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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 141

Updated on March 13, 2017

Back to Normal for Me

Yep, I finally finished my coloring books, and corrected some glaring errors in my last novel, so now I can move back to “Shadows Fall On Rosarito,” which is about half-done. It feels good to be back to writing a novel after at least a month break from it.

If interested in purchasing the coloring book for your children, or grandchildren, or even yourself, follow this link.

We have another small Mailbag this week. Don’t shoot the messenger, please. I can only answer what I can only answer.

Let’s do it!

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

JOURNALISTS

From Mary: “If that is the case, then here is a question for a future mailbag. Is a journalist merely an informer or a storyteller? A journalist, as most people believe, report the facts of an event, but there are always two sides to a story. Do you think the role of the journalist has lost credibility and where do you see journalism heading?”

What a great, insightful question, Mary. I’ve been looking forward to answering this one all week.

Ever hear of yellow journalism? The phrase was coined back around 1900 to describe some increasingly bizarre, and downright untruthful, headlines and articles written by competing newspapers owned by two gentlemen named Pulitzer and Hearst.

I’m a bit amused by the amount of uproar today over the “biased” press. Hell, Mary, the press has always been biased. People act like this is something new, but it’s been around seemingly forever. Newspapers are owned by businesses, so by their very nature they are incapable of being unbiased. Does that mean journalism has lost its credibility? I don’t think so at all, no more today than back in 1900. It would be nice if journalists were not influenced by their parent corporation, but me finding a million dollars would be nice too.

My advice to anyone looking for the truth from journalists is the same advice my English teacher gave me back in 1963 . . . do the research, check various sources, form an intelligent opinion based on the research, and then get on with your life.

INFLUENCE

From Ann: “I have a question. Many of us are influenced by our favourite writers. What do you take from your favourites? Obviously we can't copy a style or a 'voice' but how do you pick out a facet of an author to emulate, rather than copy, and how do you carry it through?”

It’s an interesting question, Ann, and since this is Monday, I’ll call it a “monstrous Monday question.” (inside joke between Ann and me)

Of course we can’t copy an author, but we can certainly see something in their style we try to emulate.

James Lee Burke is my favorite mystery writer. I love the way he describes a scene, touching all the senses, making that scene come alive for his readers. I try to be like that when I’m writing. I try to remember that I have five senses, just as my readers have five senses, and when I’m describing a scene I need to alert all five senses, if possible, with my words.

Thank you James Lee Burke!

Harper Lee was my favorite novelist for decades, partially because of her storytelling simplicity. Lee subscribed to the same writing theory that I subscribe to, that the story is of utmost importance, and above all else, a writer is a storyteller. Tell a good story, a riveting story, a story that touches people on a very human level, and people will read it. When I read “To Kill A Mockingbird,” I instantly like Jem, Scout, and Atticus, and I was transported to their town and walked along their streets. I was wrapped up in the drama because it had become my own personal drama, and I believe that happened because of Lee’s very basic, simply style of storytelling. She didn’t waste time trying to dazzle her readers with an extensive vocabulary. She didn’t go overboard with philosophical diatribes. She didn’t weigh the story down and thus ruin the rhythm with too many detours. She simply told the story and by doing so allowed the readers to enjoy every delicious word of that story.

Thank you Harper Lee!

And thank you, Ann!

Write about the issues?
Write about the issues? | Source

Today’s Political Craziness

From Michael: “Crazy times we live in, you know? I keep thinking that I have a responsibility, as a writer, to speak out about social issues. What do you think? Should writers become a voice of their generation and tackle current issues?”

Whoa, Michael! Way too heavy a question, buddy! LOL

Here is what I believe and please remember this is simply one man’s opinion.

I believe, first and foremost, a writer’s number one responsibility is to be a storyteller. That can either be fictional or truthful, but storytelling is what we writers do. Craft writers tell a story. Newspaper journalists tell a story, and novelists tell a story, and we should attempt to tell the best damned story we are capable of writing at that particular time.

Having said that, if you feel so strongly about a particular social or political issue, then tell its story. That’s what writers do and yes, I think writers are the voice of a generation and yes, I believe they should tackle current issues if they are inclined to do so.

Just don’t become a nut job in doing so. LOL You don’t want the FBI to put your name on a watch list. Remember, always, that Big Brother is watching…and reading!

BURNOUT

From Liz: “That said, and off my chest, I have a problem that may not be unique, but is unique to me. I will write and write, and research and write, and go gangbusters with "inspired" ideas for new articles, and publish up to three in a week's time. Then, I feel burned out, and get nothing at all done for over a week; just can't get it going again. What is YOUR means for kicking yourself in the slats to get going again? (Forcing myself to 'just do it' usually results in inferior quality writing.)”

I actually went through this just recently, Liz, with regards to my novel writing. My solution was to do something else, so I published a coloring book. By the time I was done with the coloring book I could hardly wait to get started on my novels again.

In other words, I didn’t worry about it, but instead just did something different. The stories and ideas are there, inside of you, and sometimes we just have to give ourselves permission to take a break so the ideas can surface on their own time.

Strategies? Anyone else? Maybe one of our readers will have something else for you, but that’s what works for me.

Take a break and enjoy life if you are burned out
Take a break and enjoy life if you are burned out | Source

And That, My Friends, Is the End…

Another short Mailbag….hey, them’s the breaks, as my uncle Jim was fond of saying. We were dealt from a short deck and we made the most of it.

See you next week? I hope so. In the meantime, go find your crayons, order my Urban Farming Coloring Book, and have some fun. I barely make any money on HubPages, so I have to self-promote whenever possible.

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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

      Thanks, Sha! I didn't want the coloring book to be a chore. I wanted it to be educational and enjoyable, and I think I've accomplished that. We shall see how it does once the farmers markets begin in May.

      And thank you for sharing your perspective with Liz about burnout. Valuable stuff there, my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I took a peek at your coloring book. I love it! Today's "adult" coloring books are far too intricate for me. Coloring should be a release, not a chore. Glad you kept that in mind when you created yours. It should do well, my friend.

      To Liz: Bill's right. Do something else when you're experiencing burn out. What are some other things you like to do that have taken a back seat to writing? Pick them up again. Chances are, your mind will wander while you're doing so and come up with new inspirations. Then, when you're ready, go back to writing.

      I burned myself out when I was trying to make a living at writing. Not only was I unsuccessful at marketing myself, but I became disenchanted with writing because what I wrote was for someone else and their audience, not mine. Although I don't write/post much anymore, when I do it's not forced. My creativity is free and I think it shows when I do finally put fingers to keyboard. In other words, don't force it. Let it come naturally. Burnout does no good for anyone.

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

      Great reflection, Lawrence. We saw much the same thing during Vietnam....there will always be controversy, and I think that's a good thing.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I was a little amused by Mary's question at the beginning as well, but for different reasons.

      I remember back when the Falklands war was on, the BBC was actually banned from British warships at the time because they refused to 'tow the government line' and wanted to remain impartial!

      I wasn't impressed at the time, (neither was the British public who pay them) but looking back, you've got to admire people who consider integrity something to be valued!

      I'd agree with you that 'bias' in the media isn't something new

      As for social commentary, I think every story has some!

      Great questions this week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the visit, Martie! No Kindle version of the coloring books, I'm afraid. But hey, try to make one yourself. It really is not hard to do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your attitude, Zulma! Guilt is a waste of my remaining years, and I refuse to do it. Thanks for confirming that...now let's get something done today!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 months ago from United Kingdom

      When I feel myself running on empty, my solution is two-part. First, just walk away and do something else. It can be creative, it can be mundane, it doesn't matter so long as I get away from the keyboard and get my head into something else. The second part is to stop feeling guilty for not doing any writing. That takes more effort, but it's worth it.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 months ago from South Africa

      I just had a look at your coloring book - it looks awesome. It is not only a coloring book, but also a tutor. Brilliant! I must go back to see if you have a kindle-version, because buying a hard copy from my part of the world is totally not affordable due to the ridiculous shipping. I wonder if one could print a kindle version? I've never tried it before.

      I found this week's questions and answers exceptional interesting!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will for sure, Jo! The markets open in April and then we'll see if the efforts were worth it. Thanks a bunch!

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      jo miller 5 months ago from Tennessee

      Another mailbag. Right on schedule, every week. I'm impressed, as always. And good luck with the coloring book. Let us know how that goes.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, at the rate we are going, we will have nothing left if people don't speak out. Great thoughts! As for the podcast, it is still on my back burner waiting for me to act.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dora, and thank you for your appreciation and kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't know that about Twain, Mel. Thanks for sharing that. I know my mind is fresher now that I took the break. My book came alive again.

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      Mel Carriere 5 months ago from San Diego California

      From what I understand, when the immortal Mark Twain used to get burned out, he would stick the book he was writing in a drawer for months, then go back and rework it with fresh eyes.  Maybe burnout is the muse's way of saying this is going nowhere, go gather your thoughts.

      Ditto on Harper Lee.  Great stuff here as usual.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 months ago from The Caribbean

      I think that this is the first time I read your explanation of your fascination with James Lee Burke's novel. It's great to read a good writer's view of another good writer. Thanks for all the valuable answers you give.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Tough questions this week. You handled them well. You have mentioned Podcast several times. This mailbag seems to be the perfect basis for launching your Podcast endeavors.

      As for writing about politics, I say, why not? What are we going to have left?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Larry, if I'm not mistaken, you also have a job, so that has something to do with getting off-course just a bit. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 months ago from Oklahoma

      You sure keep busy. Wish I could do have as well at keeping forward motion as I do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Linda, and I like your new profile picture. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an informative edition of the mailbag, as always. I like your idea for handling burnout. For me, long walks in nature generally solve the problem.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, Sis, here I am bitching about the constant rain, and you can't see your windows. LOL Mindless? Hmmm, maybe I'll choose a different description next time. Gotta keep Sis on my side.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Never any homework, Bill! It's the perfect class for those of us way beyond the homework stage. :) Thanks my friend!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Of course My Darlings all love me! I never utter the word "No," wouldn't dream of saying, "We'll see," "Maybe Tomorrow," or "Gram doesn't have any money today." Mostly, I say, "Well, OK, but don't blow me in to your parents!" I am da GramDawg!

      Mindless enjoyment?! Hmmm, wait a sec. I may have found the perfect hobby for myself!!.........Raspberries to you Billy-bro! (I can't see the storm through my windows because of the snow) Figure that one!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Short but good, Bill. I like Mr. Holland's Monday writing class. I take what I can use - and there's no homework! Thanks, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I've just about had my fill of winter for this year. Come September I'll be mindlessly looking forward to it again, because I love changing seasons, but right now I've about had it!

      Thanks, as always, for your insights. Best wishes to you, dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, you had me howling at your comment. I can just picture you babysitting...what a hoot. The kids must just love having you take care of them. i know I would.

      Thank you for the purchases....I hope you find many hours of mindless enjoyment.

      Address? I will send it today.

      Bev says hello in return.

      Good luck with that snowstorm. Stay safe and warm.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro....I knew there was more than one or 2 reasons why I love you so much! You've made Sissy so happy! Little do you know that long about a year ago, I picked up the new and "Wonderful" hobby of coloring! Just like all my habits, hobbies and addictions, it started out with one simple Adult Coloring book and a reasonably-sized packet of colored pencils/markers.

      It accelerated quickly! ( I don't have anywhere near the strength I used to have to resist my urges anymore) Now I am in BUSINESS!

      I pulled out Jim's old briefcase and loaded it up with my collection (thus far) of coloring books, pencils, markers, gel-pens, sharpener & even an artist's portable lamp! I escape into my world of colors and total peace for hours.........and hours! I swear I'm transported to my own little cubby with nothing and no one around for miles. Honestly, this activity is better than Xanax.

      Now, when GramDawg arrives to babysit her tribe of rug rats, I bring my Case of Colors. I park my matriarchal butt at a table while the darlings are ~~~somewhere, doing something that their parents don't allow them to do & I tell you, every body's happy.

      I just rushed to Amazon and bought 2 of your Urban Farming! Question: Does "Designer," mean that Mike drew the pictures??

      Anyway, I'll receive them in a few days and I'm really excited (I refuse to grow up!)...........Before I forget, I had your address at one time but, you know..... If you get a minute email it to me? Thanks! Love ya bunches! Hello to my friend BEV! Sis.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 months ago

      As usual you had a great mailbag today, friend Bill, despite its brevity. You know, my favorite author is probably the one I'm reading at the time, unless I'm trudging through a real dog. LOL I agree that it's good to study the techniques of other writers, but I couldn't emulate one if I had to, especially those who write prose so poetically. I think you did a great job of finding your "voice." Have a good rest of the week, friend, and if you're inclined, which I'm sure you are not, come to Arkansas and freeze with me!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Chitrangada Sharan! I always appreciate your visits.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting questions and discussions as always! The question about Journalism is so relevant and I agree with your views.

      Congratulations for your colouring book!

      Thanks for an interesting read!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, Mary! It is a strange time we live in...but brighter days are always ahead. We have to believe that, right? :)

      Enjoy this wet week....hopefully not wet in Brazil!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's all I watch, too, Ruby. For whatever reason I like David Muir. He seems like a nice man. LOL As if I really know!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I hope this finds you safe....most likely buried, but safe. Thanks for stopping by...and it is the most bizarre period I've ever seen as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It does for sure, Flourish! I've given up on deadlines. Usually they are unrealistic and like you said, too much pressure is no longer fun.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, it was my pleasure. Thank you for the question...as for the TV news, the phrase that comes to mind is "a grain of salt."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Gwenneth! Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, you bring a smile to my face. Thank you dear friend, and Happy St. Paddy's Day to you. Tell them hello for me in County Cork! Tell them the O'Dowds send their love.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill Another interesting mailbag selection and love how you always show your own situations as examples. Totally agree with your advice on stepping away from a project that is not working and do something else before coming back to it, always works for me! Congrats again on your coloring books, really love how you have wonderful info on urban farming inspiring next generation! Have a great week and Happy St Paddy's Day for Friday from this wee leprechaun !!!!

    • Gwenneth Leane profile image

      Gwenneth Leane 5 months ago from Glen Osmond, Adelaide, South Australia Australia

      I enjoyedthe mailbag 141.

      I found it very interesting, Thanks for an interesting read

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Thanks for your reply, Bill! I have been slacking, and beating myself up about it. So, I guess instead, I will go tackle an iced mocha, and enjoy the sunshine out on the porch swing. ;-)

      @ Mary Wickson--I find it quite annoying that we have to read from BBC or Al Jazeera America, to get to the bottom of the matter, instead of being able to believe our own press and TV news!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      When I'm fe king a little by n d out I switch gears and do something else until I'm called back. Mostly I try to prevent I by not imposing false deadlines and artificial stress. It takes so he fun out.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Short but effective. I wish more writers would write about the current political craziness. This really is the most bizarre political period I have ever witnessed. Oh well, time to go make sure I have gas for the snow blower for the 20 inches of snow we are getting tomorrow. So much for spring. Have a great week.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I like the idea of writing and touching the five senses. It's difficult to watch the news, everyone has their own opinion, and they are bias politically. I have a nurse friend who refuses to watch the news, and she say's she is much happier since she quit. I look forward to the nightly world news but that's all I watch. Thanks again for all you do to help us become better writers...

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your response. I hadn't heard that term before but it doesn't surprise me. I think people read or hear the news they want to hear and that which is supporting their beliefs.

      I had an American friend tell me the only news they listen to is from RT (formerly Russia Today) and Al Jazeera and wouldn't believe anything coming off an American based television channel.

      Congratulations on the completion of your coloring book.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Venkatachari M, Happy Holi Festival to you, my friend. Share love always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise! I'm pretty excited about returning to the novel now that the coloring book is done.

      Best wishes to you!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Kristen! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on writer's block and burnout.

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      Kristen Howe 5 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great advice Bill. I do enjoy your mailbag hubs every week. As for Writer's Block, I agree with you there. Do something else. For me, it's editing, reading, watching TV or listening to the radio. Sometimes I meditate and let my Muse talk to me. Hats off to you my friend!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 5 months ago from Fresno CA

      Hi Bill,

      Cute coloring book. I had to go take a look. And that is a good idea to work on something else till your muse returns. I know I do that. I'll have as many as 5 long-term art projects going at the same time so that I can change focus when one feels muddy to me. Thanks for another great mailbag. I loved it.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Nice mailbag with lesser questions and more useful tips and information.

      I liked your answers regarding the influence of great writers on us and the other one of taking breaks with a different activity to refresh your moods again in finishing a project.

      We, Indians celebrated our Holi festival ( a festival of colors and sharing love) today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita! I just took one such break this morning and now i'm ready to hit it hard the rest of the day.

      Peace be with you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! Coloring books are hot right now. We'll see if they continue hot with my offering.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, your insights are always appreciated. Thanks so much for buying the coloring book. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts. Have a wonderful week as spring falls down upon us.

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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Buildreps, and a Happy Spring Day to you as well. Short but sweet is the motto of the day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Janis! I always appreciate you stopping by, my friend.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 months ago from Washington, DC

      Love your pearls of wisdom, Bill. I especially liked the way you handled the question on writers taking a social/political stand. Telling a story, no matter the subject, is a brilliant way of tackling a writer's desire to speak out on the issues. I enjoyed this mailbag. Thank you.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 5 months ago from Europe

      You write short mailbags, I write short comments! LOL

      Good morning, Bill, wish you a great week and a lot of fun with the budding Spring.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 5 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Journalism. I almost have to laugh at the commercials for news shows that claim "honest" reporting, or something of that ilk. Here's an even bigger mind bender: Even if you're telling your own story, are you totally honest? Absolutely not! We all have filters and we are all "editors." What people (or newspapers and news shows) leave out is just as important as what they leave in. That's the real story.

      Re: Political Craziness. Is addressing social issues "speaking out" or just pushing a particular agenda? Fine line. Again, everyone has a bias and everyone thinks they are fighting the good fight. I think, as writers, we need to ask if we are really adding to the conversation on social issues, or just adding to the noise.

      Re: Burnout. To combat burnout, I need to physically leave the office for a while each day and do something else. I find that as I make my way back, I get a flood of perspective or new ideas.

      BTW, my copy of your coloring book is on the way. Can't wait to see it! Have a great week!

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      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It's not the quantity but the quality that matters, Bill, and the questions this week were high on quality. Good luck with sales of the colouring book. I read recently that seven out of the top ten selling books here in Australia were adult colouring books. If it proves more successful than your novels will you concentrate your writing more on future colouring books?

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 5 months ago from london

      'Change of work is rest', my teacher used to say. So your ideas to Liz are spot on to avoid burn-out. Do something different!

      Short yes, but always useful. Regards.- Lantern

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa! One day closer to spring. Always think positively. LOL Thanks for the kind words and I will keep all of you posted about sales.

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      Melissa Propp 5 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Congrats on getting that coloring book finished and published! That is so neat, that you could tackle this completely different avenue and now go back with a refreshed zest for your novel writing. I know you plan on selling these books in person, but please let us know how it does on Amazon. I'm really curious! Thanks again for brightening my Monday blahs. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Ann! It was fun putting the coloring book together...now back to what I do best. :)

      bill

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      Ann Carr 5 months ago from SW England

      Now it's you who's just showing off, bill! Brilliant!

      btw, congrats on finishing yet another book. Your output is astounding.

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, Dickens bores me to tears. LOL I don't like to work hard when I'm reading for relaxation.

      As for the "monstrous Monday and Multi-faceted" now you're just showing off. LOL

      I wish for you a Mellow Monday, moving you to melodious motions of measured meanings.

      I know, that was a stretch! :)

      bill

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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, stay safe. Heck of a storm heading your way. I hope the power remains on and you get through it fine.

      Thank you, as always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great minds for sure, Honey! LOL Good luck with that block and thanks for spending some time with me this morning. I enjoyed the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Louise! Have a fabulous week ahead.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'll save that one for next Monday since I never know if I'm going to have enough questions. Thanks my friend.

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      Eric Dierker 5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Short but sweet. Very cool bent toward social responsibility this week.

      Do you think there is a formula to follow it order to keep journalism "just the facts mam, just the facts". Does the who, what, when, where and how, (or what ever that is) keep it straight and mechanical? Or is it just a mindset not to opine? Probably not a mailbag question but a hint would be appreciated.

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 5 months ago from Ontario

      Very good information here thanks Bill

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 5 months ago from Illinois

      Great advice, Bill. I could have written it myself. Brilliant minds think alike...haha...I like your 5 senses advice especially. I never thought about it that way...and as for Liz...I have the same problem..I just pushed out about 7 or 8 hubs in the last week or two and now I'm stuck again so I hub hop or read other people's writing and something in one of them might get me going in a whole new direction and onto my next article.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 months ago from New York, New York

      Always love your advice here as you know. Today I enjoyed your cure for writer's block with your coloring book project and will definitely have to keep that option open if need be in the future. Well, Happy Monday now Bill and hope it is a fantastic one for you!!! :)

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      Ann Carr 5 months ago from SW England

      Well, that was spooky! I was just wondering where your mailbag for today was and up it popped in my incoming list! How do you do that?

      Thanks for a great answer to my question, bill. It's good to study the techniques of another writer and I agree with you that simplicity usually wins the day. I find Dickens hard to deal with as I get bogged down in the long, long descriptions which seem to slow the plot (now I'll have Dickens' fans howling at me - just a personal opinion!).

      As for how to deal with burn out; a walk in the fresh air - like really, really fresh such as a stiff breeze from the sea - or laughing with young children. Your mind is cleansed and your spirits are lifted.

      A monstrous Monday indeed! Hope it's multi-faceted for you, bill! LOL

      Ann :)