Pig Manure by the Square Yard

19 Jun

It’s time for me to mention one of my all-time pet peeves . . .

Since childhood I have heard people say “you can be anything you set your mind on . . . you just have to work hard and be determined.”

What a load of pig manure that is!

It simply is not true!

Give me a couple hours and I can give you literally hundreds of examples which point out the fallacy in that statement, and I really think it is unfair to feed that garbage to people.

I can teach a person how to write the English language.  I can teach them how to write a short story. I can teach them how to write a novel.  But there are some people who will never, and I repeat never, be able to write a best-selling or critically-acclaimed novel.  They just don’t have what it takes, period, end of story!

And that’s all right!  For the love of God, it is all right.  Accepting our limitations is all part of the human experience.  We cannot all be great at all things, and that’s just the real of it. I will never be a great salesman.  My heart just isn’t in it; my introverted personality prevents me time and time again, and I’m fine with that.  Hell, folks, I will never be a great writer, and I’m fine with that.

I mention that because someone recently asked me the best way to get her articles purchased by a magazine.  Now I don’t know much about this lady; her writing is all right, as good as some, not as good as others; she writes food articles, so the field she is trying to break into is a tough and crowded field. I told her to find a unique approach to the food articles, something never done before . . . whether she does it, or can do it, is a question which will be answered, one way or another, in the coming weeks.

But if she fails in reaching her goal, it by no means indicates that she is a failure.  Very few writers actually get published in magazines.  Not all writers “make it,” and to me that is perfectly okay.  Writing should be an endeavor of the heart, first and foremost.  The passion has to be within the writer, and the primary impetus for writing, and the primary goal of writing, should be the actual process of pen meeting paper and creating something.

Anything over and above that is pure gravy!

The path to heaven is littered with some very good writers who were never published.  That’s just the real of it.  That’s why I set as a goal, somewhat facetiously, somewhat seriously, to become the “Greatest Unknown Author.”  It is enough for me, today, to be the best writer I can possibly be.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

27 Responses to “Pig Manure by the Square Yard”

  1. Janine Huldie June 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more and hone couldn’t have said it better if I tried. Thanks for your honest opinion and for your words of wisdom here. Happy Tuesday now!!

    • Billybuc June 19, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Janine! I hope you are feeling better, my friend.

  2. Greg Boudonck June 19, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    But they told me I could be the President if I just set my mind to it….

    I set my mind to it but no one will vote for me.

    Oh well, Trump can have it… Lol

    • Billybuc June 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

      They lied to you, Greg, plain and simple. lol

  3. Mike June 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    Hi Bill – Many of the writers we know are as good as many who have found themselves a publisher and have their wares on the shelves at the few remaining bookstores. It seems the entire field of endeavor of reading and hence writing has shrunk. The remaining big publishers have control of who gets their books published. We all may be good enough, but it the eye of the needle is too small for most of us to manage. Self publishing leaves the task of marketing to the writer who should be writing.

    • Billybuc June 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

      All great and valid points, Mike! Thank God we enjoy what we are doing, or this would be insanity.

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown June 19, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

    I think the big take away here is that to be a truly great writer, you have to do more than just write well. You have to have an original voice that others want to hear.

  5. divalounger June 20, 2018 at 12:33 am #

    There is always a bucket of that manure hanging around my door. But really you are spot on Bill. It is ok to not be great at everything. Most of us never get to be past mediocre and that is ok too. You just show up and do the work.

    Happy Tuesday!!

    • Billybuc June 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

      Audrey, you are channeling my dad..just show up and do the work. Pretty simple!

  6. Manatita June 20, 2018 at 12:48 am #

    Totally agree. Some don’t know or won’t accept this. They say every thing is choice … that you ca be whatevdr you want to be. Nice thought. I wish them well.

    • Billybuc June 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

      Truly, Manatita, I wish them well too.

  7. Sageleaf June 20, 2018 at 1:48 am #

    Comment 1 (even though I’m getting a duplicate comment warning cuz the system thinks I’ve posted my comment already…so weird, but I’m learning ways around it, haha)

  8. Sageleaf June 20, 2018 at 1:48 am #

    And the real comment:
    Big Bro – such good thoughts here. When we’re young, I think the possibilities abound as to what a person can decide to be or do…but no one can do everything, and eventually we have to hone our skills. Or not. LOL…me and skill acquisition are like carrots and peas. I’m a Jane of many trades and a master of ZERO. LOL.
    That said, I knew, on some level, that after trying to publish those novels a couple summers ago and not really “feeling it” to keep working on them, that I wasn’t ever gonna be a novelist. I suppose another calling was in store for me. Thinking about what you’re saying, I love to write but…I have yet to see how it will all manifest.
    And well…I’ve been writing all my life and don’t have much in the way of “making a living at it” to show for it. But then that makes sense. I didn’t study writing in school. I didn’t study art. And only now am I studying spirituality. I got a teaching gene in there somewhere. LOL. Somehow they’ll all come together at some point – at the right time – and it’ll all make sense. In the meantime, I’m just having fun learning things, enjoying the ride, and perhaps gaining tidbits of wisdom in the process.
    On another note, I realized recently that personal development books do a great disservice to people. I’m not talking about all of them. I mean the Dalai Lama writes a pretty good book, haha, as did Steven Covey and Claude Bristol and those types. But I’m talking about the ones who all say, “have this dollar amount in your head and write it down. That is the goal.” I learned along my spiritual journey that the more you focus on such things, the more money can be scarce. I’ve read a few and even tried that (rolling my eyes) and just shake my head. They need to be telling people to use their gifts for the greater good and the rest will follow. Ah well…since we were talking about “misguided things people say,” haha.
    Thank you always for sharing your wisdom, BB. We’re all better for it. 🙂

    • Billybuc June 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm #

      Lil Sis, your comment about personal development books was an interesting one. I’ve thought that for a long time. To me they are just a set-up for failure and more personal image problems.

      Like you, I have tried many things. I’m still trying. For me it is the journey and not the destination. I love writing…love farming….love, love, and love other things as well. I think I realized this much too late in life; imagine how many things I could have experienced if I had put it into gear much earlier in life.

      Hugs from sunny Olympia

  9. Lawrence Hebb June 20, 2018 at 9:45 am #

    Those who say ‘I can do anything’ have never usually stepped out if their comfort zone to see if they really can!
    To me, I’d rather aim for those stars knowing I’ll never get there, because who knows, maybe I’ll get as far as Mars!
    If you’re aiming for what you know you can do, you’re aiming too low!
    Those are my thoughts on the subject.

    • Billybuc June 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      and I love your thoughts, Lawrence. Aim too low and there is no point in trying.

  10. Michael Milec June 22, 2018 at 2:34 am #

    “Pig manure” is stinky, filthy waste I ever worked with.
    What a great philosophy “you have to work hard and be determined”, I understand that, it is a proven fact as I have experienced it. That first part that you can be anything… is just a phantasy ushering many ( mostly young) people in despair.

    • Billybuc June 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

      Michael my friend, thank you for your thoughts. I love the first line….so very true!

  11. phoenix2327 July 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    Well said, Bill. It’s time we let ourselves and, most importantly, our kids off the hook.

    For years I felt like a total failure because I’m just not good at math. My mother drilled that into me. I remember the day I gave up trying to be anything. I had brought home my report card which showed all As and A+ in English, science, history, geography etc. The only thing she saw was a C+ in Math. She went into meltdown over that and asked me, God’s honest truth, how I could be so stupid.

    It took years but I’ve accepted that I will never get a degree. I just can’t get over my math anxiety. My husband has the innate ability to do maths, but he struggles to write essays for his courses. So, he handles any mathematicals I need doing and I edit and revise his coursework. Everyone wins.

    I didn’t tell my kids they could be whatever they wanted if they worked hard enough. I just encouraged them to work to the best of their abilities. None of them have degrees, but they are doing well in their respective careers and are well thought of by their employers. They are also considerate children who are always there for us and each other. I’ll take that over an A in math any day.

    Right, I’ve bent your ear enough for one post. Enjoy your day and I’ll catch up with you later.

    • Billybuc July 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm #

      Evidently, Zulma, this one hit home with you.

      To my parents’ credit, they never told me this b.s. They always told me to do my best, but they never promised me a rose garden. It is a disservice to kids when we tell them the sky is the limit. For some kids, flying that high is simply not possible.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Just one more reason why I like you.

      • phoenix2327 July 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

        Yes, it is a disservice. And for some kids who do fly that high? Well, look what happened to Icarus.

      • Billybuc July 3, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

        I just noticed you started following my alcoholic blog…that’s very nice of you…I hardly ever post in that one anymore…moving on with life.

  12. phoenix2327 July 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm #

    I discovered it today. There were titles of posts listed in the email notification and I got curious. I checked them out and here we are. Hope you don’t think I’m being stalker-y. They were good posts. You and I have a fair bit in common.

    • Billybuc July 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

      Not at all, Zulma! I just didn’t want you expecting regular posts there….good people always share common traits, my friend.

      • phoenix2327 July 4, 2018 at 1:31 am #

        No worries. I know you’ve moved on to bigger and better things. Like I said, they were good posts and I enjoyed reading them. I’ll just drop by whenever the mood strikes me. Have a good evening. 🙂

  13. Billybuc July 4, 2018 at 2:23 am #

    Thank you Zulma! You are good people!

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