What Are Your Strengths?

4 Nov

003Happy Tuesday, my friends.  I’ve been busy. How about you?  Now the holidays are bearing down on us like a heat-seeking missile, and I’m afraid we will all be busier still.

Oh well!

Let’s talk about your strengths as a writer.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Napoleon Hill



What are your greatest strengths as a writer?


There are two schools of thought regarding our strengths.  One school of thought holds that we should continually take our weaknesses and develop them into strengths.  The other says we should recognize our strengths, develop them, hone them, and make them work for us, disregarding weaknesses that only serve to muddy our personal waters.

With regards to writing, I think it is important to determine which weaknesses can hold us back as writers, and which weaknesses are really unimportant.  For instance, if one has a problem with grammatical rules, I think that’s a weakness a writer should develop into a strength.  On the other hand, I cannot write poetry. It is definitely a weakness of mine, but it is one I do not consider terribly important for my development.

Instead, I like to concentrate on my strengths and further develop them.

So, let’s return to the question:  what are your greatest strengths as a writer.  I think if you can answer that, and I suspect many of you cannot, then you will have taken an important step forward in your writing career.  Recognize those strengths and build upon them.


List what you believe to be your strengths as a writer. Then list your weaknesses.  Go over both lists and decide which can help you in the future and which are unimportant.


The Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Contest is taking submissions until January 15th.  No entry fee, and from 3-10 pages of poetry can be submitted. There is a $500 first prize awarded.  Read about it here.


Childhood memories March 24,2012 057

My friend Sha likes picture prompts, so here’s one to get your juices flowing.


I published another in my series about a fictional character called Hope today.  In case you haven’t read any of that series, it is an ongoing metaphor, and that is my challenge to you today.  In the near future, practice writing a metaphor. I think it is one of the most powerful tools a writer can have, and it would be a shame to not use that tool.


From my current novel, Shadows Kill:

“I hugged him and stepped out into a night where creatures rose from storm drains, craving misery and fear to feed upon.  The church was only a mile away, and I made the trip in fifteen minutes as the skies opened up with the tears of my loved ones.

Sometimes I’ll wake up in the early morning, the sky losing its battle with light and the peaceful citizens still snug under the covers of false security, and I’ll imagine I can hear helicopters coming in from the north, the sound increasing as the displaced air reverberates, and the dust from the desert swirls and chokes, blinds and embraces.  I’ll see the Edgars and the Patricks, limping quickly to the safety of the Huey, and the machine gunners standing guard, and I’ll hear their cries as they fall three feet from their ride, their bodies riddled, quivering, and then still.  On those mornings I’ll sweat heavily and find that catching my breath is a Herculean task not worth the effort.”




Thank you, as always, for taking the time to visit with me today.  I wish you a productive and satisfying week of writing.




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”



17 Responses to “What Are Your Strengths?”

  1. Janine Huldie November 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Bill, busy day and week here with both girls home from school for Election Day, as well as Emma’s school having yesterday and tomorrow as half days here, too. Plus taking the girls to see Disney on Ice Frozen tonight. But just had to stop in to say hi to you once again before I am off and running with them for some errands. Loved your latest Hub on Hope today and thank you always. Wishing you a great rest of the day now 🙂

    • Billybuc November 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Janine, I don’t know how you do it, but you do it very well. Thanks for taking the time to visit…be well my friend.

  2. Shauna L Bowling November 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Bill, I’ve been busy too. In fact, I had to work two weekends in a row to make sure I met my deadline.

    I took yesterday off from writing because of my lost weekends, but it proved to be productive anyway. I’ve been contracted by an author to edit her horror book. We signed the contract in September, but the project was put on hold because she had three deaths in the family within a week, then a friend of hers died a couple of weeks later. Bless her heart. Anyway, we had phone conversation yesterday and the project is now under way. I should see her first few chapters by the end of the week. I’ve also requested a deposit, so all is good.

    I also have something else in the works that I don’t want to talk about just yet until I receive a quote. It involves the first in a product line I’m designing to supplement my income between writing assignments. I feel it’s something that will sell well. Anyway, I had phone conversation with the company I contacted to make the product. We clarified questions on both ends. I’m excited about it. My product line will be under the name of Bravewarrior’s Earth. Perhaps I’ll give you a call and discuss it with you. I’ve only told one other person, but I know I can trust you and, frankly, would welcome your opinion.

    So…. what are my strengths as a writer? Meeting deadlines is one. As you so graciously pointed out in this post, writing prompts spark my creativity. I think that’s a strength, as well. Letting my fiction characters write the story for me is another. They speak to me. They are strong when I write. And when I write I am strong.

    Wow, I’ve really bent your ear in this response. Guess you got me fired up again. By the way, did you read my mom’s comment on my response to your The Woman on the Mountaintop challenge? She speaks highly of you. She knows who you are and how much you mean to me.

    Talk soon!


    • Billybuc November 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      All great news, Sha, and it couldn’t happen to a better person or a more hard-working person. Bravo and a standing applause for you.

      I’d be happy to talk with you but not today. Customers are wondering where their blogs are. LOL Impatient little buggers. I can only write so fast, and when they drop something on me last minute…well, tough cookies.

      I did not see your mother’s comment. I rarely go back and read after I’ve commented, but thank your mother for me please.

      Gotta run.


      • Shauna L Bowling November 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

        I don’t either, Bill or I’d spend my entire time reading hubs.

        I got an unexpected assignment dropped on me today, too. Two actually. One I turned down and the other I submitted about an hour ago.

  3. klsilver November 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Sometimes, a weakness can come across as endearing, or unique. Not often – but sometimes. I’m not a big believer in learning every single writing ‘rule’. I think it creates authors who all tend to sound similar…somehow.
    I think some quirks are cute – as long as the eye doesn’t get too hung up on it!
    Shauna, I eyesdropped on your comment and i am thrilled for you! Like Bill said – couldn’t happen to a sweeter woman!
    Congrats and good luckxx

    • Billybuc November 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      Sis, I totally agree with you, as long as endearing doesn’t cross the line and become annoying. 🙂 It can happen in the best of families, so why not writing? LOL Thanks my friend.

  4. AudreyHhowitt November 4, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Bill! Happy Tuesday! I have been just jammed so it is good to find a moment here! Take care!

    • Billybuc November 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      Happy Tuesday and thank you, Audrey, for that lovely response to my writing challenge. You are a treasure.

  5. Denise Anderson November 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    This is a tough one, Bill. While attending college, many of my professors remarked that I had writing skill, and that it was evident in the papers I submitted. At the time, I didn’t really understand what they meant. I shrugged it off, thinking that writing would not be my profession. Now, here I am, launching a career in it! Your hubs have helped me to find and target many areas of weakness, and I thank you!

    • Billybuc November 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Denise, that is music to my ears. Pass it on my friend. That’s why I hand out this advice, so you’ll use it and pass it on. Thank you!

  6. ruchira November 5, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    I agree about strengths. editing is my weakness and I am trying…trying hard.
    However would love to work on different genres and try to challenge myself now n then…

    Loved your excerpt from your novel…interesting so far!

    • Billybuc November 5, 2014 at 5:04 am #

      Thank you, Ruchira. The key is that you recognize your weaknesses. So many writers do not.

  7. phoenix2327 November 5, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    I was never one to consider what my strengths are. I tend to focus on my weaknesses. So much so that it actually prevents me from moving forward.

    A couple of months ago I entered a writing competition hosted by my writers’ group. I was up against some heavy hitters; writers who consistently won these comps. I couldn’t believe it when my story won! I won! I actually won! I’m still smiling over that. The prize was secondary to the confidence boost and validation I got. The judges were good enough to give me a written critique highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the story. The even offered suggestions on how to improve it.

    On the plus side, they said ‘the reader is carried along willingly on the journey. It shows a great use of language and imagery.’ They also said the story had good flow and pace.

    I understand the weakness they spoke of, but in the overall scheme of things I don’t think it’s worth losing sleep over. It can be easily fixed.

    The main thing is I really feel that I can call myself a writer and believe it. (I won!) I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop obsessing of my weaknesses. Not stop working on them, just quit worrying about them.

    Despite the praise, I would love to know what you think of it. May I send it to you or should I publish it on HP and get other opinions on it?

    Have a lovely day in your beautiful part of the world. How are the baby quails doing, by the way?

    • Billybuc November 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Zulma, I was smiling through your entire comment…YOU WON!!!! How fabulous my friend. Congratulations, and I am so happy that you got the ego boost you have needed for so long. Bravo, and as the British say, BRILLIANT!

      Of course you can send it to me….or publish…or do both. I’m dying to read it.

      Thank you for sharing your good news with me. This seems like news that should be shared with many writers…perhaps a hub would be worthwhile.


  8. suziehq November 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    What an excellent quote to kick start this post! You have such an interesting format going now I just love it and apologies for my absence my friend. I need to get writing that list of strengths and weaknesses and see what it brings. Thanks for the prompt my friend!

    • Billybuc November 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      The sun is shining a bit brighter now that you have surfaced, Suzie. Thank you.

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