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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 237

Updated on December 31, 2018

Happy New Year

I’m not sure, exactly, why I feel this way, but New Years has always seemed like a silly holiday to me. Back in my drinking days, it was just an excuse to drink and watch tons of football, as if I really needed an excuse for those two activities. Now that I don’t drink, and I’ve severely limited my consumption of football, this holiday, especially when it falls in the middle of the week, just messes up my work schedule and nothing more.

Still, people seem to love it. They make their resolutions (which they promptly break within weeks), they reflect back with teary-eyed nostalgia on “better times,” and they vow to do better in the coming months.

All a bit silly to me, but that’s just me.

So I will wish you a brilliant, love-filled Happy New Year. May this coming year be everything you want it to be. May you lose those nagging twenty pounds, may you be the man you’ve always wanted to be, may your business be wildly successful, and may you finally fit into that old pair of jeans from college.

And may you live each day in peace and love!

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

Honest Appraisal

From Mr. Happy: “There's a question: How does one know if they're a "horrible writer"?”

It’s a fascinating question, Mr. Happy. It really is. For the longest time I surmised that some people who self-publish “crap” just didn’t care about quality. The era of digital books and self-publishing have made it possible for anyone to publish a book, which is a nice thing for sure. But it also opens the doors for some seriously bad books to flood the marketplace because, hey, on Amazon and Kindle, no editing is required. The old accounting phrase “garbage in, garbage out” applies today in self-publishing . . . and online with blogs and even on lofty sites like HP.

But your question raises an interesting point: what if bad writers don’t know they are bad writers? What if they have never had access to a good editor, or even a friend or relative who will be brutally honest with them about their writing? How would they know? And some people don’t want a brutally honest appraisal of their work, so they continue to blithely self-publish, flooding the literary world with more and more blah, blah, and more blah.

And maybe that’s okay. If writing is a means of expression for them, if it is a means of sharing emotions for them, then who really cares if they are horrible writers or not?

I had an uncle once, Uncle Mike, who came back from World War 2 “shell-shocked.” We now call it PSTD, but shell-shocked was the euphemism back in the late 40’s. Anyway, he came home from the war and appeared normal to all, but he soon began drinking heavily and making a mess of his life. The thing was, though, he didn’t know there was anything wrong with himself. He got up every morning unaware that he was deeply affected by warfare, and it took a family intervention to get him the help he needed.

I think, for some writers, without that intervention, it will always be garbage in, garbage out, and a blissful unawareness of reality.

Building a Reader Base

From Chitraganda Sharan: “My question for the next mailbag is, What are some of the ideas, to build a reader base, other than the social media groups?”

I wasn’t sure if you meant an online reader base, Sharan, or a reader base for published books. I’m going to assume you meant online since you are a writer for HP.

There are so many ways to answer this question. Building a reader base takes time. It takes determination. It takes a good product. It takes guerilla marketing. It takes book signings and organization-joining and continued writing and a refusal to quit. Quite frankly, this question requires a book to answer.

My specific answer would be this: work on your writing. Give it a unique voice, or at the very least give it a unique approach to topics. Make it interesting. Interesting sells. People will return over and over again if they like your product and message.

And after you have an interesting product you need to become an active member of the online community. You need to follow the blogs of others religiously. You need to join writers’ clubs and groups. You need to play the online game, become good at the online game, and then conquer the online game.

But it all takes time and it all takes determination!

Let me put it another way: it has taken me eight years to reach the point where people are looking forward to, and asking about, my new novel.

KINDLE

From Mary: “Thanks for answering my question. I will be interested to see your update in February about the KDP changes. I am still unclear, are books only offered on Kindle and not as a paperback or hard copy? Makes it difficult on coloring books.”

I should have been more specific with my original answer, Mary. No, the elimination of CreateSpace in no way affects the way you can self-publish with KDP. You can still publish in paperback, hard copy, or digital. Nothing has changed on that front. I suspect all of this happened as a corporate way to trim employee fat and save money, but the services offered have not changed.

CreateSpace of KDP Select...same process!
CreateSpace of KDP Select...same process!

Improving Travel Articles

From Patricia: “Thank you for your comment, Bill. It seems that behind every building there lies a story. I would be grateful for any advice you might have on how I can improve my articles.”

This was an interesting question because I actually think Patricia’s articles are quite good and her blog quite interesting. I am impressed by your desire, Patricia, to improve an already good product.

Travel writing is a tough gig, in my opinion, because there are so many travel writers online. Having said that, there are only two ways I know of to make your writing stand out from the crowd: either develop a unique style of writing, or pinpoint a specific approach to travel writing which is not currently being done. Both approaches will take time and effort.

I’ve actually written about this before. In an earlier article I talked about describing things never described before, or becoming an expert on one specific location. Instead of writing about Ireland, concentrate on one particular region of Ireland. Instead of writing about travels in Europe, write about unique B&Bs in Europe, or unique pubs in Europe. Narrow the scope and become an expert at it. Yes, you are shrinking the reading pool by doing so, but you will eventually dominate that shrunken pool, so it will even out over the long run.

I hope that helps, and good luck! I think success is out there, but it will take a commitment to change to make it happen.

Writing good travel articles requires skill and a unique approach.
Writing good travel articles requires skill and a unique approach.

And so We Say Hello to 2019

Best of luck with those resolutions. I won’t be making any, which is my norm. My only goal is the same goal I have in July or November, April or August: do all things in love and peace. That is what I wish for you, a loving and peaceful 2019.

May the wind always be at your back in 2019!

If you have any questions for the Mailbag, you can either leave them in the comment section, or email me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's an interesting question, Lawrence, especially since you have already published two novels. I'm not sure that apprehension ever goes away...but I will tackle your question, in depth, on Monday. Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I'd agree with you about people not realising there are problems with their writing until someone is totally honest with them. Then again, I also think that for many of us, especially those of 'Anglo Saxon' extraction have a problem with compliments in that we just don't fully believe them!

      I'm at the stage where my latest novel is almost finished in the first draft, and I'm wary of getting any further in case others don't like the story! I know I will finish and publish, but the struggle is there inside, wondering if it really will be 'good enough'.

      As for new year resolutions, I've decided that mine, at least in regard to writing will be a simple one, "Build a more coherent marketing side to my writing career"

      Two novels on Amazon, no marketing at all, yet still a few sales, maybe it's time for me to get serious?

      My question though is how do you deal with that 'fear for the new baby' that the new novel is?

      I know I'm a little late for the new year, but this is my overdue Christmas holiday :-)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so too,Mary! Happy New Year to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo, and Happy New Year to you. Let's hope 2019 is a banner year for us all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Devika. Thank you very much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You wait no longer, Rodric! The Mail has arrived!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! You do the same,my friend!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I had a wonderful New Year celebration, more spiritual this time. It was a blessed one, too. Nothing was planned but the day became full and fun. I hope this is the precursor to my 2019. Thank you again for sharing your wise advice.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      5 months ago from Tennessee

      Wonderful discussions here, Bill. What a great way to start my new day, new week and renewed efforts here on Hub Pages after a short hiatus working on other projects.

      Keep them coming. You inspire us all.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Another educational hub! Always useful and informative for all writers.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      5 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I look forward to the next Mailbag. I have been in a writer's funk since posting my last article. I know it is not writer's block because I have much to write about, but it is a funk where I cannot read much and write even less. Fighting through it is the best I can do now. I look forward to another year of mailbags also.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Educational as ever! Have a wonderful New Year, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Alyssa! Happy New Year to you; enjoy the weekend. I hope the winter has been gentle for you so far.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 months ago from Ohio

      Great advice! Happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Take that as a huge win, Zulma! Way to go, my friend. I'm proud of you.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 months ago from United Kingdom

      In an effort to move towards healthier living, I've lost 20 lbs to date and can fit into my jeans from 2 years ago. They may not be jeans from college but I'll take it as a win and run with it.

      Enjoy your day, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Heidi, and good luck battling the flu. Thanks for the opinion on building a readership. I'm always surprised by people who think this happens quickly. I've been at it for eight years and I've only scratched the surface.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 months ago from Chicago Area

      Late start to the first Mailbag of the year! Oh well... Flu going on at our house. Ugh.

      Re: Honest Appraisal. We can be our own worst critics and our own biggest cheerleaders. It's so hard to be honest with ourselves in the middle of those two extremes.

      Getting private feedback from trusted (and capable) friends or writing professionals is one of the ways to tell whether you're "good enough" before the market tells you.

      Re: Building Readership and Travel Articles. Both issues are only solved with persistence, patience, purpose and service to a specific audience. You need to know your market, not just your field of expertise.

      Well, that's about it. Looking forward to another year of the Mailbag. Thanks so much for all you do and Happy 2019!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, thank you for your honesty. Brutal at times, but I do appreciate the brutal truth. No, I don't have all the answers, but I do have observations, and I'll share those with you on Monday. Until then, peace to you and your family, and Happy New Year to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jason, and Happy New Year to you. Yes, a nice approach is definitely the way to go.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dream On...thank you for your friendship...your support....and just for being a good human being.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda, and I wish the same for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is truly the answer, Sean. Blessings to you always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela, and Happy New Year to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, thank you and Happy New Year. Yes, that is my hope and wish for all of us. We have to find a way to live in harmony.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy New Year to you,Chitrangada Sharan....thank you always!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      5 months ago

      A wonderful 2019 it will be. I can feel it my bones. Oops, maybe that is the arthritis talking. Thank you for another mailbag. The mail is something we know will come rain or shine. Your mailbag is like a fine wine. With age, it's always great. It is even better with the steak I just ate.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I hope you are enjoying the start of the new year and that you reach your goals for 2019, Bill.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      5 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      We have only a moment to live, let us fill it with Love!

      My Love embraces you my brother, you and all your readers!

      Sean

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      5 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Happy 2019! We poured the bubbly mango cider in our home and spent a minute celebrating before the sadness set in that leaving 2018 meant I was leaving Mother's last year of life and starting another without her. Since that realization, I am in limbo emotionally about the new year.

      I accept your blessing, though of the wind being at my back. It still blows cold, but at least not in my face.

      What you wrote about writers not knowing if they were good or not due to the blinders of life compared to PTSD of your uncle was a brilliant comparison. Full disclosure, I feel depressed most of the time because of my growing handicaps due to my health. The only thing that I have left is my writing and the depression makes it less enjoyable at times. Other times I on almost manic with the writing and publish tons of hubs out of desperation to matter.

      Admitting that I have a challenge due to the mental illness of depression is hard for my pride, but good for my spirit. Admitting that some of my writing may be the result of a manic period is also a hard pill to swallow, pun intended since I hate having to swallow pills to help even out my depressive moods.

      I reveal all that to say this, sometimes I think that what I wrote is a masterpiece and it is reality's balm when someone burst the bubble to let me know that my masterpiece is just a piece.

      However, seeking approval of others, positive regard from those not in my everyday life brings satisfaction on a level that is downright euphoric!

      Famous and renowned writers suffered from mental illness giving them the muse to write some of the most disturbing works. My only issue is depression can become so debilitating that it can cramp a writer's ability to promote the work!

      You, through the story of your uncle, have let me know why my book has no sales. It might not be good. Also, it is not being promoted as you suggested to me in the past to do when I first revealed. As soon as I made a goal to get in touch with a book store to do a signing along with some local adverts, I became ill physically followed by a few months of depression due to the illness.

      I know you don't have all the answers, but I will ask anyway because I think you could point me in the right direction if you cannot answer yourself: How can I use my knowledge of mental illness to support my writing? Did not Ernest Hemingway use his trials with depression to produce art?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy New Year, Ann! So nice to hear from you as we ring in a new year. I hope your new year is filled with wonder and love.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And heck, Manatita, it is nice to plan on 2020 as well, but for today I'll just marvel at the wonders of this first day in 2019. We did, indeed, make it my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John and Happy New Year to you. I hope your family has a fantastic 2019.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Shannon! Our new dog Maggie has decided her favorite sleeping spot is across my legs. I am literally pinned to the bed. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Flourish! It's a tough task to tell someone, honestly, that they are lacking in skills. I have learned that the hard way.

      Happy New Year to you, and thank you for being my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill, and Happy New Year to you. Thank you for your friendship.

    • manunulat profile image

      Jason M Quinapondan 

      5 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Happy New Year Bill!!!

      Yeah, there are really people who aren't much aware of themselves. And I agree with you, it needs family intervention or even a friend. And it should not be brutally done. I know there would be nice approach on doing it. And only the ones who know the person the best suitable way.

      Happy Holidays!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks for your good answers to some heard questions. Hope you and Bev have a wonderul 2019. Happy New Year!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All I know, MizB, is I feel 70. lol Happy New Year my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy New Year Melissa! We were in bed by 10:30. lol So glad to call you a friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Catherine! Happy New Year to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I truly appreciate that, Liz! Thank you and Happy New Year to you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Happy New Year to you and Bev "And may you live each day in peace and love!" I liked your sentence near the top and also at the bottom of this mailbag: "That is what I wish for you, a loving and peaceful 2019." We can all use more love and peace in this world of ours! Thanks for another interesting mailbag.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A Very Happy New Year to you and good to read another installment of this wonderful series, on this 1st day of 2019.

      Thanks for answering my question, at length. I agree with all your points.

      Thank you once again.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 months ago from SW England

      Some different and challenging questions this week, bill; all expertly tackled as usual of course!

      Happy New Year to you and yours; I hope 2019 is kind to you.

      Ann

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 months ago from london

      2019!!! We have made it Bro. Food for the awakened!! Ha ha. Keep up the great work! Peace!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, wonderful questions and answers again. I never make New Year's Resolutions, well maybe I used to once but they never work out so I have long since ceased that practice. Happy New year to you and I love the Fogleberg song "Same Old Lang Syne"

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 months ago from Texas

      Oh. I totally understand that sentiment. Don't know why I read it with a slight sense of nostalgia or melancholy. Well, my work day isn't interrupted tomorrow, but my sleeping schedule sure is tonight. Last year people popped off fire crackers and loud music late into the night. Now that I am in city limits there is none of that. However, there's a big German Shepard who took over my spot on the bed when I got up for a minute. It's officially 2019 and it is just another day by most standards. Have a good one.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 months ago from USA

      Regarding Mr. Happy, people often do not truly want an honest appraisal but actually a favorable one, and they have a very poor ability to accurately reflect on their own skill level. They need to write for their own reasons (love, money, to share a story, to grow) until someone or several someones tell them they need to do better.

      May you have the best year yet in 2019, filled with joy, health and all the success your heart can handle, my friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Happy New Year to you. I’m not much for celebrating or staying up, just another day to me. Always interested in your take on travel writing so I found that question particularly interesting. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2019.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 months ago from Beautiful South

      Well, Bill, I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but New Years is just another year to make me older. Funny how it didn't seem that way 40 years ago. "They" say that 60 is the new 40. "They" also say that the earth has sped up and a 24 hour day is now complete in 18 hours. Do both figures and the answer is 2/3. So if you are 60 today and have gone through all those 18 hour-day rotations, aren't you really only 40? Oh well, I'll leave you to riddle out those thoughts if you are interested, which you probably aren't. Another year of mailbags coming up, I hope. Happy New Year to you and Bev. Love y'all.

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      Melissa Propp 

      5 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! And Happy New Year! We don't drink or watch football either, but we will try to stay awake till midnight...lol. I can't believe it will be 2019 tomorrow! The years just go by faster and faster. I am wishing you continued good health, prosperity, and creativity!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      5 months ago from Los Angeles

      Happy New Year, Bill! Best wishes to you and yours.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      Happy New Year, Bill. Thanks for all your advice. Your articles are like reading a relevant and helpful manual òn the art of writing. Each week, we all benefit greatly from the time you spend addressing your mailbag.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Shaloo! Happy New Year to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Nell. Happy New Year to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, when I quit drinking my socializing went out the window. Oh well, that's the way the pickle squirts. I still manage to enjoy life, so there you go.

      Happy New Year my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, that's not a bad way at all to spend New Year's Eve...rather extravagant if you ask me. :) Happy New Years to you and your husband.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! I'm afraid my hands are always dirty, as are my jeans and shirts and....lol

      Happy New Year dear friend!

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary,and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bed at 10:30 for me, Linda, but somewhere it will be 2019, as you say, so it's all good.

      Happy New Year to you! Thank you for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Verlie, it is a fascinating question for sure. Thanks for your thoughts and yes, it does take courage to forge ahead knowing we may never know.

      Happy New Year my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Mike, and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not pessimistic at all, Shannon. It's just that I reflect daily on my life and where I am headed. One day looks the same to me, and since I'm always aware of the importance of each day, I have no need for a special day to do so. :) We shall see about the tiny home and when it happens. Decisions have to be made which are out of our control,so we wait and see.

      Happy New Year my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria! Happy New Year dear friend.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! Happy New Year to you and that beautiful family of yours.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 months ago from India

      As the New Year approaches us with hopes anew, here is to wishing you and your family a wonderful year ahead.

      Happy new year 2019.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 months ago from England

      Thanks for all your answers and advice this year Bill, its been a great help. Happy New Year.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      5 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for the answer. It's tough with knowing how bad one is with their writing. If we have a fragile ego, or if we do not have someone who's opinion we trust, who can give us constructive criticism, then we can keep writing badly our whole life.

      Well, I gotta run out now before the streets get all crazy with the "New Year" partiers lol I don't know about You, but when I quite drinking that Fire Water four years ago, my social life Basically took a nose dive. Never recovered from it either so, I'm gonna take it easy today and I'll be lucky if I'll be awake at midnight lol

      You have yourself a good day and all the very best for the year to come. Cheers!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      5 months ago

      I'm with you, billy. Even when I was a kid, New Year's Eve always seemed like a hyped up excuse to drink a lot( I didn't drink) and stay up late. I can't do that either. I also don't make New Year's resolutions. But, having said that, I will celebrate the New Year with my husband and some lobster tails! Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 months ago from Central Florida

      Happy New Year to you and Bev, Bill. May your success reach new levels and your hands get dirty from the fruits of your urban farming labors.

      Love,

      Sha

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for that clarification.

      I am glad to see the end of this year and hope 2019 will be better.

      As for resolutions, I tend to make them on my birthday which is the start of my new year.

      Happy New Year to you and Bev and thank you for all the support during the past year.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, my only resolution is to make no resolutions (and I tossed out those jeans two children ago). We are not the party-hearty types. We will have our once-a-year prime rib, watch TV to catch a glimpse of New Year as it circles the globe, and probably be in bed by 10 p.m., knowing that it is already 2019 somewhere else.

      My love to you and Bev and Maggie.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, How does one know if they are a horrible writer? Now that's a good question to end the year! I'm tempted to turn that around and ask: How does one know if they are good writer?

      It's all so relative. For me the obvious answer is another question. Does it, will it stand the test of time? Unfortunately, most writers won't be around to know the answer to that.

      It takes courage to forge ahead with writing knowing you may never really know.

      Meanwhile, the feedback from peers that comes with online writing is invaluable.

      I don't know if I answered Mr. Happy's question, but I'm glad he asked it.

      Happy New Year Bill! Thanks for all you do!

      PS: I'm working on some questions for next year's mailbag.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Wishing you and Bev a Happy New Year. Resolutions be damned. You have produced another successful year of the Mailbag and many other writing contributions.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 months ago from Texas

      Hmmmm.....I am inclined to say that you sound a little pessimistic about New Year as a holiday. But then again, I never make any resolutions or do much to celebrate either. I guess, for me, as I get older this time of year has become a time to reflect not on "better times" but on where I've been versus where I want to go and where I'm actually headed. New beginnings in so many possible ways,depending on where I need the fresh start. I had one last score to settle with myself this year and that was settled weeks ago. Now I just look forward to living life and seeing how this next year will unfold.

      So in that regard, I wish you and Bev a very Happy New Year! Are you still planning on moving to a tiny house this year?

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Happy, peaceful, loving 2019 to you and Bev, dear Bill.

      Love you and your philosophy,

      Maria

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I am with you and to me, New Year's is just another day. My kids get excited as they love to celebrate any and all holidays. So, I truly play it up for their sakes I suppose right now. But still, we will be home enjoying the evening as a family. That said, just wanted to stop in to wish you a very wonderful New Year and only the best that 2019 has to offer for you and yours! Thanks Bill for being you always :)

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