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Complimentary Comments For Writers: The Making of a Village

Updated on October 16, 2012

AN OVERVIEW

My thanks go out to Bruce Noll, otherwise known as Born2Care2001 on HubPages, who had this idea and invited me to collaborate with him on this topic. I have known Bruce for quite a few months now, and he is one of those people that I instantly gravitate towards during my life. He and I have travelled a similar path, and we have learned some similar lessons, and I respect him greatly for fighting the good fight and rebuilding his life.

Bruce approached me and suggested that we both work on hubs having to do with complimentary comments, and how they are important for writers. I encourage you to read his article, “Complimentary Comments: A Hubbers View of Comments.” What follows, then, are my thoughts on that topic.

Today I feel like I belong on HP
Today I feel like I belong on HP | Source

MY BRIEF STORY

I joined the writers’ site HubPages on January 6, 2012, and in all honesty I was one scared puppy. I had never joined an online writers’ site and had no idea what to expect. In fact, my partner for life, Bev, practically had to threaten me to get me to do it. Why was I so reluctant? Simply because I had no confidence in my writing ability!

Writing had been a dream of mine for many decades, and of course I secretly wrote short stories and dabbled in it during my spare time, but it was all kept in safe-keeping, away from the eyes of anyone who might judge it. Like many writers, I suspect, I was frightened to let anyone else see my work lest they judge it inferior and thus crush my dreams.

Bev, of course, believed strongly in my abilities, but you expect a loved one to believe in you and say good things about your writing. It is another kettle of fish, however, when we are talking about complete strangers, and that is what I was afraid of. How badly would the HP gang reject me? Would they be gentle or would they body-slam me to the ground in unmerciful fashion? Worst yet, would they just ignore me and say nothing?

Deborah-Diane, my first comment
Deborah-Diane, my first comment | Source
Nina, my second comment
Nina, my second comment | Source

FINDING THE COURAGE

Despite my misgivings I set about writing that first article, and then posting it. The title was “How To Stage Your Home,” and it was met by a collective yawn by the HP community. One brave soul, Deborah-Diane, commented on it:

“Staging is such an important part of selling a home. Many people do not realize that buyers have trouble imagining what a house could look like, unless the seller goes to the trouble to create the right setting.”

As I write this I am laughing! To all of you reading this, that comment may not seem like much, but to me, just tiptoeing into the frightening waters of online writing, it was like manna from the gods. That one comment, from a wonderful woman I have grown to know over the past nine months, was enough encouragement to push me to my next article

That next article, “Leaving The Rat Race Behind,” received this comment from Nina64:

“it seems as if we Americans are conditioned to go to school to get a good education, get a good paying job, have a home with the white picket fence. All these things are taught to us from early childhood to adulthood. In gaining all these things, we end up in debt, lots of unnecessary things that we do not need, and just being plain unhappy. I'm so glad that you have found the simpler way to living a happy life. Great hub!!!!!! :)”

WOW! Someone had said I did a great job, and gave me a smiley face! The comments slowly increased on that hub, and I started entertaining thoughts that maybe I did belong on that site. Three days later I wrote “A Letter To My Birth Mother Who I Never Knew,” and it has gone on to received 393 comments and won a Hubbie Award as the Most Beautiful Hub of 2012.

So, what’s the point?

HERE IS THE POINT AND IT IS AN IMPORTANT ONE

Well, the point is certainly not to tell you how great I am, because I still harbor self-doubt from time to time. I receive glowing comments from other writers and I still look in the mirror and wonder if they really mean what they say, or are they just being nice. I can’t speak for you, but I think many writers have a bit of a self-image problem, and lack confidence.

The point, my friends, is that if it were not for Deborah-Diane and Nina64, I may well have quit after two hubs, and all that has happened since would not have happened at all. I was hanging by a thread, filled with angst, and the life-lines that those two writers threw me were enough to keep me writing. If you don’t think I am thankful for those two people then you don’t know me at all.

Looking at it from a different angle, there was a new writer I was following a couple months ago; she had written several “evergreen” articles, but decided she was going to try writing a personal article about her life and who she was as a person. She spent several days doing so, and then posted the article, and then sat and waited for the positive feedback she desperately needed…..and it never came! By the time I had found her article, and read it, she had posted a message that she didn’t see the point in writing if nobody was going to read her work, and so she left HubPages.

I am still saddened today over her departure. I could have been the one leaving back in January if it were not for complimentary comments from two kind human beings who took the time to give me support.

Feel Like A Poll?

Have You Found Support On HubPages?

See results

THE MAKING OF A VILLAGE

So here I am today, 22,000 comments and nine months later, and I’m here to tell you that complimentary comments do make a difference. Sites like HubPages are communities of writers and as such should be a safe harbor for writers to practice their craft and receive POSITIVE feedback. Imagine the power of just one positive comment; you may be the one who leaves that one comment that makes the difference between someone continuing as a writer or quitting. How very cool is that?

True, not all the articles that I read are good, but that’s not the point. My job is to encourage, to bolster, to be the shoulder to lean on, and in so doing become the much-needed cheerleader that a writer needs. My job is not to belittle or to criticize; many writers receive more than enough of that in their daily lives. They certainly don’t need it on a site such as this, where they are practicing their craft in hopes that someone will hear them.

Be that voice that uplifts! Be that voice that encourages! Be that one voice that just might propel a writer to great things!

I have received 22,000 comments in nine months and ten were negative. TEN! That, my friends, is a supportive village, and that is why I am writing today!

A Village of Writers

WHAT A VILLAGE LOOKS LIKE

As of this morning I have been viewed by people in all fifty states and in 123 nations around the world. To me, that is an amazing thing….no, it is astounding! Remember, nine months ago I was ready to quit at the first sign of a negative comment. 123 NATIONS! I don’t do well in Sudan, but I’m working on it. J

Soon I will have been viewed 100,000 times, and I have received ten negative comments.

I’ll tell you what that all says to me.

Writing spans all cultures, but more importantly, writing communicates to all cultures. As I write about my life, my feelings, my worries and my challenges, I am essentially writing for all people, because we all share commonalities. Forget about the differences and concentrate on the fact that we are all, in many ways, the same.

What does a village look like? It looks like me, and you, and you….it looks like a cowboy in Wyoming and a sheep herder in Nepal. It looks like a socialite in New York and a seamstress in Wales. I have been exposed to them all, and there are more still to come, and it is all because of that first complimentary comment.

Bev, my foundation and safe harbor.
Bev, my foundation and safe harbor. | Source

THANK YOU!

And so I say thank you! Thank you Tammy and Cyndi, Eddy and Paula. They were there early, and often, and encouraged me every step of the way. I say thank you to Lisa and Tara, Bruce and Linda, because they were there early as well, and often, and encouraged me to keep writing.

And of course I say thank you to Bev, my greatest supporter!

Do you get it? Do you understand? This isn’t about one writer; this is about a community of writers who are supporting each other. This is not a competition; this is not about every man and woman for themselves. This is a community of writers who are supporting each other.

This is a community of writers who are supporting each other.

And it begins with a complimentary comment!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tehgyb, I'm glad you are going to be commenting more. I think the community can learn from you and I know you will be welcomed. Thanks my friend.

    • tehgyb profile image

      Don Colfax 3 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      Bill, this is an amazing philosophy. I'd never really looked at the whole picture - my eyes have been opened. Thank you!

      Before today I never really spent time reading others' hubs, leaving comments or really networking, to be honest. I kind of kept to myself and just posted hubs for the fun of it. I'll definitely be spending more time reading others' work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, I agree with you, and I consider myself very lucky to have found HP. Thank you so much.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Bill, all the writers on HP, mean so much, I am so glad to be here surrounded by such talent and such caring writers, everybody wants everybody to do well.

      Thank you Bill for sharing this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Louisa, thank you and welcome to HubPages! I obviously cannot give you pointers on writing, but I can surely give you pointers on HubPages. I will drop you a note and we'll go from there.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Yours is a very inspiring story and it's very touching to see the photos of your first commentators. I have been a writer all my life, but had much more success in getting published in the 80s and 90s. Then I went into a long freeze.... it was deeply discouraging. I kept writing and sending stuff out, but had almost no success. So I decided to join hubpages. I'm a complete newbie-- joined three weeks ago-- and I've written about 10 hubs. I've had a few comments, not very many, but I know it's early days. I am not clear how to build momentum, either of readers or of pay! Any words of wisdom very welcome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you my friend, for a lovely comment. I know I would have been long gone; I was convinced after a week that I couldn't write.....but I hung in there, and like you, learned new tricks and techniques, and it all came together eventually. I'm so happy that it did!

      I love this site, and it's because of people like you. If we don't support each other, who will?

      Thank you PS; have a great day my friend!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Billy, good morning...you are so right....the encouragement we get here does make a huge difference. And it takes us all to keep our village going.

      Writing has been my passion since I was a little girl and when I started here a little over a year ago (by this time last year I had only published a very few hubs), I felt confident and self assured. However it did not take long for that to fade. I made a lot of errors in proofing as I am blind in one eye and cant see out of the other (figuratively) --I discovered the little tool and that helped immensely. One other thing I did not think about what that filling in the blanks in my writing was important...I wrote somewhat in an abbreviated fashion, rather than writing like I talk...filling in the details Improvement in that area really helped. There were so many other things I did not know about the how to's and soon I was discouraged and my confidence had plummeted. But after I learned many new things, I began to have a few followers and now I am feeling it.

      So many have helped me to feel like there is a future here and I get up each day excited about seeing what is new on the HUB and hearing from writers who care, like you. You are one who has made pointed comments about my work...and you know how that feels. No one has to say anything ....least of all tell you something you have done well but when they do....aaahhhh, that is nice.

      So glad you are writing on this topic ....am so glad you are a new Friend, Billy. Happy Day to YOU. ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alifeofdesign, I am pleased to read your words. If I have given to you, and provided support, then I have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I am so grateful for this site, and I feel compelled to give back as often as I can. Thank you for telling me that; you made my day. :)

      Have a great weekend my New Hampshire friend, and keep on writing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I will sit down sometime and figure out what it is about you that I was attracted to almost instantly. There was definitely a connection very early on, but I haven't taken the time to analyze it; I'm too busy just enjoying it. :)

      Thank you my dear; enjoy your weekend and know that you have a great admirer across the ocean who thinks you are very special.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Lindalou, thank you! I do, you know....love HP! :)

    • alifeofdesign profile image

      Graham Gifford 4 years ago from New Hamphire

      billybuc, one of the first comments that I received after starting on Hubpages was from you. You thanked me for my article and wondered out loud why I had so few followers. Frustrated, wondering what I perhaps wasn't doing just right, I kept writing. I enjoy it. I love to share what I've learned. Forty-something hubs later, your name pops up onto my screen offering praise (which I greedily take).

      Many people say that writers write for their own satisfaction. In part, I agree. I enjoy the process. I enjoy learning how to become better. However, there are those times that the darkness sneaks in and you can't help but think, "why am I spending all this time writing when no one seems to notice".

      ...and then you visit again, billybuc, spreading positive energy and encouragement. Yes, it takes a village. I'm pleased to have met you and be a member of yours.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Bill, I wonder why we connect so well. Maybe it's because you write about things I understand. I have always been interested in other people's lives. It fascinates me that someone with a kind heart, called Bill, is sitting on the other side of the world writing about things I enjoy reading and learning about.

      Sometimes I meet people, and I just know I like them and we connect, but it doesn't happen very often. You are one of them, Bill.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      billybuc. .. I was looking for the ''LIKE' button so I could like your comment 'I love HubPages' :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you for including that first comment. It's interesting, but we really are all alike in many ways, and those first words of encouragement mean so much to a writer. I'm glad you stuck around; I'm glad I stuck around. I love HubPages.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, no apologies are necessary. I write so much that I am just happy when someone stops by once a week. :) Thank you and I agree with everything you said. I have had to limit my reading and I may have to do it some more; there just isn't enough time in the day to follow all of my followers with each of their hubs. That saddens me but I have to make time for my family and my own writing. I appreciate you stopping by as always, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, you will always be one of my favorite people on HubPages! I just connect with you on some level that I can't understand, but I am very, very grateful for your friendship. Thank you my dear friend, and I hope you are right, that I connect with many people on a HubLove basis. :)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy your words are so true, I remember stumbling across HP about a year ago, I submitting my first poem, but I didn't quiet know what to expect, fortunately, a few kind souls held out a welcoming hand to me and I will never forget them especially my very first comment. I hope Jamie wouldn't mind.

      jhamann 12 months ago from Reno NV Level 6 Commenter

      To business-Please keep writing poetry. This poem was wonderful and inspiring. Voted up and everything along with it.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, really enjoyed this hub because as always, it is written with honesty. I still have some hubs with only tumbleweed rolling through the comments section, that's a bummer when you've spend hours and hours on them. I always read hubs from start to finish, I never scan but that takes a lot of time reading and gives me less time to write so I have started to ration my reading of late otherwise I would never write anything...then I feel guilty for not reading enough and spend a full day 'catching up'...I am too disorganised.

      The community on HP is wonderful and I am lucky to have some wonderful followers who read my stuff (whether it's their cup of tea or not!) and still leave me nice comments. It's really all about give and take and encouraging one another along the way; this writing mularkey is scary stuff sometimes but on HP, I never feel alone, I know my mates are out there doing the same as me. Sorry for reading this 3 days late - I told you I was disorganised!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      This is some wonderful reading, Bill. It's very interesting to read about why you decided to stay here. I joined HubPages three years ago and only wrote three hubs then. I returned here two years later and that's when I started to get some positive comments on my hubs and I knew I was going to stay here and keep writing. I met Sunshine and later I met you, Bill. You two have supported me very much.

      Great story about your writing here and a wonderful and positive hub! I'm glad you're here and I don't think you know how many people you are helping around the world by spreading some HubLove. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Archer, that was a beautiful comment and I thank you my friend. Your words really did make me smile. I'm just a writer, and I think we are all insecure at times, and need to hear from others to give validation to what we do. This is a lonely profession, and at times I think we are all masochists for trying it. :)

      Anyway, I hope things are going better in Joplin. Have you done a follow-up hub about the progress being made after the tornado? I'd be interested in hearing about a firsthand account of the progress.

      Thank you so much; you made my day with this one!

      bill

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Bill, I stand amazed. I cannot envision you lacking in confidence as a writer! To me, you are the epitome of what a writer is: informed, well read, well versed in the grammatical world, having the ability to first find something people want to read and following that up with words that are well formed and ordered. In fact, I think I look to you as the Prime Minister of Hubpages! There are others I truly enjoy, but when your hubs come out I try my best to get to them quickly. I may not always comment, but only because I think my "Great Job!", "Wonderful Hub!" comments may make you think I am just spouting off. I am not. And neither are any of your other hub friends. You have reached the pinnacle of success here, and that stretches out to places beyond this locale. When you read and commented on my story I am working on, I felt as if I had had a publisher review it and found it worthy. Many, many others here feel the same way about you and your comments. Comments make those of us here feel that what we are doing is worthy, and the few I get in relation to what I write do just that for me: I feel worthy of something for one of the few times in my life. I thank you, Bill. And I thank all of those who take the time and put forth the effort to comment. They are truly welcomed!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, you are a good man, and I appreciate you very much. I'm glad you have had the same experience I have had; I wish it for every Hubber!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Vicki! I'm glad you liked it. I owe everything to my fellow Hubbers and people like you who have given me the confidence to write. Thank you!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Bill, and what a great salute to our co-hubbers and friends this hub of yours is.

      There are a few people that come to mind: Derdriu, Tammy, Jean, Theresa, Audrey and a few others which I can't think of at the moment that have made a difference for me at HP. We have a few bad apples, but the good outweighs the bad - considerably - by far - present company included with the good as you're an excellent writer and friend.

      Voted up and away

      John

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oh, yes, I get it! The HP support is what keeps so many of us here--and got us going in the first place. I had so many who welcomed me when I first started here. You captured the spirit of the "village" perfectly, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As do I, Rhonda!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Thanks Bill, and thanks for introducing me to Bruce. I look forward to the many more hubs we will all share.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, that is so cool that Bruce would be the one. He really is one of the nicest guys on HubPages. Anyway, congrats on joining the 1000 Club! Well-deserved my dear friend.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, I just want to tell you I just got my 1,000th follower and who should it be, but your buddy, Bruce Noll, otherwise known as Born2Care2001. So thanks for your early congratulations, and I thought you would get a chuckle out that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, thank you my friend! I am so glad I received the encouragement that I needed; now it's my job to give that encouragement to others.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, Thanks for writing such a down to earth hub. This is so easy to relate to. Writing for me is part cathartic and part looking for people's comments. Even technology and the cyber world can't take away the strong need we have to be social creatures. I am glad you stayed and I will always be grateful for your first couple of comments that gave you the encouragement to continue. And of course thanks to Bev you gave you the courage to start on Hub Pages.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, you were one of the first to welcome me, and support me, and encourage me, and as such you will forever have a spot in my Hub Hall of Fame! Thank you my dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie....dip my wick??? LMAO! Seriously, my friend, thank you! I have been blessed in this community and I am greatly appreciative of people like you.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Bill, we, your humble followers - are very happy you found the courage to dip your wick and try your hand! The world needs your wisdom and your words - and this venue is so unique in it's unconditional support (unless you write about politics, that is..(lol))..

      Your gratitude is - as always - a beautiful and rare attribute..

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Congratulations to you and Bruce for such a wonderful collaboration. I am a big fan of both of you. I tend to forget the negative comments. I have been blessed to have some very supportive hubbers to become my friends like you that makes Hubpages such a warm and wonderful community. This is a very inspiring message and I am glad you are in my village. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris my friend, nice to see you so soon. Thank you, and I'll have you know the Lollipop Award will be given out tomorrow first thing in the morning.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      That was beautiful, Bill. I feel pretty much the same way...the HubPages community is so supportive and encouraging. I have no doubt that I would have walked away long ago if not for the positive feedback I've received on this site.

      Thank you billybuc, and thank you Hubbers! aloha

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I'll tell you something....crafts are not my thing....but so what? Supporting you is my thing, so it all works out perfectly. I respect you as a human being; we have some shared experience and we both came out into the bright light, and I will keep on following you because of your character. Enough said!

      Thank you my friend!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Wonderful hub, Bill.. and as always, very true... There are 3 people that come to my mind that have been with me from day one.. and have been unconditionally supportive... then there are many others I've met along the way. I know you really aren't into crafts, but I do appreciate all of your comments on my hubs. We do not have to have lots of things in common to support each other. I feel guilty that I haven't been able to return the favor as much as I should comment-wise.. but I try the best I can. I was reading the above comment and I'm shocked that people actually backstabb others and make this sort of thing a competition. I just appreciate all the support I've received here and continue to support others as much as I possibly can. Great hub, Bill as always... Voting up!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robin, thank you and I agree with you completely. Sadly there are those who treat this as a competition, and I have even seen it in the Facebook groups, the nitpicking, the backstabbing, and the gossiping behind backs when a member isn't logged on. I have no time for that kind of behavior, and I have pretty much divorced myself from those groups because of it.

      My best wishes to you today, and always,

      bill

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 4 years ago from New York

      Bill, I think there is room for all of us. Each of us has something different to say and with our own unique style.

      Every day I come to this virtual community and learn something new, whether it be a recipe or a point of view, it matters not. The most important thing is that every person has something great to teach someone else and collectively, we are all housed under this great expansive umbrella uniting our diverse talents.

      So, it should not be viewed as a competition, but rather a beautiful virtual writing co-op.

      As always, thanks for another great hub with new referrals, beautiful minds who will expand my knowledge base.

      R

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shelley, thank you for the kind words and the share. Often people ask me to join them on other writing sites, and although I understand why they are doing it, I just can't get myself to leave the one site that gave me a chance. This is home to me, and all of you are my friends.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith my dear, you are a blessing to all who know you, and I for one am grateful that we are friends. Your writing brings much needed beauty to this world. Keep being you; we are all better for it.

      Blessings and peace, today and always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharkye, thank you....that is the message I wanted to deliver, and I'm happy that you understand it. I am very glad that you are here on HP; I think you have a message that needs to be told, and you have the voice to successfully do that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bruce, a great comment, one that cements in my mind what a valuable member of this community you are. Thank you for the opportunity to join you on this hub, in sending the message that we are a community, and we all are responsible to reach out to those who may not benefit from our legion of followers.

      I wish you well my friend. God bless and have a great day!

      bill

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Loved this hub, and I am sure we all know the feeling when our friends stop to see what we have written, and left well thought out, heartwarming and encouraging comments, much like you do for us, your friends, Billy. Up, interesting, awesome and shared!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Very well said Bill. So much truth spoken here, and it is a community who support each other. I remember my first published poem or two back in April of this year, and if it were not for those couple of few who encouraged me then and now still, do not know if I would still be here. It is a great community in which to belong. Point well taken and should be by all. Voted Way Up In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Such a terrific spirit! As someone very new to Hubpages this definitely spoke to me. This community has overwhelming support and encouragement. I was scared to death to write on here. I always disguised my writing behind layers of masked personas on sites. Not even my family had read it. Now they do, and it was very frightening at first.

      I love the trickle-down effect you portray here. Because someone kindly encouraged you, you stayed around to kindly encourage others, who are busy now welcoming others. Its beautiful, as is your hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you Martin. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you are right, it seems like so much more! It's amazing, the friendships I have made on the internet. I would have never believed it possible nine months ago.

      Thank you my dear; have a wonderful day tomorrow!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Count on my support as long as I can. I was writing for 6 sites. I can tell you that Hubpage does have the best community. We should try to protect it.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You are so right! It takes a community just as it takes a village for people to come together with compassion and love. We are only cyber friends but it feels like so much more. I believe we've all grown because of comments that lift us, making us want to hone our skill. Thank you Bill. Awesome Hub...

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      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Well Bill, I think we've succeeded, and I could not be happier and I am oh so grateful for the thought that prompted us to work on complimentary comments.

      I have to admit there is a surprise for me and in that surprise a lesson. (You know me, always looking to learn something) I didn't expect to be saddened as much as I am.

      I knew this was a great topic because there are phenomenal writers and people here on Hubpages, but...I am struck by the ones we lost! Yes we are community and I realize we are not for everyone, but I can feel within me the sadness of one who put their heart and soul into there work and no one read it, or worse yet, read it but didn't tell the author!

      I understand there are those who choose this forum for income. I understand that completely and I sincerely wish then good fortune, but you have made me realize though, that I have more work to do as a human being than I do as a writer. (Oh my gosh am I in trouble!)

      I was told by a friend and Rabbi once that I should always end a message with hope. Well, I have hope...tons of it and I have it because there are people like you and Paula and Epi and DEE AKA Nona and Theresa and...and ... (well you know what I mean) all over this world and I have heard from them when they left comments on my hubs or the hubs of others. There are also those whose names or monikers I have yet to know and I do not want to feel there pain, I want to feel there fulfillment!

      What you say is true, we do have a responsibility to the village. He who has ears, let him hear! We are connected by the gift of wordsmithing and by the heart and conscience of humanity!

      Thank you Bill and thank you to all of the hubbers who cared enough to say UP and Awesome to someone who was just about to close the book on their dreams!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Dianna, I have had a few of those for sure!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It is the community that makes the difference to me also. Great supporters -- even when you post those questionable hubs that make you wonder, "what was I thinking?".

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Linda! :)

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      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      I certainly do!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Linda! I made up my mind very early on that I was going to give back the way people did to me when I first started out. I believe in paying it forward, and I know you understand that well. :)

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      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      I understand completely about your state of mind when first joining hub pages. I was nervous too. But, thanks to the kind words of many, you included billybuc, my fear has subsided and I write all I can! Thank you for sharing! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, you go that right. It takes what, two minutes to read a hub and comment. That doesn't seem to be too much to ask for, especially if someone expects the same in return. :) Thank you kind lady!

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      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      You have hit the nail on the head. We all need support from family and friends either online or off. As Carol7777 said, the comments should be sincere. Often I've read comments and think, "they haven't even read the page".

      It requires so little to make someone's day.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thank you!

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      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Ha ha! Sorry! I'm such a northern lass! It means 'delighted'!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, Tara! I have no doubt you will hit another homerun with the next topic.....okay, you have to tell me, what does "chuffed" mean? Remember, I'm a bloody Yank and we don't have the vocabulary you Brits have. :)

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      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Bill, so lovely to hear you say that! I was nervous but it was received very well and it was suggested that my 'you stink and your mum's a bag head' should be sent to some educationalist magazines! I'm soooooo chuffed! The theme was 'addiction'. The theme for the next one is 'sacrifice'. Need to get my thinking cap on!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, I agree with you completely, and I will be glad to keep writing. Thank you for the share.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tara my friend, you are braver than I am, if you are reading your work at an open mike. Way to go, girl! I'm proud of you, in so many ways. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, thank you for that comment. I have written hubs that I was really proud of, declaring them to be my best work, and they met with a resounding thud as they hit bottom. Others, that I wrote quickly, a stream of consciousness, were praised as great work. There are some day I don't know what to think. lol

      Thank you for a great comment.

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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is so important that it just needed to be shared with others and I have happily done so. I well remember the first couple of comments and how thrilled I was to get them. We truly are a community of writers and it is important to reach out and support one another. Keep writing useful hubs like this and we will keep reading them! :)

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      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      I was scared when I joined hubpages too. I had no confidence whatsoever! It's been wonderful to have free constructive criticism from talented writers and makes you feel that you're not alone and what you are doing is worthwhile. I have also joined a local writer's group and attended an open mike night where writer's read out their work and discuss it. I don't know how I coped without it! The only way is up and thankfully other's have helped me do that! All the best Bill.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I know that we all live to see comments rolling in--sometimes when I think I have written something wonderful though I get a lukewarm response and other times when I think it is a so-so piece, the response is great--so I think comments are only one part of the equation. Addressing your hub more directly, I think support is important it just takes time and energy--something that we all are in need of--you have a great deal of heart--it is a pleasure to read your work

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      whonunuwho, let's face it, if we are on HP to get rich there will be a great many disappointed people. The true value of HP is the platform that allows us to practice our craft while at the same time help and support each other. I know you understand this very well. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, thank you! It comes as no surprise that you understand this hub; anyone who follows you knows that you embrace the giving aspect of this community.

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      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, Hub Pages means different things to each of us, and it is not only supportive by its members, it is a form of therapy and outlet of expression and emotions, that we all need as human beings. I enjoy writing here and sharing. I also enjoy what others have to say about each other and me. Thanks for sharing this work today and it is very meaningful. You are appreciated , my friend.

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      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The positivity within your hub is clear and I love it! The great part about Hubpages is the support we give one another. Take care Bill :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, I had to look my first comment up, but once I saw it I remembered clearly how important it was to me. As you say, a comment like "good write" is pretty meaningless. It takes all of a minute to write something meaningful and it just might be the incentive a writer needs to keep going.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are having a great week!

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      b. Malin 4 years ago

      Comments are what all us Hubbers look forward to and Enjoy, and Cherish. We know, we must give to receive. I Enjoy coming onto a Hubbers Page and reading and Commenting. I never want to say "Good Write"...It's just not Enough. I really get into what has been written and hope my Comments are Enjoyed and Appreciated. Fun, Interesting Hub, Bill. Can't say, I remember my First Comment, but I hope it was a Good one!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Rich, the thought of being called a politician scares me more than anything else.

      Great comments...really great! It is impossible to follow everyone every day. There are some Hubbers who I will read everything that they do, mainly because they are so loyal to me. There are, unfortunately, some Hubbers who constantly write things I have no interest in, and only pop by on a rare occasion, and I just don't have the time to give them my attention. That's just the reality of HP when you have been on the site for a time and have lots of followers.

      Thanks buddy!

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      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, I remember the first comments I ever received, but not the first I left. Short term memory problems left over from habits in the 60's & 70's, I guess. (Don't remember the habits, so I must have enjoyed them.) Anyway, my first comments were from a person no longer on HP. Meant the world to me. The biggest thing about commenting I've found is to always really read the article to make applicable comments. A writer can tell who has read and who has only scanned. It's almost an insult to the writer not to read their work, but to make false comments about it. There are writers we all support whose work may not be our cup of tea. I, personally, do not cook often, so recipe hubs have to be really good to hold my attention. Still, if I can't make a valid comment, I feel the writer would rather not have to answer a bogus one. Honest commenting has to be a priority. Otherwise, we can just make a list of positive, generic responses and copy and paste. Pretty soon, the writers will have their own lists to copy and paste, also. Then, we can call ourselves politicians instead of writers! Great job, my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mpropp, it really does warm my heart to hear that my encouragement helped you. I love that about HubPages; we give each other the strength to keep going. I love it!

      I am so glad you decided to stay with HP; we will grow together....how's that for a plan? :)

      Thank you!

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Bill, thank you for sharing your "beginnings" with hub pages. I just never imagined that you were as insecure about your writing as I am...By the time I joined hub pages you were already so established and so respected, that I couldn't picture you being so unsure of yourself! I know that being humble is a great virtue, but I still hope that you have come to realize that Bev was right--you are a very talented writer.

      I also want to thank you for the topic of this hub. It is soooo very true. You and Epi were some of the very first comments I received and I really needed the encouragement. I know I'm still very new and I haven't published very many hubs yet, but without the words of encouragement that I received from you and others, I honestly don't know if I would have the "nerve" to continue putting myself out there. The HP community really is a village. Thank you again.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I had no idea I was your first comment. I am so happy that I was.....I love HP and what we do for each other. I hope that spirit of community grows and others find the joy that I have found. Thank you my dear; i consider you a blessing as well, and a dear friend!

      No, I see nothing wrong with being on this site for the money; it's just not me! :)

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - I am responding to some particular comments on here about how many people are here to make money. I see nothing wrong with that, but unlike someone being soooo certain that everyone is in it for the buck, I AM NOT. I share your interest as I am purely on here for the pleasure. I thoroughly enjoy reading so many wonderful artists creations as well as writing some of my own.

      Having said that, I back you 100%. You were my very first comment and I was as frightened as a turtle in its shell. If you hadn't come along and provided your comment I probably would have become too skittish to continue.

      It truly does take a village.

      Glad you are my friend and I consider you a wonderful blessing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that's the lesson for all of us. A writer has to be the number one believer. When motivation comes from nowhere else, it has to come from within. This is not a job for the weak of heart, nor is it a job for someone who discourages easily. I have a dream similar to yours, but that may be a long way off. All I can do is keep writing and hoping. :) Thank you Deb, and have a great day!

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, you said it all. Most of my early material had been written years ago, and I considered it pretty decent, maybe not GREAT, but not bad. I got very few comments. I was somewhat discouraged, but knew that I had to find a niche and that it might take time. My dream is to have a birding column SOMEWHERE. Maybe it will happen. I also hope to have a better camera some day to be able to have GREAT photos in that birding column. When Stephen King was my Creative Writing teacher back at U of ME, I asked him what he attributed his success to. It was still his very early days. He told me to never give up, which I have not. I just keep plugging, even after rejections or non-responses.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, it seems like I haven't seen anything from you of late....I'll have to check. Life gets hectic, doesn't it? If I had another job (other than my freelance writing) I would never find the time to publish hubs. Yes, I remember Mark's hub from way back; that's what we do, right, support each other. If we don't, who will?

      Thanks buddy and best wishes to you and your family!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, thank you for that comment. I feel privileged as well and can't imagine writing on any other site. Thank you my friend, and I'm looking forward to many more shared hubs.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Applause, Applause for Bev!! I am so glad she pushed you so hard, Billy. I can't imagine not having had the chance to read about your honest and heartfelt life experiences. And you are so right, this is a very supportive and creative community. I feel especially privileged to be a member! Voted Up and Awesome my friend.

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      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Late to the parties lately Billy, but not too late to congratulate you. Your journey has been followed from the beginning. You were shy as any of us. Still remember your support to Curiad's hub that was considered duplicate... and yeah you went off with great reason. What I see is a community that cares and we don't need to advertise ourselves. Thanks for being in here and making a difference to us all!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy my dear, there is a handful of Hubbers who took it upon themselves to befriend me early on, and you are among that handful. For that I will always be appreciative and the bonus...now we are, as you say, life long friends, and I think that is remarkable and special.

      I'm waiting eagerly for your arrival here in the States so I can be your host, and Bev and I can show you American hospitality. :)

      Be well my friend; be happy!

      love always,

      billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I know, I hated to mention that fact, that there is no way I can follow everyone and all of their hubs. My image is tarnished for good now.

      Of course I will be kind my dear; you are important to me, and this surprise is all good! Trust!

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub Billy ;and every word so true.

      This community is like no other and we become greater than friends.

      I learnt this as I left for a little while and then returned ;the welcome home was amazing and I am now here to stay. I think we got on from the word go; Can relate to your thoughts ; your hubs .I have found a haven where I belong;a haven to share and to receive.

      In this hub you are sincere and 100% honest which all on here admire.

      You are a life long friend Billy and such an important member of my hub family. Keep those so naturally created hubs coming ;and thank you so much for this gem. Wonderful and have a great day Billy my dear friend.

      Eddy.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Oh no, write this day down quickly, it's the day Bill Holland fell off the pedestal I had placed him on. lol Just kidding. I am relieved to hear that you don't follow everyone that follows you. I don't either. It really is impossible. I also subscribe to the philosophy that connections are made where connections are intended or needed. That helps a bit with the guilt.

      Now, on to the subject of your tease. Now you're going to deprive me of two good nights of sleep. Please be kind, but, be real. I can take it. lol

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra, I have had this argument several times with other HP members, and I won't change my opinion. If this is a community then we need to support each other; not tear each other down. I have no time in my life for that kind of negativity and I won't be a part of it. Let others play those games.

      Thank you so much and best wishes to you.

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      Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

      Voted Up, Useful, Awsome and Beautiful. Thank you for writing this. As I peruse through forums and questions, I see more and more negative comments on subjects that people actually do believe in or they wouldn't have ask, seeking others experiences. I too encouraged another writer to not quit. Words can hurt and it's hard to ignore these words sometimes. Thank you for writing this hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      xstatic, you make a great point right at the end of your comment....it is so cool to watch writers grow in their ability, and we get to watch them from the very beginning, like some proud parent. I love HP....thanks my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I forgive you my friend; everyone has a bad day now and again. LOL You are a kick! Thank you!

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I'm sorry I left you those 10 negative comments. I'll try to be more supportive from now on.

      LOL--You're awesome, Billy! I love how you keep us thinking.

      -Liz

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      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Really well-done Bill. I joined in February of this year, and was amazed to be so welcomed with many great comments (yours included). I discovered Bruce too, and read his very positive Hubs regularly. It is always great to discover a new Hubber and offer some encouraging words, then watch them grow in writing and in new readers.