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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 271

Updated on August 26, 2019

Fighting Sluggishness

We don’t do AC in the Pacific Northwest. Oh, sure, a few homes have it, and a few of the nicer cars actually have a working AC unit in them, but by and large most people do not purchase an AC unit if they live in the Puget Sound area. We really only need one for ten days tops out of three-sixty-five, and that hardly seems like a smart allocation of disposable income, you know?

So on an August morning, as the heat rises in my office and the sweat forms on my upper lip, I really have zero desire to write. The passion is there but the practicality of it all overwhelms the passion, and I dream of late September and cooler temps.

That is a lead-up to the Mailbag this week, and my confession that I’m just not “feeling it” this week. For sure we have one . . . here it is for you to enjoy . . . but it will probably be short and I may, or may not, engage with all pistons and cylinders.

Just a pre-warning as we begin.

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

COPYRIGHT

From William: “I'm working on a story that is based loosely on a song. Although I don't mention the song or any of the lyrics, someone told me that ideas are copyrighted as well, and I may be breaking copyright laws. I think only a very few people would make the connection if any. I've put a lot of time into it and would hate to have to forfeit it. Any ideas? Would it be appropriate to place partial song lyrics as a quote at the end giving credit to the composer?”

William, this is actually the gray area of copyrighting. I can tell you what I would do based on my meager knowledge of copyrighting laws, but that’s the best I can do.

Section 102 of the U.S. Copyright Law says the following:

“In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.”

In other words, ideas are considered a part of the public domain and as such do not fall under copyright protection. Do you want to play it safe? I would because it is so easy to do so. Simply give credit at the end, with partial lyrics and a credit to that composer. That should do the trick! There is practically a zero chance you will be called out for doing it.

Too Young

From Kelcey: “I’m only nineteen, so I don’t have a lot of life experience. Do you think it is possible to write effectively at such a young age? How do I go about changing that, or how do I make it sound like I have the necessary experience?”

Wow! Kelcey, you are showing some serious awareness for someone so young, and I don’t say that in a condescending manner at all. I’m impressed!

It seems to me, at your age, you only have two choices: get out there and experience as much as possible, as quickly as possible, or learn to observe life around you. Those two are not mutually exclusive, by the way.

Writers are observers by nature, or so I believe. We watch people and we store away the information we gather. It is all shoved into a mental bank until we need it for a story or book. You can do that at nineteen. Age is not a limiting factor for that activity. And with each passing year you will have more of your own experience to draw upon. I suspect you, like most of us, will be a better writer in twenty years than you are today. Life’s classroom is the best teacher we all have.

In my second novel, “Resurrecting Tobias,” I wrote a passage about fighting in Vietnam. I am told it is a very realistic piece of writing. In truth I’ve never been to Vietnam and I certainly have never been in the military. How did I pull that off? I talked to soldiers who were there. I read accounts of veterans, and I imagined what it must be like to face death daily . . .

All of which you can do at nineteen.

Best wishes to you!

Is my life worth writing about?
Is my life worth writing about?

The Memoir Again

From Pete: “I know you have mentioned you are writing a memoir. What do you think is the value in doing that? Why are you doing that? Most memoirs I have read were written by famous people and no offense but you aren’t famous, so what’s the point?”

Pete, you had me laughing out loud with your question. What the hell is the point, Bill? LOL Who do you think you are, Bill? Again, Pete, LOL.

I’m not laughing at you, Pete, so please understand that. I’m laughing because I’ve asked myself the same question ever since I started on the memoir.

My quick, easy, safe answer is this: some friends suggested I do so. They convinced me that I have an important message to share with all of you. The more difficult answer to admit is this: I need it for my peace of mind. My memoir will finally allow the last of the ghosts to escape. It is forcing me to face things I have been reluctant to face, and I believe therein lies its value. I think we all have ghosts and we all have secrets. I believe we all have things we would prefer not to face, and we all have portions of ourselves we would prefer not to uncover for all to see.

But I also believe that complete freedom and happiness is not possible until we bare all, and so the memoir is my way of stripping naked and getting real with all of you and with myself.

If my story resonates with anyone else, and in some small way helps anyone else, then to me it’s a win!

Thanks for the chuckle, my friend.

Content Writing

From Sammie: “Hey Bill, I know you are a freelancer. Can you recommend a good freelance company I can start working with? I’m having a hard time securing any writing jobs.”

You may or may not like my answer, Sammie, but here we go.

No, I cannot recommend a good freelance company. I have not worked with any of them in years now. I have worked with a small firm out of Fort Worth for six years now, and I work directly with the owner of the company. I am her only writer so I stay pretty busy. She pays a fair amount, she is punctual with her payments, and life is good for both of us.

My recommendation and advice for you is to skip the middle man. Companies like Freelancer are never going to make you rich. If I were you I would pound the pavement in your city and hawk your writing talents directly to the business owners. Negotiate for yourself rather than having Freelancer or another company involved in the process at all.

If you don’t like that recommendation, do some research and find a local content mill, not a national one. If you live near a major city there is an excellent chance there is a content company in that city. Yes, they will get part of your payment, but they also save you from having to pound the pavement, and they allow you to skip national content mills which can be less than reliable.

Best wishes!

Content companies?
Content companies?

Writing While Depressed

From Mary: “Regarding Eric's question about staying upbeat, I'd like to reverse that. If you're low, depressed, or stressed how do write? Especially if what you're writing needs to be positive. Are you able to write yourself out of the pessimistic state.”

Mary, this might be hard to believe, for some, but I don’t do depression or stress? I eliminated those from my life back in 2006. I had to or I wouldn’t have survived. We alcoholics need to stay away from pessimism and depression. They can fuel another drinking binge, and I’m not sure I would survive another binge.

I constantly repeat the words of a mentor I had back in 2006….”Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” That’s how I get through life, Mary. I’m just grateful to be alive, and I think that is reflected in how I face life daily.

And the Heat Has Broken

At least temporarily, Olympia is now basking in the 70’s, and I’m in heaven. The 60’s would be better, but I’m not about to kick a gift horse in the mouth, and what a silly saying that is. Who would even attempt to kick a horse in the mouth? Who would be foolish enough to try?

I’ll leave you with that thought. Have a great week, unless you’ve made other plans.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Lawrence. Yep, kicking a gift horse is a losing proposition for sure. lol

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Its not the kicking the gift horse in the mouth I would qorry about, but what if the horse kicks back?

      Some good advice here. Like you I don't 'do' depressed, though I've found putting thougts down, even if they're never seen by another still helps lift the mood.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I am howling. Just too funny. Senility strikes again, my friend, and I love sarcasm!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 months ago from San Diego California

      I think you are supposed to avoid looking at a gift horse in the mouth, not avoid kicking a gift horse in the mouth. Undertaking such a feat as kicking the poor gift horse in a place so high would require Bruce Lee like skills. I know you are a writing Ninja, but this type of physical capability is probably past both of us at this juncture.

      All sarcasm aside, I love your mailbag, and I respect your positive outlook.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Alyssa...no AC in Ohio? you are a brave woman indeed. As for us, pleasant September weathr is in store. I love the crisp early mornings most of all.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      3 months ago from Ohio

      A fantastic mailbag! We don't have AC in the house either, it gets pretty hot even with fans, but I love it! haha! Copyright law can be tricky, so I appreciate your notes and I would be very interested in reading your memoirs. I hope the weather is cooling down up there in WA. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you LI-Jen...you are a pleasure.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am happy you are here, Devika. Thank you!

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      3 months ago

      Hi Bill, it's been a long time since I heard from you. Thanks for this article. You still managed to write even though you were not up for it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have learned lots from your mailbags and won't get into freelancer jobs. I haven't lucky earning online. Especially on recent online payments.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Verlie! You live on the beach? I am now officially jealous of you, my friend. Shame on you for telling me that. :) 90 today....one day at a time, that's what I keep repeating.

      Best wishes to you!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      3 months ago from Canada

      Hi Bill, a late summer heat wave is upon us here on the island. I'm lucky to live at the beach where there's almost always a breeze, and an open window works fine to cool things down. But over on the west coast where I work is hotter, and the office has A/C. Not many homes have it though, and it can get pretty uncomfortable. I'm useless in the heat, but I try to push myself through it. It seems to me the summers have got hotter and hotter in the past 10 years. We're lucky we had some rain this summer, and forest fires are fewer. But look what's going on in Brazil! And now hurricane season on the east coast. Stay cool Bill. And keep writing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a lot, Bill! I lived in Vermont for two years and I remember wishing I had AC during the summers...I'm quite happy here in God's country.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      As always, Heidi, your advice is valuable. Thanks for the clarifications and suggestions. Love the not so much value autobiographies. So true....90 today and tomorrow, but certainly not as bad as last summer, the hottest on record.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, 100% humidity and 98 degree day? Just shoot me in the head. It would be kinder. Seriously! There is just no way this boy survives that kind of heat. Bring on the arctic air!!!!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lori and bless your heart as well. Someday I'm going to take a drive over to the peninsula and see what's happened to the area I lived in. When I do I'll let you know and we can meet for coffee in Key Center.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I would be shocked if someone in BC had air conditioning, but I suppose it happens.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Besarien, you had me laughing all through your comment. I'm afraid I would just roll up into a ball and suck my thumb in that kind of heat and misery. I don't know how you Florida people do it for as long as you do it each year. Yuck!

      Thank you for being here...you are always welcome.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that about your husband, Becky! It's a shame he never did as you suggested.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, thank you for your kind words. I do think there is much to learn from each other, famous or not. I'm a bit surprised that younger people don't spend more time with elders and pick their brains for advice....but then really, did I when I was younger? I wasn't much for asking for advice when I was twenty. A bit stubborn and all-knowing I was at that age.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      3 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. The heat, and especially the humidity, just suck the life out of me so I could not live without AC. Perhaps if I lived in the Pacific Northwest I could do without it, but here on the east coast it's a must for me.

      I'm certain that your memoir will be a success and your reasoning makes perfect sense to me. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Melissa, right? Where did summer go. The sun sets before eight now. When did that happen? lol Thanks for always being here. Stay cool!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Ruby! It is indeed cleansing to be rid of all that negative stuff.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good one, Sha...yep, the same. As for the doldrums, I'll snap out of it sooner rather than later. I always do, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I don't know centigrade, but I do know it can be hot in India, hotter than I would want to live in. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very kind of you, William. I'll take you up on that offer if I ever find myself in PA.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      3 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Last Mailbag of August!

      Re: Songs and Ideas. Song lyrics or anything based on them is such tricky territory. I ran across an author who was basing her entire book on the songs on a popular singer. Yikes! And she was hoping to get his endorsement. Double yikes! Fan fic is another area with similar issues. I would suggest seeing an intellectual property attorney for a consult. Every once in a while, we see the "they stole my idea" (even though ideas are not copyrightable) lawsuits.

      Re: Memoirs. Remember memoirs are books based on events in a person's life, framed so that the reader derives meaning and insight. An autobiography is a historical, chronological account of a person's life, and it doesn't have to make sense. Even if you're non-famous, a memoir can provide value. An autobiography, not so much.

      Re: Content Writing. Even though I offer editing services through Fiverr, I refuse to offer any writing services through sites like that. I don't feel those buyers understand what they're buying. I agree, work direct for creative output.

      It's been beautiful in Chicago for once--70s with some breaks in humidity--and we're finally getting some rain. All good. Have a great last week of August!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 months ago from Beautiful South

      No AC, I hadn't thought about that. On my two visits to Seattle, the hotel and convention center had AC, and it seems like all the stores and restaurants did, too. If you ever visit Arkansas, you will thank your lucky stars that we have it everywhere here because we would be boiled alive without it. Ever face 100% humidity on a 98 degree day? Even in an underground house, one night the electricity was off, and it was too hot outside to open a window. I worried that Larry, who has a pacemaker, wouldn't fare well that night. Our house was getting pretty warm when it finally came back on six hours later.

      I'm glad I had two courses in journalism law, especially copyright law, in college. You gave William good advise. He'll be OK if he views the subject like a writer's challenge. Lots of people get the same basic idea at the same time, like there's somebody up there handing out ideas a few at a time. You know, kind of like we do on writing challenges on HP. Maybe there really is a big editor in the sky making writing assignments, who knows?

      We kids used to say "the weather forecast here is like a menu, chile today, hot tamale." It was tamales today. Have a good week, my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have never had air conditioning in my home. It has never seemed to be worth the expense, even on a hot day.

      You've given a good reason for writing a memoir, Bill. I hope the process goes well for you.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Oh my goodness, Pete, you had me laughing so hard. Bill, I am with you on the memoir. I have one in the works and if for any other reason, my family and maybe some friends will enjoy it.

      I know a tiny bit of your story through reading your work and you have a lot to share. When you publish it I am willing to be people who read it will pass it on to someone who needs to hear about your experience strength and hope. God bless you and Pete both.

      The question about depression resonated with me because I have a mood disorder. Strangely for me, I can write prolifically during both the depression and the manic. You can definitely tell the difference in my subject matter. Everyone is different. I believe journaling is a useful tool for some people when depressed. Get those feelings down on paper and see if something in there can trigger an idea for a story, poem, or article. I've done it a gazillion times. I am so happy you don't deal with it, Bill. Bless your heart.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 

      3 months ago from South Florida

      Hello! I'm so glad to be here for a minute! Another great mailbag, Bill. When I heard you were writing a memoir I thought, "Memoir Part One anyway" for a writer who regularly forges brilliant hubs out of a single photo or a passing thought or his weekly emails for goodness sake. I applaud your tenacity for writing in this weather. Speaking of which, I'm happy to hear Olympia has cooled a bit for the moment. S. Florida is still the devil's pizza oven. The next breeze that stirs is likely going to be that big hurricane brewing out in the Atlantic. Yesterday and today comprised my best window for prepping for that upcoming event. Of course my husband who literally preps for grins is taking care of family stuff in Toronto for about another week. That's okay though, he helpfully has been calling me every half hour to add new things to the bottom of my to-do list. Just let me hide here with you and fan myself for another moment. Then I'll get right back to all the heavy, stupid, hard, sweaty jobs still awaiting me in that big hot cloud of mosquitoes we call our back yard. All day long I've been trying to convince my mind that I'm really in an ice bath singing along with Billie Holiday. Am determined to make that a reality some time before midnight.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      3 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      I wrote a partial memoir, and published it on here. I did it because I was really being bothered by things and wanted to get them out. It was a very cathartic experience. I always wanted my husband to, but he didn't. He had a very interesting life, and did a lot of things. Too late now. I wrote about some of his stories, but I know I did not do justice to him.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      Bill I sympathise with your heat issues. In the UK few have AC on the basis that we have so few days requiring it, but we have a heatwave again. I have made do with opening the window and door to create a through current of air. But I confess to thinking about setting a fan up in the office. In a day or two we'll be back to normal, complaining about the rain and cool temperatures.

      You give good advice about copyright. Somehow putting stuff out there on the internet makes the whole copyright thing seem more threatening.

      I don't think age is a barrier to creativity and imagination in writing. Sometimes the younger we are the more creative our imagination can be before it is held back by maturity and the cares of the world. But I take your point about experiences infusing writing.

      I have read your comments about memoirs with interest. I am involved in editing two at the moment. Neither of the two are high profile celebrities, but each has written about life experiences to hand down to the next generation. I like to think that everyone's life could tell a story. We have so much to learn from reading memoirs. Why bother with celebrities whose lives are pushed in front of us constantly. Let's hear it for the ordinary people. Let's hear their stories. I'm sure yours will be fascinating, Bill.

      I laughed at the photo you put for content writing companies. Very appropriate.

      I really appreciate hearing about your attitude to life. You certainly have a lot to write about in your memoir.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      3 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Ok, I did not know that AC was not considered a necessity in your neck of the woods...I live in a much colder climate most months of the year, but we have some pretty consistent hot months with high humidity. It would be miserable around here for those summer months without AC! August is usually a scorcher, but lucky for us it has been in the pleasant 70s most of the month. Still can't believe that we are heading toward fall already...

      Have a great and productive week!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I enjoy reading the Mailbag each week, and yes, we all have secrets to hide. Your openness is cleansing. Thank you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I think the person who would have the audacity to kick a gift horse in the mouth would be the some one who bites the hand that feeds him! Ha ha. I hope you're picking yourself up out of the doldrums, my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      There are many good questions this time also. It's an ample mailbag, not too small, in my opinion with at least 3 great questions and great answers. I agree with your points regarding memoirs.

      Regarding temperatures, I don't know about your Fahrenheit methods. It is Centigrade for us here and presently, the maximum temperatures daily are around 30 to 32 degrees and the minimum is 22 or 23 in our city. It is comfortable and cool in the nights.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for taking my question, Bill. I'm on with the story. The weather is beautiful here in PA. Feel free to visit any time. The door is always open for you.

      I was just wondering - how famous does one need to be to affect a life? Certainly many hundreds of lives have been changed because of you. Keep being human.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      102 Eric? Just shoot me now. I would be worthless in such heat. As for your "serious" question, I'm going to add it to the Mailbag despite its "seriousness," so there!

      Thanks buddy! Stay cool!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL Flourish...good one...and wishing you a great week as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I think it is human nature to doubt one's self. Some people act like they don't, but I think insecurity is a common malady. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tarun, it is so nice to hear from you again. Welcome back, my friend, and my goodness, thank you for your kind words. I am humbled by them.

      I think many of us forget that we can, and do, have an impact with our words. Your comment reminds me of that and for that I thank you.

      I will tackle your haunting question in next week's mailbag. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Shaloo...thank you for sharing your time with us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No it is not, Pop, but hanging with you is.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, right, Linda? At 19 there was no way I showed that kind of awareness about life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela...yes, a 5th Step...good description of what is happening as I stumble along.

      Enjoy your Monday and beyond, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, Mary! I'm just weird when it comes to depression. Don't mind me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I love that writing is therapy for you. It obviously is working wonders for you, so best wishes for the future.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill I was just asking myself if we were having fun yet. I gave up not having fun about when you kicked the sauce. We are two lucky guys.

      It will only be about 102 here today, but AC is just so wrong for our birds and bees. So we did the bay yesterday and could not believe our wrinkled fingers after 2 hours of playing in the water. Whahoo!!!

      I got depressed in the heat friday. My doc says get to a "cool" zone. We have those.

      Now let me ask you a very serious writing double question. Do you have to turn off your computer in extreme heat and do have to wipe your hands off on a towel so as not to sweat into your keyboard?

      I will be back in a serious mode.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 months ago from USA

      I’m sure there’s research on mood and product but I’m too depressed to look it up lol. Have a great week.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      There is so much here to think about. Your advice are spot on. Don't sweat the small stuff but I know it's a constant temptation to doubt one's self, one's capacity, one's writing. Each one of us truly has a message to share.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 

      3 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill, Coming on back to HP after ages. A random research on HP and that reminded me of you and you again got me hooked. And Petes inquiry gave me a good laugh too. It kinda triggered - Who the hell is Bill? But there again I loved your reasons for it. And yes writing does help get rid of the ghosts that consume us and buy us great solace in return and that is my prime reason for writing. Famous or not famous,if given a choice I would anyday choose a mentor like you over all the other "so called" famous ones. You have a style which is not only warm and engaging but also lifelike and that is what brought me back to you after aeons of time. If someday you start a mentoring group then I would be first who would want to be your mentee ( provided I could afford it). BTW the mailbag is a great community initiative you have started and surely does help writers a great deal. An idea haunts me the past few days, if you could compile all the mailbags and condense them in a book form. Just an idea that haunts me and I wanted to pass it onto the original owner so that the ghost can prey on you ☺️ Stay there Bill, the writing fraternity needs you for all the sanity that you have to offer.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      3 months ago from India

      Some quite interesting questions this time. The 19 year old's earnest desire to be a writer and the sincere questions she put forth...and the hilarious memoir one! Loved this mailbag.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      3 months ago

      Sweating is not fun!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning Bill and happy that it's cooler in the mornings now. That a 19 year old would ask such a question makes me think that that person is already wise beyond their years. Maybe writing is like musical composition--another Mozart in the works? Have a great week my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

      First, I like your T-shirt as it has a great message. I thought the variey of questions made your article very interesting. It sounds like your memoir is kind of a 5th step, which is not a bad thing at all.

      I am seldom depressed, but if I wouldn't write. I think it is easier to write when you are in a positive frame of mind, but I may be wrong as it may be therapeutic for some. Each to his own - another old saying but maybe applicable for this topic.

      Have a great week, Bill.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my question. Keeping drama at bay, seems key for a happy and stable life.

      I thought perhaps as John mentioned, it could help purge any negativity.

      Have a great week.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Well, Bill, you warned us that this may be a short mailbag and that you may not fully engage. It seems to have turned out the opposite. I found the questions and answers excellent and helpful. I admit to feeling depressed sometimes and I find writing the best form of therapy. it helps me get over whatever was troubling me and I think some of my best writing has resulted. Glad the weather has cooled a little. Enjoy it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday, Janine,and thank you for being so prompt this morning. Wishing you a cool week ahead.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      3 months ago from New York, New York

      The heat has broken here too and only in the 70s the last few days. One last full week of summer vacation for my girls and going to enjoy as much of it as I can. That said wishing you a wonderful Monday and week ahead now, my friend :)

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