Writers Should Be Recyclers

28 Oct

odds and ends in Feb 2012 038I’m afraid to write Happy Tuesday, because I’m not sure I’ll get this posted in time…so Happy Whateverdayitis!

I’ve been taking weekends off from writing now for a few months, and I love the break, but the break means more work on Monday, and one of the first sacrifices, if I don’t have enough time, is this blog…but….oh well!

I can only do so much, and that is true of us all.

Today I want to talk about recycling.


We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.

Neil LaBute
From a writing standpoint, this quote can apply in a couple different ways.


Do you keep your old work? I sure hope you do. I know a writer friend by the name of Lea who has oodles and gobs of old work picking up dust on the back shelves of her home….just one more reason why I like Lea.

Look at the quote again.  “It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them.”  Are you a one-draft kind of writer?  Are you completely satisfied with the first draft that you write?  If so, I don’t know how you do it.  My first draft of anything is terribly rough…often filled with mistakes.

Which leaves me with choices. I can either fix those mistakes before I publish the article, or I can toss it away in frustration….or worse yet, I can publish them without fixing them, which I consider to be unforgiveable.

The other way that recycling relates to writing for me is when I go back and take a look at articles I wrote years ago.  It’s amazing how many times I’ve done that, and either come up with a new idea for a new article, or seen something I could add to the old article, essentially making it a new article.


Throw nothing out with regards to your writing.  You never know when your old stuff will come in handy.  If it was worth writing the first time, it is worth saving and at some point revisiting.


I’m going to introduce you to an old friend of mine. In truth, she is younger than I am, but she has been an online friend for almost three years, and she is not only fiercely loyal but a fine writer as well.  Her name is Paula, and at HubPages she is called fpherj48 and you can find her here.


This isn’t a contest but it is a national site that promotes writing a novel during the month of November.  It is called nanowrimo and you can read all about it here.  As a kick-in-the-butt for procrastinators, it is a great site.


I’ll try and return later this week.  If I don’t make it, I’m sure you’ll carry on quite nicely without one more blog to read. J


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


20 Responses to “Writers Should Be Recyclers”

  1. Janine Huldie October 28, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    I know the feeling well and I took off yesterday too for Emma’s trip so today has been just insane for me. I need to start cooking dinner here (it is after 5 pm and still working). So preaching to the choir today, Bill! Hoping the eking is a bit less stressful for all of us 🙂

    • Billybuc October 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      Thanks Janine. No stress really. If I don’t have time I don’t have time. Nothing I can do about it but take care of priorities, and this blog is not a priority

  2. Shauna L Bowling October 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Sorry I’m late, Bill. I had major computer problems yesterday and lost a complete day of productivity.

    I save everything I write. They all start in Word and go from there. I have a story I posted on HP a while ago that I’d like to submit to a Writer’s Market contest. When I re-read it, I did some editing (mostly comma placement, spaces between sentences, etc.). It always helps to keep our works and go back later. We either end up with, “Oh, shit. Did I really write that?” or “Oh, shit! That’s pretty good stuff!” At least that’s the way it is with me. Some of the stuff I wrote before I learned about SEO and pleasing Uncle Google is better than my newer stuff in my opinion. It’s more creative. More me.

    • Billybuc October 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      I understand the last part of your comment very well, Sha. I think SEO has ruined many a good writer. I refuse to let it do that to me. 🙂 You are never late here, my friend. 🙂 Thank you!

      • Shauna L Bowling October 28, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

        I certainly hope I haven’t been ruined by trying to earn a living. I will admit, tho, that too often my inspiration seems to have taken a vacation. Rock and a hard place.

      • Billybuc October 28, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

        Yep, a very familiar place for many of us.

  3. Lea Tartanian October 29, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    Billy Buc, THANK YOU for making me feel SO good about the Gobs of papers I have laying around! And thank you for mentioning me – what an honor! I have slowly been going through them and I have actually found stuff I have re-written and sent to a publication in our area where they just print nice stories from the locals here…so far they have printed five essays and just accepted another…most of it from previous things I have written! THANK you for your advice to never throw out what you have written. I just went to my ‘word’ list of letters, speeches, manuscripts, etc. and I have 1,777 on file…in my computer…on TOP of the stuff I have laying around…not to mention my diaries I have kept since age 11 and all my journals. The stuff I wrote as a teen is just awful but I can’t part with it!
    I have looked up Paula and her writing is off the charts phenomenal, and the review she did of Resurrecting Tobias outstanding. I am going to follow her. Thank you for mentioning her again.
    God bless, you, Bev and your ‘family’ are prayed for every day when I go through my list.
    Blessings, Sparklea/Lea PS: you do not have to reply to this…get your deadline taken care of.

    • Billybuc October 29, 2014 at 3:17 am #

      Lea, one thing I promised myself when I started on HP was that I would reply to every comment. I’m not going to break my promise.

      You are very welcome. I love that you keep it all, and I love that some of it has been published, and I have no doubt that more will. Keep doing what you are doing and you will keep getting what you are getting…which is a whole lot of blessings. 🙂 Thank you for remembering us in your prayers. I am humbled by that.


  4. klsilver October 29, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    There are folks that are happy with their first drafts? Wow! No wonder the ebook world is such a sludge pile!
    Never mind the grammar and spelling mistakes – what about PACE??
    If it were that easy – everyone would be doing it..
    Oh wait, they are!

    • Billybuc October 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Sis, exactly! One more reason why I’m not too fond of ebooks and what they have done to the craft of writing. 🙂 Thanks for the chuckle today my friend.

  5. phoenix2327 October 29, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I consider myself to be something of a hoarder. Not enough to get my own show but I do have issues with throwing stuff out.

    I keep pretty much everything I write. We always do writing exercises at my writers’ group which we then read out. A couple of times I’ve been asked to finish a story I threw together. I’m doing that with one story in particular. I’m not sure if I should go fantasy or sci-fi. I’ve never written in either genre so it’s a bit of a challenge.

    Excellent advice, Bill; save everything. Even if it’s mediocre, with a bit of experience, spit and polish, it could be turned into literary gold.

    Enjoy your hump day Wednesday.

    • Billybuc October 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks for sharing that, Zulma. It is something I was taught in elementary school, believe it or not. Hold on to the written word; go back and add to it; never throw it out.

      Happy Wednesday to you my friend.

  6. Denise Anderson October 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Thanks for keeping it in perspective, Bill. Your comment, “if I have the time” was helpful for me. So often I stress over the deadlines I set for myself! I, too, am a saver. I finally purchased an external hard drive for my computer where I could keep my “permanent” files of old things I have written. It helps, as I think of those things every once in a while and they do come in handy.

    • Billybuc October 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      Thank you Denise. Like you, there is only so much I can do and still have a life. I’m not willing to give up the important things in life for a blog posting..so I’ll do them when I can and be satisfied with it. And good for you for getting that external hard drive. I love that you did that.

  7. ruchira November 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I also believe in recycling esp since what I wrote a year ago can be polished and edited and I can add more glamor to it since with age man is gathering more information about a particular topic, thus yes, I recycle 🙂

    Now with regards to storing my work…I still have to find a good way since my desktop is filled iwht files and that is bad…b-a-d 😦

    have a good weekend, Bill

    • Billybuc November 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      I understand completely, Ruchira. I’ve got much to do to clean things up around here, and my computer is asking me for a cleaning as well. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend my friend.

  8. Karen Gault November 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    Yes, Bill, I recycle my work. Sometimes I’ll rewrite a blog post as a hub if I can do so without plagiarizing myself. I have lots of works in progress. Haven’t started engaging with NaNoWriMo, but hope to soon. I want to write a specific novel, but still am in the research phase. Thanks again, Bill. Hoping you are having a lovely day, not matter what name it goes by! :0)

    • Billybuc November 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Karen. I love that you recycle your work, and using blog posts as hubs is a great idea, one I’ve used as well. I love your line about plagiarizing ourselves. Very true.

  9. Dee November 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    I have a huge stack of writing and research in my office. No, throwing them out is not even a question. Good to know it’s a piece of advice from you. I’m on the right path!

    • Billybuc November 5, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      Dianna, I’ve found that serious writers don’t throw anything out, so welcome to the Serious Writers Union. 🙂

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