Raising The Yardstick Of Quality

19 Nov

003And thank you for returning to the show that never ends….well, okay, it will end when I’m old and feeble and unable to peck away at these keys, but you get the point.

So, today’s subject is……drum roll…..quality over quantity!

Much has been written about NaNoWriMo as November is Write A Book Month, and in truth I applaud this movement for encouraging writers to get started on that novel that has been sitting in the cobwebs of their brain for so long….but…..

Writing a novel in a month is certainly possible as many have done it.  Writing a quality novel in a month is a different story altogether….pun intended.

A book should not be rushed.  Great writers will struggle for days over the perfect sentence.  Imagine how long a good writer will struggle over 100,000 words.

I encourage everyone who thinks they have a book in them to write that book; I also encourage all of you to make that book the best damn book possible.


Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Steve Jobs

There I go being a writing snob again, but at least Steve Jobs agreed with me.

I don’t care if you are writing a book, writing articles on HubPages or writing daily blogs.  Be a yardstick of quality.  The world has enough mediocre already; please raise the yardstick for others to follow.


In my continued effort to give some much needed praise to poets, here is another site of a friend who dabbles seriously in poetry.  Say hello to Audrey and her “Alive And Well” blog featuring her original poetry. You can find it here.


Café Writers Open Poetry Competition.  Deadline is the end of November. Find it here.



It’s been rainy outside here in Olympia and the wimp in me has prevented me from going out and taking new pictures. Here is an old one that might prompt you to write something of quality.


If you are considering publishing a book, make sure you have someone else edit it.  Yes, it costs money to have a professional editor do the job, but that money spent will pay back dividends in the long run.  How much for an editor?  Depends on the size of your book; you can pay upwards of $1,000 or more.  If you follow this blog I will do it for less.  Get in touch with me if that is something you would be interested in.


Best wishes on your writing endeavors the rest of the week.  Remember, whatever you are working on, make it the best it can be.  The world needs more quality.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

24 Responses to “Raising The Yardstick Of Quality”

  1. Liz November 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Love that Steve Jobs quote. It’s so true!

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Yes it is, Lizzy! I wish more people believed in it.

  2. Janine Huldie November 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Bill, I did NaNoWriMo last year and you are right it was an experience, but I am not into really writing a perfect book in only a month’s time. It was too much pressure and still haven’t edited it yet to be quite honest and not sure what I will find. So maybe a bit of it is that I worried how awful it truly is and that I did indeed rush to get that one cranked out. But yes, I am happy I did get the experience, but not sure if I will ever do that one again in my life. Hope you are enjoying this Tuesday so far though 🙂

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Janine, I suspect anyone really concerned with quality would have the same reaction you had. I love that it encourages writers to write a book, but I do worry about quality. Anyway, have a great day my friend.

  3. RealHousewifeSL November 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I with you Bill…I realized Nano is a NoNO for me. If I rush just to crank out a high word count it takes away from the creativity for me. The pressure makes me hate it!

    Love the photos too!

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Glad to hear I’m not alone, Kelly! I just think being creative should move at its own pace. Thanks for your thought and have a great one!

  4. Shauna November 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Bill, this is short and sweet. Just wanted to let you know I read this. I’m busy changing my email address all over cyberspace. New ISP coming in Friday and I’ve made the mistake of attaching my email address to whatever ISP I’m using. Big mistake! Never again – lesson learned.

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Heck, Sha, I learn those kinds of lessons almost daily, especially when technology is concerned. 🙂 thanks for taking the time to stop by.

  5. Christy Birmingham November 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Quite right about wanting to make our book the best that it can be. While a writer might write the book in November, I urge him/her to proofread and edit the book prior to publishing. It takes time to get that high-quality standard you speak of. Excellent advice! I will share this post on Twitter right now!

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Thank you for sharing, Christy, and for taking the time to visit me. You are appreciated and a good friend.

  6. Cygnet Brown November 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi Bill,
    I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding concerning NaNoWriMo. The objective of the project IS NOT to finish a novel in a month, the objective is to write the FIRST 50K draft of the book that an individual is writing. I have participated in NaNoWriMo for the past five years and I have two novels published. ( I had drafts of both written prior to NaNoWriMo). the first novel took me 20 years to write and the second took me two years to write. I learned the hard way that I CANNOT do the final edits of my own work. I do however make what I have written the best book I possibly can prior to sending it away for editing. NaNoWriMo serves a vital purpose for me. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I am able to get ideas out of my head and onto paper to expand and edit later. For me, NaNoWriMo isn’t the whole process. However, it is part of my writing process.

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Cygnet, most definitely. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. For people like you who use it as part of the process, I think it is excellent. For those who would otherwise never attempt a novel, I think it is excellent. For those, though, who think the whole process can be done in a month….well, not so excellent. 🙂

  7. Leslie November 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Hi, Bill..
    Always a pleasure to visit, dear and – don’t we ALWAYS learn something?
    I so agree – quality over quantity..
    it blows my mind at the numbers of ‘words’ some writers can churn out on a daily basis..
    when i first started – it made me feel…slow and inadequate (not that i wasn’t..lol)
    In any case, there are some amazing authors that i deeply respect who write 750-1000 wpd..
    THAT’S more my speed!

    • Billybuc November 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      Hey Sis, we have to go at whatever speed we are used to. There is a lot said about a certain number of words and I don’t think that is as important as the quality of those words.

      I hope you are well my dear. Thank you for the visit.

  8. pictimilitude November 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    Steve Jobs seems like he was a stickler to work with, but it’s what made him the best.
    Second, yes, writing…I discovered it two years ago and it changed my life.
    Third, yeah, perhaps I’ll need an editor in about…320 days…hahah…you know…I got that 365 mark to think about. 😉

    • Billybuc November 20, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      Cyndi, I love that you have given yourself 365 days to write the book. It should be well-worth waiting for and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  9. ruchira November 20, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    great quote of steve jobs. he was a fighter and we ought to be one!


    • Billybuc November 20, 2013 at 4:48 am #

      Indeed he was, Ruchira, and indeed we should be. Thank you for your insight.

  10. Melanie Chisnall November 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I’m so glad you mentioned that here. I felt great about finishing an entire novel in 28 days last year, but if I’m really honest here… it wasn’t great. I knew it the minute I started editing the first chapter in January and haven’t touched it since. I don’t want to. It was a good learning curve, but I’m really excited to be on this novel journey again with Cyndi and a few others. A year to write a quality novel – yes! That’s more like it 🙂

    • Billybuc November 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      And it will be quality, Mel; of that I have no doubt. You are so an uplifting person; I enjoy every visit from you. Thank you!

  11. Audrey Howitt November 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Hi Bill. Thank you so much for the shout out. Lat year when I did Nano, I was so excited, and I proved to myself that I can just sit down and write whether I felt like it or not. For me, that piece of discipline was crucial. Poetry relies on flow and so I have always been a flow writer. But I originally sat down to write a novel, not poetry. And novels are what I read most of the time. I love the inner world of people. This year I am less excited about the Nano project per se. I realize that I can flow about 1000 words a day and have them be meaningful. So while I may not finish the Nano in November, I will have gotten a start. Meanwhile, I have gone back and edited about half the nano from last year, and that is coming along. It is all a learning process for me I think–

    Best to you!

    • Bill November 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Audrey, it is a wonderful learning process and I’m glad you have found it to be so. You are very welcome for the shout out; your work demands attention.

  12. Dee November 24, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    I can’t imagine writing a novel in one month at this point. As you say, writing one sentence can take time. I am finding discipline is important as I sit to write on the novel I have started. Your tips are helping me to put it all together.

    • Bill November 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      Thank you Dianna….there are days when 500 words on my novel is very hard; there are other days where 3000 words is easy. I just never know until I sit down. Best of luck to you when you start the process.

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