Year End Review

30 Dec

003Welcome back to my blog!  I hope you all had a great Christmas.  Ours was very nice and I’m glad it is over.  I don’t mean that to sound Scrooge-like.  It was nice and now it’s time to move on and get back to normal for this writer.

And here we are in the final week of 2014.  As a writer, how would you summarize your year?

That’s the question we’ll be discussing today.


One of the hardest things for me, now that I’m famous, is finding people who can read my stuff and give me an honest critique.

Ken Follett



I love that quote by Follett.  I know how he feels.  It’s really nice having so many supporters who say such nice things about my writing, but there are times when I really need constructive criticism.  That’s how I grow, by getting kicked in the butt from time to time.  Resting on my laurels will not foster growth, and I am certain you all understand that.

So, on the subject of critiques, how is it going for you?  Do you get honest feedback from other writers?  Do you get honest feedback from yourself?


The end of the year is a time for reflection, but it is also a time to check our inventory, to review our past actions, and to adjust accordingly in the New Year.

What did you do that was helpful? What did you do that didn’t work?  What adjustments to your writing do you need to make in 2015?  Are you on pace according to your business plan?  What opportunities have you missed?  What dead horse are you riding that you need to hop off of?  These are questions that any business owner asks at the end of the year, and writing is a business…so ask them!

Take some time this week and review your year of writing, and ask yourself those questions as you formulate your 2015 plan.


There are disappointments in this business.  As you all know, I published my second novel in 2014, and there are members of my family who still haven’t read it.  Too busy I guess.  Not important I guess.  They don’t give a shit I guess.

That’s just the way it is.  People have their own set of priorities and that’s the way it always will be.  It in no way can discourage you, though.  A writer must have skin as thick as a rhinos to make it in this business.  Wallflowers and wilting Lillies need not apply.


For you visual learners out there. See what you can do with this photo.

010 - Copy


I’ll get us started by promising you this:  if you need my help, I’ll be there for you if it is at all possible.  Mind you, I’m not talking about loaning money. LOL  But I will give advice and support for your writing endeavors.  All you have to do is ask.


I’m not sure when I will return, but soon.  That’s the best I can do.  Until then, have a great week of writing and Happy New Year to you all.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

30 Responses to “Year End Review”

  1. Janine Huldie December 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Bill, thank you for always being there personally for me and want to wish you, a very, Happy and Best 2015 ahead now!!! 🙂

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      You are fast this morning, Janine. Thank YOU for always being here, and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. Shauna L Bowling December 30, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Bill, I’ve been doing some reflecting as well and will use the answers to those questions to formulate my plan for 2015. I’m thankful to be working with Iris. She gives me the nudge and encouragement I need to keep moving forward in a positive direction.

    Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful 2015!

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      Sha, I think you are working with a gem for sure. Iris is a solid asset that you need to hold onto.

      Happy New year dear friend.

  3. pictimilitude December 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Ha, well, if it’s any consolation, I kind of hope my family doesn’t read what I write. Not because of anything other than I feel like it would be weird. Or that it would make me feel weird. I dunno. They don’t read. LOL
    In the same vein, I’ve thought about this. I haven’t bought that many books by my writer friends. Partly because it would break the bank. Partly because with my (indeed all of us) limited time, I have to make sure that what I read is definitely in line with what I am inspired by, or am really interested in. When I publish, I definitely don’t expect any people to buy unless, I hope, they were interested in what I’m writing. Of course, I do hope it’s more than say two downloads. haha.
    Eh…life. It’s a fun ride, no? Go down the river, check out the scenery, get inspired, avoid the waterfalls…and you’re lucky if your inflatable raft gets you there without getting a hole in it. Finding the fun and enjoying it is what I try to do.
    So glad to be back writing some and have the time to do so. Of course when I go back to school on Friday I’ll once again have to prioritize what exactly I’ll spend my time on, but you can bet it will involve writing and the wonderful community of people I know.
    Best wishes for a spectacular new year and may you rise to the top of the NYT bestseller list. 😀

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      Lil Sis, it is funny. I get much more support from online friends than I do from extended family. I guess it’s that way in many families for whatever the reason. Oh well. I love to write, and it’s their loss if they don’t read my work. LOL

      Happy New Year to you, my friend. I am grateful for you.

  4. Musu December 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Hi Bill
    I think I did a decent job this year for someone who just started blogging and getting back into writing. Even though the blogging area was a little slow (in my opinion) I made great connections which is very encouraging for me going into 2015. Thanks for your great advice – I really took it to heart and applied it to my work. I’ve learned a lot and am excited about future lessons (and posts from you!).

    Happy New Year to you and the family!

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      I also think you did very well in 2014, and I have no doubt 2015 will be even better for you. Thank you for your friendship and loyalty. It means a great deal to me.

  5. kerlund74 December 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    An excellent idea, to actually plan for improvement, I like that. It’s a great advice. I think that there is always som small improvements that can be made, even if you are fantastic att what you do. But when you start thinking you are fantastic, then you start to lose the grip… Very intelligent strategy though:)
    Have a Great and Happy New Year!

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      Kerlund, the day I think I’m fantastic is the day I’m in big trouble. 🙂 Thank you for your thoughts. I’ll do a better job of following your blog in 2015…I promise.

      • kerlund74 December 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

        Sounds like a great way to live:)
        I have not been so good in following your blog either during this autumn. Have been busy offline;) But I will also improve on this area next year!

      • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

        Thank you again! I’ll see you in 2015 more often.

  6. Graham. December 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi Bill. Well said Bill. All the best to you and yours from me and mine.

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you Graham, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

  7. Rubyrjfuller2013 December 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    I really messed up by misspelling John Hansen’s name on his challenge hub, plus I used all the lines instead of just one line. I feel like a dunce, but I guess I’ll do better if I keep trying. Thank’s again for all you do to help us be better writers…

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Ruby, you are far from a dunce, and believe me, I’ve done much worse. You are very welcome, and thank you for your loyal friendship.

  8. Christy Birmingham December 30, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    Thank you Bill for your kind words about offering support to writers. Honest critiques can be so hard to find! People don’t want to hurt my feelings, I get that, but…! I offer you the same back, an honest critique if you need it. I’m glad you had a good time off too, my friend!

    • Billybuc December 30, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

      Thank you Christy. I just might take you up on that offer. Happy New Year my friend.

  9. Melanie Chisnall December 31, 2014 at 4:35 am #

    Good morning Bill. It’s just before 6.30am and I’m sitting browsing blogs and sipping some chai tea. Oh how I’ve missed doing this! Working full day again has been quite an adjustment, but I’m loving it. Now I realise more than ever how hard it is working for yourself from home… shew! We should all raise a New Year’s glass to toast to having done that – in your case, still doing it! 🙂 I’m sorry I haven’t been around much lately… I know I was waiting for you to publish your second novel this year, has it been released yet? If so, please tell me where I can download it. I was intrigued reading the exerts you posted and would love to support you. As for family support, I have the same problem. It’s really surprising how people you’ve never met in real life can find the time to congratulate or share or be proud of your achievements, but when it comes to some family members, it’s lost on them. I don’t get it at all… it’s disappointing to say the least. Wishing you a Happy New Year my friend! I having a feeling 2015 is going to be a great one. I hope we get to meet you and Bev when we come up to California in June. Enjoy the last day of 2014 🙂

    • Billybuc December 31, 2014 at 4:43 am #

      Mel, that was a lovely note. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wishes. I do believe 2015 will be a great year. I gave myself a five year plan, which would mean success in 2016,, but I think I’m a year ahead. 🙂

      Thank you for your support but more importantly your friendship. We may never meet, but you are a friend and I appreciate you.

      California, my friend, is about 1000 miles out of my commute, but we can always hope. 🙂


      • Melanie Chisnall January 2, 2015 at 4:17 am #

        A year ahead? Wow… What a way to ring in the new year, well done! 🙂 You should be so proud of what you’ve accomplished in the last four… cheers to you my friend! (We never know what the future holds, so sending positive vibes into the universe… otherwise, I’m just grateful for your friendship and our little chats here and there.) Have a great one!

      • Billybuc January 2, 2015 at 4:38 am #

        I’m grateful as well, Mel. Some of the best friends I have are writer friends online. I’m not sure what that says, but it means a great deal to me. 🙂

  10. Deborah Neyens December 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    I am going to spend some time this week putting together my writing plan for 2015. Thanks for giving me a list of good questions to ask myself. And thank you for all of your support in the past year. Happy New Year!

    • Billybuc December 31, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      Deb, it sounds like you are right on track. You are very welcome, and thank you for your support as well. Happy New Year!

  11. 1authorcygnetbrown December 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    2014 was a year of setbacks and disappointments for me, but 2015 is already shaping up to be a banner year! It is great to see that you are doing so well, Bill!

    • Billybuc December 31, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Thank you, Donna, and I hope that your 2015 is filled with successes.

  12. Michael Milec January 1, 2015 at 2:38 am #

    Good evening Bill. To asses my year as a “writer” a blank page might give best of summary . Mostly i came to certain realization that there is much more I do not know what I thought i did. As if a distance relatively small is changing unfavorable.
    All my life I’ve been practicing realist; getting little to none of optimism or pessimism, still my vision remains 20/20 , even now seeing clearly what you mean by saying “a writer must have skin as thick as a rhinos…” Really .
    May the Good Lord bless you in health and prosperity as the New 2015 just about begins…

    • Billybuc January 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Michael my friend, a blank page holds such promise, don’t you think? Think of all the words yet to be written. What marvelous possibilities.

      Blessings to you this new year, and thank you my friend.

  13. phoenix2327 January 6, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Happy New Year, Bill. A brand new, shiny year. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    I don’t think I’m the best person to critique my own work. I think I’m too hard on myself. Having said that, however, maybe that’s how I make myself better; by not accepting second-rate work when I know I can do better.

    My son is probably my best critique. He goes beyond ‘It’s good, Mom’ and tells me if my rhythm is off, if the subject matter is suitable for a short story or a mini-saga if the dialogue suits the character. He once described a character I created and it was nowhere near what I had in mind. Was he thick? No. It meant I hadn’t done my job correctly. So back to the drawing board I went. He seems to understand the kind of criticism I’m looking for. If I had gone with my own estimate of my work, I never would have entered my story in the competition and won. I didn’t think is was much but he thought it was original and creative. I went with his opinion and here I sit more confident and motivated than ever.

    The one important thing I learned this year is that when I tell someone of an idea I have for a story, it never gets written. Maybe actually vocalising it takes my motivation away. Has that ever happened to you? I’m not going to tell anyone what I have in mind in future. The first anyone will hear about it is when I have a finished draft.

    Anyway, glad you had a fun Christmas and have a great New Year.

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

      Zulma no, that’s never happened to me, but it is interesting. I’m fascinated hearing about the different routes we writers take to reach the finish line.

      As for your son, he’s a keeper. We all need someone who will safely guide us and point us in the right direction.

      Thanks for sharing that with us, and may 2015 be your best year of writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: