Tag Archives: artistry with words

Personal Satisfaction in Writing

8 Aug

“Sometimes, in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath
and yet, untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet”

From “Ghosts” by Dan Fogelberg


They do talk to me, you know, and if you’re being honest with yourself, they talk to you as well.

The ghosts of our past.

It’s impossible for me to not hear my father speaking to me.  I don’t remember the tone of his voice, but I definitely remember his words:

“Give an honest day of work for an honest wage, and always be grateful that you’re able to work, Bill.”

Or my Uncle Mike, once a car salesman in Torrance, California:

“Working retail is an exchange, Bill.  The customer gives you money, and in return you give them the best product possible.”

Or my Aunt Lois, who died of heart disease at the age of forty:

“Life is too precious to waste it on half-efforts.”

I remembered those words, and others, when I was a teacher, a warehouseman, a truck driver, and now as a writer.  At the end of the day, and under the final analysis, I must answer not only to my lofty standards but theirs as well.  They will not allow me to do half-assed work.  They expect the best from me.  They are watching over my shoulder as I do an article for a client, and they whisper in my ear as I work on a novel possibly no one will ever read.

The payment for it all . . . for all of those long hours . . . for all of those days when we felt unappreciated . . . the payment is in the personal satisfaction derived from knowing we did our best.

Remember that as you go about your day today.

“Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days that we’ve left behind
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of dreams that we left behind”

Pax Vobiscum!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

How Very Lucky I Am

18 Apr


When I was eighteen, the summer before my freshman year in college, I got a great job at a fruit & produce warehouse.  The job paid $10 per hour and, please note, this was in 1966…that was great money back then and, in fact, it was more money than my dad was making at his job.

Anyway, my job consisted of unloading boxcars of produce, loading trucks, bagging potatoes for grocery stores, putting orders together . . . it was hard, physical work, but I was in good shape and like I said, the money was superb.

I came home from work one hot summer day and I was complaining because I was asked, at work, to sort through a particularly nasty load of potatoes and sort out the rotten ones.  Now I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered a rotten potato before, especially one that has sat in a hot boxcar for a few days, but trust me when I tell you the smell will gag you.  So I was not a happy boy when I sat down at dinner and commenced to complain to my parents.

That complaining went over about as well as farting in church.

My dad, who left high school his sophomore year to ride the rails looking for work during the Great Depression, was not impressed with my complaining.  In fact, he hit the roof!  He informed me, in rather colorful language, that I was getting paid damned good money, money many people would gladly take, and it was honest work and I should shut up and do what was asked of me, and I should do it well, the best I could, and I’m sure he went on telling me that people were dying of starvation around the world, and single mothers worked three jobs to feed their kids, and, well, you get the point.  It was not a pleasant meal!

But the lesson was learned!

It’s been fifty years since I had that lesson force-fed to me over dinner, and I haven’t forgotten it.  I do my jobs without complaining.  Every job is important.  I am grateful for the jobs I have. Thank you, Dad!


“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved – and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” Jack Canfield

Here’s the thing:  comparatively speaking, in a world with over seven billion people, there is but a handful of people who can do what we do, and do it well.  I am lucky to be a writer.  I make a living doing something I love doing.  I make a living out of creating stories which entertain people.  I am paid money to touch the hearts and souls of people.

That is an important job and I never want to consider it anything less.

What I do is incredibly important, and what you do is important, and we really need to be thankful and do the best damned job we can.

End of sermon!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Write to the Heart of Your Reader

15 Nov

003I’m writing this on Veteran’s Day.

Naturally, my thoughts go to my dad today.

Dale Leroy Holland died three days short of this fiftieth birthday back in 1969.  I was twenty at the time, and I held him as a heart attack took him from me.

He was in the U.S. Army from 1941 to the end of the war in 1945, and he served in six campaigns in Italy during that time, including Sicily, Anzio, and Rome.

And that’s pretty much all he ever said about the war.  He simply would not speak of it, and in not speaking about it he managed to make a very loud and powerful statement about war.

Thank you, Dad!


“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince


I love that quote and I love the message it says to writers.bills%20pic%202%20001

Writing should be an emotional undertaking.  Writing should grab you, shake you, and never release you.  Writing should be visceral in nature, forcing the reader to feel with all of his senses, and when the reading is done, to reflect upon it, savor it, and hope for more.

I am reminded of that when I think of my dad and his military career.  The mere fact that he wouldn’t speak of the horrors of war perfectly described, in my mind, the horrors of war.  By not speaking he said volumes.  By not speaking he forced my mind, and my heart, to grasp what he had experienced.

I hope, one day, to be able to write that powerfully.


Someone asked me in a recent Mailbag if I knew of any good editing programs.  I don’t use one myself, but Consumer Reports and a couple other rating services rate WhiteSmoke the best of the best.

Just in case you were interested, and you have an extra $300 to spend.


Writer’s Digest has a fun little writing prompt/exercise every Friday on Twitter.  I’ll let them tell you about it and then you can check it out this Friday if interested:

About #StoryFriday

#StoryFriday is a fun, collaborative process that takes place every Friday on Twitter and is hosted by Writer’s Digest‘s Online Editor Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems).

How it works:
We write the first line on Twitter, then someone adds next line on Twitter and so on. When you contribute a line to the story, place #storyfriday at the end of your tweet (i.e., He was leaving on a jet plane and never coming back. #storyfriday) so everyone can read it and follow along. To read past stories, visit the #StoryFriday Archive below.

Start time:
Around 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, Brian will post a new prompt through @WriterDigest with the #storyfridayhashtag.

And there you go!


Have I mentioned the poetry form “Tricube?” If not, let’s do it now. If I have mentioned it before, sorry about the repetition.

A Tricube is a mathematical poem made up of three syllables per line x three lines per stanza x three stanzas per poem.

Here’s an example from Tracy Davidson in a poem called “Finished.”

I put down

The gold pen

She bought me


My fingers

And eyes strained

With fatigue


At last, her


Is finished.


Try it, you just might like it!


As I’ve said before, Christmas is coming, and as I’ve also said before, wouldn’t it be nice if all writers out there bought books by indie writers for Christmas presents? Well I, for one, think it’s a lovely idea.

So there’s on such book to consider:  “Whimsical Cute Animals” coloring book by my friend Sannel Larson.  This is such a great gift for any child or an adult with a child’s heart. Seriously, please consider buying this over the holidays and, in so doing, supporting a very talented and nice human being.


Hang in there!  Your notoriety and fame is right around the corner.  Look, up ahead…can you see it?

I hope so!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”



An Interview With Freelance Writer Greg Boudonck

4 Oct


Of course it was, and it had nothing to do with me.  Anyone who has ever had contact, in-person or online, with Christy Birmingham, enjoys her immensely, and I think her interview last week, on this site, proved that point.

And we’re all in for a treat because this week we move our interview series away from poetry into the strange, at times confusing, world of freelance writing.  Today we are joined by my friend and fellow freelancer, Greg Boudonck.  Greg will give us some idea what it takes to make it as a freelance writer.  He should know since his very successful blog, Lancer Life, has attracted thousands of readers, and he has fifty books to his credit, many covering the “secrets” of successful freelancing.


“Without hard work and discipline it is difficult to be a top professional.” Jahangir Khan

The quote above perfectly describes Greg, who you will be hearing from soon.  Success in freelance writing does not happen overnight.  You do not sign up for some content site like HubPages, rack up forty or fifty bucks a month, and declare success as a freelance writer.  It takes dedication and hard work to reach the point where customers are asking for your work and where freelance-wannabes are asking for your advice.   Greg has done all that and more…and he’s done it with class.

So, without further delay, I give you Greg Boudonck.


  • Greg, thanks so much for doing this. I admire your work as a freelance writer.  Can you tell us ll how you got into this business at the start?  What led you to the crazy world of content writing?


“Bill, the admiration is completely mutual. I mean, who are you to admire me when you have been the top Hubber now for what 3, 4 years?


“As for how I even entered the business, it somewhat fell upon me. I had a poem and a short story published years earlier, but had stayed with working hard labor even though I always loved writing. I was working the graveyard shift in a metal factory in Missouri and my brother had given me a desktop computer. I came across the website called Hubpages and started writing my thoughts there…and then tragedy struck. My 23 month old Grandson was murdered, in my opinion, even though no charges were ever filed. I found myself on a blacklist in Lebanon, Missouri because of the protesting I made, so my recourse to battle (and to make money), was to write. I wrote my first book, Grandpa’s Mission and proceeded to start taking content writing jobs from places such as Zerys and Textbrokers. The money was not great, but it helped put food on the table.”


  • What kind of platform have you constructed for yourself? Social media? Ebooks? What other steps did you take to get your name out there among the masses?


“I slowly built my reputation and started a free website. I joined a website called Elance where I landed my first high paying gig. Over the course of a 3 month period, I helped put together a book on Latent Semantic Indexing and other highly technical procedures in the world of search engines. Using those proceeds, I started building my reputation further, but then 2 other tragedies occurred; my house burned and then my wife of 30 years died. I was ready to just give up… the daily bottles of whiskey showed it, but with the support of Hubbers and a lovely lady I met online in Puerto Rico who told me to take a vacation, I overcame and stayed on the vacation… a working vacation in Puertio Rico.


“I have written over 50 books, gained clients through Elance and then Upwork and invested in my own website—Lancerlife.com where I have gained more clients. I am on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and Google + too. All of which have helped me gain an online reputation. Lancerlife has been the biggest means of self-promotion because by helping other freelancers, I am helping my own business. And, I offer a free ebook for subscribers.”


  • Fifty books, Greg? I’m feeling inadequate suddenly. LOL I know, at times, you have to turn down writing gigs because you are soooo busy. What’s your secret? How do you manage to find so many paying gigs, and how do you manage to get so much repeat business from established customers? I know a few freelance wannabes who have given up because they couldn’t find jobs, so what are you doing differently?


“You are right Bill… I AM BUSY! I often wonder why other freelancers aren’t. And then I figured out why… Because I will take the jobs others are frightened of, or will not try.


“I am not inexpensive, but I do not overcharge either. I would have to tell you that my secret is…now listen closely… I make myself indispensable. I provide over, and above what the client orders and I make it so easy to read and SEO friendly that 98% of other freelancers can not match me. I don’t mean to sound boastful, but that is the secret.


“I also follow the Golden Rule. I only promise what I can deliver in the time proposed; I am fair on pricing, but I also expect the client to be fair too, so I offer 2 free revisions and any more costs them extra. I am friendly but businesslike and it works.


“To all the newbies…You have to take what you can get; sometimes I just do simple 50 word comments, sometimes I will write about subjects I have no knowledge of (research is an important part of freelancing without plagiarizing) and sometimes I will manage a clients Facebook page. You also have to be willing, and know how to negotiate. This game is sometimes like a fine art auction.”


  • Greg, can you describe a normal workday for us?


“A normal workday Bill??? My life is anything but normal, but I do try to get a basic plan for each day the night before. The semi-average workday goes like this here in Puerto Rico: 1: wake and feed the animals.2: make coffee and feed my Maggie. 3: computer and internet on and check emails and social media. 4: handle my best client’s chores…Part Time Commander posts and Facebook feeds. 5: take a break and maybe do a bit of yard stuff on the 1 acre Puerto Rico mountain environment (pick bananas, mangoes, papaya, etc.) 6: other client work…either binary options web content, lottery web content, an ebook ghost writing job, press releases, etc… I schedule these by due dates. 7: I try to fit in a post if possible for Lancerlife or the newest website I bought…Conaware.com.


“And, that all comes back to another little secret about the freelance life and business in general; I do not put all my eggs in 1 basket. I make money from my freelancing, book royalties, affiliate ads on my websites, items I sell on my websites as well as being involved in a MLM company. If one area is suffering, another area picks it up.”


  • Last question, Greg, and I’ll leave you alone. Can you give one piece of advice to those just starting out in the freelance world?


“Bill, the best advice I can give to anyone considering entering the world of freelance writing is first and foremost: make sure it is what you want to do. If you are doing it just or money, you will get let down quickly.


“Yes, I am doing good now, but it was rough at first. Secondly, if it is what you want…Don’t quit! Read, learn and do. Do some more, read even more and learn as much as possible. Freelancing is a great career move, but you need to realize that it IS hard work and there are difficult times, but WOW, I sure love it!


“You have to remember that it is a business; your business. If your business is not open, you don’t make profits. You have to treat it as such. That is the only way you will find success in freelancing.


“Last but not least Bill, I need to give you a huge thanks for all the support and mentorship you have given me. I have learned a lot from you and I appreciate your friendship.”




My thanks to Greg Boudonck.  You can also find him on his Facebook page.  I guarantee you’ll get something of value from following him.




Are you looking to make a few bucks as a freelance content writer? I came across a site called Content Runner…actually a friend suggested it…so I went and signed up to see what it was all about.  I’m not there necessarily to make money as much as I am to try it out so I can report back to all of you.  So far I like the site but it’s the very early stages of my trial there.




Some of you got something out of the poetry corner last week, so here we are again.


Who has heard of a septalet?  Well here is a definition of this traditional poetry form and an example of it:


The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.


Example #1:




moving swiftly

across the plain,

most intent.



grazing contently

on his meal.


Copyright © 2003 Crystal Rose


Try it; you just might like it!




Have a great week of writing and I’ll see all of you next week, same place, same time!  Next week I’ll have an interview with Audrey Howitt, one of the finest poets I have ever read…..yes, I said “ever read.”  She’s that good!




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”




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.”





Rest and Be Productive

30 Jun

003Happy Monday to you all.  Are you rested up and ready to hit the ground running?  Let’s do it!

I woke up Saturday morning thinking about future articles.  I’m a writer, and although there are times I would love to turn off my brain, most of the time I am quite happy that it is always coming up with new ideas for articles and novels.  This is what I do.  I plan on being successful at it, and I plan on doing anything I have to do to succeed.  I don’t have the luxury of forty more years of writing.  I hear the clock ticking and I’m responding to the tick.


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock

About two months ago I decided that I needed to take weekends off.  Believe me when I say it was extremely hard, for the reasons I mentioned above.  However, it is the best decision I have made in a very long time.  When I come back on Mondays I am rested and eager, and I can carry that eagerness through to Friday, knowing I’ll have two days off to again rest.

Make sure you take time for you during the week.  Your writing will be better because you did.


If you schedule your day of writing, and I would hope that you do, then also schedule in some down time during the day.  I make sure I get up once each hour and walk the garden, or do some stretching or yoga.  I believe this is vitally important for writers to do.


If you are following this on my website, www.williamdhollandauthor.com, and I hope you are, then you’ll notice in a day or so a new page…..Book Recommendations….or something similar.  There I will keep adding books that I have read that I think are exceptional.  There will be a list for casual readers and a list for writers who want some resource material to help them with writing.  If you have recommendations for the list please pass them on to me.


I’m starting a new series of articles on HubPages called The Writer’s Mailbag.  There I will answer the questions that people ask me during the week.  You might find it helpful, and if you have questions again, forward them to me and I’ll answer them when I can.


The first annual Book Pipeline Contest is underway with a deadline of September 15th.  This is a chance to get your manuscript noticed by movie people, so check it out here.


Yes, I will mention my new novel, Resurrecting Tobias, and if you would like to purchase it you can do so on my website www.williamdhollandauthor.com.  It is available on Kindle and as a paperback through Amazon.  If you should purchase it I would ask you to leave a review when you have time.book cover

Thanks a lot my friend, and have a great week of writing.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Are You A Writer Who Procrastinates?

24 Mar

003Happy Monday to you all.  I normally don’t do this blog on Monday but normal went out the window awhile back, so no worries. J

We got a new dog and that kept us busy this weekend. She is a ten-year old Australian Shepherd that we got from animal rescue and she is a doll.  That’s her in today’s prompt.

Well, let’s get this show on the road.  First our quote of the day.


Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.

Christopher Parker

Well guess what we are going to talk about today.

To procrastinate is human, especially when self-doubts creep in.  I can only speak for myself, but even with my work ethic I will procrastinate if nervousness and fear enter my mind, and I think most writers are very familiar with that two-headed monster.

I have edited my current novel three times.  I was reading it to Bev today and found something I thought could use a re-write.  And I know for a fact if I read some more of it tomorrow I’ll find more that could be re-written, and if I read it six months from now the same will be true.

Maybe it isn’t ready yet?

The point is that we will never be perfect, and we will always find something to re-write…but…eventually we just have to put our work out there and go for it.  If we fail we keep writing.  We will get better, but the only way to get better is to write and then be willing to take a chance with what we have written.

I know other writers who love to write; who have a genuine passion for writing; but when it comes time to market their writing, to do readings and book signings or whatever, they freeze up and convince themselves that they are not ready yet.  But when will they be ready?  Ever?


Take a chance you have not taken yet with your writing. Whether it be a contest or contacting a publisher or whatever, stick your neck out there and find out what you are made of as a writer.



Yes, it is our new dog Holly.  Does she inspire you?


I issued you a challenge today. In fact, I issued myself a challenge as well.  Let’s give it some thought today and we will all meet that challenge….and feel better at the end of the day.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” 

Stretch the Limits As A Writer

18 Mar

003Happy Tuesday to you all!  I’m on schedule this week so I’m pretty sure I got the day right.

I’m still toying around with a title for my novel.  What was once “A Long Walk Home” is now “Derailed.”  We’ll have to see what it is next week. LOL

I also received word that my class at the Community Center has been approved.  It will be called….are you ready….Artistry With Words….one night per week, four weeks in May….I’m very excited about teaching a class to creative writing enthusiasts.

Shall we begin?


Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m not picking on anyone in particular, and I’m sure not pointing the finger of blame. This is simply an observation for those of you interested in becoming better writers.

I read a lot of articles during the week, and quite a few people who I follow write the same way in every article.  By that I mean there is no risk-taking going on.  If they are craft writers, every craft article that they write sounds the same. If they writer recipes, every recipe “sounds” the same.  If they write about the environment or real estate or whatever, the only thing that changes in each article are the keywords.

Growing as a writer requires taking risks.  It requires experimenting with new styles and new tools.

I have an article coming out this week on how to write an effective analogy.  Let me ask you this: when was the last time you wrote an analogy in one of your articles?  How about a metaphor?  A simile?  If you shook your head at all three then I would hope you consider trying them in the near future.

These are effective grammatical tools that every writer should have in their tool shed, and if you don’t use those tools they will become rusty.

Wait, was that a metaphor? J


Random drive on April 14, 2012 023

Use it, don’t use it, just have fun looking at it.  It’s free so do with it as you will.


For the month of May I’ll be teaching a Creative Writing Course at the local Eastside Community Center.  It’s a way for me to give to the community; it’s a way for me to build my platform as a local author; and it’s my way to make a little money.

How about you? Is there a local community center that might be in need of your talents as a writer?  Just askin’!


Say hello to my friend  breakfastpop from HubPages. I don’t know this young lady’s real name but that’s not terribly important for this posting.  I don’t agree with her politics for the most part but I do enjoy her writing abilities, and this site is all about writing.  You can find her here.

Update: I just talked to her on the phone.  She called as part of my challenge that people start making more contact with each other. What a thrill to talk to her.


I should finish my final draft this week or next and then I’ll need some of my fine friends to read my manuscript and give me suggestions.  If you are willing to do that for me then please mention it in the comments….be advised that it is about 140,000 words and I need it done fairly quickly….and in advance, thank you!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Writers Need Persistence

13 Mar

003Welcome back on this Thursday.  I’m in a good mood. I finished my first re-write on the novel and only have one more to do which should go quickly.  It’s a good feeling and if you have written a novel you understand….if not then I hope you can experience it at some point.

I’ll do the last re-write next week and then it will be time to gather volunteers to read my novel and make suggestions.  After that stage is over it will be time to coordinate it all, seek out agents and publishers, and get it ready for ebook format. Sheez, when will it ever be done? Well, I’m guessing the end of April if all goes well.

I’m still searching for a final title. The working title, “The Long Walk Home” has been used before and I have no desire to fight that battle, so I’ll spend the next week or so deciding on a title I can live with that has not been used before.

In other words, this process seems endless but oh so rewarding.


Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacle s, discouragement s, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.

Thomas Carlyle
Well thank you Mr. Carlyle and I happen to agree, Sir!


I mentioned in a recent article that I didn’t know what I would do if this new novel wasn’t successful.  I have already stated that this is as good as I am capable of writing….so what if it isn’t good enough? What message does that send?

Well, the fact is that I am an infinitely better writer today than when I wrote my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday and Today,” and I will be infinitely better three years from now.  What will I do if this new novel is not successful?  I will keep writing.  Why?  Simply because I am a writer and that’s what writers do…they write.


I don’t know if my approach to novel writing is unique or not. I just know it works for me.  I write the entire story on my first write; what I end up with is the bare bones of the story, the plot, the subplots and the chronology.

On the first re-write I fill in character descriptions and scene descriptions.

On the second re-write I add the last bits of depth to the story.


Say hello to Graham Lee from sunny Lancashire, England. On HubPages his profile name is Old Albion and you can find him here.


Thank you as always for taking the time to read my random thoughts on writing. Hopefully you found something here that will help somewhere down the road.  Remember to pay it forward to other writers.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”




Are Your Titles Dynamic?

6 Mar

003I’m all off-kilter this week, but if I’m not mistaken today is Thursday, so welcome.

I’ve been so busy with my first re-write of my novel “The Long Walk Home” that I’ve kind of ignored my blogging this week.  I’m pretty sure you have carried on nicely without my blogs, but just in case I will apologize.

Let’s see…why don’t we start with the Quote of the Day and then I’ll toss a few things at you.


If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.

Anita Roddick
Isn’t that a great quote? I’ve been laughing all day at that one…but it is true.


And today’s thought has to do with titles.  Talk about having an impact!  I’ve written often about the 10 Second Rule, the fact that you have about ten seconds to interest your readers enough so that they will continue reading your article, story or book…..well, you won’t even see the 10 Second Rule in play unless you have a title that can knock the socks off of your audience.

Now we are tiptoeing onto some thin ice.  When we are talking about the world of SEO, then we have to be very careful that we get keywords into that title….but….that does not mean the title has to be bland.  Even one word can make a difference.  You could have a title that looks like this…..Ten Ways To Make Money Online….which of course has been done to death…or you could change that title to read….Ten Innovative Ways To Make Money Online.  The first option is bland at best; the second option at least has a chance of interesting those who are into “new” and “innovative.”

When it comes to stories or books, the title is crucial.  Unlike an article where the topic is in the title, for a story or novel we have to give the reader a glimpse of the story line in a few words. This is not an easy thing to do.


Enlist the help of family and friends when titling your next book.  Brainstorm a whole list of titles and find a consensus for the best title.


Say hello to Liz.  Her title at HubPages is epbooks, and she is a lover of animals and a friend. Stop by and see her here.


July drive in Olympia 042

See if you can’t kickstart your creativity with this picture.


Feel free to do a guest blog on this site.  Get in touch with me at holland1145@yahoo.com and we’ll chat about it.


Hopefully I’ll be a little more responsible next week with this blogging thing, but I make no promises.  My novel is my first priority until it is finished and ready for publication, so bear with me until it is finished.

Thank you and have a great rest of the week.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”