to “You Can Lead A Writer To Water But You Can’t Make Them Drink”

  1. Janine Huldie August 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Bill, I was actually approached by a few to join Bubblews and I don’t even have enough time truly for Hubpages at this point. Many seem to see it as a great alternative to making a fast buck, but to be honest, I love what I am doing on my blog and with my design work. I think it is more about loving what you do more then anything else. I really don’t care where you do it as long as you enjoy it. I seriously appreciated your take on this and still the decision to me laid in my own hands and I have made my decision for now. And I think it sounds like you have too and feel others should respect your opinion. They don’t have to agree at all, but definitely don’t need to criticize either, I suppose. Just my two cents and now I am off my soapbox for the day, have a wonderful day!! 🙂

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Janine, I was amazed at how upset some people got over my views…like my views matter to anyone. LOL If people like Bubblews then I am happy for them…I do not care if they like HP or not…all I care about is raising the level of writing and convincing more people that writing is a craft and should be treated as such. 🙂 Thank you and you are doing a great job with that blog.

      • carolee44 August 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

        Loved this inspiring addition. I think I will go over old hubs and make them more lyrical…Great ideas as always..A pleasure to read what is next on your agenda.

      • Janine Huldie August 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

        I know Bill, I was quite amazed at how upset some got over this, too and like I said I really didn’t care where someone finds happiness in writing. Agree with you that it is completely at people realizing how writing it a craft and to treat it that way. And thank you as always for just being you and honest!! Very much appreciate that and can’t say that enough!

      • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        Janine, I have a lot of faults, but dishonesty is not one of them. If people want to know how I feel about a subject that is no problem at all. LOL Thank you my kind friend. I really do appreciate you.

  2. Kimmie August 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Bill this is excellent advice and I could not agree more. While I no longer write for hubs, I do have my new site and I am forever rewriting, editing, trying to make it the best it could be. I no longer want to just put out articles for the sake of publishing. I want it to be good and entertaining, and inspiring. I have even begun to edit my eBooks that I published at record speed early on. I don’t want any one to buy anything that is not up to speed. It is a waste of their money and time. Great article! Thanks again!

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Kimmie, I love your words. My heart soars when I hear of a writer who wants to improve their craft. The Masters who came before you are smiling in their graves right now. 🙂

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Carol, I’ll be doing that very thing before the day is done. Good luck and thank you as always.

  3. froggy213 August 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    The best I can say to this article is: AMEN. Thanks billy.

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Greg, that’s a pretty good comment and I’m quite happy with it. Thank you!

  4. Rosie Amrhein August 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I haven’t written much lately but good advise Bill!

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      Well Rosie, I hope you do soon then. In the meantime, enjoy your time away from writing and thanks for stopping by.

  5. Shauna August 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Bill, I have to agree with you regarding the recipe hub. I just read it. The article wasn’t really a recipe for cookies (bonus!) but a recipe for life itself. I have just hit the ‘follow’ button for this amazing writer.

    On another note, I have to agree with you about the writers on Bubblews – most of them anyway. Bubblews doesn’t offer a creative outlet, thus the appearance of the articles is nothing to attract my attention. Additionally, many of the articles I read are just pure crap. Many are poorly written, which reflects on the author. Anyway, I’ll stick with HP and all it’s bells and whistles. Between the tools available to us and the willingness of the writers to help other writers grow and succeed, it’s the best place on the Internet to hone your craft and earn a passive income.

    I read an interesting article today about subheadings. I think I may contact you regarding guest posting…

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Thanks for those observations Sha! Despite what some people think I am not against Bubblews, but I am against sloppy writing being passed off as quality, and I will never be accepting of that.

      Contact away my friend. I would love to guest blog.

  6. Liz August 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Love that recipe article! That’s how it’s done.

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Isn’t it great, Lizzy! I don’t say that often about a recipe article but that was exceptional…glad you thought so too.

  7. i'mkarn August 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    I love your commitment to excellence, Bill – both yours and others! I agree with you though – if we aren’t working to improve our writing, how can we expect people to come back for just more of the same!
    I’m like you – i want every word of my ‘FILLER’ to be
    Impossible, but – like you say – why not reach for the stars?
    Have a great day..sorry i haven’t been around muchxx

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Leslie, you love my commitment to excellence because you have the same…you didn’t fool me at all. 🙂 I know you are busy and I appreciate you taking the time…thank you and love always.

  8. ruchira August 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Your writing actually make me go back to my HP and edit some hubs and make a change from a circle to a H next to them 🙂

    With regards to Bubblews…it sure is fast buck but then since I am so used to rejections and quality of work being high…I find it tough to write short essays (400 characters) thus, actually am struggling post articles there (Funny huh!)

    Look fwd to your post tomorrow!

    • Billybuc August 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      Ruchira, I had the same problem…400 characters? that’s an introduction for me. LOL Thank you and I’m glad you find me helpful in some way.

  9. craftytothecore August 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you Billy! I finally found your Blog! I started one on here for my handmade stuff a while back but haven’t been active on it recently. Thank you friend.

    • Billybuc August 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Hey Crafty….good to see you….I’ll have to check out your blog. I appreciate you taking the time to look me up.

  10. Kelly Umphenour August 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    When I heard about Bubble, I was like, “oh another one?” Seriously I just do not have time to join every site that flies by…I’ll totally support the good writers who do!

    • Billybuc August 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      Thank you Kelly and that was the whole point of my article…I support good writing, period! If it’s crap then I’m gone, and there is crap on the Bubble and crap on HP, and I don’t have time for crap. LOL

  11. Audrey Howitt August 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Loved this Bill–there is a continual conversation between me and my work–without it, I think writing becomes a chore–at least it does for me–as always, your piece made me think–and I want to thank you for sharing the cookie recipe! Such a well written piece!

    • Billybuc August 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Thank you Audrey and I’m glad others thought that recipe article was a good one. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. phoenix2327 September 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    This title really caught my eye. It reminded me of my daughter. I’m sending you an email with regard to her writing career. Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Billybuc September 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Hi Phoenix….I’ll take a look at her work later today. I have a couple customers who need some articles on this Sunday….they evidently don’t understand about a day of rest. LOL I promise I’ll take a look at your daughter’s work.

      • phoenix2327 September 2, 2013 at 7:45 am #

        Thanks, Bill. Much appreciated.

  13. Billybuc December 15, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    We all have been guilty from time to time…most of the time, when I write articles like that, I am reminding myself of why I became a writer. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.


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