Focus and Hard Work

14 May

003I’m still looking for a way to produce more hours in the day.  I’ll let you know when I solve that puzzle.

I’ve been busy!  How about you?

I’m in the middle of an edit for a friend’s children’s book, and I just took on a ghostwriting project for a real estate client.  The money is good, and our urban farm needs the infusion of cash but my goodness, as noted before, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

I think I need some positive energy.


“True health infuses positive energy in the mind, body and spirit; it is a main focus in my life.” Maximillian Degenerez

Mary, a friend on the writer’s site HubPages, recently asked me this question:  “I was wondering if you have any mantras to keep you focused or do you think all that positive thinking stuff is just nonsense?”

No, I don’t think positive thinking stuff is nonsense, and I’ve been known to read self-help books as needed….but the thing is….I’ve never really needed mantras to stay focused.  This is something I was probably born with, and it was reinforced by my parents and in particular my dad.  He believed in hard work. He was very goal-oriented, focused and, quite frankly, a little anal in that focus.  I guess some of that rubbed off on me.

I get it that not everyone is focused like I am.  Heck, Bev is at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to focus.  She is helter-skelter, all over the place, bouncing off walls and heaven help anyone who tries to follow her path.  She eventually gets to the end goal, but it drives me nuts trying to watch her…and I’m sure it drives her nuts being around Mr. Anal as well.

Whatever works, my friends.  If you need focus then try the mantras, or try some other method.  Break your task up into small chunks and tackle one small chunk at a time.  Don’t think in terms of the mountain of things you have to do but rather on the immediate task in front of you.

It’s hard for me to give advice on this topic because it is completely foreign to me, so take what I say with the proverbial grain of salt.


I’m in the early stages of ghostwriting this real estate book but it’s going to be fascinating for sure.  The topic is a snoozer to me but it’s a topic I’m familiar with, having written blogs for this guy for four years now.  What is fascinating is the fact that, even though the topic is a bit dry, he is as excited about his book as I am about my novels….and that’s how it should be.  This book will be a part of who he is….it will be a statement by him about his career and about him as a person…so my job, as the ghostwriter, is to capture that passion through my words.  It is a huge responsibility and one I take very seriously.

Someone asked me recently how to get ghostwriting jobs like the one I’m working on….my answer sounds flippant but it’s not meant to be….you have to work at it.  I’ve been doing this now for five years. This is my business and I treat it as my business.  A lot of hours came before scoring my first ghostwriting gig.  Anyone out there looking for a quick score from writing is in for a very long search.


From my friend, his first historical fiction…..give a shout out and some support to Bill…..Back to the Homeplace, the debut novel of William Leverne Smith, is available on and elsewhere, both in print and Kindle editions.


I am currently working on the 4th Installment of the “Billy the Kid Chronicles,” this one titled “Home is a Dangerous Place.”  It should be out in a month or so and it will be brand new, completely separate from the short stories I have shared on HubPages.  The 3rd in the series, “Ashes to Ashes,” is now available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

And that’s all I’ve got for today.  I hope you are all well and, as always, I look forward to your comments.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”



20 Responses to “Focus and Hard Work”

  1. Janine Huldie May 14, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    Bill, loved seeing an update from you here today and as you are, I am pretty busy with articles and design work, too. No complaints though and just happy to be doing what I am doing, plus with the weather getting nicer, too it is all good to me! Happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc May 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      Happy Saturday, Janine! Enjoy that weather. We are having our first rain in a week and it’s kind of refreshing. NO worries, I always have indoor projects.

  2. Melanie May 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Bill, I had to smile with that comment about Bev being all ‘helter skelter’ and you being Mr. Anal LOL!! It’s exactly the same in this house – I feel like my brain is all over the show with all kinds of ideas and things I want to do or ways to get it done, and Geoff is the kind of guy who sees things in black and white and sticks to his way of doing things. It creates for some interesting conversations, that’s for sure! Congrats on the series – and well done for sticking to it. The ghostwriting gig is something different – what a cool idea, I’ve actually never heard of a real estate book. Just love how ambitious people are being with their businesses these days. Happy weekend Bill, hope it’s a great one! 🙂

    • Billybuc May 14, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Mel, so good to hear from you. I love that you know exactly what I’m talking about. You and Bev would have some great chats, while Geoff and I got all sorts of things accomplished. LOL Have a great Sunday!

  3. Audrey Howitt May 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Happy Saturday Bill! You are one of the most focused writers I know–and it really works–I am in the heaviest part of my teaching schedule right now and so not writing as much right now. One more student recital to go! Read you soon!

    • Billybuc May 14, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Audrey, good to hear from you, as always. Thanks for the kind words, Happy Saturday to you and best of luck with the teaching.

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown May 14, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    A lot of what you are saying in this post reminds me of Stephen Covey’s teachings. This is especially true with Maximillian Degenerez’s quote. That reminds me of what Covey said about sharpening the saw. Making priorities and following through are important, but making physical, mental, social, and spiritual health goals are equally important to fulfilling the efforts and focus today…

    • Billybuc May 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

      All very true, Donna, and I am constantly having to remind myself that there is more to life than just writing. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

  5. Cynthia May 15, 2016 at 12:56 am #

    Big Bro, this is all awesome! And, hehe, I can relate to Bev. I will reach the end goal, but it might be a year or two or five later than I thought. Hehe. But no worry, it’ll be an interesting adventure nonetheless. 😀
    Congrats on the ghostwriting gig! You’re awesome!!

    • Billybuc May 15, 2016 at 1:24 am #

      Thanks LIl Sis….the journey you and Bev take is a lot more interesting than the route I take. There are times I am very envious of Bev’s approach towards life.

  6. denisewa58 May 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    It is interesting how we are all different! Some are able to focus easier than others. For me, organization is my life’s blood. I cannot live without it. I know others, however, who wouldn’t make a list if their life depended on it! We all have our own way of doing things, and we experience the consequences of those actions daily!

    • Billybuc May 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      All very true, Denise. I’m like you and Bev is exactly the opposite and yet, in her way, she is every bit as efficient as I am.

  7. Lea Tartanian May 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    Hi Bill, LOVED reading this! Got a kick out of you saying Bev is helter skelter! That is me! I am TELLING you, Bev and I would hit it off in an instant! My wonderful husband calls me, “OCD” – he will say, “having an OCD attack?” when I am getting all excited over ‘something that has to be done and I can’t get to it’. My friends call me whirling dervish and spootnik! Lovingly, of course! I can be like a cat chasing its tail.
    I am amazed at what you accomplish. You continue to inspire, and I KNOW you do exceptional work for those who hire you.
    I laughed out loud when you referred to yourself as Mr. Anal. Everyone of us certainly has that potential.
    I agree there are not enough hours in the day! Hopefully we can reflect on God and let Him guide us to what He created us to so. God bless always, Lea T./Sparklea

    • Billybuc May 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

      Lea, without a doubt, you and Bev would be fantastic friends. She can relate to what you wrote…my goodness, you perfectly described her in describing yourself. LOL

      Thank you for your kind words. I do what I can, my friend.

      blessings always

  8. Shauna L Bowling May 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    Bill, your hard work, determination and stick-tuitiveness sure is paying off for you. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than you. Your dreams continue to become reality. I’m so proud of you and send you heartfelt respect and admiration from way over yonder on the other side of the continent.

    Lots of love,

    • Billybuc May 18, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

      Sha, really, thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind words, dear friend. I’ll try to live up to them with every book I publish.


  9. tarunsturn May 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    I just signed up on hub pages and was lead to “Focus and Hard-work” by you. It is something I have constantly striven for but never been able to master. I have been in top notch, mid level companies until I settled down as a freelance writer. Though today I give most of the blame to the companies that I worked for :), for turning me into a freelance writer I also believe upon self analysis that its me also who lacked the focus and hard work to turn it around. Anyways I guess all is well that ends well as I do enjoy being a writer more than anything else. Your words here inspire me and make me want to go back to the table and write something. Lazy that I am, I have been off it for quite some time. Hope our meeting today takes me back on that road I left behind for pleasures way lower than what writing gave me. Wishing your coming weekend is great too and hope to read more of you in the coming days.



    • Billybuc May 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

      Tarun, welcome to HubPages, and thank you so much for vising my blog/website. I wish you well on your writing journey, my new friend.

  10. lawrencehebb May 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    When you find the secret of ‘more hours in the day’ can you let us know as the only answer I’ve found is get up earlier in the morning! (I’m sat here writing at 5.30am!)

    • Billybuc May 23, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

      Lawrence, as of May 23, 2016, I have not found the key to more time. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, thanks for being here.

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