Weathering the Storms as a Writer

17 Mar

003Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friends!  I’m wearing the green in honor of the Irish ancestors I may or may not have. Being adopted tends to put a question mark on anything having to do with ancestry.

Spring seems to have arrived in most parts of the country. I’m happy for those of you who suffered through February.  Here we had one hell of a storm this past weekend….four inches of rain Saturday and Sunday with high winds.  Bev and I were scrambling to make sure our quail didn’t drown and we succeeded.

My latest novel, Shadows Kill, is progressing. I re-wrote the introduction…then re-wrote the ending…and now I’m waiting on the last beta reader to see what she has to say.  Meanwhile, I re-wrote my query letter and I think I’ve got that tight and interesting.

And, of course, I have begun work on the new novel, a sequel to Shadows Kill titled Shadows Over Innocence, one in which I’m turning my vigilante hero loose against the sex trafficking industry.  I suspect the bad guys are going to wish Eli Baker was never born.

So that’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods.  How about you?


Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Robert H. Schuller


There is some serious wisdom in those words.


I’ve mentioned before that I have a five year plan.  I set, as my goal, to be published by a major book publisher within five years. I just finished Year Three.  I know I’m right on track but there are times when doubts set in….the storms arrive….and I have to remember that I prepared for the storms, I will survive them, and to just keep moving forward into the bite of the wind.


Long-range planning means exactly what it says.  Set a goal, map out how you are going to attain that goal, and then keep moving forward.  Of course you’ll have to adjust at times, but the one thing you shouldn’t do is simply change goals because there are short-term setbacks.  If the goal was important enough to set in the first place, then it is important enough to strive for despite setbacks.


If you haven’t done so, check in with your local library.  They are a wonderful resource for writers. Many of them are thrilled to have writers conduct readings.  Many of them have contests for writers.  Check them out and see what they have to offer you.


I shared this last week but I think it’s important enough to do so again.  Go to this site and you’ll find a list of free writing contests.  The key word here is FREE!  If you are building a writing platform and trying to improve your status among the writing community, winning a contest is a great way to do so.  Follow this link.


I have novels to write so I’ll cut this off today. I hope you have a superb week of writing. I know I will.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

24 Responses to “Weathering the Storms as a Writer”

  1. Janine Huldie March 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    Bill, a very, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too and just been a bit of a crazy day here to be honest, but heading out in a few to celebrate with my in-laws as this is their day truly and Kevin’s mom totally does it up including her very own home-made Irish soda bread, too 😉

    • Billybuc March 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

      Janine, put the craziness aside and have a blast. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.

  2. 1authorcygnetbrown March 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    I have certainly had my share of storms over the past year, but as you say, there is a morning after! Yesterday I got back my latest book A Coward’s Solace from my first beta reader and she could only find infrequent grammatical errors! I am so psyched! I edited those out this morning!

    • Billybuc March 17, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      That’s great news, Donna. I hope the rest of the process goes as smoothly. Thanks for sharing that success with us.

  3. Audrey Howitt March 17, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    Thanks Bill! Hope you have a great week!!

    • Billybuc March 17, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      Thank you Audrey, and I hope your week improves drastically.

  4. Bill Smith March 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    Great quote. Thanks! Patience, yes… you have two long years left in your 5-year plan… it is likely to come together, at the very end… 😉

    • Billybuc March 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

      Hey Bill, thanks for stopping by. We shall see my friend. If I don’t make it, it won’t be because of a lack of effort.

  5. Shauna L Bowling March 17, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Bill, I’ve found myself in somewhat of a slump of late. I’ve got a personal situation that is putting a real damper on my positivity (according to Spell Check, I just made that word up!). I’ll get through it; I always do. The quote you included in this post relates to what I’m going through right now.

    I’m working on a very short blog post that has to do with getting rid of dead or negative feelings in order to thrive and move on. It’s one of the many culmination of thoughts that got me out of bed to write down that I felt worthy of posting after I took another look.

    It’s all about perspective and listening to our souls. Allowing them to speak louder than the voices in our heads is what leads us to freedom and success.

    • Billybuc March 17, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Sha, your insights are always valuable and I appreciate them. I went through the blahs two weeks ago. I’ve worked through it but there was one days when I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body and I was better off getting a substitute teaching job. LOL Glad I came to my senses.

    • irisdraak March 17, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

      Shauna, I’m pleased to see that even when you’re in a low spot you can recognize it and trust that it will get better. And I’m glad to see that you came to Bill’s blog today because it means that you know he’s here and that he helps and it means that you are staying engaged even though you don’t feel like it. Bill is a wise one, and you are a brave one. Nice combo. 🙂

  6. irisdraak March 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Bill, this post is so refreshing to me this week. I’m not weathering any storms per se, but I’ve been so incredibly busy these past two weeks and I haven’t gotten to do any writing for myself. I miss it.

    I’m moving forward in some of my goals and stagnant in others. It’s weird how that feels both good and disconcerting. Thankfully, like you, I’m a long term thinker. But I still need to read words like this and to remember that we all experience these things.

    I’m so glad you gave a shout out for libraries!!!! I love my university library.

    You were in a funk a few weeks ago and it makes me chuckle (in a good way) because it’s hard to imagine how someone who is so creative could doubt themselves, but it’s a reminder that we writers need each other. You made a great argument for being a part of a writing community. Of course all of your readers know that and already are. Hmmmm, how can we get the word out about that?

    OK, I’ll tweet your post. 🙂

  7. irisdraak March 17, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    Bill Holland, where is your Twitter button? Or, will you put the short link up for me?

    • Billybuc March 18, 2015 at 12:08 am #

      Cristen, show me a writer who doesn’t have doubts or moments of conflict about their writing and I’ll show you someone who writes for a hobby. 🙂 Twitter? The link is right at the end of posting, or at least it is on mine. 🙂 Thanks my wise friend.

      • irisdraak March 18, 2015 at 12:40 am #

        I’m a dork. There it was. I was looking for circles. OK, tweeted.

        And I just saw your profile line, “A simple man who has found happiness as a functioning dysfunctional.”

        I love that!

      • Billybuc March 18, 2015 at 12:44 am #

        Cristen, the truth, at times, is the only thing that can be said with a straight face. 🙂

  8. Lea Tartanian March 18, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    Hi Billybuc/friend/great writer/positive and inspirational person 🙂
    Finally getting on computer a few minutes…I would love to see your new ending for Shadows Kill! Did you use the new beginning you sent me or did you change it again??? Not surprised if you did because we writers just tweak and tweak.
    I am so thrilled about Shadows Kill and the sequel you are working on! I KNOW that I KNOW it is going to be on the New York Times Best seller list, I KNOW it!
    I knew you had rain because I check out the maps each morning…our area and the United States and I saw Washington State to be Very Green. Sad to say the low tonight here is 16 degrees…the highest has been about 48 so far during the day. Not a robin in sight, but God will bring it in His time.
    SO glad your quails survived the rains!
    My niece’s cat didn’t come home a few months ago and I prayed every day “Norm’ would be found…she found his skull under the shed during the winter thaw. She knew it was Norm because a tooth was missing. I was heartbroken for her…the same day another friend had his dog put down…he is devastated. So when I hear good news about your quails, I am so happy!
    Anyway, God bless, I SO enjoyed reading this! LOVE THE QUOTE, & exceptional advice.
    Will stay in touch and you all continue to be on my prayer list, Blessings, Sparklea 🙂

    • Billybuc March 18, 2015 at 3:51 am #

      Lea, so good to hear from you. We have never met and yet I feel you are such a great friend. Thank you for your friendship and positive influence in my life.

      I could send you the new ending if you like. It’s really just more developed than the last one you read….I’m sure you’ll approve of it.

      The quail…they all survived the storm but then one got all excited when the sun came out and flew into the fence post and broke its neck….ironic at best. 🙂 All is well, though, and nature does what nature does.

      Blessings dear lady

  9. Lea Tartanian March 18, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    Shauna: I hope you are feeling better. I have a wooden plaque on my desk that reads, ‘This too shall pass.’ and it will for you. I totally understand negative feelings…they hit me like a jackhammer in the middle of the night and it is just awful!
    Remember how much you are loved and respected by so many…especially me, who read your tremendous story (if only it were yesterday Billy Buc challenge). You are a beautiful woman of great courage. God bless, Sparklea 🙂

    • Lea Tartanian March 18, 2015 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks, Bill, and I am so glad you sent the ending! I can’t wait to read it! Blessings always…I will get back to you within the next 3-4 days. Lea T.

  10. denisewa58 March 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    You are so right, Bill! Sit tight and wait out the storm. It will pass!

    • Billybuc March 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

      Thank you Denise. I’ll be by to read your latest in a few minutes.

  11. Michael Milec March 24, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Ah, this is one where my “negativism” has chance for disagreement, not with you my friend, but with the quote’s author regarding the first sentence suggesting never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Being in a woodworking ‘ministry’ while searching for highest quality interior finishing processed wooden material, a supplier- producer- told me of his quality product. They owned a wood-forest, cutting down trees only during the winter- ‘sleeping period” let them on the ground for a year, then made rough oversized planks for another year natural drying, after which the right size lumber was maturing yet for another year under the roof as final stage toward final production.
    How this relates to your thought of the day? Nihil. By now its obvious even to you, this fellow writes in an attempt to say something knowing that ‘ Nothing can be created out of nothing”, unless God.
    On serious note, congratulations on your third year of accomplishments planed and succeeded; standing in agreement with Lea Tartanian about New York Times Best Seller List. We will be around for celebration.
    Blessings to you and yours, including to the tiniest even little quails.

    • Billybuc March 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      Michael my friend, I loved that story about cutting trees in the winter. I did not know that. See, it is possible for this old dog to learn new tricks.

      As for the bestseller list, if it happens we will celebrate together.

      Thank you and blessings this day and always.

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