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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 190

Updated on February 19, 2018

A Lesson Free of Charge

About two months ago I picked up a new customer, a local farm which sells goat milk products. They are actually nationwide and pretty well known, so it was a nice catch for my freelance writing company.

I wrote blogs for them for a month and then billed them . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . and payment didn’t arrive. I promptly stopped writing the scheduled blogs, contacted their accounting department and eventually was paid in full.

I sent them a letter telling them our arrangement wasn’t going to work out, that I expected prompt payments, and I wished them a great life.

The president of the company called me a week later, asking me to write for them again. Evidently their Google ranking increased during the time I wrote for them, he was very happy with the job I did for them, very sorry for the confusion over payment, blah, blah, and more blah.

I agreed to start writing for them again but only at a higher rate.

Lesson: My time is valuable and I won’t have it wasted.

I just thought I’d share that with you. Now let’s get to the questions.

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

Blog or Hp?

From Shaloo: “I look forward to reading your mailbags. Do you write anywhere else apart from HP? A personal blog perhaps? Given a choice between a blog and HP, which one would you prefer and why?”

Hello, Shaloo, and thanks for the question. Yes I do! I have two blogs I write on weekly, www.artistrywithwords.com and www.theurbanfarmyardsanctuary.wordpress.com I much prefer writing in the blogs simply because I don’t have to follow guidelines like I do on HP. I can write whatever I want in whatever form I want, and editors have no say in it at all. The rebel in me likes that.

Having said that, I love HP, not because of the money, but because of the community; I have some great online friends because of HP, so I will always be a part of that community, as long as all of you will allow me to hang out with you.

OVER-ANALYZING

From McKenna: “Happy Monday morning, Bill, and happy Lincoln's birthday! I have a question for next week's Mailbag. If it appears, I'll get to check another item off my bucket list! I'm trying (not very successfully) to write a book, but this is where I always got stuck: re-reading what I wrote. When I put aside a chapter and come back to it, I always think it's awful and I don't want to continue. I don't know if it's actually that bad or if I'm just using it as an excuse for not pushing forward. Actually, this might be more of a question for my therapist than you, but will you give it a go any way? Thanks!”

Good morning McKenna! Well, I really have no opinion on whether you should see a therapist of not. LOL I do have experience with the type of situation you described . . . every single book I write goes something like that. I am never satisfied with what I have written, but at least I now accept the fact that my frailties should never delay the publishing of a book.

I never write a chapter and re-visit it until the entire book is done. That way I eliminate my natural inclination to correct, correct, and correct again. In other words, I simply do not allow my natural inclination towards self-doubt and self-loathing to get in the way of publishing that book. Call it stubbornness if you want, but I refuse to use my own character defects to delay the publishing process.

I’m not saying you have character defects. LOL I’m simply telling you my thoughts regarding similar feelings I have.

In other words, write the book, McKenna!!!!!!

I had to force myself to publish every single one of these books because I did not believe they were good enough.
I had to force myself to publish every single one of these books because I did not believe they were good enough. | Source

DISCLAIMER

From Shyron: “Here is my question: where do you put a disclaimer?”

Shyron, I’m not aware of any rules regarding disclaimers. Perhaps the Chicago Manual has one, but I’m not reading the damned thing to find out. The conventional way of handling disclaimers is to put in at the front, before the novel, so everyone can see it early on and know you didn’t mean to single anyone out in the novel.

If anyone knows the answer to this question it will be MizB, so perhaps she will enlighten us in the comment section. MizB?

For those of you wondering what a disclaimer is, I guess you could describe it as a way of avoiding defamation. Here is a sample disclaimer:

“This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.”

Two on Self-Publishing

From Venkatachari M: “Does using keywords in the text of my book play any role in fetching audience to my books? This is apart from the keywords filled in the publishing form of Amazon KDP. Another doubt is how can I view my book cover in a paperback edition before it gets printed. The Preview option provides me only with the content of the book. Not the book cover. Your clarifications are requested. Thanks in advance.”

Venkatachari M, thanks for the questions.

No, using keywords in the text of your book does not help in gaining readership. If the book were published entirely online, like in chapters on HP, then it might add a tiny bit to your Google score, but no to those books published on Amazon. At least that is my understanding.

As for your book cover, you have the option of paying something like $2.50 or $3.00 and having a proof copy of your book sent to you before publishing. I always do that so I can see the cover close-up and not just online. It’s worth the money for me and might also be worth it for you.

I hope that helps!

Turning Away Work

From Mary: “I know you have a freelance writing business. Do you ever turn away work?”

Actually, Mary, your question is the reason for the introduction on this Mailbag.

I won’t say yes, all the time, but definitely yes, I do. Sometimes customers are just not a good match for my talents. There is another customer I recently dropped. She was with me for three years but she recently made a demand for me to do a newsletter for her, and I had no desire to do that, so I ended a three-year relationship.

Again, my time is valuable, and I will spend it doing what I enjoy doing.

I’m actually going to write in my writing blog this week about a big refusal I did about four months ago. You might find it interesting to check that out tomorrow. I probably gave up about ten-thousand bucks in that refusal, but it was a decision I’m happy with. You can check it out tomorrow at www.artistrywithwords.com.

My time is valuable!
My time is valuable! | Source

MORE NEXT WEEK?

You know how this works. There ain’t no Mailbag unless you ask questions. So far you’ve asked questions for 190 straight weeks, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be talking to you next week.

Have a great week of writing . . . and living!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Lawrence, and I subscribe to that theory of writing.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I often remind myself what Stein beck said, "Never start a rewrite in the middle of the first draft"

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and yes, he paid. :)

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      6 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi! Bill thank you for all your free advices and tips for other writers like us. Appreciated, I hope the goat farmer learnt his lesson and pay you right away what you earned writing for him without delay.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dee! I'm through giving my work away for free. We all have value.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 months ago

      Your share on the goat milk blog was interesting. Guess they discovered your writing was a great investment! Always enjoy stopping in to read your mail.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shaloo! I'll answer that on Monday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the question Peggy. I'll have an answer for you on Monday.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      6 months ago from India

      Thanks for the answer and sharing your blogs. Just checked and saw that you are planning to start podcasts soon. Do podcasts add more value to the blog or bring in more traffic?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      What is the main difference (or is there one) between a blog and a website? Are the costs of operating one the same? I most often tell people that I have a website.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, I would drive myself nuts if I edited every chapter as I went along. I never would finish a book. :) Thank you!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Loved the advice about not going back on our work until the final draft is done. I'm guilty of over editing and self doubt when I read and reread. Great and valuable advice about not wasting our precious time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Definitely a milestone, Mike! I love the Mailbag. Thank you for the suggestion, my friend.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Venkatachari M might just print out a color photo of the cover to take a good look at how it will look. 190 - another milestone, or is that millstone, I can't be sure.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Frank, who needs compensation? The Mailbag is a labor of love, and I get paid in many ways other than cash.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you Nikki Khan, and thank you for your kind words.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 months ago from Shelton

      Now writing for the company who didn't pay you.. I was waiting for a moral of the story..:( LOL.. anyhow, I know you'll get more questions and wow 190 straight bags.. congrats! wait a minute! Are you telling us that you wrote 190 mailbag episodes and now you want to be compensated? They were so well put together, you deserve compensation so take a Gold Star out of petty cash...:)

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      7 months ago from London

      Another wonderful episode of mailbag, loved it till the end.got to learn a lot and importantly about your blog.

      Will definitely go through it.

      Thanks for writing mailbag every Monday,, it gives loads of energy for rest of the week.

      God Bless you :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Linda, for being here for most, if not all, of them. If you are ever in Olympia I'll buy you a coffee.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you came through as always. Thanks for your thoughts and knowledge.

      Snowing here and 28 degrees. Ask me if I'm happy. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! My time...your time...too valuable to waste on business people who are not serious.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Heidi, it's snowing here, second time in three days, and I'm not happy about it at all. LOL My job today is to keep the birds alive. Gotta run...thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is an enjoyable one, Mary, and I'm glad they came to their senses and hired me back. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And away we go, Manatita!Thanks for always being here, buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome,Rodric! Good luck with those struggles. You are correct in that your writing is good enough to make money from.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! You are always welcome here, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Last time I checked, Pop! LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much,Marion!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you for another informative installment. Hope you're having an inspirational week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on edition 190 of the Mailbag, Bill. The number of installments is very impressive.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      7 months ago

      Hi, my friend Bill, thank you for your vote of confidence in my expertise on the Chicago Manual of Style. I don't remember ever seeing this subject in my approximately 20 years of using this manual. Right now my edition is in storage, so I consulted the online version at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ and ran a search. All I find on disclaimers is on quotations, and it says to include it as close to the quote as possible.

      So, basically I believe that Brian gave the best answer. The copyright page is where I usually see them, too. If you are putting a disclaimer on the whole book, like a fiction, I would definitely put it in the front before any text.

      Right now I have a letch for reading thrillers, which are fiction often based on legends, myths, or scientific facts or a combination. I've noticed that the authors for these are including an explanation of what is fact and what is fiction in their books. I like these offerings and always read them at the end of the book. They aren't really disclaimers except for the fictitious parts, but they are a big help.

      Glad to see that you don't accept work if you find it demeaning or if the terms are too one-sided. Good for you. Hey, my man, it was 73 degrees and sunshine here today, a wonderful day! More rain is on the way. Have a great rest of the week in your neck of the woods.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 months ago from Massachusetts

      You are a man of principle Bill, good for you. No payment, no blog. And if they want you back bad enough, they can pay a higher rate for your services, well done. You are closing in on 200, what a great run. Have a great week.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      7 months ago from Brazil

      I'm glad you put your foot down about the goat milk blog. No one likes to be jerked around. I'm glad they saw sense because I imagine (correct me if I'm wrong), it would be an enjoyable one to write, being that you are an urban farmer.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Monday (still Monday)!

      Re: Over-Analyzing. Occupational hazard. But as Seth Godin says, "Art must ship."

      Re: Disclaimers. Yes, any disclaimers should appear on the copyright page of your book. Also, they should appear on your blog. While, as you note, a disclaimer about not being based on real life, blah, blah... should be for fiction, disclaimers for nonfiction that offers advice of any type are critical. An attorney should be consulted to help create one that's appropriate for your material and audience.

      Re: Turning Away Work. Just did it again yesterday for a job that was completely out of my league and experience. Turning away business is hard, but dealing with problem customers and projects is harder.

      It's bikini weather in Chicago (high 50s). With melting snow and raining, it's a muddy mess. But, hey, it's all good. Happy Monday and have a great week!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      7 months ago from london

      Quite firm at the beginning there Bill. I see that you are holding your own. Awesome, I say, or good on ya. Defrauding or withholding wages are never a good thing, as we all want to live, as those who hold our funds or salaries wish to do.

      Counting up to another ten with steadfastness, vibrancy, fun ... way to go!

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      7 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I enjoyed this read. I have trouble committing myself to anything because I am afraid that my job and health are going to get in the way of fulfilling it. You started me to thinking about writing for organizations and not fearing. I, however, do not know my worth as a writer yet. I still need to come to terms with what I think I am worth instead of relying on others to tell me what I am worth. I don't know how to do that. I love the things that I write and think that they are awesome. I need to quantify my estimation of my work into a monetary value that feels fair in my mind, I think. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, congratulations on having that farm deal work out for you. A lesson indeed! I also learned something about not revisiting written chapters. I struggle with that. Thanks, again for all the useful information you share.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 months ago

      You are the man....

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kari! A variation of this question has been asked before, but it's worth going over again. I'll have an answer for you in a week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, thanks for the info on the Chicago Manual. That's helpful to know since it means I don't have to go read it again.

      As for deadlines, thank you for the question. Answer is coming in seven days.

    • Marion Drury profile image

      Marion Drury 

      7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks again Bill for another great Mailbag. Always informative, interesting and encouraging.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! I appreciate you reading while I spin a yarn. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well then my work is done, Eric! Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, Rochelle! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suhail! I appreciate your support.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      7 months ago from Ohio

      Thank you for another educational and interesting Mailbag. I think I have seen this question before, but my memory isn't what it used to be. My questions are: Do you have the entire plot of the book worked out in your mind or in an outline before you start writing it? Does the book ever go in a different direction than your outline? Thanks in advance.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      7 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      'Disclaimer' is not in the index of my The Chicago Manual of Style 1993 edition.

      A typical book has front matter (also called preliminary matter or prelims) and back matter (also called end matter) and in between the main text, the 'body' of the book. From what I see in online articles about front matter and in the books on my shelves, legal notices, often in novels including a disclaimer, go on the copyright page. In novels I read long ago, a disclaimer often had its own prelim page.

      Question: Do pretend deadlines work for you? A writer under contract to a client, a producer, a studio, an employer, or a publisher who paid an advance has to meet deadlines or face undesirable consequences. Many writers, I've read, are more productive, in both quantity and quality of work submitted when they have deadlines. When you are writing "on spec", do you have ways to give yourself deadlines. Of course sticking to a schedule—a weekly "The Writer's Mailbag" hub; a weekly blog post—is one way. But what about a novel or hubs that aren't in a series? What sort of self-imposed deadline would incentivise me right now to be writing a story or essay instead of asking this question?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      7 months ago from USA

      Good for you that you don't just jump though any hoop for the money. Loved that story.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you make my life better. Nuff said.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 months ago from California Gold Country

      Ok I found it (your corrected link is still a little off) left out "yard" and that pesky little (.)

      https://theurbanfarmyardsanctuary.wordpress.com/

      You can delete my messages.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Bill,

      I had no questions, but still got lots of information going through the mailbox :-)

      Regards,

      Suhail

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rochelle. I corrected it...left out the wordpress....

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 months ago from California Gold Country

      I'm getting a "server not found " notice on you urban farmer site link (on desktop and tablet). Could be a problem on my side, but "artistry" connects fine.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Mary! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is my pleasure, Kathy! I get to meet people like you on this journey and that is an added bonus to this writing gig. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M! I'm happy my answers satisfied you. Best wishes to you this week and beyond.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! So far the chicks are hanging in there. It didn't get as cold last nigh as they predicted. Crossing my fingers for tonight.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Sally! I appreciate you always being here. Have a great week!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      As usual, I like your direct answers. I also like your sharing your own experiences so we can apply the same principle. I haven't really kept up with your sites but will do so now. Thanks again.

    • KatWin profile image

      Kathy Burton 

      7 months ago from Florida

      Thank you for keeping up with the mailbag series. I will be writing for many more years before I feel confident to write for others, if ever. Right now, I am enjoying exploring my writing and others on HP. Now, I am going to end so I can hop over and check out your second blog. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank You, Bill, for answering my questions in this mailbag.

      I felt that keywords don't work in books. But, anyhow, I had confusing doubts and wanted to clarify it from your end.

      Regarding my cover design, I will do as directed by you to get a proof copy of it. Thanks for the advice.

      Your thoughts regarding "HP or Blog" and the "postponement or "the feeling of self-loathe" while writing books are very good answers to the questions asked by them. I also suffer from this feeling often. But, I will go by your advice to not turn back till doing the entire first draft of any book.

      Thanks again and I would visit your blogs when free.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      7 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I awoke this morning and thought I could hear Sammy Davis Jr. singing "I Gotta Be Me". Turns out it was you. How could anyone successfully write about something that goes against the grain? If you don't believe in it, how can you sell it?

      Add me to the very long list of people at HP who are glad that you are here. Have a great week my friend, and I hope those chicks are able to stay warm.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 months ago from Norfolk

      Thanks for the free lesson Billy. I like it that you value yourself and your time. We should all do more of that. Have a great week Billy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kristen! I didn't realize this was a holiday until I saw the bank was closed. Grrrr!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Melissa! It is validating, my friend. I think it's important that we all know our true worth.

      Happy President's Day to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, McKenna! I have no doubt it will be fine and the book will be a good one.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Happy Lincoln's Day Bill. A great useful and knowledgeable mailbag of insight on the writing world as usual.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      7 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Wow, thank you so much for sharing your freelance experience...good for you, for knowing your worth. And it must be quite validating to hear the clients "beg" to have you back! :)

      Have a great rest of the week! I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow to hear more.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      7 months ago from Bend, OR

      Thanks for answering my question, Bill. I'm sure you're right. I need to push forward, not look behind. I have no expectations for this book, other than wanting to complete it and say, "I've written a book." They only failure in my eyes is not doing it. So, as you advise, I'll set the first chapter aside and move on to the next. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Alyssa, you get this post....I love the freedom I have on my blogs. I do not do "rules" well, and my voice cannot be caged with guidelines and rules.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, my friend, goat milk rocks! And our son makes the best damned goat cheese (chevre) you will ever taste. No lie and no hyperbole!

      Thanks for weighing in. I always enjoy hearing from you.

      Stay warm! Spring is coming I promise!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Janine! It is very liberating to turn down work. LOL In a twisted sort of way, you know?

      Happy Monday my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rochelle! I don't know about the wise part, but I do appreciate the thought. :)

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      7 months ago from Ohio

      I love the introduction. An important lesson for us all. I have to say, it's so freeing to have a blog where you can write however you wish, (and use as many exclamation points as you wish haha!) with a structure that makes sense for whatever you're writing. Another great mailbag this week! Thank you!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      7 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      You got me with the goat milk, right at the beginning. I love goat milk! I drink about four litres, every two-three days. Milk and honey, that's what some of my ancestors lived on. (I got carried away here, sorry lol)

      "I much prefer writing in the blogs simply because I don’t have to follow guidelines like I do on HP." - HP's guidelines and expectations are beyond frustrating. I barely follow laws, never-mind guidelines. Sigh ...

      "I eliminate my natural inclination to correct, correct, and correct again." - I have never written a book but I think I can relate to this a little from the endless pile of essays I have written. If I finish a piece of writing and I keep reading it, right away, I tend to want to keep editing. So, when I finish a piece of writing, I usually put it aside for some days and try to forget about it. Then, I go back to it and re-read it with a fresh perspective. That's judgement day: either I toss it in the garbage, or I proceed further.

      "Again, my time is valuable, and I will spend it doing what I enjoy doing." - This is true for everyone. No point in living a robotic life, doing things one does not wish to do. That's just my opinion though.

      Thank You for your written thoughts. Sharing Knowledge is a worthy and commendable deed. Cheers!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      7 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I have (and think mentioned to you in the past) that I also have cut clients loose or opted not to work with someone if they weren't the right fit for my writing style and/or blog. So, I couldn't agree with you more about this in all honesty. That said as writers and self-employed workers, we need and get to make that decision as to what works best for us in general. So, again very much agree with you on this. Now, wishing you a Happy Monday and week ahead, as well :)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 months ago from California Gold Country

      You are a wise man, Bill. Too many writers sell themselves short on the business side . . . and too many clients don’t realize the value of their time.

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