ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 241

Updated on January 28, 2019

Time Flies

January is just about in the books, which doesn’t seem possible but there you go.

Does time fly?

I remember, as a freshman in college, ruminating about that statement . . . time flies . . . with my dorm roommate one night when we had far too much time on our hands. We decided to try an experiment, so we unscrewed the hall clock from the wall, took it up to the top floor of the dorm, and tossed it out the window.

It did not fly!

And no, we were not drunk! Lol

I used to do all manner of ridiculous things in a sober state. Years later I did all manner of ridiculous things in a drunken state.

I’m sure there’s a lesson about life in there somewhere.

Shall we get started? This is a very small Mailbag this week, so I won’t keep you long.

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

Different Writing Approach

From MizB: “Bill, thanks for attempting to answer my question. I’m wondering if new technologies, products and media call for a different approach. To a certain extent, copy is copy, but I doubt that the copy I wrote forty years ago for Yellow Cab would fly in today Uber market. Several times I was called on the carpet for getting too “out there” or “just a little too creative” with my copy, which would seem very bland in today’s market. (In my defense, in two of those instances, the advertisers liked the ads so well that they each ordered an extra run.) Anyway, I’m specifically talking about the writing techniques. I figure it would be kind of like getting back on a bicycle, but it would be going from a balloon tire to a sleek multi-speed racer.”

See, MIzB, here’s the thing according to Bill: clever, good, quality writing will never go out of style. A
Ad copy which makes us laugh, cry, think, cringe, react in some way emotionally, that is timeless, or so it seems to me. I remember an old ad, and this must be forty or fifty years ago, of two kids, maybe seven or eight, sitting at a table wondering if they should try a food their mother put down in front of them. The one kid says: “Let’s let Mikey try it; he’ll eat anything!” I laughed when that commercial came out, and today I still laugh at clever commercials using little kids. Crisp, clean, clever copy we can relate to will never go out of style in my humble opinion.

Three different writing approaches.
Three different writing approaches.

Blogging Value

From Val: “Bill, do you think there is a value in having a blog and if so, what is that value? I’m trying to decide if it is worth it for me to do.”

Well, Val, consider this: people blog for a variety of reasons, including to express themselves, to make money, to express opinions, to promote something, to help people, to establish themselves as experts in a field, or to just have fun connecting with others. Do any of those reasons relate to you? If so then yes, you should blog and yes, there is value in it.

Of course, value means different things to different people. If you want to blog to make money, it is not that easy, especially if you need to make a good supplemental income. If you want to blog to express yourself, and in so doing you find value, then by all means get started.

I have two blogs and I enjoy writing in them. I don’t sell a thing in them. I don’t have them monetized with ads. I just write about writing and about urban farming, and I meet others who are interested in those things. The chance to communicate with people around the world is all the value I need.

Friending on Hp

From Louise: “Bill, I’m fairly new to HP, but I don’t understand why people “follow” me but never comment or reach out in any tangible way. What is their point in following me if they do not want to really connect?”

Louise, I have no clue! This is one of those things that has bugged the hell out of me for seven years on HP. I had it happen three times last week, three new followers and then nothing.

I have no clue! Does HP give out little Award buttons to people for following other people? If so I missed that memo. Is there a way to make some money by being impersonal? Sign me up! LOL

Let’s just leave it at that, Louise. I have no clue and I think it is a waste of their time and mine.

I like friends I can hang out with and spend time with.
I like friends I can hang out with and spend time with.

Forums and Politics

From Richard: “Bill, I’ve noticed that you stay away from forums and you never really engage in political debates or discourse. Why is that?”

Richard, I signed up with HP seven years ago to be a part of a writing community. I did not sign up to become a soapbox political ranter. I will not become a better writer by debating politics with someone.

Besides, seriously, what is the point of debating politics on HP? It solves nothing. People with strong opinions are not going to change those opinions because of arguments stated in an HP forum. Our leaders in Washington D.C. are not going to change policy because someone on HP disagrees with them.

Bottom line is this: I’m seventy years old and my days are numbered. I don’t want to waste my remaining time on earth arguing with someone about matters we cannot directly affect. I work for change in my community. I foster change in the way I treat people. I do not believe calling people names on a forum promotes positive change, but maybe I’m wrong.

I doubt it, though!

Time Flies

Maybe if that wall clock had been made of paper, and the wind was blowing, it would have flown. We’ll never know, will we?

I will leave you with the words of Jim Croce in “Time in a Bottle.” Have a great week!

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
'Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)