We All Begin As Beginners in the Writing Game

15 Apr

003I received an email from a new writing friend today.  She had found some of my articles about writing online, and she noticed that I offered to help any writer who needed it….so she wrote me for advice.  She lives in Serbia and her name is Milena.

Good morning to you all and Happy Tuesday. How rude of me to not start out with that greeting.  Now, back to the story.

So this young lady is a novice to the freelance game, and she didn’t know what to do to begin….and that is the topic we will discuss today.


Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.

Jim Rohn

I began as a freelance writer a little over three years ago.  I’ve come a long way, baby, but it is important for newcomers to realize that when an established writer begins their journey they are starting at square one just like everybody else.

When I quit my teaching job three years ago, I had no backup plan.  After a week of contemplation I decided I was going to follow my dream and my passion and become a writer.  I knew next to nothing about freelance writing, so that meant I had to learn on the fly.  I devoured all of the information I could about the writing business and then about two weeks later I declared myself to be a professional freelance writer.  Yes, it is all about perspective and believing in your abilities.

I learned early on that I needed to build a platform for my writing business. This meant starting a blog, and building a website, and it also meant I needed a body of work that would reflect my writing abilities.  Thus my marriage to HubPages began.

Just like everybody else, I had to prove that I “had game” in writing.  There are no shortcuts in this business, and there are no guarantees.  You work hard, you build upon successes, you learn from failures, and you always keep moving forward.


Because I firmly believe in supporting new writers, I want you to meet my new friend.  Her name is Milena and you can find her blog here.


The Nano Fiction Prize is now taking submissions of 300 words or less through September 1st. I believe the entry fee is $15.  Check it out here.


Learn patience!  Nothing in this business happens overnight. I am encouraged by that because I am a plodder when it comes to long-term goals.  I like having the goal in front of me. I like breaking down the task into manageable chunks that I can do daily.  I do not expect success today, but I know if I keep learning my craft that success will come.



Yes, it is spring, and I’m thinking sunshine and warmth and gardening and all things outside.


Thanks as always for the visit.  I hope you found something you could use.  For those curious, I am now working on the corrections fed to me by my editor Jaye.  If I had to guess I would say that “Resurrecting Tobias” will be ready for ebook publication by the end of May.  That’s one month later than I had planned but oh well.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

21 Responses to “We All Begin As Beginners in the Writing Game”

  1. marlenebertrand April 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I have learned a lot from you. In fact, your writing tips have helped me in other areas of my life, too. I learned, for sure, nothing happens until I put in the time and work diligently. Thank you for all of your help.

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Marlene, thank you for your kind words, but I suspect you knew quite a bit about hard work and working diligently before you ever knew me. 🙂

      • marlenebertrand April 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

        True, I already knew about hard work and all, but it is your continuous reminder that kicks me in the behind and keeps me going during those times I get frustrated and want to give up. I just read one of your articles and get geared up again.

  2. Janine Huldie April 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Bill, you know I have totally learned a ton from you and seriously have said it before, but just can’t thank you enough for just begin you (so willing to share with us all!). Thanks Bill and enjoy the rest of you day again 🙂

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      Shoot, Janine, it’s easy to help good people like you. Thank you my dear and have a great day.

  3. pictimilitude April 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Good for her. Ya know…when I quit with no backup plan, I’ll admit it’s been kind of a disastrous journey. Not trying to be negative; on the contrary, I learned a lot about myself and eventually it got pounded out of me what I’m supposed to do with myself. However, I still don’t know what all the lessons are from the past two years and to be sure, I’m still scared that after getting more education (and student debt as a result) I won’t be able to find a job – not at least an adequate job here in NC. If I hadn’t done that, though, I wouldn’t have figured out the lessons from the last teaching job to protect me as I look for a new one. Yes, the school where I’m at – that I love – can only keep me as part time. Now, with a looming student loan payment, I can’t not work full time. Alas, I had everything paid off, except the house. Oh well. I’ll just work really hard to get it paid off again. I don’t regret quitting, but the struggles over the last couple of years haven’t been…enjoyable. But, that’s neither here nor there. They always say that when life is throwing its lemons, that’s when you learn how to catch – and be a better person. Am I as good as I can get, yet? Haha, no, that’ll never happen. There’s always room for improvement. But, I’m definitely stronger and less willing to take crap from people. Like when this school I’m at right now said, “we want to keep you and we really, really don’t want to lose you.” Alas, there’s a whole story there, but suffice it to say that I’m confident enough to know that I’m valuable and I deserve better than to struggle living paycheck to paycheck, especially with a master’s degree. I do not know what the future looks like, and to be sure, I know it will always include writing, it will always include teaching, but in what forms and ways I’m not sure. Once again, I’m scared out of my mind as to what the future holds, but I’m confident in my ability to persevere. Have a wonderful day, Big Bro. And keep on inspiring. 🙂

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Cyndi, I love it when people share like you just did. It is scary as hell out there and I love that you can admit that you are frightened. I’d worry about you if you weren’t scared. LOL I don’t know if I would have done things differently over the years. I know that all of my actions, the good and the bad, brought me to this place, a place I am happy in…so it’s all good and the lessons were necessary.

      Carry on my friend. I know it will work out for you…I know it!

      Thanks lil Sis!

  4. RealHousewifeSL April 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    It’s scary when you make a radical change like that on the fly but I’m so glad I did it too Bill. I grew up always following my dads practical advice…doing a job that was secure, respectable and paid well. I didn’t enjoy it though. What fun is it when you’re thinking ‘I have to be back at work in 18 hours’ as soon as you leave for the day? EW!

    If there’s a will – there’s a way!

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      I believe that, Kelly! My dad preached the same thing, and I tried…God I tried…but it just wasn’t who I am. Now I’m happy so I guess it all worked out.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Michael Milec April 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Hello Bill.
    Learning from your writing is ongoing privilege, you’ve brought me thus far.Thank you .(Not anymore comfortable calling you my friend.)
    … Working hard all life has been / is my standard; building upon success artlessly; learning from my own failures increasingly… Mowing forward, moving forward ,- just something missing.
    Have a blessed day.

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Michael my friend, I’ll tell you a secret. I am restless. I always have been. I have gone through my entire life feeling as though something were missing. 🙂 I know of no other way to live.

      blessings to you always


      • Michael Milec April 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

        Restlessness would be fine and acceptable; unworthiness is my feeling.

      • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

        I truly understand, Michael. 🙂

  6. TLPoague April 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    I remember my beginnings at HubPages nearly five years ago. I was scared to death that I would be rejected before I began. Then one day while reading a book I realized that I was making it harder than it needed to be. I could never claim the status of a writer if I didn’t try to write.
    Reading your blogs and hubs have helped me to understand the writing world better, including building my confidence as a writer. I try not to discourage myself or give up when I can’t spend the time I want writing or interacting with other writers. It has been a long hard road for me to overcome many fears and the unknown.
    Thank you for being a person filled with the love and joy of helping others. You have been a great teacher.

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      TL, I greatly appreciate your kind words. That fear thing is tough to overcome for many of us. I know I still have moments of doubt when I wonder what in the world I am doing….but I just have to keep writing and overcome it.

  7. 1authorcygnetbrown April 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    When you said that there are no shortcuts in this business, I thought, “Boy you got that right!” Its true with any business. There are no short cuts. The shortest route is actually realizing early on that you’re going to have to pay your dues before you’ll ever be a success.

    • Billybuc April 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Donna, I’m amazed almost weekly by the number of writers who complain that they aren’t making money fast enough. Are you kidding me? This is a marathon and not a sprint.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      • 1authorcygnetbrown April 16, 2014 at 2:00 am #

        And then there are those around us who also don’t understand this!

      • Billybuc April 16, 2014 at 2:11 am #

        Very true, Donna. I think we are all just fakin’ it till we make it. 🙂

  8. Melanie Chisnall April 16, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Just the inspiration I needed today! I’m working on a new business idea – have been for the last month, and really need to stay motivated and keep at it. It’s all research and feeding information right now, developing the concept, etc. I haven’t told many people about it because I seem to have that problem, and then it just doesn’t turn out the way I want it to. I’m finished the rough draft of my book, now to fill in some colour and research things over the next 2 weeks. Then another edit and outside edit and then the fun starts with formatting and all that jazz, lol. There are times I want to give up, I won’t lie – but I’ve realised I tend to do that a lot when the going gets tough. So this book WILL get published within the next 2 months and I WILL get this business off the ground. It incorporates much of what I’m doing every day, and I know there is a need for it so I’m feeling quite positive about it. But terrified all the same. Will it work? Won’t it? Will never know if I don’t try, hey? Time frame isn’t important, my friend. The result is. That’s what I believe anyway. When I started my first business – making gift hampers and gift cards – from home a few years ago, I jumped straight in without any research. So foolish, lol! But I learnt a lot. Now I’m spending weeks trying to come up with the perfect business name and website layout theme. It’s that important. It’s something I want to keep doing for years to come. So we’ll see what happens over the weeks to come. You continue to inspire and motivate me. Just thought I’d let you know. Thank you my friend. Have a brilliant day 🙂

    • Billybuc April 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Mel, you know you have my full support and I love that you are even trying to do something like that. So many people just sit on their dreams and never give them a chance. The past and what you have done back then is unimportant except to learn by. You are talented and you can succeed. Best wishes my friend.

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