Learning To Be A Good Writer

10 Oct

003First, I have to thank all of you who voted for me for Best All-Around Hubber.  I don’t think any of us are immune to the wonders of praise, and I am humbled and honored by your faith in me. I will write an article about my HubPages experience next week but for now, my sincere and heartfelt thank you.

Now on to the business of the day…learning to be a good writer.


Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
John Wooden

What wise words from a wise man.


This business of talent with regards to writing is an interesting topic so let’s explore it a bit.  Are great writers born with exceptional talent or did they work to maximize what gifts they had?  I personally think is a combination of many factors.  I think having a solid foundation is important.  As much as I hated the nuns for drilling into me proper grammar, I can now look back and say thank you for doing it.  I know that my mom and dad insisted that I read and read often, so I’m sure that had a role in helping me to become a writer.

I have read about many of the great writers of our time and every single one of them had determination and a willingness to go to any lengths to succeed.

I know from my time in a classroom that a mediocre writer could become a good writer with proper teaching and encouragement.

So what is the answer?  I think, and this is just my opinion, that anyone with a pinch of talent can develop that talent and become a good writer.  I won’t use the word great because that word is bandied about too often.  Great is Blake.  Great is Hemingway.  Great is Hawthorne and great is Steinbeck.  The rest of us are just trailing in their path hoping for some crumbs of greatness.

To develop talent requires hard work.  Writing is considered an art form and as such it requires constant practice and constant attempts to improve.

Let me ask you this:  what have you done to improve your writing skills this week?


summer of 2010 004

You know the drill.  Write 200 words about this picture and appeal to all five senses in those 200 words.


Gemini Poetry Contest is now taking submissions.  The application fee is only $5, which is a very reasonable fee.  Submit three poems before January 2nd and you just might win $1,000 or a number of secondary prizes.


Chicken Soup of the Soul is taking essays about how you have rebooted your life.  I believe they pay $200 if they accept your story.  You can submit your story here.


But I’ll be back next Tuesday with another installment. I hope you all have a great weekend and thank you for dropping by during your busy day.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”




22 Responses to “Learning To Be A Good Writer”

  1. Janine Huldie October 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    I honestly couldn’t agree with you more and I am constantly trying to make my writing that much better on a daily basis. That said I think it is like when I taught math. You can be smart and have math abilities, but in order to hone in on them, you must practice and practice over and over again. Like my mom always told me practice makes perfect. Thanks as always Bill and wishing you a wonderful Thursday now, too!

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      I agree, Janine. There are a great many good writers out there who will never get better because they are not willing to improve through practice….and that is a sad thing. 🙂 Thanks as always my friend and have a great day.

  2. ruchira October 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    What did I do to improve my writing skills? I try to read articles/blogs from my fav writers and take inspiration from it.

    Have a wonderful thursday, Bill

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Well Ruchira, I am very grateful that you do that. 🙂 Thank you as always, and enjoy your day to the max.

  3. Les (is more?) October 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    You may be able to ‘teach’ the mechanics of writing – you can’t teach heart and commitment.
    You my friend – have the trio – SQUARED! You deserve everything, and more! It’s coming too…xx

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Well shoot, Les, I hope that happens soon. I’m not getting any younger. LOL Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  4. Tillsontitan October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Writing is certainly an every day exercise. The more we write well, the more we write! You’re encouragement and educational prompts certainly help!

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I’m glad to hear, Mary, that these are helpful. Carry on my friend and have a great day.

  5. Cygnet Brown October 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Congrats on Winning All Round Hubber! You definitely earned it!

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Thank you very much Cygnet!

  6. Shauna October 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Writing is like everything else in life; it takes practice, instruction (for the basics) and a willingness to learn everything you can as evolution changes the tools and playing ground. I do think a good writer possesses a basic gift for the written word just as a good musician has an ear for music. Some so-called writers may display perfect grammar and spelling but just don’t add any spark or interest to what they pen. You, my friend have a gift and it gets better the more you write. I see more of your personality and passions coming forth through your words. That makes you a writer I always look forward to reading.

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      Thank you Sha. I do believe good writers have a certain something that mediocre writers do not….a voice….a style….a connection of some sort…..and there are some who will never have that. I guess that’s one reason they call it an art form. Not everyone is an artist. 🙂

  7. Russ Moran October 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Wise words as usual, Bill. Yes, Sister Mary Benitsia no longer stays in my memory as an ogre, but as a person who helped form my future.

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Hey Russ, congratulations again my friend. I am very excited for you because, well, you are a friend. 🙂

      I wish the old nuns were still alive; I would go see them and tell them how much I appreciate the work they did for me.

  8. pictimilitude October 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Aww…this post inspires me. First, because when/if I have kids, I resolve to read to them every single day until they’re old enough to read to me – every single day. 🙂
    Second, talent? Yes…sometimes I wondered if I really had it as a writer, but it always comes down to determination.
    Third, well…you’re just cool. 🙂 I’m missing my writing community – I know a year isn’t that long, but I am looking forward to the time when I get to be here a bunch again. 🙂

    • Billybuc October 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      and your writing community misses you, Cyndi. You are never far from me and the rest of us who care about you. Take care of business and we’ll be here when you return. Love you lil Sis!

  9. Liz October 11, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Love that quote!

    • Billybuc October 11, 2013 at 2:04 am #

      Not bad for an old basketball coach, huh Lizzy? 🙂

  10. marcoujor October 12, 2013 at 1:51 am #

    Thanks for providing another packed post of valuable resources for us, Bill.
    I appreciate everything about you. Love, Maria

    • Billybuc October 12, 2013 at 2:25 am #

      Maria my dear, we have a mutual admiration society of two members, because I appreciate everything about you as well. Thank you my friend.


  11. Melanie Chisnall October 13, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hmmm… well, I have to say that this week has been challenging to say the least. In fact, I’ve had stress that I haven’t had in months. Being a copywriter for an advertising agency isn’t easy, especially when you have to jam a full day’s work into 4.5 hours. And especially when the boss doesn’t like what you’ve written and you have to start from scratch. Yes… that’s taking some getting used to. But, it’s making me a stronger writer for sure, I know it. And it’s forcing me to put those stress relieving techniques into practice – the ones I always go on about on my blog, LOL!!! I hope you’re having a wonderful birthday Bill!

    • Billybuc October 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Mel, I have no doubt whatsoever that you will overcome and be a great copywriter. Best wishes to you my friend and thank you so much for the birthday greetings. 🙂

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