Tag Archives: how to writer

A Reason For Writers To Be Thankful

26 Nov

003Happy Tuesday to you all, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

And that happens to be the subject of today’s blog.  With a short week I’m not sure how many blogs I’ll be doing, so I thought I better get the thanks out of the way now….well, not out of the way but….well, you know.

How was that for an awkward sentence from a supposedly professional writer?  LOL


When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Wise man that Tecumseh!

For those of you who are writers, and I’m pretty sure you all are, consider this:  we are incredibly blessed to be doing what we are doing.

My dad worked in a sand & gravel pit for twenty years and died when he was forty-nine.  I know people who have worked in coal mines. My grandparents worked 120 acres of corn in Iowa.  You want to talk about hard work?

And then there is me.  I get to write for a living.  I get to create sentences and phrases and paragraphs, and then I get to send them out to the world in a continual legacy.  Long after I am physically dead my writing will live on, and my words will provide comfort or information or inspiration for thousands of people in future generations.

How cool is that?


Find the passion in your writing. Writing should be all about passion. It should be all about the love of the written word.  It should be an extension of who we are as human beings.  It is communication and exclamation, exhalation and exultation.  Again, how cool is that?


Thanks to all of you.  It has been popular this month for writers to list all the things they are thankful for. I don’t have a list in me. I am thankful for life and since you are a part of that life then you are included.

This life is a gift.  If one treats it as anything less than a gift then one needs a serious reality check.

You are all an extension of my writing. Through knowing you all my writing has grown with brilliant hues and dazzling textures, and that is a gift as well for which I am grateful.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Marketing and Writing: An Uneasy Partnership

10 Sep

003And a very Happy Tuesday to you all.  I hope you had a great weekend or at the very least a restful one.  Shall we once again tackle the subject of writing?

I had a very sobering conversation with Bev yesterday.  I read her a new article that I posted today, and I told her how much I enjoyed that type of writing….the social conscious stuff…the inspirational stuff…but I also said I don’t know how to make money doing it.  I’m an essayist if I had to narrow down my niche…I’m kind of a Henry David Thoreau without his talent. J   Or put it another way, I’m one of those coffee house poets of the 1950’s and early 60’s….I have important things to say but don’t have a clue how to translate my passion into money.

Well, I do have a plan, but whether it works or not is another question….but back to the point. Bev listened to me and then told me that I needed to call on my first college degree and start marketing my work.

Of course I started to get defensive and tell her that I do market my work, but then the truth smacked me in the face…..I don’t even come close to doing the marketing that is necessary to become known in this business.  I need to get out of my comfort zone and start hawking my wares….and God how I hate doing that.  Truth be told I just want to sit in my writing studio and write, and I want millions to knock on my door and buy my stuff.

It just doesn’t work that way.


Don’t blame the marketing department. The buck stops with the chief executive.
John D. Rockefeller 

 Unfortunately for us writers, the marketing department and the chief executive are the same person….us.



I don’t know why I chose this picture.  Just look at it and see if you get any vibes from it.


UCross Foundation Residencies in Wyoming.  A quiet place to work on your craft…room, board and stipend. Deadline is October 1st and you can find the application here.


The Dogwood Multi-Genre Contest with a $15 entry fee and a submission deadline of October 15th. Submission guidelines can be found here.


Do one thing each day to market yourself.  If you need some ideas I wrote a couple articles on marketing writing and you can find them on HubPages…..and I think I better read them again because I need to pick up my game.


Maybe you have no desire to sell your writings. If that is the case then ignore 75% of this blog.  If, however, you would one day like to be paid what you think you are worth J  then you need to start marketing.  How else will the world discover just how talented you are?

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Writing and Paying the Bills

27 Aug

003Happy Tuesday to all of you.

“And what do you do for a living?”

“Well, I’m a writer!”

“Can you make a living doing that?”

That was a very brief snippet of a conversation I had this weekend while at the Street Fair. The guy who asked me that question was amazed….I say amazed…that I could make a living by writing.  I’m not sure if he really believed me.

There are so many ways to make money in this writing gig.  Are you making yours?  If so, what do you do? If not, what aren’t you doing?


The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.
Karl Marx

And there is the eternal struggle for writers.  We have to make money to survive, but making money is not the true reason why we write.  A constant give and take battle if you will is always being waged.

I have to pay my bills…..I have to write for enjoyment…..the customer is always right….the customer doesn’t know a damn thing about good writing…..and on and on we go.

Yes, there are many ways to make money in this writing gig.  It is not always easy to find them, but they are out there.  Perseverance my friends. One step in front of the other my friends.  Don’t give up my friends.


Yellowstone 2009 123

Yes, it ties into today’s theme.


Look locally for article ideas for magazines and newspapers. There are interesting topics and ideas right outside your door in your own community, but you have to look for them.  I’ve got an article coming out on HubPages this week about this topic…writing travel articles from home.


Hunger Mountain Creative NonFiction Prize…first place wins $1000…deadline coming soon and I believe it is September 10th….read about submission guidelines here.


The Herbert Hoover Artist In Residence Program, held in Iowa, is a rather unique opportunity for two artists or writers each year. Read about it here.


Only two entries this week so I’ll see you again on Thursday, the 29th of August.  On the other three days you can always visit my other blog, A Moment With Bill.  You are always welcome.

In the meantime, give some thought to being a guest blogger on this blog.  If you want to share a writing tip or a favorite writing site, or just give some random thoughts about writing, I’m always willing to help a fellow writer. Drop me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com if interested.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Use Your Own Experiences In Your Writing

2 May

003Welcome back to Artistry With Words.  I’m happy to entertain you for a few minutes during your busy day.  If you are here then you must be a writer at heart and as such you are my peer and friend.

Check out the quote of the day.  It speaks to my writer’s heart.  When I was first starting out I hesitated writing about of my own experiences.  My first thought was that nobody would be interested in my life.

How wrong could one man be?  It wasn’t so much that my life was fascinating; it was the fact that we all have similar experiences that we can relate to.  I found my writer’s voice the day I decided to draw on those experiences and find lessons in them. I found so many people who understood perfectly what I had gone through, and a bond was formed between me and my readers.

Use your past life.  It is a part of you and as such needs to be a part of your writing.


The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.


George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

I agree with George 100%.  We are each unique individuals but we share common traits with everyone else.  Do not ignore that aspect of your writing.  You have a treasure chest of information to draw upon.


If you have never visited Fivrr then now is the time. You can find it here.

Fivrr is an interesting site where you can sell things for five dollars.  What does that have to do with writing you ask? Well, I have sold quite a few writing gigs here.  I offer to proofread a paper for five bucks. I offer to write blogs for five bucks.  Give it a try if you want some supplemental income. You just might be surprised with the results.


July 11th deadline for this Horror Writing Contest.  First prize is $100.


Well, I already gave you one tip now didn’t I?  How about a bonus today?007

These five tips from author P.D. James:

5 Bits of Writing Advice

  1. Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.
  2. Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.
  3. Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
  4. Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
  5. Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer—however happy, however tragic—is ever wasted.


Yellowstone 2009 019

A picture is worth a thousand words….so here is your picture of the day. Let’s call it Word Bonanza Thursday.  What do you see when you look at this picture?  By the way, this is a picture taken in Yellowstone National Park.


I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Writer of the Day, and other goodies that are free for the taking.  Remember to write and write often, and have a great Thursday wherever you are.