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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 261

Updated on June 17, 2019

The Voice

I’m a big fan of the NBC talent show The Voice. I’m not sure why I like that show so much, but I do, and one thing I really like about the contestants, besides their vocal abilities, are their background stories.

They are fairly consistent. Most of them sing at any gigs they can book . . . dusty saloons, redneck bars, weddings, street corners, any venue for a chance to be heard and to make a few bucks in tips. Many of them have done that for years, literally singing for pennies in nearly total obscurity, all for the love of making music.

I understand. I’m sure you do as well. Writers, musicians, artists, all are driven by an inner voice to create and to share those creations. What money comes in is nice, but the journey is much more important than the destination for those in the Arts. It is a thankless undertaking and yet it is one which overflows with rewards.

Take a moment and pat yourself on your back. You deserve it!

Let’s do this Mailbag thing, shall we?

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

Publishers Publish

From Eric: "Bill, I have three books ready in a sense. I sit fat and happy and don't need the money. But family and friends say to publish. Who will publish me stuffers for a major cut of the action or just to do it. I just write,,, I reckon there are figures out there that just publish.

“Is that cray cray as Gabe would say??”

Eric no, you are not cray cray. You aren’t even asking for something difficult. There are actually sites on the internet which advertise that they can match your work with a publisher . ..for a fee, or course.

There are independent publishing/printing companies which will gladly print your book in a very professional manner. There is Amazon, that multi-faced conglomerate looking to dominate the world of commerce, and there are traditional publishers, like Penguin, who most likely won’t touch your book with a ten-foot pole.

You didn’t mention self-publishing through Kindle/Amazon like most of us do, so I’m not exactly sure which route you want to take in this publishing quest, but you have quite a few options available to you.

Dora Goes Deep on Me

From Dora: “Bill, I have a question instead of an answer to your truth. Is it significant that you now see and know the truth (singular), when previously you searched for truths? Just checking.”

Dora, your question deserves a totally serious answer. No joking around on this one. No snarky one-liners.

Knowing the truth, for me, now means peace of mind and heart. I was unsettled during the search, and often lost. I was sullen, sad, loose from my moorings, drifting aimlessly without direction. At times I was self-destructive.

Finding the truth ended all that. My search is over. Green fields stretch in front of me and I am finally happy.

Thank you for a beautiful question.

The truth!
The truth!

Poetry Contests

From Alyssa: “ I hope you are well. I've been mulling around the idea of buckling down and writing poetry again and I thought it might be fun to dive into the world of writing contests. I did this once in high school and had my poem published in a book. Have you ever participated in any writing contests? If so, do you have any fun stories or memories to share? Do you have any suggestions on some good ones to enter?”

Have I participated in writing contests before, Alyssa? Yes! Do I have any fun stories to share? I lost! How’s that for funny? LOL

Okay, seriously! I think if you have the time, and you are strong of will, writing and poetry contests are great. I have an HP friend, Chris Mills, who is constantly entering flash fiction contests, and I mean constantly. It takes a certain kind of person to do that, by the way. You have to have thick skin because, in all honesty, you are facing constant rejection.

But it is also a way to find out how good you are, and to me this is a classic example of the journey being more important than the destination. I think writers become better writers when they face challenges like those poetry contests, so good on you for considering it.

Do I know of any good ones? There are literally hundreds to choose from. Publications like “The Writer,” or “Writers Digest” are always having contests, but those are big names. There are many, many others offered by online sites, schools, and other organizations which are just as good.

I say dive in and give it a go, and for goodness sake, if you win, I want to hear all about it.

Oh, one other came to mind . . . FanStory is always having contests. Check out this link.

What About Maven?

From MizB: “What about Maven? Has it had any impact on the drop in earnings, ya think? Have a good rest of the week, my friend.”

I know nothing about Maven, MizB! I know very little about HP. I just don’t pay attention to all that business stuff. I can tell you that a number of people have told me that their earnings rose considerably because of Maven, and I’ve had a number of people tell me their earnings are down considerably since the Maven take-over, so your guess is as good as mine.

I really don’t want this answer to sound flippant. It’s just that I don’t get wrapped up in the technical side of HP and Maven. I don’t even take the time to read the newsletter they send out weekly. It just doesn’t interest me and thus, I have no answer worth sharing to anyone.

I will say this about HP and now Maven: a lot of these content sites have come and gone, and HP is still standing and still actually paying their writers something, so for just that they deserve some credit. They are obviously doing something correctly or they wouldn’t still be in business. There have always been fluctuations in earnings on HP. I had my first payout after four months, and I was making decent money for a year or so, and then the bottom fell out . . . and then it rebounded for me, only to falter again. It’s like a financial rollercoaster, and I’m sure glad I don’t rely on the HP income.

Still, it’s nice to receive!

Who Is in Charge?

From Ann: “Question: Are you in charge of your writing or is your writing in charge of you?”

I had to think about this one for awhile, Ann. I love the question, by the way.

I’m in charge of suiting up and showing up, each and every day. I have arranged my life so that there is time, daily, for writing. I went out and found customers, and I created my writing platform and did the footwork necessary to “market” that platform.

But that was all propelled by the engine inside of me, and that engine is my need to write.

A transformation took place in me in 2006. That was the year I went into rehab and ended my drinking career. Shortly after leaving rehab my creative juices were unleashed. Suddenly I had to write, and ideas were coming at me from every direction. I can’t stop those ideas now. I go for walks and think about how to write a scene. I go for a drive and article titles pop into my head, so in that sense writing is in charge of me. It has become a very real part of my daily existence. Call it a muse, or whatever, but something remarkable happened to me when I put the plug in the jug and scrubbed my brain clean of alcohol.

I guess my answer is this: a little of both!

Now, your explanation, please?

Life is better when I'm not in charge
Life is better when I'm not in charge

Monday, Monday

Can’t trust that day . . . nice tune, mediocre lyrics at best . . . and then there’s “The Sounds of Silence,” the total package, a legend in the music industry, lyrics plus tune, the pinnacle of a career, the ultimate goal realized . . .

That’s how it is for me. I’ll have days when I get part of it right . . . other days when I’ll get the other part right . . . and then there are those rare moments when it all comes together, and for one brilliant moment I understand what it feels like to rub shoulders with the angels of literature.

Peace out, dudes and dudettes! Thank you for being my friends.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 days ago from Olympia, WA

      That is sweet of you to say, Li-Jen! Thank you!

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      4 days ago

      Hi Bill, thanks for the share. You have answered some challenging questions! You don't need to remember your dreams to enhance your creativity. You are creative!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always, Ann!

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      Thanks for the encouragement, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it has happened to me, my friend. I just walk away when it does happen. It's not like I don't have anything else to do. Besides, some of my best ideas come when I'm feeding chickens or building a coop, so why fight what's natural? I'm sure you will snap out of it soon and then we will all benefit.

      Wishing you a Thursday of memories!

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      Hi bill! Late again! Thanks for answering my question and I guess it always has to be a bit of both. I asked it because at the time I was thinking 'I should be writing loads regarding my travels and other things but somehow I don't feel like it'. That's not like me as usually there are ideas telling me to get to keyboard - so then it's the writing that drives me. However, I occasionally feel that I have to get out the cattle prod to give myself a shock and get writing!

      It has been unusually hectic lately but I don't like not being able to just sit and get on with it - I sat at the keyboard the other day and nothing happened! I think it's time I just sat and wrote a paragraph or two about something totally random, to kick start the process!

      As you say, a bit of both is the happy medium and I'm all for keeping the medium happy..

      Have a wail of a Wednesday, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I think we can chalk that one up to street slang, but I love it nonetheless. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg! It's always a pleasure having you stop by.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      3 weeks ago from Tennessee

      Is there really a word 'dudette'? Peace anyway.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Liked your deep answer to Dora's deep question. Also, your answer to the whims and changes in earnings for writers here at the HP. Another great read from The Writer's Mailbag. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, you basically summed up my feelings about HP, but you did it much more eloquently than I would have. Yes to all of what you said, with gusto! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan. I always appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      So, I have written for four other content sites over the last ten years and every one of them went under. Hubpages has been able to put in around 13 years. I don't know what they are doing right but I appreciate this venue, despite the imperfections there are. Here's what HP has that they didn't: A community of writers who follow and share regularly. I have made so many friends on HP and the feedback and encouragement we all give to one another is worth its weight in gold. There were a lot more restrictions. There was no way to see if anyone out there even reads your work. Not that numbers are the biggest thing, but let's face it, when we write something it is for the benefit of others and it is a way to share and learn. A journal is meant to be private. But writing online is public. I got frustrated with Examiner.com because they had so many advertising pop-ups you were barely able to read the content. As soon as you got one down, two or three more appeared. I knew without a doubt they would go under and deservedly so. I pray HP will be here for a long time because I would miss the camaraderie and all the friends I've made. I find that it is the number one reason I like HP.

      I liked Ann's question. It was very thought provoking. I think your answer pretty well summed up my perspective. Blessings friend.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      The mailbag is still going so strong and it’s so good to see that. As always, it was enriching this time as well.

      Keep them coming on.

      Enjoyed going through the questions and your answers. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! Perhaps you are already rubbing shoulders with them and you aren't aware of it. :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love the intro you have for this week. I did pat myself on the back. I look forward to having that on ebrilliant moment when I can rub elbows with the angels of literature. Enjoyed this mailbag so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It was a great question, Dora. It made me think,and that's never a bad thing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thanks for trying, Lori! It is appreciated.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Pop! It's a great clubhouse to hang out in.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are way too kind, Audrey, but thank you very much.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you don't seem to be a big fan of Random House. lol I'm not a big fan of the entire book publishing industry, so there you go. I think I'll just keep writing for my own pleasure and be happy with that.

      Blessings always

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for your answer. I understand it and I like it. I appreciate the information you share about the various publishing options. I appreciate the entire mailbag.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I wrote an answer here three times and it kept suddenly disappeared and I couldn't figure a way to bring it back. Darn, it was a long response. I'm heading out into my day but will be back later today. Hugs to all.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Another great Writer’s Mailbag Installment with interesting questions and answers. Poetry contests can be tough when entries are rejected. We should not be discouraged by the rejections and keep trying. I am so glad that you have found peace and happiness in your life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your thoughts, Venkatachari M. I agree with your summation.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Zulma! I, too, love The Voice because it is a feel good experience. I've had quite enough of negativity, thank you very much.

      As for that dam bursting, it still is. I'm afraid of flooding downstream now. :)

      Have a brilliant evening, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish you well, Liz, with that Adsense problem. I am useless with such programming problems. My wife handles all of those aggravations. :) Have a superb week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I'm not a cat guy, but there is something soothing about the purring of a cat.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Linda. Thank you....wishing, for you, sunshine and lovely temps.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 weeks ago

      I always feel pretty good when you share your views about HP and now Maven. I don't know a thing about either, and I don't care. What I do care about is this wonderful community of writers. All of you have enriched my life.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I hit the jackpot when I met you, my friend. You have taught me so much about being a better writer. The way you respond to each "mailbag" questions is a learning experience in and of itself.

      Thank you for being a role model - not just as a writer - but as a beautiful human being.

      love,

      audrey

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      4 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "there are traditional publishers, like Penguin, who most likely won’t touch your book with a ten-foot pole." - Haha!! Well, try Random House then. Just kidding (On a personal note, I'm only gonna ever publish something if Random House publishes my writing LOL)

      "Green fields stretch in front of me and I am finally happy." - Want the nickname? I have many. Haha!!

      “What about Maven?" - I don;t know what I clicked on but now I got some Maven advertising things popping-up when I'm on Hub-pages. I gotta remove that. I'm not one to look at advertising.

      "I have arranged my life so that there is time, daily, for writing." - That's interesting. I have heard this from other writers before. Myself, I have no schedule for anything really. I eat when I'm hungry, I sleep when I am tired, work and play in between lol I guess now I know one way to differentiate betwen amateurs and professionals.

      "The Sounds of Silence" - Nice song!! I think I might have heard bits of it before but ya, thank You for sharing that bit - cheers!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      This one was a full (heavy) mailbag with so many good questions and your interesting replies to each one of them.

      I liked that particular question "who is in charge?". The writer is in charge of the writing process. That's what we believe. But, the writing instinct actually drives you. So, it is in charge of you. Both apply quite right here.

      Wish you a great week ahead.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB! No Maggie article last week, but one coming tomorrow. Thanks for looking for it.

      Perfect weather here. I would sign up for this weather all year long if possible...cloudy mornings, sunny afternoons, in the 70's. I am a happy weather guy right now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa and good luck with those contests. As for Washington, we are having what I consider to be perfect weather...cloudy mornings, afternoon sun, and in the 70's Heaven for me!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great help, John! Thanks for the contest recommendations. Hopefully Alyssa is reading your comment. I can watch The Voice Australia on YouTube and do from time to time. I enjoy your judges.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      There is that problem, Eric, and a valid one for sure. Truthfully, I felt stress publishing the first one. After that, no stress at all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela. I've entered contest in the past and failed to win as well. Oh well...that's just the way the pickle squirts, I'm afraid.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, Bev and I loved Byrnn Cartelli...such a lovely voice and unique singing style. I sure hope to hear more from her.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Tuesday, Melissa. I hope you had a great vacation. Welcome back to the fold.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill.

      I used to watch The Voice here in the UK on the BBC. What I liked about it is that there were no judges, they were coaches. They were there to pick hopefuls for their team that they could mentor and bring out the best in them. Those who auditioned weren't there to be cruelly mocked and exploited. If they weren't up to scratch, they would be given advice on how they could improve and encouraged to try again at a later date if they wished. if was a refreshing change from those other 'Idol' shows.

      They have since switched to ITV, the home of that other type of 'talent' show. I don't know if it has fallen victim to that type of format and I don't want to know. I prefer to remember the more uplifting show I couldn't wait to see.

      I find it interesting that your writing talent showed itself once you went into rehab. I believe your talent was always there trying to come, but obstacles kept getting in its way. Once you cleared them, it must have been like a dam bursting. Lucky us.

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      Interesting how some shows cross the Pond. We also have The Voice in the U.K.

      I read your comments on publishing with interest as I have two relatives who have gone down the different publishing paths.

      Thanks for sharing how much finding your truth has helped you and also a little about your inspiration and writer's voice, when you write about who is in charge.

      You give good suggestions for writing contests.

      With your years of experience I am sure you know far more than me about HP and Maven. I am currently trying to prevent my Google Adsense account from going dormant and each time I write a comment on HP an annoying Maven recommendation pops up on my screen.

      I wish you a good writing week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      The sound of silence is good especially when punctuated by the purring of a cat you love. That was a deep question from Dora.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the unusual questions that people ask in the Mailbag, as well as your answers. I hope you have a good week, Bill.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Pretty full mailbag this week, Bill. I think I posed that question as a bit of sarcasm and really didn't expect an answer. But thanks for trying anyway. I think those of us left behind don't really give a hoot about Maven. I'm still not sure about the niche sites on HP. I haven't published anything in a long time because last article I published flopped on a niche site. It was going great guns until they moved it, then the bottom fell out. I've written some short stories and another article but I haven't put them on HP...and I may not. Did you write about Maggie and you last week? I didn't see your usual.

      Really weird weather. Don't know about Washington, but I saw a report today. Arkansas has had 4 days hotter and 13 days cooler than usual for June. Nothing normal, two weeks ago we were flooding and yesterday I had to water my plants. Have a good 'un!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Another wonderful edition! I also love The Voice, the only singing competition I will ever watch nowadays, although it's been a year or two since I made the time. Thank you for the guidance! I will check out FanStory and if I ever win, I will definitely keep you posted! Have a wonderful week Bill! I hope it's dry and sunny up in Washington.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      What a packed mailbag with great questions. I too love The Voice (Aussie version) even though I don’t always agree with who the judges choose from the knockouts. My writing is in charge of me I think most of the time. I’ve no idea about Maven either and their newsletter is meaningless to me.

      Good luck to Eric with publishing his books, and for Alyssa in regard to poetry contests. I have entered a few with mixed luck. A lot get rich from the entry fees but you can also find contests that have free entry, they are the ones I concentrate on. Yes, FanStory has lots of contests and you just have to pay a small yearly fee to be a member there. AllPoetry is a good site and has plenty of contests, and if you subscribe to Freedom With Writing (free) they send you emails on hundreds of contests and publications accepting all types of writing.

      Have a great week, Bill.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Molto buona.

      I really do want to publish the books about the Boy, and Sundays and really do not want to do it myself. It is fun that I have gotten over the fear of publishing them. But I got no desire in the world to do the work. I am concerned that that techie and marketing stuff may interfere with my required stress free life.

      Which reminds me what kind of "Amazon" or whatever ad things do you engage in here. Are you all signed up on all of them? Is that the dough maker here? (not Linda's dough :-)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This such an interesting, diverse mailbag today. first, I also like The Voice. I like the stories too, and I like the fact the judges can't see the singer, so physical characteristics aren't a factor.

      I entered two writing tests a few years ago and didn't win a thing. LOL I guess I write factual article quite often as I know I do that well, but I am not confident at all about fiction. I think it is a good idea to enter the contests as if probably will make you a better poet or writer.

      I really enjoyed the interesting questions and your responses today. I hope you have a good week.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Great mailbag. We also love The Voice. Don’t know if you picked up on this but the 2018 winner, Byrnn Cartelli, is from my home town of Longmeadow here in Western Mass. It was very exciting watching her progress from week to week, and by the finale I think every lawn in town had a “Brynn is in it to win it” sign. Probably the most excitement for Longmeadow in a long time. Very talented young lady, hopefully she goes on to bigger and grander things.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      4 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I'm "recovering" from my vacation last week...so much to do! I love hearing how you organize your time so effectively, gives me hope that someday I might do the same. LOL

      Have a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Yep, I know who you are talking about.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      4 weeks ago from Texas

      Andrew something..... can't remember his last name at the moment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Mary. I knew you couldn't stay away too long. :) Great question. I'm going to do some research on that one, my friend. At the moment I don't have Clue One, but you can bet I'll find out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda, and a job well-done by you in Steilacoom and beyond. This world needs more people like you, kind lady!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      All very true, Eman. I think it would be quite wonderful if I became famous after my death. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That was my goal with the Mailbag series, Shaloo, so that is great news. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ain't that the truth, Mike? lol welcome back!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is totally my pleasure, William! Being friends with people like you is pretty easy to do.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine, and may our inner voice always speak to us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Shannon. Which artist is fro your town? There were several from Texas in the Top 24 this season.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      Sorry I've missed a couple weeks of the mailbag.

      While I was away, I read the book, "Write, Publish, Repeat", which I recall you mentioning before.

      In that book, the authors discuss their collaboration on books. I found it very interesting. Unlike the James Patterson method, where he gives the co-author the idea and oversees it. The authors, Johnny B Truant, and Sean Platt, each seem to play larger roles in the entire process. My question is, how would a person go about finding a co-author, especially one who has a compatible work ethic?

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow, Bill, this was a pretty heavy mailbag (figuratively and literally). Some really deep, probing questions. I hope that Eric goes the self-publish route. It's not difficult.

      I want to beautify the world (that inner voice you spoke of in your introduction). When I go for a walk I'm tempted to run over and weed a flowerbed (not my own) if it's untidy, I sing with the Muzak in the grocery store, I volunteer for more tasks than I should at church, and I write a ton of stuff for HP (I have articles from here to mid-September 2019 waiting for me to hit the publish button). I got into all of this when I retired, and I can't stop. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

      Have a wonderful week my friend. Thanks for your mailbag today. It's always a great way to begin the week.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      4 weeks ago from Egypt

      Thank you for this interesting and useful article as well. Many famous artists such as Van Gogh and others have not earned money from their art throughout their lives, but after their death, their artistic lines became taught in many art colleges around the world. This is the real success is to benefit others after years and years of work useful and serious.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      4 weeks ago from India

      Some quite deep and interesting questions this week! I have been learning more about writing & self publishing with each mailbag. Thanks!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - I miss a week to come back to some tough questions. And to find out you have found the truth. That is quite a revelation.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      It seems you were toting a pretty heavy mailbag this week, but you unloaded it carefully on us. We thank you very much. And thank you for being our friend, my friend!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      4 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill, I am always trying to listen as much as I still can to that inner voice with my writing. So, totally can relate to that and more here. Happy Monday now and wishing you a great week ahead, as always now!! :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      4 weeks ago from Texas

      Yikes, Monday already!!!! Funny you mention The Voice. I watch it when I get a chance, but my hubby can't stand the show so it's rare these days. But, I did follow an artist from right here in my town this time around. I think you're right that they do it for the love of it and that the journey is just as important as everything else, if not more so. It's one of the reasons I enjoy interviewing music artists. Looking forward to posting some of those here soon, btw.

      Interesting questions this week! I especially like the one about who's in charge. The unique questions are the most fun to read the answers to.

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