Is Relevance Terribly Important?

24 Jun

003I take a day off from writing and then I’m hopelessly behind in my writing. Go figure! Simple math, right?

The thing is, though, unlike when I was younger, today I just toss up my hands and shout “OH WELL” and be done with it, rather than weeping and grinding my teeth all week long.  There are some advantages to growing older and learning that “it just doesn’t matter,” to borrow a line from the movie “Meatballs.”

So, what shall we talk about today?

How about relevance?


“It used to be that we felt that when we went to a theater, a legitimate theater… that we were going to share an experience together. That when we walked away where there would be something to talk about in that movie that had some meaning and relevance in our lives. And I think that we have lost that.” Frank Pierson

This is an interesting quote with regards to writing.  If I understand Mr. Pierson’s quote correctly, he’s saying that there is no relevance in the theater today….but I’m not sure, from his quote, whether he thinks that’s a bad thing or not.  Maybe he’s ambivalent and that’s fine if he is.

What about in writing?  Is it necessary for a fiction writer to include relevance in his/her fiction, or is it enough to simply entertain and tell a good story?

As a former firebrand of the Sixties, I have changed regarding this topic.  Once I thought there had to be relevance in all of the Arts.  Today I feel entertainment has great value, and there are millions of people out there who simply need….some desperately….to be entertained.


You are the writer.  You know what motivates you to write, and you know your vision.  Do not be swayed from your chosen path because others think your vision should be different.  In the end, how you feel about your writing will be the determining factor whether you succeeded or not.


My new novella is out…..”The Billy the Kid Chronicles: Home is a Dangerous Place.”  It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.  I priced it as low as possible, so I hope you take a chance on it.  You’ll find some pure entertainment in it as well as some social relevance if you dig deep enough.  Thank you!  And I’ve started the next in the series, “Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day.”  It is never-ending!


I thought I’d start a new segment to this blog and call it “Sharing Corner.’  My hope is that those who read this will then comment, and in the comments you’ll share new ideas for marketing with us all.  I think it is always helpful to hear from other writers who are paddling the same boat as the rest of us, so how about it? Do you have any marketing suggestions for us all?


I’m not pointing fingers at all. I’m just tossing out something to consider. I was on Facebook the other day and my buddy Mike Friedman was showcasing the books written by a number of his friends.  He must have posted ten of them before he ran out of steam, and I thought at the time how nice that was of him to do that.

We, as writers, are going nowhere if we do not foster “word of mouth” sales and marketing.  A friend tells a friend tells a friend, and slowly our sales increase.

So my question for you is what have you done lately to support a fellow writer through word of mouth?

Just something to think about!  This is not an easy business, and anytime we can help a fellow writer we really should…don’t you think?


Thanks so much for stopping by.  Remember to check out Mike Friedman and his fine book “The Carriage Driver.”


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”





24 Responses to “Is Relevance Terribly Important?”

  1. Cynthia June 24, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    I really like the little sections you have here. 🙂 And relevance…yeah, I think that’s something we all grapple with. I know I do. As I write my own book, I wonder if it’s better to write for market or write something that could be a classic and not necessarily for the market. But it’s the same with any creative endeavor: how much do you fit the wants of the people vs. how much you bare your inner soul for all the world to see in all its ugly eloquence. Eh well…I’m just going with what my fingers are typing. 😛
    Hope you have a great day, Big Bro!

    • Billybuc June 24, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

      Lil Sis, I like your explanation. I know my fiction always has relevance sprinkled in, but it happens without me even thinking about it…my natural state of being has me speaking out about life, so it’s not odd for that to be in the way I write.

      Anyway, thanks for being you and for sharing.

  2. Janine Huldie June 24, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    Bill, I have been trying so hard to work myself getting ahead with summer vacation and my kids being home. And still with all the June end of the school year activities for both, I have also had my schedule of writing and more unrooted, too. That said, I have done my best to just keep on keeping on when possible. I guess in the end it is what it is. Happy Friday and weekend now, my friend 😉

    • Billybuc June 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

      Janine, I’m exhausted just thinking about your life. LOL Seriously..two little girls would be the death of me, so I think you’re doing very well.

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

  3. Greg Boudonck June 25, 2016 at 12:03 am #

    Great post Bill! I find it very relevant…LOL.

    Your tip of the day really hit home. I believe if we know that we know that we know that our writing is where we are led, no matter how many people may read or buy it, it is the right thing to do, because if it satisfies just 1, it was worth it.

    Thanks friend.

    • Billybuc June 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      I agree totally, Greg, but it’s nice to hear another writer say it. Thank you!

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown June 25, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    Interesting question about relevance. I guess the answer with this question has everything to do with connecting with your audience. If you connect, then it is relevant.

    • Billybuc June 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      Donna, I love your answer…that was great!

  5. Melanie June 25, 2016 at 5:46 am #

    Bill, your ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ style is what I love so much about you and your writing style – it’s awesome! Love the tips and especially the part about sharing and supporting other writers. YES. It’s too easy to forget this sometimes, thanks for that reminder. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    • Billybuc June 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words, Mel! I’m building a new aviary so I’m way behind, but I appreciate you being here.

  6. Mike June 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    Hello Bill. Thanks for mentioning, The Carriage Driver. I think writing has to be relevant, we each leave a tiny bit of ourselves in our stories.

    I think I can put something together on marketing. I’ll send it over when I have it complete. You can use it or pass as you see fit.

    • Billybuc June 26, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

      Thanks a bunch, Mike. I’m way behind this weekend but I’ll get to what you sent. Much appreciated.

  7. divalounger June 29, 2016 at 1:26 am #

    Mike is so generous about that–but so are you! I get tired of trying to be relevant–I just want to write what I want to write–I know that is the kid in me–not the adult

    • Billybuc June 29, 2016 at 1:32 am #

      But what an enjoyable kid you are! Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

  8. Jo Miller June 30, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Good fiction can be both relevant and entertaining. Few things in my life have been more educational and entertaining than my reading. I love getting lost in a good book, and what entertains me can also help me grow. My reading, I believe, has helped shaped me as a person, even though I do it, initially, for escape and pleasure.

    • Billybuc June 30, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      Jo, that is the perfect comment about relevance. Thank you!

  9. phoenix2327 July 4, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    I think spinning a yarn that people find entertaining is quite relevant. So…yes, relevance is important.

    Happy Monday, Bill. Yes, I’m a little behind. We just got back from a week’s holiday in Scotland and I’m just catching up on things.

    • Billybuc July 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      Well Zulma, I happen to agree with you about us fiction writers.

      I hope you had a great time in Scotland. No plans for us on the 4th…in fact, it’s a work day for us both. 🙂

      Thanks for spending some time with me.

      • phoenix2327 July 9, 2016 at 9:41 am #

        Spending time with you is always a pleasure.

        Scotland was beautiful. It was my first time in the highlands and the views were awesome. We were in an adorable little cottage on a working farm. Just over the front yard fence was a pasture with sheep and lambs. So cute. Next door was another pasture with cattle. No internet, so we spent family time watching DVDs, exploring the countryside and throwing my oldest girl off a bridge. (Bungee jumping. Please don’t call the police.)

        We’re thinking of going for two weeks next year with a view to visiting Loch Ness. Of course, we’re going to look for Nessie. You just have to, don’t you.?

        Ah, yes, 4th of July. Well, Britain has it’s own independence day now. 23 June 2016, the day we voted out of the EU. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, no doubt, but I think it’s exciting nonetheless.

        Once again, have a great weekend.

  10. Billybuc July 9, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Zulma, I’m not sure I could handle the long flight over there, but staying in a Scottish cottage on a working farm sounds like heaven to me. Now I am seriously jealous!!!!

    Happy Independence Day! I like your attitude. I think it is an exciting time for the UK….and in the end it will all work out and life will go on.

    • phoenix2327 July 11, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

      Yes, life will go on. It’s what it does best. And we will too because we can do no less. Well, we could just up and die but, man, how defeatist is

      • Billybuc July 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

        Far too defeatist to even consider, my friend.

  11. Shauna L Bowling July 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    I don’t think relevance is terribly important when writing fiction. When you think about it, most readers who prefer fiction do so because it offers an escape from everyday life. Lord knows we can all use an escape in this day and age! Life has gotten downright ugly. I’d rather not read about it when I read for pleasure. That’s my opinion on the subject of relevance. Calgon, take me away! 🙂

    • Billybuc July 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

      I actually agree with you, Sha…fiction should be an escape from the bullshit we see on the news each night…love it…Calgon!!!

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