Interesting or Not!

5 Nov

A friend of mine recently asked this question:

“Here is a related question. In this Mailbag, you shared an excerpt from your memoirs—you bared your soul to us. Does your writing rise from that place? How has your writing changed as you have healed inside? These are personal questions, but you have already shared so much with us.”.

I really think this question is crucial for all writers.

I have no idea how many articles and books I’ve read during my lifetime.  Easily the number is in the thousands if not the tens-of-thousands, right? I am, after all, seventy-one years old. I was a teacher, I’ve attended college for five years, and I am an avid reader, so it’s safe to say I’ve read a bunch.  I can divide that huge block of reading into two categories: interesting and not interesting.

Now what makes an interesting article or book?  And why are some not interesting?

I think one criteria is the subject matter.  I love mysteries. I also love history.  Pretty much anything I read which is a mystery or a historical writing will be found interesting by me.  But what about all the rest? What keeps me interested in an article about cooking? I’m not terribly interested in cooking, so it’s going to take a bit extra to get me onboard with a cooking article.

Which brings us to writing style . . . voice . . . approach . . . and I think this is where a writer can take control and hook just about any reader.

For me, a major portion of my writing style/voice comes from my willingness to let my guard down and show you who I really am. That means sharing the pains and the joys.  People respond to my writing because of that honesty and in-your-face approach.

It’s not for everyone.  Many writers are not comfortable with that kind of brutal honesty.  I am!

Just random thoughts . . .

Have a great week!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

25 Responses to “Interesting or Not!”

  1. Janine Huldie November 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm #

    Definitely am similar as I love to read a good mystery and/or thriller, as well as historical fiction. So, that said I have still read outside the box and also agree that a great writer can have that effect of having me want to read a book even if it wasn’t necessarily in a genre that I have an affinity for reading. So, thanks for that insight here and also wishing you a wonderful Tuesday now 🙂

    • Billybuc November 5, 2019 at 3:29 pm #

      Thanks always, Janine! I hope you know how much you are appreciated by little old me.

  2. Susan Zutautas November 5, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

    I think writing with one’s heart as you do is what grasps my attention.

    • Billybuc November 5, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

      I appreciate that, Susan. Thanks so much.

  3. Emese Fromm November 5, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    I think, at least for me, when the writer is honest, open and vulnerable, it keeps me reading, no matter the subject. You got that. But you’re right, not everyone feels comfortable with it. You’ve given us food for thought once again. Thank you.

    • Billybuc November 5, 2019 at 4:55 pm #

      it is my pleasure, Emese. Thank you very much.

  4. manatita November 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm #

    Simple honesty, great writing with a pinch of service and a tablespoon, full of Love.
    One for Linda L no? Well, Bro, she seems to have got it figured out too. Peace!

    • Billybuc November 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

      Truth my friend, always the truth. Thank you sir!

  5. Andrea Stephenson November 5, 2019 at 7:39 pm #

    Interesting question. I do like certain genres, but there is also definitely a type of ‘voice’ that I enjoy. And my tastes change over time. I used to read lots of horror whereas now I find it less interesting. I used to read a lot of travel writing, now I prefer nature writing….

    • Billybuc November 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

      Thank you for your thoughts, Andrea. My tastes have changed as well, which is pretty cool actually.

  6. nightlake November 6, 2019 at 3:21 am #

    Very true. The writer needs to be honest and should have a way with words. That helps, I suppose…Some readers prefer imagery and painted words whereas others go for the simple and straight-forward. insightful post!

    • Billybuc November 6, 2019 at 2:50 pm #

      Thank you for your thoughts, nightlake….I do know I could never have been a writer thirty years ago. I had to become honest with my feelings first.

  7. Sageleaf November 6, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

    You’re also very relatable, Big Bro. I think writers who can write in such a way that their readers really relate and see themselves (or at least can lose themselves) in the story or the memoir are the ones who are quite successful. You, my friend, are quite successful. I think the older we get, the more we have to offer i terms of our writing. Life experiences – the joys and the pains – help make us who we are. And these experiences teach us and accumulate with each passing day. Your writing has touched many souls – including mine. 🙂 I hope you have a great week, Big Bro. Sending hugs from down in Cackalack.

    • Billybuc November 6, 2019 at 2:38 pm #

      Aww thanks, Lil Sis! I try to relate to others. It’s not always easy pushing aside the introvert Bill and allowing the tiny extrovert to appear…and opening up closet doors and highlighting warts and skeletons is never easy…but it is necessary for growth.

      Hugs and love from Olympia

  8. marlenebertrand November 6, 2019 at 11:59 pm #

    I like your style of writing. It is very easy to read. From you, I learned to write from my heart – as if I am sitting across the table, chitchating with a friend, over a cup of coffee.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2019 at 2:35 pm #

      That is kind of you to say, Marlene! I don’t know where my style came from, but I’m very happy you like it.

  9. 1authorcygnetbrown November 7, 2019 at 12:22 am #

    I know I’m not comfortable with brutal honesty, but I do know it’s good for me!

    • Billybuc November 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

      I understand. It is not fun at all, my friend.

  10. Lawrence Hebb November 8, 2019 at 10:49 pm #

    I think that’s a key too.
    The book I’m just putting the finishing touches to was by far the hardest one to write so far, why? because it was so personal.
    I was there for a lot of it, but I found that telling the story through a third person allowed me to be totally honest with things knowing it was about the story and not the person.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

      Great approach and thanks for sharing it, Lawrence. I love that writing in third person gave you the license to be honest about personal experiences. Thanks for sharing that, my friend.

  11. Lori Colbo November 9, 2019 at 6:56 am #

    Bill, brutal honesty, in my view, is a vital quality to have as a writer. I mean if you think about it, writing is an outlet of what is in the soul. Sometimes it’s a spewing of the soul. I’ll take a brutally honest story any day over something hallmarky and shallow.

    Pain and suffering, our demons and dark history can be made beautiful if we put it into a story with a strong healing and redemptive element. You keep being Bill Holland, brutally honest, tender-hearted, generous, kind and oh so wise. Thanks for all that you do to be a friend and inspirtation. God bless you and Bev.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2019 at 4:02 pm #

      That is so nice of you to say,Lori! Thank you! I’m going to keep on being me since it’s worked okay for me the past thirteen years. 🙂 Thank you for your support, my friend.

  12. Sue Dreamwalker November 11, 2019 at 11:25 am #

    Thank you for sharing your insights here Bill.. Your genuine heart shines through in all you write my friend..
    I think when we write from the heart and speak that which we feel and know, it comes across and connects with the reader..
    Lovely to be back in WP even if only for a while to catch up a little with your world Bill..
    Take care my friend..

    • Billybuc November 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm #

      And it’s lovely having you stop by,Sue! Thank you for your thoughts . . . thank you for your friendship.

      Peace and blessings to you always

      • Sue Dreamwalker November 11, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

        Always a pleasure in my catching up with your news and muses my friend 💚

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