Stop Making Excuses

10 Feb

003Here we are, February 10th already, and here in Olympia it looks the same as it did in October, and November, December and January.  Temps approaching sixty, hardly dipping into the forties at night…very strange weather.

I’ve heard from several of my beta readers and now I’m working on Shadows Kill once again.  I am blessed to have friends who do not hesitate to tell me like it is, and their suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.  I’ll make some changes that they suggested….others I won’t.   Deciding which changes to make and which to ignore is, in the final analysis, a job only the author can do.  It’s somewhat of a crap shoot, really.  There is a lot of guesswork that goes into writing a novel.  A writer needs to distance himself from the book and see it logically and without emotion, and that is not an easy thing to do with a work of fiction that has consumed six months of the writer’s life.

So we trudge on!

I’m also working on the first draft of the query letter I’ll be sending to agents and publishers.  As I mentioned before, Shadows Kill will not be self-published until all effort has been made to sell it to a traditional publisher.  Maybe a year from now, when defeat is obvious, I’ll self-publish it, but until then, I’m going to hound the agents and publishers and see if I can’t get them to love my book and pay money for it.

So, that’s my update.  Now let’s move on to more important matters.


There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.

William James
I don’t think there is any doubt how William James feels about indecision.  LOL


I don’t know how many writers I have heard from who suffer from indecision, but it is quite a few.  Usually the indecision is tied closely with self-doubt.  They don’t believe in themselves strongly enough, and that leads to a paralysis of analysis.  Is this chapter right? Is this story strong enough? What if people don’t like my writing?  And on and on they go, and while they are wallowing in a deep lake of self-doubt, nothing gets published.

If you are a writer, at some point you simply have to trust in your ability.  The worst thing that can happen…the absolute worst…is that people won’t like what you have written, but that simply means you need to work on your craft.


Quit making excuses!  If you have an unfinished novel sitting around gathering dust, don’t you think it’s about time you dust it off and let it see the light of day?  If you have been delaying writing a short story because of a crisis of self-doubt, it really is time for you to get over yourself and publish the damn thing.

That’s called tough love and I’m full of it.


Harper Lee!  Need I say more?  Fifty-five years after the release of her masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird, she has a new novel coming out in July.  I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited I just might wet myself. J


I really do enjoy introducing new writers to all of you. I think it is crucial that we give our support to the new writers out there. I would hate to see an exceptional writer give up before the miracle happens.  Please reach out and give some support to this young lady I recently discovered.  Her name is Christy Maria and I would love it if you gave her some support as she begins her journey.


Thanks to Cristen for passing this along.  The Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards is taking submissions from now through April 15thYou can find it by following this link.  First prize is $8000 and of course, the notoriety that goes along with it.  Check it out!


If you would like to read my last novel, Resurrecting Tobias, you can find it on Amazon by following this link.  It currently sells for $4.99 Kindle and $11.66 for paperback.


Have a superb week of writing.  Remember to take time for yourself this week.  Go for a walk, enjoy a mocha, watch a thoroughly decadent movie…..but enjoy life, whatever you do.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

22 Responses to “Stop Making Excuses”

  1. Audrey Howitt February 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    First! I need to get back to my writing–you have encouraged me Bill! Good luck with the last stages of your writing!

    • Billybuc February 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Thank you, Audrey. Selfishly, I want you to return to your writing.

  2. Janine Huldie February 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    Aww, Bill as always, I thank you for the encouraging words here and truly appreciate them and you more then you ever know!! Happy Tuesday and have a great rest of your day 🙂

    • Billybuc February 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Happy Tuesday, Janine, and thank you for your continued support and friendship.

  3. klsilver February 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    Good luck with the novel my friend. I respect you for attempting the traditional publisher route, but i have one question…
    Why? From what i’ve been told, it isn’t what it used to be and more and more traditionally published authors are going the self-pub way.
    It’s all about marketing and todays trad pub’s aren’t doing a lot of that unless you’re el james etc.
    Ya know i loves ya,

    • Billybuc February 10, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

      It’s a valid question, Sis, and the answer is I want to be the next el james. 🙂

  4. Jaye Denman February 10, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    I hope you entered RESURRECTING TOBIAS for a Writers Digest Self-Publishing Award.

    • Billybuc February 10, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

      Not yet, Jaye. I believe it costs $75 and I’m a bit short, but I haven’t forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

  5. Michael Milec February 11, 2015 at 2:26 am #

    Oh Bill, indecision is indecision , as such fits any category not writing only! (Lived long enough to know first hand .) That’s why often is there what I “write “, getting “over myself”- and never published ” the damn thing”. ( I don’t believe what i just said ) .
    You’ve said it before, “Quit making excuses,” and I like it. Repetition is good…
    P.G.Woodehouse said ” Success comes to a writer , as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the highest to which he has climbed.”
    (So, when to get excited ? It is only 39 years since I’ve publish my book , and a feedback suggest meaningful needs are being meat …)
    Wish you great progression in writing as well as in farming. Be blessed, my friend.

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 3:53 am #

      Michael my friend, as always, you share profound words and thoughts worth remembering for a lifetime. I greatly appreciate your friendship. Here’s to many more years of friendship for us.

      blessings always

  6. phoenix2327 February 11, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Yes, working through the indecision, i.e. self-doubt, it part and parcel of being a writer. I often hit stumbling blocks but the key is perseverance. Sometimes nothing comes to mind so I have to leave it for a day or two. Other times I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the flow of ideas. It’s just the way it is and I have to deal with it. It takes me longer to write a story, sure. But at least I know the final result is the best I am capable of. For now.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I it means a lot especially on a grey, cold overcast day when the call of the bed covers is hard to ignore.

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

      Thank you Zulma! We are sharing cold and grey this morning. Warmer weather would help my outlook and creativity….or maybe it wouldn’t, but I would love to find out. 🙂

  7. Zelda Mes February 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Thanks for the tip re. Harper Lee. She is one of mine and my family’s favorite authors. I will definitely download your first novel on my kindle.

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

      My pleasure, Zelda, and thank you for the visit.

  8. Shauna L Bowling February 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Bill, the WD entry fee is $99 for the 1st book and $75 for any subsequent submissions. The price goes up after April 1st to $110 and $85 respectively.

    With that out of the way, thanks for the kick in the pants. We all need it from time to time!

    Have a great week, my friend.

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Thanks Sha. I knew that but didn’t feel like typing that long a sentence. LOL You are welcome for the kick…always happy to oblige. 🙂

  9. Christy Birmingham February 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Yes, Harper Lee’s new book is certainly good reason to be excited – I mean it’s been 55 years! 😀 I am so proud of you Bill for planning to submit to agents your manuscript for Shadows Kill (great title, by the way) for up to a year – and I am cheering you on!!

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      Thank you, Christy! One friend thinks I’m nuts not to go the ebook route but hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a little bit nuts. 🙂 I appreciate your support, Christ. Hugs coming your way on this foggy morning.

  10. ruchira February 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    I agree bill…ultimately the author decides upon the changes requested by the beta readers. I am also in that stage, and at times it does create confusion, but after staring at my characters for long…decide what to do with them 🙂

    CA is in severe drought….we need rainfall since temps are in 60 and 70s sometimes…thus, hope is still ahead 🙂

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      A strange winter, Ruchira. We have more than enough rain but no snow…other place have had nothing but snow…and California can’t buy a drop of rain. I think we need to hit the replay button and hope for a different outcome. 🙂

  11. irisdraak February 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    Preach it, brother!

    I love the quote, and I love that you said, “no more excuses”. Tough love is still love and sometimes we all need to hear it.

    I’m very glad that you are getting useful feedback from your beta readers. I will be sitting on pins and needles with you as you wait to hear back from agents and publishers. It’s SO exciting! 🙂

    Cristen Iris

    • Billybuc February 11, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks, Cristen. I used to tell my students if they didn’t want to hear my answer then don’t ask me a question, because tough love can be a bit unsettling. LOL

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