Fighting the Demons

18 Sep

I was in a car crash back in 1972.  I was sitting at a stop light, waiting for the light to change, and a gentleman, seriously inebriated, plowed into me from behind doing over sixty-miles per hour.  His car pushed my car through the intersection and my gas tank ignited.

I remember fumbling with my seat belt, which had jammed, as flames started in the back of the car.  I remember the heat, and smelling my hair start to burn, and I remember the sheer panic as I tried to get that damned seat belt to unlatch.

Obviously, since I’m writing about that memory, I survived.  I came out of it with a seriously sore neck, burned hair, and a couple second-degree burns on my hand and neck, but all in all it turned out much better than it could have.

The reason I mention that car wreck is because for months afterwards, when I went for a drive, I would not use my seat belt.  I absolutely refused to use it because there was no way I was going to get caught in that frightening situation again.  Intellectually I knew that seat belts save lives, but emotionally and psychologically all I could remember was that seat belt trapping me while the fire raged.

My reaction then reminds me of the reactions of some writers now who are afraid to publish because they have received negative comments about their writing in the past.  Months and years after receiving a negative comment about some story or article, they are still affected by that negativity and cannot pull the trigger and publish again.

It’s totally illogical, but it is a very real fear.  None of us want to be attacked for what we wrote.  Most, if not all, of us do not like negative comments or mean critiques.  It is only human to want validation and positive strokes.

But we cannot let that stop us.  If writing is a passion . . . if you derive pleasure from writing . . . you need to buckle up and go for a drive again.  There will always be haters.  There will always be negative people.  That’s why God gave us middle fingers.  LOL


Can you tell I’m excited? Two weeks of farmers markets to go and then I can return to creative writing. I am beyond pumped for that moment to arrive.  My brain is overflowing with ideas. I plan on finishing my current novel, “The Magician’s Shadow,” and then tackling a novel I’ve been thinking about for years, a 60’s memory which is inspired by “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  Stay tuned!


I just watched the latest news coverage of that hurricane back east.  The scenes of loss are heartbreaking.  The scenes of neighbor helping neighbor are heartwarming.

Watch the scenes . . . file it all away . . . use it in your creative writing.  This is the human experience, for better and for worse, and writers need to capture the angst and the jubilation that is unique with being human.

Can you feel it? How would you feel? What would you do?


I love this time of year.  There is inspiration in the air, a time of change, a sense that something exciting is approaching, something which will affect us all.  The lethargy of hot temperatures is being pushed aside by the winds, and the smoke of burned memories is washed from the air by the September rains.

I love this time of year!

And I love all of you.  Thank you for joining me once again.

Remember to do all things with love.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

22 Responses to “Fighting the Demons”

  1. Janine Huldie September 18, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    Omg to that experience. I also had someone hit my car while I was stopped at a stoplight. However, it was a mere fender bender, not anything as you described. But still, I was left a bit unnerved after myself. Thankfully, I did bounce back. But you totally reminded me of how I felt on the onset. I think it is just a case of mind over matter, I suppose. That said, you are right that we do have to do our best to overcome and continue on when all else fails. Thanks for that reminder, as well. Happy Tuesday once again now 🙂

    • Billybuc September 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

      Thanks for sharing that, Janine! We are creatures formed by past experiences . . . we can change, but it takes an awareness of cause and effect.

      Happy Tuesday to you and yours!

  2. Michael Milec September 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

    If not for the seat belt, we wouldn’t know of your miraculous surviving, you might not be even here my friend. You are here for one extra reason, since you are the only one with the daring command reminding your readers “Remember to do all things with love.”
    Oh yes, with LOVE, many blessings to you and yours.

    • Billybuc September 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

      Michael my friend, your kindness overflows, and I am very grateful for your friendship. Thank you sir!

  3. Greg Boudonck September 18, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    I have learned to accept negative comments as a normal part of this career. Thanks for helping people realize fear is not a path to take.

    • Billybuc September 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

      My pleasure, Greg! Thick skin is definitely necessary in this business. Thanks my friend!

  4. Mike September 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Bill the seatbelt might have saved you. But whatever saved you, we are all grateful that you were saved.It reminds me of the old saying, ‘Whatever does not burn you to a crisp, makes you stronger.” The saying goes something like that.

    • Billybuc September 18, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

      LOL…something like that, Mike! Thanks for the good laugh this morning.

  5. Sally Gulbrandsen September 18, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

    Very inspiring Billy! Just what we have all come to expect from you over the years.
    My son was in a very serious accident some years ago and his life was saved by the fact that he was not wearing a seat belt. He would have been crushed to death had he been wearing it but was instead thrown into the well of the passenger seat where he only sustained a broken collarbone and a broken leg

    • Billybuc September 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

      thanks so much, Sally…sure glad to hear your son survived that ugly crash.

  6. 1authorcygnetbrown September 18, 2018 at 10:50 pm #

    Spring is my favorite time of year, but fall would be second.

    I totally agree with you about writers needing to keep writing even after negative feedback. Sorry to use a cliché, but it’s like getting back on a horse. If I had stopped writing when I received negative feedback, I would have missed out on hours of the enjoyment getting to know my characters and readers.

    • Billybuc September 20, 2018 at 12:40 am #

      Thank you Donna! We had 65 degrees today…it was heaven!

  7. Sageleaf September 19, 2018 at 1:29 am #

    Big Bro, you have a knack for sending my mind spinning and whirling as I recall memories and thoughts….
    First, the hurricane. I’m so grateful to be high in the mountains of western NC. We sure did get a lot of rain from that storm, but down east…oh…my heart aches. Schools here where I live were canceled for a day or two, but it could have been so much worse…
    Second, my best friend from college rear ended me in my VW bug with her Chevy Blazer. It was a sunny Sunday morning. She was following me back to the college after spending the night at my sister’s house. She knew I always ran yellow lights and I knew she always stopped for yellow lights. So when I slammed on the brakes for the yellow light, she accelerated. Yeah…my car was in the shop for two months. I had whiplash, as did she. I can only imagine the guilt she felt – I tried to tell her that that’s why we have the safety mechanisms on cars and that accidents happen. I wasn’t even mad. I just loved her and our friendship so much that I didn’t even want to call the police. In the end I had to…my car was barely drivable and we had to have the report for the insurance companies. But we laugh about it now. After that, we named her car, Bruiser. :’D
    Third, I got a negative review on my coloring book recently. For a couple days, it stung. It really stung. And then I thought, you know, that turkey probably hadn’t done anything like that. Or stuck his neck out to the world. So, I’m just going to go right on promoting it. Right on creating more. And doing more. If what I say and do resonates with others, then it’s worth it. For those that don’t like what they do, well, they can just keep going and find someone they DO like. lol. But it still stings. It’s still hard. It happens to the best of us, though. And until you “piss someone off” you’re not making big enough waves. <– That's one way to look at it. lol.
    Sending you hugs, Big Bro from soggy Cackalack.

    • Billybuc September 20, 2018 at 12:41 am #

      Lil Sis, I love the name for your friend’s car…Bruiser! That’s classic.

      I’ll be back to normal in one more week, and then I’ll have much more time to comment properly.

      hugs from Oly

  8. manatita September 19, 2018 at 11:07 am #

    That was an extremely beautiful piece and the fall (Autumnal) paragraph was so sublime! So poetical!
    Yes, we lose it temporarily in crisis. A matter of seconds, but significant. My car caught fire once! Somehow we managed to jump out but my wife’s first thought was to rush back to collect the handbag she had forgotten. Scary moments, eh? Perhaps I’ll do a Flash on this someday. Remain Happy!

    • Billybuc September 20, 2018 at 12:43 am #

      Scary moments for sure, my friend, but here we are now, safe,happy, and loved!

  9. Andrea Stephenson September 19, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    That must have been a terrifying experience Bill, but you use it very well to illustrate the power of moving on.

    • Billybuc September 20, 2018 at 12:43 am #

      Thanks so much, Andrea! Terror for about thirty seconds followed by great relief.

  10. rollyachabotbooks September 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi Bill…

    So glad you made it out of that horrific sounding wreck and are able to share your experience. I think we have all experienced rejection of some sort in life. If we allow it to control us then we actually reject ourselves. Nothing we can say or write in this world will ever satisfy everyone. Rejection today is far different than in times of our youth.
    Like you I write for the pleasure of writing and creating and nothing more. If one person is blessed by my few simple words then I have accomplished what I have set out to do.
    Bad reviews and rejection need to viewed in a sense of looking where that judgement comes from. Just all part of living this thing we call life.
    Your winter months are like mine. Just a time to settle in for the duration of what holds us inside…

    HUgs and blessings from Alberta

    • Billybuc September 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

      I like your take on bad reviews, Rolly. I wish I was a grown up like you, my friend.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go feed the chickens. Thanks a bunch, my friend, and hugs from Oly

  11. Lawrence Hebb October 1, 2018 at 2:23 am #

    A bit late I know, but over here spring has started to bloom, and it’s stunning😁
    So agree with what you say, it can be hard hearing the negative, but we need to keep in going, and fulfil that which is our destiny.
    Your new novel sounds interesting.

    • Billybuc October 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

      Happy Spring to you, Lawrence. Here the days are shortening and the anticipation is building.

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