The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 269
Camped out in a Weird Space Right Now
It’s a bit disconcerting, to tell you the truth. I am aimless, as some of you know. I mentioned it on one of my blogs, and my state of aimlessness still exists.
To summarize briefly, we cut back on our urban farming, and I quit my position with the farmers market, and now I seem to have no direction. I’m one of those people who always has to be chasing after a goal. Yes, writing certainly helps, as it always has, but I need something more, and I don’t have a clue what that would be.
It will come to me. I have no worries about that. Like my writing muse, who just shows up when she feels like it, I am certain a new direction will manifest itself sooner rather than later. Until then, though, I am drifting on the water with no winds to speak of.
I have the doldrums! Do any of you know where that word comes from, the doldrums? Extra credit will be awarded to your account if you do. J
Let’s point this thing towards some great questions, shall we?
From Eric: Do you inspire yourself by your writing? Or is that just too self centered?
Sheez, Eric, I don’t think that is self-centered and yes, on occasion I actually inspire myself. It doesn’t happen that often because I am never totally satisfied with my writing, but it has happened on rare moments. I wrote a series of short stories many moons ago about a magical little girl named Hope, and I got goose bumps while writing about her. Oddly, I haven’t felt that way in a few years now; perhaps there is a message there, but I am a bear of very little brain, and I fear the message is lost.
Clarification About Guerrilla Marketing
From Mary: “interesting ideas about guerrilla marketing. I'm not sure I understood all of them in the video. Could be an age thing. LOL”
Well shoot, Mary, it could be that I explained them poorly. Surely you aren’t aging.
Guerrilla marketing, summarized with as little fanfare as possible, is getting the most bang for your buck, in marketing, using unconventional methods. It is advertising “on the cheap.” If I could talk the actor Bradley Cooper into walking around Los Angeles holding a copy of one of my books, that would be guerrilla marketing at its finest.
From Shannon: “On the guerilla marketing. . . sounds fun. For someone else. I really hate self-promotion. Any tricks for getting over that? LOL. It's not shyness (well, for the most part). I just don't like it. At all. It's too time consuming and it leaves a person too vulnerable in a sense.”
I have no tricks for that at all, Shannon. You either do it or you don’t. A lot of writers don’t. For sure it leaves you vulnerable. For sure it is time consuming. I don’t like it either and I hardly ever do it, unless you count my website and blogs and articles on HP, all of which is self-promotion. Heck, a lot of the things I do on social media are self-promotion, although it’s really just random stuff with no purpose at all. Every time I show up on Facebook I supposed I’m promoting me; I’m at least giving a rather large audience a glimpse of me.
But I get what you are saying and I agree with it. Marketing oneself is not for everyone, and that’s just dandy. Don’t force it if it ain’t there, and you can quote me on that.
From MizB: “I'm getting around to having time to start reading blogs, so will you please tell us again how to find yours?”
I surely will, MizB, but it’s going to seem like self-promotion, so I apologize in advance.
I have two blogs:
Thanks for asking, my friend.
Writing in a Public Place
From Brian: “Bill, when you want to work on a story in progress and it is too hot and muggy in your house, why don't you write in a cafe, fast food joint, coffeehouse, or public library?”
All great suggestions, Brian, but I’m one of those people who is easily distracted by anything going on around me. If I’m in a public place I instantly start watching the people. I did it in the library yesterday. I sat down to read a magazine and within two minutes I was watching the human show going on around me. I finally put the magazine down and walked out.
So writing in a situation like that? Not happening for this boy.
I’m better off waiting for winter to arrive. LOL
Did Anyone Figure out the Doldrums Question?
The Doldrums is the region of calm winds, centered slightly north of the equator and between the two belts of trade winds, which meet there and neutralize each other. If you were a sailor, and got stuck in The Doldrums, you weren’t going anywhere for awhile until currents carried you out of there. It is widely assumed that the phrase 'in the doldrums' is derived from the name of this region. Actually the truth is the opposite of that. In the 19th century, 'doldrum' was a word meaning 'a dullard, and this probably derived from 'dol', meaning 'dull' with its form taken from 'tantrum'. That is, as a tantrum was a fit of petulance and passion, a doldrum was a fit of sloth and dullness, or one who indulged in such. It wasn’t until the mid-19th Century that the area just north of the Equator was referred to as The Doldrums.
So there you go!
2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”