ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 254

Updated on April 29, 2019

Aiming for a Bullseye

Anyone out there ever shot a gun?

I know, an odd question, but you should be accustomed to them if you visit the Mail Room often.

So, anyone?

I spent a year taking ROTC in college (Reserve Officer Training Corps) and on weekends they would gather together all us boy soldiers, take us out to the firing range, and have us practice shooting our rifles. Some of the most miserable Sundays of my life were spent on that firing range in downpours, shooting at human-shaped targets or at bullseye targets.

I was thinking about that the other day, which led me to ask this question: what is my target in writing? I get up every single day and shoot at my proverbial writing targets, trying to perfect my aim, but what exactly is that target? Do I have one? Do I have a target which, when I hit it, I can raise my arms in triumph and declare myself to be a marksman?

Not really, no! My target is a bit more nebulous than all that. For me the target, in writing, is the act of writing itself. I find joy in writing. Period! I find satisfaction in creating stories. Those stories are my targets and they make me happy.

How about you? What’s your target?

While you ponder that, let’s go through the mail today.

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

Where Does It Come From?

From Ann: “It's a strange feeling, being outside myself as I read my words seemingly coming from another place - is that what you feel, bill?”

Ann, still to this day I don’t know where it all comes from. It is absolutely bizarre to me that I am a writer. I showed very little inclination towards writing until I hit sixty years of age, but the floodgates really opened up after I finished alcohol treatment in 2006. Suddenly the creativity blossomed and I just had to write. I had no clue up till that year that I had any talent at all in writing.

So yes, Ann, that is exactly what I feel, like an out-of-body experience, me looking down watching my alter-ego pound away at the keyboard.

I’m as shocked as I can be, Ann, and so very grateful.

Evaluating and Rating Our Own Work

From Ann: “Another question: Do you rate your own books in any personal order of preference? I've been looking through my old articles and I've found some that actually surprise me, in that I didn't know I could write like that! Again, not being big-headed, just reacting as though it's someone else's work, not really mine. Does this happen to you? Just realised this is sort-of the same question! Anyway, treat it as you wish...”

I don’t do that with my novels, Ann, but I do find myself doing it with Hubs I have written over the years. My novels, I’m proud of them all. I know how much work went into them, and I’m stunned that I was able to write seven of them.

But my articles .. . I will get a comment on some article I wrote six years ago, and I’ll go back and read that article, and I’ll be like “Damn, Bill, that wasn’t bad at all.” LOL But the opposite also happens. I’ll be like “What a bunch of doo-doo that was, Billy Boy. Either re-write that rubbish or delete it!”

Since I’ve written over one-thousand of those articles, sanity has to win the day. I simply don’t have the time to rate them all or fix them. I just have to live with my warts, which is something I’m learning to do with a semblance of grace.

it's all part of the process
it's all part of the process

DREAMS

From Lori: “Bill, have you ever written dream sequences? If so, how did you let the reader know it was a dream without the obvious statement, "And Joe had a dream..."? Some writers italicize the dream. Also, when do you think a dream sequence hinders or enhances the plot? Thanks.”

Oh my yes, Lori! My “Shadow” series features dream sequences in every book. Here’s how I introduced one of them:

That night the children came to me again. They were in Bigelow Park, sitting on the Big Toy, looking across the street at Bitron’s house. Liz and I joined them. Mary Burnett looked at us, smiling gently.

“More will join us soon, Mister Baker.” She pointed across the street. “He feels safe now, untouchable, so the killings will begin again.”

“There has to be a way, Mary. You have to help us somehow. Liz and I don’t know what to do to stop him.”

“You know I cannot help you, Mister Baker. It is forbidden. You must hurry, but you must also be very careful. He wants to cause you emotional pain very badly.”

The others with Mary nodded in agreement, their faces no longer innocent, souls trapped in an unnamed struggle. They faded and were gone. Liz rolled over and put her head on my shoulder. She held me tightly the remainder of the night. There was no point in conversation. Liz’s tears said all there was to say.

Introducing a dream does not have to be an elaborate task. Set the stage leading up to it and you will find it much easier to do. In the example above, the reader knows which children I’m talking about, and he/she knows it is a dream, because I laid the groundwork earlier in the novel.

Yes, italics work. It’s an effective way to differentiate a dream from reality but again, you have to lay the groundwork earlier in the novel.

That last question of yours is a tough one. Dream sequences enhance the plot when . . . Ta-Da . . . when they enhance the plot! If there is not a specific reason for adding them (like giving us a glimpse into the character’s past), then don’t use them. I use them in my Shadow series because those novels are paranormal thrillers, and the only way the dead can communicate with my “hero” is through dreams. If it were not for that I probably wouldn’t use them at all.

Kinda like a dream, right?
Kinda like a dream, right?

Uploading Problems

From Venkatachari M: “I am confused at that problem with the uploading program of your e-book. You have to upload the word file or PDF file and it automatically picks it up. I recently edited my Economics book and uploaded the same file for both e-book format and paperback format. It is now in good form.”

Venkatachari M, normally I have no trouble at all uploading a book with Amazon. Fifteen before this one went smoothly, but for some reason they are not accepting my JPEG cover image for the ebook. I plan on tackling this problem this weekend, so hopefully I’ll have it all worked out by the time you read this. Believe me, I’m as confused as anyone by this problem.

Back to Target Practice

It never ends, you know. Not for us writers. We are constantly practicing our craft, archers squinting through the sites, at that small circle hundreds of yards away. Will we ever hit the bullseye? Will we know when we do? Or will it matter at all if we do, the joy found simply in trying?

Thanks a bunch for stopping by. I hope to see you again next week. Until then, Happy Writing to you all!

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! I'll go as long as my imagination will carry me.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great start at 60 and writing is worth it at any age

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings to you, Lawrence, and good luck with those things lined up in your sights. I'll take your word for it about the Belgian FN. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      More than I care to remember, and at age fifteen I was a Marksman with a .303 but my favourite was always the Belgian FN! That thing has SOME stopping power!

      I think you're right about having a 'target' for writing, I know I do but I'm not sure it can be put into words.

      There's a lot to think about here, and I've got a few things lined up 'in my sights' with what I want to achieve with my latest novel, we'll see how things go.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. I guess my target is the next article/book around the corner...and then the next...and the next

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! You made me laugh with that sentence. I'm afraid my grammar is pretty bad when I'm writing on social media...one would never know I was a writer. lol Enjoy your weekend, young lady.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I always appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I don't have a clue what the problem is. I tried to upload the JPG cover again yesterday and it wouldn't take it. Pissed me off. As for the weapons, I could never take the damned thing apart and put it back together again.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh yes, Mary, there is always hope. Just keep working on it as time allows.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary W....that's me, I ignore the articles which do poorly on HP....I don't forget them, and I'm still proud of them, but I have other things to do.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 months ago from london

      You know me, bro. I have no target. Like my Guruji, I believe in self-transcendence … going beyond, beyond, into the ever-transcending beyond. Unconditional surrender to Love is my target. Now for your Hub.

      I have already said how much I love your sense of humour. It comes with great writing and human decency. Other than that another excellent piece of writing and good advice. Peace.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 months ago from Ohio

      Hello again! I know I write it often, but it's true: another fascinating mailbag! It's always a little strange to go back and read things I wrote years ago. I have a few old college papers that I was particularly proud of at the time, still am honestly, but it reminds me that I have it in me to write. (not that sentence, though apparently. haha!) It's inspiring how you've accomplished so much in the past decade or so. Again, I will wish you a happy weekend! :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Interesting questions, Bill. You certainly hit the bullseye with your responses, as you always do.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - If you find out what the issue with the ebook jpg cover, I would like to know.

      These particular questions sure sparked a big public response.

      I will never understand why the Army kept handing me loaded weapons - 'You want me to learn to do what?!'

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sometimes, I think of what's my target in writing but I have not really thought of it. Maybe, because I have not really taken it seriously. I need to be more committed and to have more confidence. I'm glad you shared you only started at 60. I'm older than this now but there is hope.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I think it's amazing that you started writing at 60, your dedication is inspiring.

      I can relate to what Sherry said in her comment. When I first started writing I was just 'experimenting'. Then when a few views came in, I wanted to get more. I now keep an eye on my stats daily.

      I'm proud of many of the articles I've written and choose to ignore those that aren't 'stellar'.

      Regarding shooting a gun, yes I have, but that's a story for another time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Linda. Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Bill! Goals are important for me.They provide focus, and focus is crucial for my well-being.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know it because you remind me, Dora, so thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eman, there you said it all...writing makes you happy, and it serves a purpose. What more could you hope for?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, it would be fantastic to meet you in person. Let me know if that field trip happens.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They are like children, John! I've never deleted an article of mine, and I have quite a few.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, thank you for the question. I love it when a new question comes along, one we've never had before.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Nithya! I do appreciate your continued support of my writing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda, and I totally agree.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey, and hooray for you and that book. For anyone interested in signing, that is the book to read.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At one time, MizB, I almost took a teaching job in Wyoming. Thanks God for small favors. lol As for life beginning at 60, I'm having the time of my life. Here's to many more years for both of us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I think arthritis would derail many a plan.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I did not, Sha, but thanks for asking. As for my mind, it scares me at times, but it's never boring.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      If there isn't such a book, Eric, there should be. I think you should write it, buddy! You live it already.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The section about dreams was especially interesting. The Mailbag always contains some good information for writers.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I find goals are important for me to stay motivated and engaged. As for writing, I have never thought of myself as a writer. It really all started with HubPages. Have a great week.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Very interesting questions this week about feeling and dreaming. Hope you know how empowering this mailbag is!

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      5 months ago from Egypt

      A very Interesting article. For me, my goal of writing is to provide others with information they may not have known before and may even benefit them someday. Although writing was not one of my priorities, it became so after I started writing on Hubpages. Plus, writing makes me happy too.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hi Bill, thanks for answering my question.

      I particularly like Ann's questions. Sometimes I look at something I wrote and wonder where it came from also. When I look at my really old hubs (been here 8 years) I cringe. I have actually spent a lot of time revamping old work. As a matter of fact a few times I fixed it up then create a new hub. I did that with my Agony in Gethsemane I published last week I think. I also give new titles if they seem nebulous or boring.

      Thanks as always. Sorry I was late. Springtime you know.

      BTW, I was thinking of taking a field trip to your farmers market with a friend soon. I love Olympia.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed this mailbag Bill. In regard to writing targets. If I have freelance jobs pending...to finish by the time limit is the target, apart from that my target is just to try to write something every day. Whether it is fit for publishing or not doesn't really matter. I have a few older hubs I have considered deleting but just can't bring myself to do it. They are like my children lol.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 months ago from United Kingdom

      You can include me in that group, Bill. I just don't have the patience. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I have no idea how they do it but then I've had people say the same thing about teaching. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You just summed it up perfectly, Verlie! You must be a writer! lol And a damned good one at that, I might add!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa! I hope you eventually see Spring. As for my ebook, I'm still working on it. Sorry for the delay.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting questions asked in this mailbag and all answered beautifully by you. First of all, thanks for clearing my own doubts regarding that uploading problem.

      Regarding evaluating one's own work, I also feel the same way as you or Ann felt. I wonder at some of my own articles and ponder how that was possible with me. I feel happy reading them after long gaps. And, I also feel that I may not be able to produce that kind of stuff now.

      Recently, I have got one question. Is it okay to write the entire novel in the past tense as a third person? I mean that if I am telling the story of a person who is no more to the readers. I may include very few dialogues here and there as conversations between the main character and the other ones.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 months ago from Dubai

      Great Writer’s Mailbag Installment, I love the way you have incorporated the dream sequence in the Shadow series.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The same for me, Flourish,and I always need focus.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly how I feel, Pop!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 months ago from USA

      I almost always have specific goals. For me, I find they keep me focused.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 months ago

      Interesting bag of questions this week, Bill. I am still thinking about the dream sequence idea.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, here's a comment for Audrey (Vocal Coach) as for trying new things when we reach "a certain age." At some point you stop worrying about what other people think about your appearance, how your voice sounds, the car you drive, or what you wear. Your inner Sammy Davis Jr. is screaming "I gotta be me" and you stride forward.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Happy Monday Bill. Thanks for another informative mailbag. Grandma Moses started her painting career at age 78. She began painting at 70 and was self-taught. Sometimes I think we develop more passion for writing, painting, etc. as we age. Heck, look at me...an old horse attempting to write my first book (with the help of one, Bill Holland!)

      Love,

      Audrey

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 months ago from United Kingdom

      It wasn't for me either, Bill. It's not for everyone and I respect those who stay for 20 years.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 months ago from Beautiful South

      Wow, Bill, you didn't really start writing until you were 60. I think there was a reason for that. You just weren't ready. I've written "stuff" ever since I learned to write, and in college a professor tried to direct me into writing professionally. He didn't have in mind the commercial copywriting that I spent years doing. I just wasn't ready to go pro creative writing, so I spent years editing. My mother was the same with her artwork. She really got it going when she hit 70, although she had been an artist of sorts all of her life. So, there you have it from someone who doesn't believe in pushing people until they are ready to fall.

      Just continue to enjoy our beautiful spring weather and be glad we don't live in Wyoming, my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      You do have a talent for making me think about my goals or target. Writing is at the top and my geneology research is second. I have about 450 articles, but I delete them if they ar no longer relevant or just not well written.

      I shot at a target several years ago before arthritis landed in my hands. LOL Very good article today Bill. Have a good week.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, your mind amazes me. No matter what you're doing, the action or image brings you to reflect upon life and/or your writing. That's a sign of a true creative!

      Did you get your eBook cover dilemma solved?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Ruby, and I'm with you about that thrill. It is a high unlike anything else I have experienced.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      7 years in the military, Zulma? Just shoot me. One year of ROTC and this boy was done. Way too many commands for my personality, I'm afraid. I have nothing at all against the military. It just wasn't for me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is incredibly sweet of you to say, Linda. Thank you...it's true by the way. You do have a very relaxed conversational tone to your writing. That's not something which is easy to achieve, so a job well done by you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm very happy to hear that, William, because I'm really enjoying writing that series. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry about that weather, Heidi. My nephew in North Dakota woke up to a foot of snow this morning. If that happens here just shoot me. I am so done with winter.

      Happy Spring to you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hear you, Sherry! Those darned targets are always moving; at least they are for me. Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm glad you hung in there, and good luck with that new goal.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are very welcome. How lucky we are, you and I, to find writing at this stage in our lives. I wake up every morning just amazed at how good my life is.

      Have fun with family. I'll catch you down the road. Maggie says "hi!"

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is just fantastic, Janine! I love it when good things happen to good people! Best wishes to you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill this is great. Thanks for another great mailbag. I was just thinking about going back and reading your first mailbag to see how you have progressed. I like to study the best and see how time manifests.

      I was laughing when I thought of Clancy. Shoot, I like his ghost/collaborative riders more in some cases. So I guess "he" has progressed. (yes I used the word shoot intentionally)

      I suppose shooting guns is fun I got certified with a slew of stuff around 2004 and haven't touched one since. I don't have prejudice I just have more fun ways to spend my time.

      So is there a book like Julia Childs only "the joy of writing".

      Have a great week Bill

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, it's just magic, is what it is, to find a way to take just one thing (and it could be anything) out of the whirling chaos that is life, and capture it, and tame it, and get in on the page in some form that will hold its shape in the eye of a reader. What a strange occupation writing is! I have so many goals it's overwhelming, but the hardest part is having the courage, (and the confidence) to take a shot. Meanwhile it's practice, practice, practice. What fun it is when one hits the mark, but more important (I think) it is to enjoy the journey. As you, and so many here, clearly do. Thanks for always being here to keep the conversation going Bill.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I think that it is so interesting that you didn't start writing until you were 60. And then you just really took off! Although I have yet to finish a novel, I can completely relate to reading something that I've written and feeling an out of body experience. If it is something I wrote even a year ago, I can't exactly remember writing it and I am amazed that those words came from me...

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      5 months ago

      I find great joy in the actor writing, and I am very grateful that the Muse has found me.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, I can't think of anything I like better than writing a story or poetry. I get a thrill when a story formulates in my mind. I understand your need for writing. Interesting mailbox. Thanks for all you do to help us be better writers.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 months ago from United Kingdom

      Having spent 7 years in the military, I learned how to shoot an M16. I say 'learned' but really I was taught. I don't like guns so it was a case of retaining the information while I was on the range and brain dumping once I left. I still know how to put the safety on, though, lol My husband knows how to use an M16 and a 9mm as part of his job. But I think he prefers getting up close and personal and knocking someone out. He's old school that way.

      I like the dream sequences in your 'Shadow' series. They mesh well with the story and don't disrupt the flow. Also switching from 1st person to 3rd makes it easy to see who's speaking.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I love your opening today and (for once) I have an answer. Yesterday at church one of my friends came up to me and said "I just love reading what you write. I love how you tell stories and your sense of humor." And then today I heard the kindest words from our friend John Hansen, saying that reading my words is like having a conversation with a friend. I had tears in my eyes. THAT is what I have been trying to do, and I guess by jove I've found it. And I know that I have you to thank. You have such an easy, relaxed way of writing. Each time I read one of your mailbags it's as though we're just sitting under the shade of a tree, two old friends conversing.

      Thank you my friend. Have a wonderful week.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I thought there were some exceptionally good questions this week. Thank you for the answers. I must tell you, I am also enjoying your Maggie series.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Monday!

      Re: Target Practice or Practice? I rarely have a target when I write. I know at some point I want to finish whatever it is. But forcing the flow is counterproductive. It's the difference between target practice (shooting for a goal) and practice (enjoying the process). When I enjoy the process, I find I more easily reach the target.

      Re: Evaluating Your Past Work. Yep, I get some "What the hell?" moments when reading my old stuff, especially as I've been creating audio editions of my books. But often I think, "Wow, did I actually write that?" If something is really in need or correction or updating, I'll revise it. Otherwise, I'll leave it as it stands.

      Well, it's been a wild weather weekend. Snow and freezing temps on Saturday. Today, lots of rain. Oh well, I usually get lots of good writing done when it rains.

      Have a great week!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      5 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I have fired guns many times, though it has been a few years since I have gone shooting. That is one nice thing about target practice, you know what your goal is, and it's easy to see if you've achieved it.

      When I started writing on HubPages, I was injured, out of work, bored. I was just passing the time, and maybe trying to improve my writing skills.

      As time went on, I didn't just want to write, I wanted people to read what I wrote. I was pleased when my traffic went up, unhappy when it went down.

      Now it's the same way with money. I have a certain figure in mind, and if I don't meet that goal, I'm frustrated. I have a target, but it keeps moving.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 months ago from SW England

      Yes, I've fired a gun at a target - clay pigeons! I'd always wanted to try it and I found it great fun. I suppose it was wanting to know how accurate I could be, especially with a moving target which, of course, you have to gauge very carefully. I wouldn't even think about any other kind of 'hunting'.

      So I guess my target in writing is accuracy with creativity, simply to satisfy myself with each piece, pushing my boundaries and feeling as though I'm progressing. I do exactly what you do with old hubs!

      Thanks for answering my questions, bill. I've always been keen on writing; it's only now that I have more time to indulge myself in pursuing it. Family has overtaken me again in the last couple of weeks so, as they always have priority, I'll get back to all those ideas which came from my holiday, asap!

      Have a multi-functioning Monday, bill! (Yes of course men can multi-task!)

      Ann

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I love this thinking here today as my goal in recent years was to work more with Disney in my writing and get to go more often. Well, I am taking that leap this week and heading to Disney for a business-related trip for the first time ever by myself. I am excited, nervous and so much more right now. But thank you for the reminder that this was indeed my goal and I am doing what I set out to indeed do. Happy Monday and have a great week ahead now!! :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)