ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 269

Updated on August 12, 2019

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?

The Mail Room
The Mail Room


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.

My self promotion
My self promotion

My Blogs

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:

Artistry With Words

Urban Farm Yard Sanctuary

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

Calm winds and no movement
Calm winds and no movement

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.”


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)