Ten Tips For Better Column Writing and Article Writing

Updated on May 18, 2016

A Few Introductory Remarks


What is it they say about opinions? Something about opinions are like as$%&#$, that we all have one? Well it’s true, we all do have opinions, and most certainly writers all have topics to write about and their own personal slant with which to write. Opinion articles, and columns, are wonderful genres that allow us to speak out on issues that we feel strongly about. However, it is not enough to simply state your opinion. For a writer, it is equally important that we follow some guidelines so that our opinion is heard and considered. Otherwise, we may just as well go down to the local tavern, pull up a stool, and share our opinions there over a couple of beers.

I read a piece once by Robert L. Haught, a columnist for The Oklahoman. In it he said that he tries to follow the 4-S Formula:

  • Make it short….consider that the attention span of your average reader is slightly longer than a fruit fly’s attention span. Add to that the fact that many magazines and newspapers demand, because of shrinking space, that an article be no longer than a 1000 words, and you have ample reason to make your article or column piece reasonably short.
  • Make it simple….Do not write beyond the intelligence of your average reader. You might be dazzled by your intelligence, but if your readers cannot understand your language then you wasted time and effort.
  • Make it sound….Make sure that what you write will stand up under scrutiny. In other words, have all your little ducks in a row.
  • Make it sing….Use your voice and make your piece a work of art, or in this case, music. Remember that the competition is tough and growing daily. Your article or column must stand out from the crowd.

Let me share with you some other tips that you may or may not find helpful. Take what you need and leave the rest for someone else. That’s how it works here at Billybuc’s House of Writing Tips.

Billybuc's House of Writing Tips
Billybuc's House of Writing Tips | Source

WRITE WITH POWER AND CONVICTION

Writing opinion pieces requires that you strongly believe in your opinion. The strength of your conviction should be apparent in your writing. This is no time to straddle the fence. If you feel strongly enough about a subject to write about it, then sell your viewpoint with strong statements.

KEEP YOUR FOCUS

Make your article about one thing and one thing only. The more you stray from your message the more your message is watered down. Keep your focus throughout the article so that you make a strong impression on your readers.

BE AWARE OF OPPOSITE VIEWPOINTS

In order to sell your point of view you need to be aware of the opposing point of view. Anticipate what will be said against you so that you have arguments ready to combat the negative comments. As you write, respond to objections before they are made. In other words, be proactive and convincing rather than reactive and wishy-washy.

Quality pictures are a must
Quality pictures are a must | Source

USE FACTS

Few readers want to wade through endless facts and statistics. However, if you can’t back your opinion up with some facts then you are just another loudmouth spouting nonsense. Your opinion must be based on some fact, right? Then use that fact, or facts, in your article so your argument carries weight with the reader.

USE SIMPLE ANALOGIES

Many times, readers will associate better with an example from real life, especially if you are writing about a somewhat complicated or technical subject. Use a simple analogy to drive your point home. Your readers will appreciate it and be much more willing to sign on to your point of view.

NAME REAL PEOPLE AS EXAMPLES

Nameless concepts and policies mean very little to the average reader. Naming a celebrity who they recognize carries much more weight. If you are doing a controversial piece, don’t be afraid to name real people and criticize them. Just don’t be too critical or you run the risk of sounding a bit deranged and obsessive.

If I am doing a piece on the homeless situation of American veterans, I would have no problem criticizing President Obama for not doing nearly enough to ease the problem, just as I would single out and name a police chief in a city where sex trafficking is occurring on a large scale.

Tips on article writing

Tips on writing a column

BE A REPORTER

The more research you do the better informed you are, and the better informed you are the more credibility you will have. If possible, get out in the community and conduct interviews, but at the very least you need to do some responsible online research. Remember, you are trying to be taken seriously, and you will be taken much more seriously if you actually know what you are writing about.

LOCALIZE AND PERSONALIZE

If you are writing an article or column for a local publication, then whenever possible make sure that you give it a local angle if possible. Instead of the national homeless issue, make it the homeless issue in your hometown.

Also, tie your focus or topic into a personal experience that everyone can relate to. In my case, I have been homeless, so I would make sure that I mentioned that in my article about being homeless. Again, I gain credibility if I can show that I understand the issue from firsthand experience.

SHOW PASSION

Column writers, or opinion article writers, must be passionate. Nobody wants to hear a vanilla opinion piece. This is your stage so shout it out and sell your point of view. Your job as a writer is to excite the reader. You can’t do that unless your passion shines through.

PROVIDE A SOLUTION

Last, but not least, all the whining in the world about a problem is worthless unless you provide a solution to the problem. Readers read opinion pieces because they want insight and answers. It is your job to provide both. Complaining is meaningless unless you can stand on your convictions and suggest intelligent alternatives.

Show passion and personalize
Show passion and personalize | Source

Final Thoughts


A writer has the power to persuade. A writer has the power to lift up the downfallen and give hope to those who sorely need it. Writing opinion articles and columns should be a noble calling. You feel so strongly about a topic or problem that you feel compelled to write about it, and that compulsion and conviction should scream from your piece.

This is not a time for soft, foreplay background music. This is a time for slam, bam, thank you ma’am, tubas and trombones and cymbals crashing in the night as you drive home your point.

Now you know what to do. Take these suggestions and wrap them around an opinion piece that will make me proud. Take these suggestions and wrap them around an opinion piece that will make you proud.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

Questions & Answers

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      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you for the comment,Ntarugera! Blessings to you in Rwanda!

      • profile image

        Ntarugera François 

        3 months ago

        Bill Holland:

        Of course I come from Rwanda, the country that was not known ever since from 1840. I liked the advice you gave about how to write a touching article! Short , simple , sound and sometime sing.... Not so many people know this secret simple because we like to sound as lion. You find this in most of cases with leaders speeches

        Ntarugera François

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        8 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Ahh, thank you Abhinab! That makes sense now.

      • profile image

        ABHINAB SARMA 

        8 months ago

        I am from North-East India(Assam).we have to sit for a "marks" basis examination.here "marks" means points or numbers.

        Like on one subject there will be question paper of total 100 points or numbers or marks.or you can say "GRADES"

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        8 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Abhinab Sarma...I'm not sure what you are referring to as "marks" means. Clarification please?

      • profile image

        ABHINAB SARMA 

        8 months ago

        As a student the biggest problem I face is during exam,when a question prepared for 3 marks,and they ask you for a 5 marks or 10 marks answer.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        10 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Muneeb! I appreciate you stopping by.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        22 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Great advice as always, Brian. Thank you!

      • B. Leekley profile image

        Brian Leekley 

        22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

        All good advice. Perhaps add, and read the masters. Google on: essays best OR famous OR great OR top

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Jackclee, I wish I did but I don't. I've always believed the best teacher of writing is to read. Sorry I can't help with a recommendation. Thanks for stopping by.

      • jackclee lm profile image

        Jack Lee 

        3 years ago from Yorktown NY

        Excellent advice on writing columns. Do you have a recommendation for book on writing skills? Thanks.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        It's my pleasure, Brandi. Thank you for taking time out of your Saturday to read one of my oldies. :)

      • CraftytotheCore profile image

        CraftytotheCore 

        4 years ago

        What a splendid article Billy! Thanks so much for always having such great guidance for us just starting out.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you SonQuioey....I appreciate you stopping by and I'm glad this was helpful.

      • profile image

        SonQuioey10 

        5 years ago

        Great Advice. I'll remember this the next time I send an Op-Ed to the New York Times. I expect and encourage an argument in my writing on my blog, even here on HubPages. I write straight out not even answering questions thinking I'll start an argument. Can't, people just accept it I guess. Anyway, great hub.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thanks again, Ron! It is so easy to point out problems; not so easy to give solutions, and I think it is very important that a column writer do that.

      • RonElFran profile image

        Ronald E Franklin 

        5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        I was so glad to see your final tip about providing a solution. One of the things that frustrates me most in reading opinion pieces is when it's all about what's wrong with what somebody is currently doing, but no alternatives are presented. Any policy that's actually being implemented can be picked apart because it's not perfect. Great tips!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Glimmer! It is an easy tip to follow and it makes it more personal I think. :)

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        This is an awesome list Bill, especially for writing online. I like the tip on using real people. Sometimes seeing an example of something that has been in the press really brings it home to me, and it can shed a new light on the article. Great hub.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Glad to hear it, Elizabeth! :)

      • bizarrett81 profile image

        bizarrett81 

        5 years ago from Maine

        Yes it is definitely warming up and the grass is trying to get greener = )

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Elizabeth, that was kind of you. The only thing that will stop me from writing is, well, you know...that death thing. :)

        Has spring arrived in Maine yet? I hope so because it is beautiful here.

      • bizarrett81 profile image

        bizarrett81 

        5 years ago from Maine

        Great tips, I am learning all of this as I go along. Article and web content writing is certainly different then what I am used to. It's nice to know I have a first rate teacher to turn to for tips and answers = ) Thanks for doing what you do Bill and never stop!!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Vinaya, I did not know that you wrote for newspapers. Excellent my friend. You should write a hub about your experience as a newspaper writer. :)

        Thank you as always!

      • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

        Vinaya Ghimire 

        5 years ago from Nepal

        Billy, my writing career began as a newspaper writer. I have been writing on newspaper since 2001. I have been trying to improve myself since then. Thanks for wonderful tips.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Rachna, thank you so much and I hope these tips help you in some way.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Chitrangada, thank you so much for visiting and leaving such a nice comment. I appreciate it very much.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Audrey, the singer in your should understand that analogy quite well. If we can match your singing voice with our words then we will have really accomplished something. :) Thank you my dear and have a great weekend.

        love,

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Loksmi, thank you for the visit and the follow.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Jeff, the inner reporter....great description and comment. Thank you for the visit.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Becky, I think you speak for many writers in trying to find that balance. Thank you for putting your thoughts to words so others know they are not alone. Have a great weekend and it was nice to see you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Alicia! I hope these help writers so we can all experience success.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Very useful tips for good writing! A work which can keep the interest of the reader from start to finish, is definitely good work.

        Writing is a powerful tool for change and I agree, merely raising issues is not sufficient. The writer should try to give the possible answers and solutions as well, by means of his/ her writing.

        Very well presented as usual, thanks!

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Bill - Thank you for being my teacher! You are so kind to share these wonderful 10 tips with those of us who write. I really loved your analogy to singing. I have so much to learn and am grateful to you for your willingness to help with these great guidelines. You're the best!

      • Jeff Gamble profile image

        Jeff Gamble 

        5 years ago from Denton, Texas

        Excellent advice Bill, especially the 4-S method. So often we add more flourish than necessary to make up for a lack of facts, conviction or connection to a story. The more we channel our inner reporter, the better our results. Spot on my friend, spot on.

      • Rfordin profile image

        Rfordin 

        5 years ago from Florida

        This was useful and well organized. I tend to be long winded and often my thoughts when writing come so fast that I have a hard time keeping up with them. A LOT of my hubs tend to be more than 1000 words, because I feel like if I'm gonna cover something I want to COVER it. But as a reader I usually skim to get to the "main points" or the "answer" I was searching for rather then reading the fluff in between.

        It's deifinitely a fine balance, one I have yet to master.

        As always thank you billybuc.

        ~Becky

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        You are creating a wonderful collection of writing advice hubs, Bill! This hub is a great addition to the collection.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        CZ, thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Rajan! I'm glad to hear that you find this useful. I hope you are enjoying your day as well my friend.

      • CZCZCZ profile image

        CZCZCZ 

        5 years ago from Oregon

        Excellent advice and tips to follow to be a better writer. Thanks for sharing.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        So much of useful advice in here, in simple and straightforward language. This hub, as the others have been, is top class, Bill.

        Voting up, useful and awesome. Sharing as well.

        Have a good day, my friend.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Kathryn, it is another sad day in America. All we can do is live our lives as best we can, and hope that the madness ends. I will never understand what motivates people to do what they do....there is way too much anger in the world. :)

      • Kathryn Stratford profile image

        Kathryn 

        5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

        Things in Boston are okay. Life is going on as usual, but most every moment I am so aware of everything that's going on. The area around Copley Square is still blocked off, a helicopter has been almost constantly been flying above the city. Yesterday there was a bomb threat at the courthouse (can you believe that someone would do that, after what happened the other day?!). I think law enforcement is getting closer to catching the guy. President Obama came to my city, although I didn't see him. Fortunately, no more of the people who were hurt have died.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        My pleasure, Lurana. You are a pretty easy person to help. :)

      • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

        Lurana Brown 

        5 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

        Thank you! You have helped me more than anyone else here and I cannot thank you enough for your kind support.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Lurana! I consider you a very good writer and a better person, so you following me and sharing my work means a lot to me. :)

      • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

        Lurana Brown 

        5 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

        Such great advice, again! You are an excellent teacher. I bookmarked your new blog and the poetry site---thanks for sharing these here :-).

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Joe my friend, it truly is my pleasure to help so many talented writers. Look at the way you wrote that comment...the salad simile....that's writing my friend, and you are a writer.

        Thank you as always. I hope you have a great day on the sunny side of the state.

        Aloha,

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Good morning PS!

        I'll put that on my to do list. LOL I'm sure I will do that eventually. I'm still working on time management skills. :)

        Thank you dear friend. Have a great day.

        blessings and a hug, coming your way

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Career, it's good to see you. I think it is important to consider our writing as Art.....we are artists and must treat our writing as such.....now, go paint a picture with your words. :)

        Thank you for visiting my friend.

      • hawaiianodysseus profile image

        Hawaiian Odysseus 

        5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

        Bill, I learn from BOTH your words (what you've written here) and your example (how you've presented these tips). Like the foundation for a great salad--clean, crisp, and evergreen! Thank you for the lifetime of experiences, academia, research, hard work, and risk taking that you put into your delivery and follow through.

        By the way, I'm hearing tubas, trombones, and cymbals! Great analogy, my friend! Aloha!

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        5 years ago from sunny Florida

        Hi Bill

        I hope you are collecting ALL of your writing articles to publish as a Writing Handbook as every time I read one of them I think how great they would be to use to as a teacher.

        The direct, clear way you write these exemplifies what you are sharing.Thanks again for the tips...

        Angels and blessings and a hug or two are on the way :) ps

        Shared

      • Careermommy profile image

        Tirralan Watkins 

        5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

        Billy, I love this hub! And, I love the line, "Use your voice and make your piece a work of art." That is a great line and really resonates with me. I will remember this the next time I delve into another article. Thank you and voted up.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Ruby! I would love to have you follow me if you have the time.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Michelle, it would be very hard. I think of some of the major issues that I feel strongly about and I have a hard time thinking of a valid point opposing. LOL Thank you!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thanks Donnah! I wish I could take credit for the 4 s's.....it is a sound path to follow when writing.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Sheri! That is high praise and I appreciate it very much.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you for following my new blog, Doc! I appreciate you taking the extra time to do so. :)

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        5 years ago from Southern Illinois

        Another helpful article..I am a member of wordpress. I will look you up...Cheers

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        I think for most writers it would be struggling with the opposite viewpoints that would make writing opinion pieces difficult. But I guess we have to remember that we all will have to face dislike and disagreement! Good call!

      • donnah75 profile image

        Donna Hilbrandt 

        5 years ago from Upstate New York

        Very sound advice. I love the 4 s's idea. That might make it to my classroom wall. Saving and sharing.

      • Sheri Faye profile image

        Sheri Dusseault 

        5 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

        The tone of that remeinded me very much of S. Kings book on writning, straight, to the point and colorful.

      • profile image

        lovedoctor926 

        5 years ago

        Hi Bill, I found this hub useful and informative. Great tips and suggestions. I will definitely come back to this when I need to. Congratulations on your new writing blog. I'm already following you there. Doc.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Coffee, I don't mind at all. Thank you very much for sharing. Yes, my friend, we must have conviction when we are writing, and we must be our number one cheerleader as well. :)

      • Coffeeatdawn profile image

        MB 

        5 years ago from Philippines

        I've learned so much from you Billy. I shared this in Facebook, I hope you don't mind...learning doesn't really stop. And how true that you have to be convinced with what you write about. Voted this up :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        LOL...I'll bet you can, Deb. I'll bet you can. :)

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        Hmmmm...that really isn't my genre, I don't think, but let me give it some thought for a while, and perhaps I can churn something out.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Stephanie, Aloha to you too and thank you. I hope you are well and happy on the island.

      • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

        Stephanie Launiu 

        5 years ago from Hawai'i

        Another great hub! Tweeted and pinned. Aloha, Stephanie

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        MsDora, you are very welcome, and thank you for being so supportive of me. I really do appreciate your support.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Heidi, I agree with you about organizing thoughts by looking at opposing views. I can tell you have a very organized mind that can handle details. It shows in your writing. Thank you!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Voted Up and Useful! Thanks for being a writer's writer. We learn so much from you. The article I'm working on will have some of these features, I hope.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Annie, that is something I used to teach in school in debate class....if you don't know what your opponent is going to say then you are helpless to defend against it. :) Thanks for the visit and great comment.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Tennicut, I like that you keep your goal in sight. Good for you. So often I see writers head off on tangents and the goal is lost during the detour. :) Thanks for stopping by.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        5 years ago from Chicago Area

        Another helpful hub, as always! I definitely look at the opposing view when writing since, ironically, it helps me organize my thoughts thoroughly.

      • Annie Miller profile image

        Annie Miller 

        5 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

        Great tips, Bill. A few jumped out at me. 'Make it sing' - even if a subject is dry you can tell when the writer knows and loves his subject matter. which goes right along with showing passion.

        I think it's important to know what differing opinions you may get in response to what you've written, as well. You can't defend your position if you aren't aware of differing points of view.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Alex....LOL...it is sad but true. Scanners instead of readers...I love that line although it depresses me. :) Thanks for stopping by my friend and I hope you are well.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thanks nanderson...it really does work for most kinds of writing my friend.

      • nanderson500 profile image

        nanderson500 

        5 years ago from Seattle, WA

        Excellent advice, well organized and easy to read. I don't write many opinion pieces, per se, but this is useful material for any kind of writing. Always fun to read your articles!

      • profile image

        SilverGenes 

        5 years ago

        An excellent article, Bill.. very well laid out and easy to follow. Isn't it odd how we all seem to have the attention span of knats? We've become scanners more than readers but just maybe we can be exciting enough in our headlines to make reading worth it. LOL. I try but am not always successful.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        drbj, humming works any old day. At least there is a tune for someone else to sing along with. :)

        Thank you as always. I hope you are well today.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Ouch, Sha! I don't blame you for being frantic. You could always move to Washington where you don't need AC....

        Sorry, hon. Better days coming I'm sure. :)

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 years ago from Central Florida

        Monday, Bill. I'm a little frantic. The fan motor in my a/c went out. I had it replaced yesterday to the tune of $1,262! That on top of two weeks without income is putting a damper on things to say the least.

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 

        5 years ago from south Florida

        Wonderful, realistic, meaningful tips for writers, Bill. Thank you. I try to make my writing sing, you know, but sometimes it only hums. But I'll keep working on it.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Jo, I'll print up a diploma and send it to you. :) I really hope you do enter a poetry contest....you truly are a very good poet my friend.

        Thank you and have a great evening.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Julie, that makes me happy. I'm never going to make money on HP, but I love helping others and improving as a writer, so this is my way of helping everyone. Just as you have found your niche, I have found mine. :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Sha, thanks for signing up for my blog. I feel good about it and I hope it helps writers near and far. :) When do you get back to working again?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Kathryn, there were quite a few writers who helped me early on, and since I believe in giving back, that's what I'm going to do....plus, I can't shut up the teacher in me. :) Thank you....how are things in Boston?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Glad to hear it, Beckie. I think you are due for some good news and brighter days. :)

        love,

        billy

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Well thank you, mperrottet. Those are kind words and I hope I will continue to help you in the future.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Austin, yep, that's all it takes. LOL You should be well on your way to riches soon. :) Oh, if it were only that easy, huh?

        Thank you!

      • tobusiness profile image

        Jo Alexis-Hagues 

        5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

        Billy, when we graduate from the Billybucs' school of writing, do we get a flash diploma? :)

        Once again you've given us lots of very useful information. Saving and sharing.

        PS

        Also thinking about the poetry contest...

      • Jools99 profile image

        Jools99 

        5 years ago from North-East UK

        Bill, more excellent advice - thinking of printing off all of your writing hubs and creating my own or rather, 'your own' anthology of advice :o)

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 years ago from Central Florida

        Once again you offer sage advice, Bill. So far I don't see anyone taking you up on your challenge. Guess I'll have to work it in, huh?

        BTW, I've signed up for the blog you cite above. The homepage is very well done and pleasing to the eye.

      • Kathryn Stratford profile image

        Kathryn 

        5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

        These are great tips to use when writing an opinion piece. You have so many useful, inspirational articles that I may have to find a way to organize links to them, so I can get to which ones I want at a moment's notice! Thanks for another useful article. You really are very helpful to writers.

      • shiningirisheyes profile image

        Shining Irish Eyes 

        5 years ago from Upstate, New York

        Billy - I recently finished a very long shift, which included a much needed amount of overtime. Things are looking good for me and getting brighter every minute!

        XOXOXO

      • mperrottet profile image

        Margaret Perrottet 

        5 years ago from San Antonio, FL

        Bill - I love the advice you give on writing. It's such a great combination of your teaching and writing skills. I've bookmarked these excellent hubs for future reference, and will continue to refer to all of them. This hub gives great advice that I know I will benefit from. Voted up, useful and will be sharing.

      • Austinstar profile image

        Lela 

        5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

        I was taught to use the great formula that includes who, what, when, where, why and how; plus interesting characters striving against huge odds to achieve a worthwhile goal.

        That, plus what you have added here should make me the world's best writer, eh?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Beckie my dear, good morning! Are you still working part-time jobs? Just wondering since you have been here often the past three days. Anyway yes, I am a teacher. I love teaching. I love sharing information. It's in my genes my friend, and there are days I cannot shut it up. :)

        Thank you...Robinhood's barn??? Never heard that one. LOL

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Lizzy, that last statement was so full of b.s. that I fear it is coming out your ears right now. LOL Thanks for finishing the old saying...I was trying to clean it up so it wouldn't offend anyone. :) Why I started being concerned about that is anyone's guess.

        Thanks Lizzy; you are as loyal as they come and I love you for it.

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