Where Can You Improve?

6 Jan

003And here we are in the year 2015, and I just have the feeling this is going to be a dynamic year for many of us as writers.  I’ll hold off on any personal predictions about personal lives, but many of you have paid your dues as writers and the good times are right around the corner.  Ride the positive vibes train with me and enjoy the journey.

Still, we need to keep growing, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today….continued growth.


Intelligent, successful, attractive people can be intimidating. They force us to hold a mirror to ourselves; we can be disappointed, jealous or inspired toward personal growth.

Ian K. Smith



I still haven’t found an agent for my novel “Resurrecting Tobias.”  I’ve been sending out query letters for a couple months now, but so far nothing.  I did get a very nice nibble from one recently, but after reading the entire manuscript she decided to pass on it.  However, she sent a note along encouraging me to contact her with my next novel.  She said I have talent and she would be very interested in my next work.

I mention that, not as a pat on my own back, but instead to point out that I still have growing to do.  I’m not there yet.  Do I like “Resurrecting Tobias?”  Most definitely!  Am I proud of it?  Again, most definitely!  Can I do better?  You bet your butt I can, and I will, but only if I continue to grow as a writer.


Sit down this week and pinpoint one area of your writing where you need to improve.  It may be marketing.  It may be introductions.  It may be voice or writing character descriptions or whatever.  I want you to name one thing and then decide how you are going to improve on that.  Draw up a plan for growth.


Writer’s Digest has a short story contest going on now.  Maximum words…..1,500.  First prize….$3,000.  You can read about the submission guidelines here.


Many of you already know Ruby from HP, but if you don’t, take a moment to stop by and support this very loyal and supportive friend of mine.  I promise you that you’ll be glad you did.  You can find Ruby by following this link.


If you want some extra promotion for your ebook, take a look at BookBub.  This site charges a fee to recommend your book to hundreds of thousands of readers.  It is, at the very least, worth taking a look at.  You can find it here.


I’m going to give you a tip, and you would be wise to take it and run with it.  One of the very pleasant surprises of 2014, for me, was meeting Iris Draak.  This is a woman who was born to motivate and coach, and I’ll tell you a secret that will not remain a secret for long:  she is one hell of a writer.

I urge you to follow her blog by following this link.  If you desire to improve as a writer, and you have visions of actually making money at some point in your writing career, then Iris is one person you’ll want to meet and form a working relationship with.

The other person I urge you to follow is Heidi Thorne. She is a marketing guru and if you need answers about “how to get the word out” that you are a writer, then Heidi can be your own personal fountain of knowledge.  You can find Heidi by following this link.


I’ve given you some great resources today, and a homework assignment I hope you complete.  Good luck with it all.  Let’s make 2015 the best year of writing any of us have experienced.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

21 Responses to “Where Can You Improve?”

  1. Janine Huldie January 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    Thanks so much for the suggestions and going to check out some of the links above. Also, love that you were given the chance to resubmit with your next novel. Happy Tuesday, Bill once again 🙂

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Thank you Janine. I’ll take little victories wherever they come from. 🙂 Happy Tuesday dear friend.

  2. Shauna L Bowling January 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Great post, Bill. I’ve entered a short story in the WD contest. Originally, they closed submissions on December 31st but have extended the cut-off date.

    I’d like to second your recommendation for Iris. She’s helped me tremendously in the short time I’ve been working with her.

    One thing I’m working on is redesigning a flyer I want to send out to local businesses. Once I get it finalized (and approved by Iris) I plan on hitting a couple markets at a time. My plan is to send out maybe 10 per week (to start), then follow up with a phone call a week later to the businesses I send them to. I’m also going to check into lead groups in my area to see if I can drum up some business that way.

    For me, 2015 is all about marketing. As you know, I’ve been very hesitant to venture into what is a very intimidating situation for me. Time to grab the bull by the horns!

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      I love it, Sha, and hooray for you and Iris. I love your plans for 2015, and the flyer idea is a winner in my estimation. Way to go my friend.

  3. Sally January 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Thanks Billy, some great resources, You are so very generous with your time and knowledge. I hope all the work you have put in really pays off this year. You deserve it.

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

      Sally, thank you very much. I’m just doing what I was raised to do…share and help others. I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Deborah Neyens January 6, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    I briefly checked out Iris’ blog and have bookmarked it for when I have some time to go back and read her “developing your brand” series. That’s what I need to work on with respect to my own blog. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      I’m glad you did, Deb, and I have no doubt you’ll find Iris helpful. Thanks for checking her out.

  5. irisdraak January 6, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Bill, my mentor, my friend, my “climbing buddy”…
    I am disappointed by the news that the agent passed on Tobius, but celebrate with you her interest in “Shadows Kill”. That is good news, indeed!
    I need to improve on my marketing. My biggest hindrance is time. So, I must be as efficient as possible. I have committed to focus on mastering Twitter and to maturing my Facebook page into an active community. Then I will move on to mastering LinkedIn, Pintrest, etc.
    Following Heidi Thorne has helped me so much. I reached out to her by email and we’ve spoken on the phone. She’s sharp and business-minded. You are absolutely right; developing relationships is critical to success.
    The relationships I’ve developed through business are empowering. I know for a fact that I can depend on you, call you anytime, ask you anything, and that you will be there to help and support me. I’m not flying solo. That’s a huge relief as a writer and as a business owner. And just as a plain ‘ol human being.
    As for your kind words about me, thank you seems a paltry phrase. Of course I thank you for the high recommendation, but more than that I thank you for taking the time to get to know me, to support me and the patience to watch (and let) me grow. You get me. That’s a damn good feeling! I love, love, love being associated with you and people like you.
    Now get “Shadows Kill” done so I can read it!

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Cristen, I’ll tell you a secret: I only hang with winners, and my definition of a winner is a quality human being. In your case it was an easy decision to hang. 🙂 Seriously, you are welcome. Now let’s make 2015 the best damned year imaginable. I’m wading through customer requests today, but tomorrow I’ll plow through as much of the second draft on Shadows Kill as possible. Thank you my friend and partner.

  6. ruchira January 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    You are a ray of positivity inspite of any rejections, and this year I hope you find your sunshine 🙂

    Happy New year, Bill

    thanks for the many links of individuals, I will look into them

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      Ruchira, I knew when I started that there were going to be rejections. Nothing has changed. It only takes on acceptance and the road to success opens wide. Thank you and enjoy those links.

  7. Shauna L Bowling January 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    I forgot to click the follow comment box. Ignore this. It’s the only way I can correct the error of my ways….. 😉

  8. Audrey Howitt January 6, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    Happy New Year Bill! Hope it is a good year for us all!

    • Billybuc January 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

      Thank you Audrey, and I hope the same.

      • ruby fuller (@ohshucks) January 7, 2015 at 12:18 am #

        I was just getting ready to sign off when I saw this. Thank you. That must be why I received two new followers today. You are so generous with your talent and helpful heart..Hugs my friend..

      • Billybuc January 7, 2015 at 12:32 am #

        I’m glad you found it, Ruby, and the pleasure is all mine.

  9. Michael Milec January 7, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    If Bill Holland can do it, I can do it too: Waiting believing hoping – much at different level. Improvement has many faces. Today I wrote for myself ” Before- some time ago it was easier to open a new chapter in life…”
    Following you from a distance, distance – obviously I can’t be visible.

    • Billybuc January 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      The truth in your first sentence, Michael my friend, is undeniable. 🙂 Thank you for the visit…and the smile…and your friendship.

  10. Dee January 18, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    So far 2015 is proving to be a great year and I am looking forward to reading more of your inspirational posts. I know the right agent will appear for your new book adventure which will surely be another top-notch novel.

    • Billybuc January 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      Thanks Dianna. My fingers are crossed and I’m putting in the work. We shall see. 🙂

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