The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 228
We Are Memories in the Making
I just love that line . . . we are memories in the making . . . isn’t that beautiful?
I was reminded of that the other day while feeding the chickens. I was checking the news feed on my phone, and there was a story about someone with a first name of Margaret.
I knew a Margaret once . . . my fiancé, who died in 1997 months before we were to marry. It was hard when it happened, obviously, but time has a way of softening the edges of our emotions so now, even though I am happily married to Bev, I can have very pleasant and fond memories of a woman named Margaret who loved to laugh and brightened up any room she entered.
We are memories in the making . . . perhaps not so much our day-to-day activities, because for the most part those are the mundane actions of daily living, but our overall impact on those around us, the legacy we leave once we are gone . . . the fond memories others can cherish once we have moved on.
Something to think about!
From Verlie: “Dear Bill, flea circus? Oh man! I've never heard of this before. Enjoyed reading writers' questions once again. All helpful as usual. I have a question today. I recently wrote a Sonnet, and had a very good poet read it and fine tune a couple of lines to correct the missing, or extra beats. Now I'm wondering if I should, or how I should acknowledge her editorial assistance? Just throwing that out there.”
Verlies, thanks for a question never asked before. That’s quite a feat!
I personally think it would be appropriate to acknowledge that poet’s editorial assistance. I don’t know anything about the legal responsibilities of doing so, but just from a human viewpoint yes, I think you should.
How to do it? I think just a mention in the prologue, if that sonnet is going into a book, or at the end of the sonnet in an author’s note; that should be sufficient notification and acknowledgement.
From Rasma: “Most interesting and I must say unusual since it began with a flea circus. Now I must also find my own flea circus. I am in the process of working on my second book of poems. So far the publishing company doing the formatting sent me what they had completed unfortunately the PDF for the paperback had quite a few corrections to be made and I have sent it back. He also sent me the Kindle version which on my PC translate to as a MOBI File. Well, I told him I hoped he had a copy of the Kindle version so he could correct that too. Once both these are sent back since I do not have a Kindle is there any way I can open the Kindle file and take a look at it myself?”
Rasma, if I understand your question correctly, and it’s always possible that I don’t, you can download free Kindle apps for practically any device you have. Follow this link and you will find all the Kindle apps available and none of them cost you anything.
From Devika: “Hi Bill just a question about my hubs. I have tried effortlessly to have it featured and just so difficult. Each attempt I fail. Please how can you help me fix these issues or any suggestions?”
This is a pretty common question among HP writers. I do not claim to understand the HP staff and the decisions which go into featuring a Hub. I’m sure they have their system programmed to recognize certain features in any article, and if all those features are included, the computer flags the article as featured. I don’t think for a second that the HP staff sits around each day and actually reads every single article posted.
So all I can tell you is the winning combination I use with every single article I post, the Mailbags and the short stories: minimum of 1250 words, minimum of three original photos, and a minimum of two videos. I do that for all of my articles and then never do another thing with them. Since I have quite a few featured articles, I’m going to assume what I’m doing actually works.
Building Blog Audience
From Andrea: . . “How do you build page views for your blog this is what I’ve come up with
2-tail wind tribes
3-figure Out theme to use for Wordpress
4- look into promoting blog posts at blog pros.com
5- design blog offer something that’s easy to read
6- look for a good Seo strategy
What do you think do you know any other ways to do it?? “
One thing I don’t see here, Andrea, and it is something I believe is pretty important, is to become an active member of the blogging community. It is a mammoth community, my friend, and I have found, for the most part, people in that community who are willing and able to follow your blog if you are willing to do the same with theirs. On top of that, they will comment on your blog, do a guest blog on your blog, and share your blog, if you are willing to do the same with theirs.
All of this takes time and it takes a commitment to become an active member of the blogging community. Just following someone is not enough; you need to commit to being active.
In other words, give and you shall receive.
And I’m going to toss in another free piece of advice: make sure your blog is interesting and of high quality. I have a limited amount of time to follow people, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that. I will only follow blogs which I think are interesting and worth reading. I can count on one hand the number of blogs I follow just because I like the person or because they are my friend. Usually I follow a blog because it is interesting and worth my time to do so.
There are quite a few other promotional angles you can work to increase viewership, but I would concentrate on those two suggestions before you waste your time with more social media strategies. Social media is nice, but nothing beats quality.
From Lawrence: “One thing that came up the other day, and I wasn't sure how to explain it, I'm not sure there's a way either, I use writing for 'stress relief' in my regular job! The other day a co-worker asked me how I deal with the stress of 'grumpy passengers' and the truth is I retreat into writing during my break times, it's like we create our own world, where we can 'fix' the problems. Is writing a 'stress relief' to others?”
I can’t speak for others, Lawrence, but I can certainly remember back, turning to writing to take my mind off of things troubling me. I don’t feel stress very often, but I am troubled at times over events or words spoken or feelings hurt, and I always sort those things out by writing about them in a story.
I’m sure others will weigh in on this one.
Memories in the Making
So, you’ve had some time to think about it. What kind of memory are you today? What memories have you left your friends and your family? Give it some thought as you go about your day. I think it’s fairly important, don’t you?
Of course you do!
Thanks for dropping by the Mailbag. I’ll leave you with some lyrics from that great songwriter, Dan Fogelberg, from his song “Ghosts.” I think you’ll find that they relate to this topic.
“Sometimes, in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath
And yet, untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet
Along the walls; in shadowed rafters
Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres
Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep
Lost in love and found in reason
Questions that the mind can find no answers for
Ghostly eyes conspire treason
As they gather just outside the door ...
Every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there
To keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days
That we left behind”
2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”