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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 232

Updated on November 26, 2018

Keep on Keeping On

I hope all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving weekend, and that you didn’t put on too many unwanted pounds. I was a good boy at Thanksgiving dinner, limiting myself to two helpings in a marvelous display of self-control.

Now onward we march to Christmas and 2019.

I received a pleasant surprise this past week, winning two Hubbie Awards, and I gotta tell ya I was shocked. Other than the Mailbag I have not done much writing for HubPages this year, so to win, once again, the Best All-Around Hubber and Most Helpful Hubber, was a shock.

It just goes to show I hang with the cool kids, which is a huge change from when I was in school. Back then I could have been President of the Nerds Club.

Anyway, for those of you who voted for me, thank you so very much. I’m not too terribly impressed with the HP staff or management, but I have nothing but respect for the writers on this site, and your acceptance of me means a great deal.

Let’s do this thing called the Mailbag. Reminder: if you have a question for the Mailbag, include it in the comment section below, or send me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room!

Keeping the Same Voice for Long Periods

From Eric: “And of course that brings a question. How do you keep the same "voice" while writing a long piece - novel maybe? Certainly you muse cannot stay the same from July to Sept?”

Eric, it took me awhile to learn how to do that. I finally settled on this approach: before returning to my current novel to write a new section, I re-read the previous one or two chapters. That seems to alert my muse that we are taking a trip down a familiar road. She does the rest, God bless her.

I’m sure there are other techniques used, and maybe someone will respond in the comment section, but that little trick works well for me.

Writing in Different Locations

From Mary: “I've read that writing in a different location, such as a cafe, helps the writing process because there are no household distractions. Clearly you don't suffer with that but any thoughts on writing in different locations?”

Mary, I think writing is a very private, individual pursuit, and as such we need to do whatever works for us. There is no way I could write in a café or a library. I would be too busy people-watching, but that’s just me. I know several writers who do that very thing quite well. For me, the household distractions are at a minimum, but then I set up an environment here which eliminates most of the distractions. All of my friends and relatives know when I write, and if they need to contact me they should text, because I’m not answering a knock on the door. Lol I also have a room separate from the main house, which helps greatly.

But again, that’s just me and what works for me. Whatever floats your boat is the right approach for you.

My Safe Place for writing!
My Safe Place for writing!

Can’t Round up Any Blog Followers

From Mimi: “Bill, I’m having trouble getting anyone to follow me and my blog. What am I doing wrong, or what can I do to improve my numbers?”

I should mention to everyone that Mimi is not this person’s name. I am choosing not to use her name so I don’t embarrass her.

So here’s the thing, and quite frankly it annoys the hell out of me.

Mimi is a person who has asked for my help on a number of occasions, help setting up a blog, help editing an article, suggestions on other techniques, and this has gone on for quite some time. In fact, this is the second time she has asked this particular question.

Funny thing is, Mimi never comments on my articles nor does she follow my blogs . . . sooooooo . . . I think the answer is pretty obvious,, don’t you?

For those of you who do have a legitimate question about increasing your blog audience, I will say a couple things:

  • Make the blog worth reading. Make it interesting. Give me a reason to return, each week, to it.
  • Follow the blogs of other people. Show a genuine interest in the works of other writers. The blogging community is just that, a community, and it is a two-way street. It does not take long to spot those who are only in it for themselves.

I feel better now. How about you?

Just to clarify, I am not angry about this, but I am a bit flustered, and at some point I just reach a point and say “enough is enough.” Time is short for all of us, and I prefer to share my time with people who want a two-way friendship. I’ve never been a big fan of one-way streets.

Making Audios

From Rodric: “I started voice recording my articles using Audacity to edit the audio and am getting the hang of it by the tenth recording, about seven to ten minutes each with sound effects and everything. what is your opinion about using a Youtube video to read the article for the listens aloud as they scroll through? I hesitate to do it because it seems a bit much. I am practicing for when I audio-ready my books.”

Rodric, I love the idea. If you are comfortable doing it, and you can do it with some quality, then I say go for it. What can it hurt, and like you said, it’s good practice for an audio book.

One of my goals is to start doing regular podcasts. So far I haven’t found the time to do so, but I think it’s a great addition to a writer’s stable.

Best wishes on it, buddy!

I’m More Than That

From Lacey: “Bill, I went to follow your “alcoholism” blog, but it says in one of the postings that you no longer post to it. Why is that?”

Thanks for asking that, Lacey! I think I stopped writing entries for that blog a couple years ago, and the reason was simple: I did not want to be recognized as “the alcoholism writer,” or that guy who is a recovering alcoholic. I am so much more than that. I have depth. I am not one-layered. My interests span the globe and plumb the depths of the human experience, so I needed a blog which allowed me to do those things. “Artistry with Words” was born, and although its primary focus is writing, it is also about being human. Anyone interested in checking it out can follow this link

I also have a blog about urban farming and I’ll be darned if that too is about living life as seen through the eyes of an urban farmer. You can check that out here

So that’s the reason for the death of that particular blog. Thanks for asking!

I have depth, with many layers!
I have depth, with many layers!

Writing Is Writing Is Writing

I’ve said before there is no chance I could ever write poetry but, in fact, I probably have, at times, with my prose. I’ve also said I don’t have what it takes to write song lyrics but, in fact, I probably have, at times, and again just called it prose.

A writer is a writer is a writer, and you can quote me on that. I belong to a pretty cool club, and the only membership requirement is that you have a love of writing. There are no dues. You do not have to share a current writing with any of us. You just have to have an appreciation for good writing, no matter what you call it.

Here’s a sample by Dan Fogelberg, may he rest in peace...The Reach

It's Maine and it's Autumn
The birches have just begun turning
It's life and it's dying
The lobster men's boats come returning

With the catch of the day in their holds
And the young boys cold and complaining
The fog meets the beaches
And out on the Reach it is raining

It's father and son
It's the way it's been done since the old days
It's hauling by hand ten miles out
From the land where their chow waits

And the days are all lonely and long
And the seas grow so stormy and strong but
The Reach will sing welcome
As homeward they hurry along

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! I hope your holidays are filled with love and special memories. Shoot, I missed out on pumpkin pie. I'm going to have to make one because now I'm craving it.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      10 months ago from Ohio

      First, congratulations on winning two Hubbie awards! I think that's pretty cool! :) Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving and I'm impressed with your self-control. I didn't have seconds, but I did dive in to the Pumpkin Pie... and it was delicious! haha! Anther great mailbag with sound advice. I agree on the traffic to the blog. It's always a two-way street.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, that is very kind of you. It is my hope that "nice" becomes something people can be proud of...I do not believe it is a sign of weakness.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Bill - just want to congratulate you on winning the Hubbie awards. You should not be shocked. I remember going to a high school reunion and seeing how well remembered and how popular one of my old friends was. She had never been one of the cool people or with an in crowds. She had been, and still is, simply a very nice person, never one to talk mean about anyone, always pleasant. Big take away lesson - people like you when you are nice!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mona! I really appreciate your kind words, my friend. I am trying to be more human after years of suppressing it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It was a great idea, Rodric, one I've never heard before.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, John! I appreciate you all here on HP.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That would be hilarious, Nell! I would pay to watch you do that. lol

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      10 months ago from Philippines

      Mr. Bill, I love how you are never afraid to show your human side. Even when annoyed, you are gracious and giving. You graciously used a pseudonym for the person you called Mimi, and you answered her question anyway, because other readers may want to know. You also expressed your emotion. Plus, the Fogelberg song is so beautiful. I loved the video and how you placed the lyrics at the end. Nothing beats a writer who is inspired by every good thing.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Nell, that sounds fun. I think I am going to try acting out scenes with my characters just to do it. Maybe something good will come out of it even if I am not stuck. I am writing the second edition of my first fiction piece so that I can make it more up-to-date for the 2nd book that will come out later. Acting out the characters leads me to believe I will develop them more. I find all sorts of good stuff on Bill's Mailbags!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Congratulations on the two Hubbie awards, Bill. Well deserved again. I can write anywhere that is quiet, in my study, outside under a tree, in the car or a park bench etc if I am waiting on my wife somewhere. A very good mailbag as always.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Hi Bill, I totally agree with you about keepng in character in a book by re reading the the last few chapters. I always have to do that on the one I am writing at the moment. Another thing I do is a(Diana Gabaldon thing) lol! if I get stuck I act it out! and that shows me whats 'in the room, cave, town' etc. my other half finds it so funny, me wandering around the room shouting at an invisible person! but hey! it works!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you liked it, Rajan! He was one of my all-time favorite songwriters.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much,Brian! One of the best decisions I made concerning writing was to become a member of the HP community.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Congratulations on bagging the Hubbie awards, Bill. I love the way you ended this mailbag with a sample of Dan Fogelberg's work. Thank you.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      10 months ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Congratulations, Bill, on your Hubbie Awards.

      About where to write, I've found over the years and decades that the best place to concentrate and focus is relative to circumstances. When I was living with a house full of people, I wrote a lot at fast food joints where I was unlikely to encounter anyone I knew and where the coffee was cheap. In recent years, I wrote at home but got up and got some writing done before dawn and long before my wife did and before the busy-ness of the day began. Now my sleeping and writing quarters are in a tiny "guesthouse" that is as free of distractions as a hermitage. I agree with you -- experiment to see which available writing location option works best these days.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Nithya! Thanks for your kind support.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Solid advice, Marlene!

      Love always

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good interchange, Rodric!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, thanks once again for the question; and I'm happy to see the interchange between you and Marlene. She's a good one to learn from.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Marlene! You are such a wonderful friend. I'm not giving up hope that on day we will meet in person.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      10 months ago from Dubai

      Congratulations on your Hubble awards, three cheers!

      Interesting questions and answers. Writing on my table with a good hot cup of tea works for me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I can't imagine writing in a populated place. I'm afraid my attention span just wouldn't handle that very well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Chitrangada Sharan! Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Zulma! You had me laughing about that poetry workshop. Very diplomatic of you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita and yes, most definitely, poetry deserves a shout out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I've always found you to be supportive of my blog...perhaps add one blogger per week?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, thanks for sharing and for your kind words. As for your blog, it is a blogging community. We should all support each other. Just what I think, anyway.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Linda, for sharing your writing procedure. It's funny how we are all so different regarding where and why. As for the award, I have no clue about HP. I doubt you are alone in being confused.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      10 months ago from USA

      Hi Rodric, I have been doing voiceovers for about five years now and when I started I didn't like the way my voice sounded either. Eventually, like you said, you get use to it. The radio voice is quite marketable for commercials. Put that radio voice with a natural speaking voice (the way you would talk to a friend over a cup of coffee) and you will have a sound that is quite pleasant to hear.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thanks, Marlene. I think that is good information. It took a minute for me to get used to hearing my voice. I did not like the way it sounded at first, but know I am used to it and can enjoy it. I was told I have a radio voice, but I don't know.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      10 months ago from USA

      Oh and in my comment I meant to say, "booming." Rodric, if I may answer your question about a voice and how it is received, let me assure you that there are no bad voices. Every voice has an audience. The application of the voice is where the issue comes in. For example, if you are narrating a book where you are voicing a female child's character and you have a distinguishingly male voice, then that might be difficult to comprehend in the beginning. Still, over time the listener may adjust to it and it will be alright. The best outcome is received when you use your own natural voice, and then adjust the tone and cadence to match the content. I could go on and on, but the gist of it all is to be yourself and your voice will the perfect tool for expressing your content.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      That is good to know Marlene. I have gotten feedback from Bill and others that moving into voicing books is a good way to stretch the talent. I have listened/watched some of Bill's and it kinda made me think it was a good idea to put a voice with the voice in my stories!

      Here is another question for the next mailbag. How do you know if your voice is appealing enough? What if people hear your voice and it turns them off?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      10 months ago from USA

      Congratulations on your Hubbie awards. But for some reason I had a feeling you would win. If we are having such an award, you deserve to win it.

      Being a professional voiceover talent, I want to reach out to Rodric or anyone thinking of doing voiceovers for their writing. I say go for it! There is a wonderful market for audiobooks. And, I know people who won't even read a book anymore. Instead, they go to YouTube to watch and hear the information they want or need. I also like Bill's idea of doing Podcasts. That's a booing trend right now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, Rodric! I love your desire to improve at your craft.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      2013,Rodric? I had no idea that blog had been around that long. lol Seriously,I didn't. I'm going to go back and read a few of them just for the fun of it. Heck, I might learn something from myself. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi,as always, your comments are invaluable to anyone who wants to learn about this business.Thanks for sharing them freely with all of us. I know I speak for all when I say thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thank you as always. I think my awards should be dedicated to all of the people who help make the Mailbag series so successful, you included of course.

      Colder weather heading this way as well. I,for one, am already counting the days till spring. :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      10 months ago from UK

      I am with you on writing in different locations. I marvel at people like JK Rowling, who can sit in a cafe and write best-selling books. I need peace and quiet without the worry of someone looking over my shoulder. Fair point about blog followers too.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      10 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting questions and answers. I enjoyed going through.

      I appreciate your response to Mary’s question. I am also somewhat like this. My writing place is always the same, as I get distracted at other locations.

      Congratulations once again for the well deserved Hubbie awards.

      Thank You and good day to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hardly a lie worth noting, Sean, but thank you again.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sean my friend, thank you so much. I love your last quote....love cannot be forced....truth there, my friend.

      Peace and love always

      bill

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Congratulations on your Hubbies, Bill. While it may come as a surprise to you, it doesn't to me.

      My hat's off to those rare talents who can write poetry. Years ago I made the mistake of attending my writers' group the day they were doing a poetry workshop. I have no talent for poetry as said as much to the lady running the workshop. She very sweetly talked me into it and I went along cause I didn't want to hurt her feelings. I was annoyed at having to do this and it showed in what I wrote. This has become a yearly thing so I don't go to those meetings. It's better that way for all concerned. It wasn't a wasted experience, however. I came away with even more appreciation for those who can do poetry.

      Have a great day, Bill, and well done you for your Thanksgiving restraint. lol

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      10 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      I am so sorry, my brother Bill, but there is a lie in my previous comment! So for the sake of the truth let's write it again:

      My dear brother Bill, though I enjoy every one of your Mailbags, I have written only one comment on this series before, at the milestone of 200 Mailbags - I have written to your other Hubs though - but now I am so glad and proud for you that I want to say a big BRAVO! I am pleased because in this community there is justice and respect by the Hubers! I am proud to see that people here are appreciating someone who is caring and is always willing to help! Your Golden Heart deserves the best because it must be an example that goodness and kindness are admirable!

      Thank you because all these I have read from you have helped me to try more to become a better person, like you are.

      "You cannot force yourself to love, and that's where the value of love is." - Sean Dragon

      Admiration and Gratitude!

      Sean

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      Sorry I forgot. Congratulations on your hubbie awards. You more than deserve this. Perhaps they should have a couple of categories for poetry also. Shouldn't cost them much. What do you think?

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      10 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Before I make a comment, I always try to read one or two before me... I just read that Lori wrote: "Really great Mailbag this week. Every question and your answers were relevant to me ... " Quite literally, those were the words I had composed to start my comments before I read hers... WOW! Must be true. I read the mailbag every week, but usually, as interesting as it is, it does not spark a necessary reply...but, today's did. Very interesting...

      The blog following question reminds me why I only have number of followers I do... Write something interesting, do it consistently, interact with other bloggers. I used to. I don't much, any more. Answer to the questions!! Thanks, Bill, for reminding us of who we are!! ;-)

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      10 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Congrats Bill. Billybuc strikes again:) Well deserved, my friend.

      Really great Mailbag this week. Every question and your answers were relevant to me or something new to consider. I am struggling a bit with writers voice but I have some distractions so that's probably it.

      I could never write in a public place except for the library (which I do sometimes) but you have to be strategic where you sit and go at the right time of day. I have also found it depends on what library you go to. The one in Gig Harbor is a good size but pretty quiet, but I still need to find a corner. There are private rooms you can reserve, but I usually find a table or desk way in the back or on the far side. I'm struggling right now to find a new niche because there's an older man who now goes the same day as me and sits near my usual spot and not to be gross or anything, but he has a serious phlegm problem. So I have found another end of the library. The only reason I go there is because on a certain day of the week I have a lot of time to kill between activities in town. As you know my area, you know going home and coming back to GH is a lot of waste in gas. That's the only time I write in public. I love libraries and the smell of books. I have vowed though, never, ever use a library computer without gloves, masks, and a vat of hand sanitizer. I am so grateful for my cheap little laptop. But I would agree, there's no place like home to write.

      Those lyrics by fogleberg are absolutely beautiful and I thank you for sharing.

      PS Thanks Bill for supporting my new blog.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on your Hubbie Awards, Bill! I'm a bit confused, though. The HubPages newsletter said that your second award was for being the most trusted hubber, not the most helpful one.

      With regards to finding places to write, I often work in my garden, even on a cold day. I love being surrounded by plants as I write. I go to a coffee shop when I have a particularly difficult problem to solve in relation to my writing. For some reason, I find the visit comforting as well as helpful.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! It's nice to be recognized by my peers.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Kristen!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You always bring a smile to my face, Eric,and for that I thank you! Peace and love always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Mary, and yes, I can see that you have been reading Artistry. If I had a basic understanding of technology I might diagnose the problem but, alas, I have none. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I come from a long line of storytellers, so that helps greatly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Eman!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate your kindness, Dora. Always have, always will.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ain't that the truth about food, Manatita! I can look at a chocolate cake and gain pounds. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, as one who has fallen off several wagons hard, I understand. lol Of course it was worth it...time is never wasted when writing. :) Happy Monday to you, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, thank you! I did notice that about the loudest voice award. What a joke it all is. I wish HP would take their writers seriously.

      But I'm still very happy to be here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, I remember that disagreement. I'm sure my boneheadness played a part in it. lol I like to think I've grown wiser with time. Be that as it may, I appreciate you and would love it if one day we could sit over coffee and discuss life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! For whatever reason, I am just now starting to really appreciate song lyrics. There sure are some good ones out there.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy, and thank you for purchasing Tobias...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Pamela. It's just part of my nature to think I don't deserve awards. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Venkatachari M. I think my awards should be shared with all of you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill, and yes, I think we all have our comfort zones for writing.

      Stay safe and warm this week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know what you are saying, Shannon. I was so private for years, but for me it was dangerous. To stay sober I have to allow people to know the real me.

      Thanks for the kind words about the awards. :)

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Heidi, I am going to start podcasting soon. I hope to get the hang of using the software I want to make come recordings. I will then see about doing live casts and vlogging.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thanks for answering my question Bill. I am working on the quality. It irks me, but I have to go back and redo the ones I did before because I am better at it now. I needed to learn how to use audacity. I have the hang of it now. I am reading your blog, ARTISTRY WITH WORDS. I hear the familiar voice of yours in your writing, but starting in the 2013 posts I hear a little something else too! I like it. Je ne sais quoi, but I like it.

      I suggest anyone who had the time to read the older blogs. They have great information in them besides the information we get here. I just finished an article I would not normally write because of the challenge you gave during 25th of April 2013 post, Find Your Writing Comfort Level and Then Expand It. It was a change for me, but I think I nailed it.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      10 months ago from Chicago Area

      Wow, a cornucopia of post-Thanksgiving topics today!

      Re: Writing Locations. I cannot do anything creative at home, period. Gotta go to a coffee/restaurant haunt of some sort. Libraries smell bad to me (no, seriously, it's a thing... think it's my allergies). This has been going on for years now. However, I can do intense detail-oriented work (like editing) for hours on end at home. Go figure.

      Re: The Blog Slog. True, you have to engage and promote to get a following. I'm guessing "Mimi" (whoever that is) has expectations beyond what is possible, too. The blogosphere is now intensely competitive. Add to that the fact that people are less likely these days to sign up for email blog updates due to a variety of trends (GDPR, privacy, info overload, etc.). Sorry, Mimi, this blog thing doesn't sound like it's for you.

      Re: Audio Articles. Well, it's good to record yourself reading articles as practice, especially if you see audio books in your future. Uploading to YouTube? Well, it doesn't hurt, I guess. But why not also (or alternatively) consider a podcast to start building a following that would be likely buyers of audio books? It's not that much of a leap for those listeners.

      Re: More Than That. I had a similar situation with my promotional products blog years ago. When I eventually closed that portion of my business, I no longer wanted to be just the promo pro. While I've pretty much transitioned away from it, I wish I would have been less tied to the topic. It's taken a long time to rebuild an audience.

      Congrats on your Hubbie awards! Well deserved, as always. Have a great week!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, thanks for the follow on my blogs. You're a great hubber friend.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hello Bill - Manners, manners, manners. Congratulations on the Hubby awards.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      10 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, congratulations on those awards. It comes as no surprise to me because this mailbag alone is an award-winning feature. You deserve them!

      Years ago during my radio days, one announcer's mother was a reader for Books for the Blind. That organization set her up with her own portable equipment. Whenever she was in town visiting her son, she would come into the station and read with our professional equipment on weekends when we weren't so busy. I thought that was neat!

      Hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was nice, but now brrrr, my teeth are chattering. Have a great week, my friend.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      10 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear brother Bill, though I enjoy every one of your Mailbags, I have never before written a comment on this series - I have written to your other Hubs though - but now I am so glad and proud of you that I want to say a big BRAVO! I am pleased because in this community there is justice and respect by the Hubers! I am proud to see that people here are appreciating someone who is caring and is always willing to help! Your Golden Heart deserves the best because it must be an example that goodness and kindness are admirable!

      Thank you because all these I have read from you have helped me to try more to become a better person like you.

      "You cannot force yourself to love, and that's where the value of love is." - Sean Dragon

      Admiration and Gratitude!

      Sean

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      The Stray Dog my friend. My pro niche is painting outside of the lines. Personal/human interest within technical writing. (law crap) I pull the danged things back because they are a little too much emotion emoting.

      I know your peoples want you to write a bit more special than ordinary.

      Long way around; How much self editing do you do first. I hate "bidding" against myself.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      10 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Once again, congratulations on your awards, they are well deserved.

      Regarding your blog, "Artistry with Words". I hope in your backend stats you can see that I read it. For some reason when I try to comment on it, my son's Wordpress avatar shows up. Technology, you've got to laugh about it.

      Regarding Rodric's reading of his articles. What a great idea. I personally love listening to audio books. When I am designing on the computer or cooking, it gives me a chance to listen to larger segments than I would normally read in an evening. Some readers are better than others and some even mispronounce words!

      Go for it Rodric.

      Bill, have a wonderful week.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Congratulations Bill. You certainly earned that. You may only write this series but this continues to help me and I am sure many others here. I started following your blog. You sure have a way of bringing the lesson in, be it in writing or in life.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      10 months ago from Egypt

      A very helpful article as usual. Thank you Mr.Holland.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, Congratulations on winning those awards. I'm on of those who think that you make a huge positive difference on this site. The mailbags by themselves deserve recognition. Thanks for caring and sharing week after week.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      I like your approach to Mimi. Cool! I'm always for anything that awakens conscience.

      Glad that you were frugal with food. We have to watch ourselves these 'younger'days. Haha

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! And congratulations to your well-deserved hubbie awards! We all really appreciate you and your advice so I'm glad that this is one small way you can be recognized.

      I fell off the nanowrimo wagon hard....and haven't recovered. BUT, I did start off well and I'm not gonna beat myself up too much. I think it was still worth it. Glad you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Moving on to the next calorie-laden holiday....

      Have a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Donna! It's always nice having a new Mailbag member. I look forward to reading your first piece and getting to know you better.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Go be a grandmother, Ann! Thanks for taking the time to visit. Happy Monday to you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you McKenna...that was beautiful and I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A first-time question, Mike, and a good one. I'll tackle it next week. Thanks for the kind words about Artistry with Words....I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Kristen!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      10 months ago from Central Florida

      Congratulations on your two wins, Bill. Both are well deserved. Did you notice they changed the name of the loudest voice in the forums? Guess a lot of people complained.

      I'm glad you brought "Mimi" to our attention. Hopefully she'll read your answer and get the hint.

      I didn't know you have a separate urban farming blog. I'll be sure to check it out!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Bill. I appreciate it and follow yours back. If anyone wants to follow my blogs, please feel free. I'll do the same too. I hope to be more active with my writing blog if I have more news to share. I'm in limbo right now, waiting to hear from agents on 2 mss. http://kristensbookjungle.blogspot.com/ and https://kristenswritingendeavors.wordpress.com/

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      10 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Now onward we march to Christmas and 2019." - Thay's cool. I'm kinda glad 2018 is over and I will not mention why lol

      "Anyway, for those of you who voted for me, thank you so very much." - Sorry, I did not vote for You. I did not vote for anyone. I generally vote for mayor, premier, prime minister and things of that nature. I never voted for anything on Hub-pages. I don;t even know where to vote, or what there is to vote for.

      "Clearly you don't suffer with that but any thoughts on writing in different locations?" - I've been known for renting hotel rooms and going up to cottages in the middle of the forest for long pieces of writing that require research and a lot of quiet time.

      "Follow the blogs of other people. Show a genuine interest in the works of other writers. The blogging community is just that, a community, and it is a two-way street. It does not take long to spot those who are only in it for themselves." - People are people (did You ever listen to Depeche Mode: "People are people"?) and so, from some people I read a lot of pieces of writing and they never stop by to even read one article of mine. Do I hold it against them? Never. Do I stop reading their work. No. I am not the tic for tac type of person.

      I feel You though: " I’ve never been a big fan of one-way streets."

      "I did not want to be recognized as “the alcoholism writer,” or that guy who is a recovering alcoholic." - I'll be honest here. We had a little disagreement years ago over alcohol. Or, maybe I had a disagreement. Either way, I was left with the impression then of "that guy who is a recovering alcoholic." I've gotten over it though. It was just my perception that needed a little alteration.

      "I am so much more than that. I have depth. I am not one-layered." - I think we all are multi-layered.

      I don't do poetry but good luck to those who do! I stand aside and look, as I do when I am at a museum.

      Thank You for your writing and all the best! Have a fabulous week ahead!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      10 months ago from USA

      Congratulations again on your well-earned Hubbie awards!

      This was packed with good stuff, Bill. Your message to Mimi was so appropriate. One needs to give to get as time is not unlimited. So many new Hubbers especially assume it’s a one way street. I liked the music poetry. I’ve examined lots of lyrics and some of them are indeed pure poetry.

    • uniquely donnamay profile image

      Donna May 

      10 months ago from salt lake city

      That is cool, that you can win rewards on here! Being recognized by doing what you love to do is a reward in it self. Will power on Thanksgiving, what is will power again? Mmm all the pie and sweet potato, ya, I think i had 2 helpings as well. I love when they give you food to take home. I'm happy your Thanksgiving was blessed, I got blessed by enjoying it with a borrowed family. All my family is in NY, I am however in UT. I'm excited to read more of your work on here. I'm presently waiting for my 1st piece to pass inspection, so it can be seen. May your day be pleasant.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      You deserved those awards and you did get my vote for most helpful. Your Resurrecting Tobias book got delivered yesterday evening and after I finish the current book that I am reading it will be next on my list. As to that person who never comments on your posts but always wants advice from you...you are wise to put your time and effort into those who do reciprocate. Time is precious and we must all be wise as to how we spend it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I hear we have about a four hour window starting at eleven. I plan on using that window to feed chickens before the next storm blows in. :( Thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kristen...if you get a chance, email those blog addresses to me. I'll be happy to follow you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Rinita...and that would be no fun at all. Thank you!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I think you deserve the Hubbie awards due to your consistency and this weekly very helpful post, not to mention you have been around for a while. So, congrats!

      I loved the different issues you covered today, and I think your advice is excellent. Have a great week!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      This is a wonderful mailbag this time. You shared some nice things here. And, I was much glad when I saw the Hubbie Awards list last week. You deserved both those cool awards.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      10 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Congratulations on the Hubble Awards, very well deserved. Some good questions this week for the mailbag. The one about writing in different locations really hit home with me. I can only write in one or two places, my comfort zones I guess. Funny how that works, but I imagine this is the case for most writers? Have a great week.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      10 months ago from Texas

      Oh, come now. You do help hubbers and quite possibly non-hubbers with this series of yours on a weekly basis. Easy to see why you won "most helpful."

      Wow, Bill. I don't think I've ever seen you speak your mind quite like that, but you're right. The more we follow others with interest, the more the favor is returned. To me, it's a bit of a double-edged sword, though, because I like to really know people well that I feel connected to (also a two way street). It all just takes so much time. I'm also more of an introvert, which is probably why I prefer in depth conversation, at least in written communication. But I digress. My point is that building a blog or any sort of fan-based "business" to the point of having too many people to keep up with requires commitment and determination. And to a degree, it will always requires some sort if personal interaction and effort beyond just the words.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      10 months ago from SW England

      Brilliant! As always. And I do so love that last piece of verse.

      Away with the kids at the moment (or is that the fairies?!).

      Have a mighty mellow Monday, bill.

      Ann

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      10 months ago

      Bill, the two Hubbie awards are a thank you for the time, patience, and inspiration you provide each week. Your Monday morning articles make this feel like a community of writers when other days it often doesn't feel that way. I love what you have to say about not wanting to be pigeon-holed as an author who writes about alcoholism. We limit ourselves so much (and our interactions with others) when we cling too tightly to labels: liberal, conservative, vegan, Catholic, pro-gun, pro-choice. I never want someone's labels to prevent me from getting to know them. Congratulations, Bill!

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