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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 272

Updated on September 2, 2019

A Short One Today

Sorry about that, but I needed to make a quick trip down to Ashland, Oregon, a trip which could not be avoided, so the Mailbag is a bit short today. Such is life. I tried to get to all the questions which were submitted, but if I missed any in haste I apologize. I’ll do better next week.

Kids are returning to school, the heat of summer is at least shortened by the early setting of the sun, there is a hint of fall in the air in the early mornings, and the Farmers Almanac has issued its winter forecast. Another year is coming to an end, leaving many of us to wonder how 2019 could have passed so quickly.

Now we turn our attention to the holidays, heaven forbid, and all the preparations we have to make before the snows arrive and the sun no longer provides us with the heat we need.

Such is life!

Let’s do this Mailbag before melancholy spreads like wildfire.

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

A Mailbag Book

From Tarun: “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.”

Tarun, the word “sanity” is rarely used in describing me, but thank you.

I would love to grant you your request, Tarun, but I have no idea where I would find the time to compile that load into some organized book. Perhaps it wouldn’t have to be organized, per se, since the individual Mailbags are not organized . . . I don’t know. I’ll keep the idea alive in the back of my brain, and if time allows I’ll do it. That’s the best assurance I can give. I have three novels which are screaming to be written, and let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger.

Sweating the Heat

From Eric: “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?”

Eric, what extreme heat? You know about extreme heat. When I complain about it, the temp is 90. You see triple digits on a regular basis.

My computer is like me, ancient. I think I bought this laptop eight years ago . . . maybe longer . . . and it keeps on ticking. I would be afraid to treat it with special care now. It’s used to neglect, I’m afraid.

I wonder . . . does heat affect a computer? Actually I believe it does, and it is called oxidation, and it can really mess with the electronic components. The serious answer to your question, then, is keep your computer cool during the hot summer months. I don’t think you have to turn it off, but AC would be nice, and if not AC at least a fan.

As for those sweaty hands, good luck!

Summer is fading quickly
Summer is fading quickly

Writers Conferences

From Bert: “What do you think of writers conferences? Are they worthwhile to attend?”

Bert, I’ve only been to one, but I loved it. I’ve been to more teacher conferences than I can remember, and I loved all of them as well. I can’t remember ever going to any conference when I came back feeling like it was a waste of time. Any old time you put a couple hundred people with similar interests into a confined space, something good is bound to happen, or so I believe.

If you received nothing more from a conference than a feeling of comradeship, in my opinion that would be worth the price of admission. By all means, if you can, go to a writers’ conference. I guarantee you will find value in it.

PODCASTS

From Annie: “Bill, what do you think of podcasts as an additional tool in marketing my books? Is it worth the time?”

Annie, I love podcasts. I wish I could find the time to do them on a regular basis. Are they worth the time? I think so, yes, if you are willing to put the time in to promote them, and if you make quality podcasts. Remember that anything you do to promote your books is an extension of you and reflects on you as a writer. Do a shabby job on podcasts and it says you are a shabby writer. Whether that is fair or not is not important; it is a fact you must consider before you begin.

I am very quick to judge a company or an individual based on first impressions. Oftentimes that is the only impression I will get. A farmer selling his tomatoes out of the back of his ’89 Ford pickup may have the best tomatoes in the world, but chances are I’m driving by him without hesitation. He needs to work on his marketing before I’ll stop.

The same goes for podcasts. They are you, so make them outstanding or don’t bother. File that under Marketing 101 and don’t forget it.

Help, I’m New to All of This

From Beth: “I’m just about to start out as a writer. I’m not sure what that means, or how to really go about it, but I’m going to start with a blog and go from there. The problem is this: what should the blog be about? Should it be about my passions, or should it be about my writing career and journey along my writing path?”

Well, Beth, first of all, best wishes with your writing career. I remember starting out almost ten years ago, and it was pretty exciting getting up daily and being in control of my writing future.

What should your blog be about? Why set limits? I have a friend who has eight different blogs. Heck, they are free on Wordpress and other sites, so why not? If you want to do a blog on your passions i.e. gardening, hiking, whatever, and a blog on writing, by all means do it. What’s stopping you? I have two . . . I’ve had five others . . . I say have as many as you can handle.

And that’s a key point . . . have as many as you can handle well. Blogs need regular maintenance. Your followers will need constant stimulation or they will go somewhere else to find it, so if you decide to have three blogs, make sure you have the time to maintain three quality blogs. Otherwise don’t bother because you will be doing more harm than good. People will lose interest, you will have branded yourself as sporadic, and all hope will be lost. lol

Best of luck! I’m excited for you. I hope you update me from time to time and let me know how you are doing.

The dawning of a new writing career....very exciting!
The dawning of a new writing career....very exciting!

That’s All I Have Time for This Week

Sorry about that, but this trip needs to happen. I’ll do better next week, promise. Until then, start working on that to-do list. Winter is right around the corner, and it’s not waiting for your approval.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I suppose you are correct, Lawrence. I felt frustrated at first by my slow progress. Now I think go with the flow.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I found out the hard way about the blogs, just too many things to do.

      I'm surprised its only three novels screaming to be written, I've got one in the edit process, another half written and two more being planned as well as all the others shouting "when's my turn?" but thats the writer's lot I suppose.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No shame at all, Eric, so my answer will be in next week's Mailbag. I like you calendar idea...practical and rebellious all at the same time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      So do I, Rajan, and thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Li-Jen! I would be nothing if not for this community. This is just my way of giving back.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora and you are never late to the Mail Room. There will always be space for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika, and thank you for giving your thoughts on blogging.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you always, Chitrangada Sharan. I had to scramble to get this one written and published before my trip. I did not want to miss an installment since so many people look forward to them.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the unique question, Tarun! The answer is in today's Mailbag. Always a pleasure hearing from you, Sis!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Now not enough for a mailbag answer but a bit ago you suggested/nay demanded that if you use a numeric - 1 in numbering in the same work you should not use a "one" either or. I have decided this is wrong. Emphasis baby emphasis.

      Similarly I am deciding on contractions of not and words that get a red line like "ain't". I am also toying with not doing the capital on the first word of a sentence.

      Maybe you could drop me a line not so public if you think you might shame me too much in answer. I love Mondays. I do the calendar when Sunday is last and Monday is first.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you always Venkatachari M. Wishing you a brilliant week ahead my friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Your mailbags have always been a learning experience for me, Bill and this one is no different. Publishing these mailbags in a book form will no doubt benefit a lot of people. I just hope you can.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      2 months ago

      Hi Bill, I hope that you will be able to publish those three novels! I like that your mailbag involves the HP community! The variety of topics makes the mailbag unique. You have good points for all of the questions. Enjoy your trips!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      As long as I get to the mailbag before next Monday, I'm keeping up. I've been to writers conferences by the same organization over and over and I loved it every time. Sometimes I think that of the mailbag as a kinda writers conference.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I learned lots here and blogging is fun for me. It gives me an opportunity to see my progress and meet different people. Your mailbags are informative and interesting always new information to learn from and look forward to your next.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm in good company then, Mr. Happy, because I do next to nothing in the way of promoting my blogs. I really should change that approach/attitude, but it just seems like a lot of needless work for me. lol Thanks my friend! Have a brilliant weekend.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      That’s so much like Bill Holland. You did not miss to publish the Monday mailbag, although you are traveling. Much appreciated.

      I liked Tarun’s suggestions of a mailbag book. Other questions and answers are also interesting and helpful.

      Thanks for sharing and have a good time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is kind of you, Mona! Thank you very much, and it is always pleasant having you stop by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg....a lot! The energy is not what it once was,but thank you nonetheless. It's been a good summer and I wish, for you, a brilliant Fall.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 

      2 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill, I say YES to the three novels and go for them totally. I can still refer to the mailbags on HP. I have another question to ask and if I am well within the deadline then you can answer this Monday or perhaps the one next. The question is not directly connected to writing per se but it surely is connected to the writing regimen. I say - What's with the chair Bill? I see the internet swarmed with views about how you need to look for the best chair to sit on and write before you even began thinking about writing. Is it that serious a thing about the chair that there is so much noise out there? For me I have a basic chair and when I am absorbed in my work I could easily sit for a couple of hours or more in one sitting and have gotten accustomed to it. I see from the picture you use on the mailbags that even that is a basic chair. Do you actually use that for your writing endeavors? If yes, how does it come off. Are there any do's/don't do's connected to the chair? Can we talk about some chair hygiene today? I guess this could be an open question for even the mailbag readers and they could share there chair hygiene as well. I am also open to any recommendations of a particular chair for comfort etc. But remember I sit in India so the recommendations should be on those lines. Maybe my Indian mailbag readers can help me on this. That's it for now Bill. Hope you have a great writing weekend ahead. I will catch you soon in one of these mailbags. Take care

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      2 months ago from Philippines

      Thank you for this article, Mr. Bill. I particularly found the podcast interesting, and listened to the Youtube that you linked. Your comments about blogs were also an eye opener. I realized I'm not the only one with several blogs, hahaha. I love your clean and precise writing style. It has been pleasant visiting you again.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      I am late to this mailbag this week.

      The idea of creating a book combining all your mailbags is an excellent suggestion. It will certainly help the writing community as good guidance in their career.

      Regarding blogs, I too have many blogs (seven in all). But, I am unable to give the time on them. Only one is being maintained regularly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am indeed, Flourish. Thank you and I wish the same for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I get it totally, Eric. That was one of the best trades I ever made.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will do that, William. Thank you for weighing in on it.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "if you are willing to put the time in to promote them" - This made me smile. It is a very real issue for me. I am not willing to promote anything about myself. I give myself as an example in writing but that is to give an example of an issue, or an experience and not to promote myself. Promoting myself just feels like an exercise of balooning my ego. Hence, I write for free. To each their own though.

      "Blogs need regular maintenance." - Sure, I do regular maintanance: every few to six months, haha!! That's alright. There's no pressure when You're an amateur. I like that. So, I suppose I can classify myself as a "sporadic" lol

      About keeping computers cool, I gotta say that my fan blowing out inside the computer has happened more often than not. I am not sure if it is because I never turn off my computer, or because I generally radiate heat like a heater myself and maybe I am burning things around simply by Being. (I did burn the kitchen down a few Springs ago.)

      Alrighty, I gotta head-off to volunteer work. You have an awesome week ahead. All the very best!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      You do well to keep up with this weekly mailbag. I can't imagine having the energy to do as much consistent writing as you do, Bill. Hope your summer was grand and that you're looking forward to the change of seasons.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      I think Heidi’s reactions are dead-on. Hope you are well and looking forward to fall.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill I reckon you get this. I changed my drunkeness addiction for reading and writing for love -- still an addict. So I just adore your people's comments. You fill us up with life - right on bro!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm sure everyone agrees, but I love the idea of putting the mailbag in book form. You've put out a lot of important information over the years, and I think it would be wonderful to have it all in one place. I know you're busy, but think about it, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you always, Mary, for weighing in. I appreciate the time you take to comment always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I would imagine, Shaloo. If I worked full-time I doubt seriously if I would blog at all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love what you have to say about podcasts, Heidi, and thanks for your input about a Mailbag book. I totally agree, by the way. I think a podcast would be much more rewarding and useful. Now, what did I do with that extra time I had? lol Happy September my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop! I did!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I did indeed, Zulma. Thank you for mentioning that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is sweet of you, Alyssa. Love received and love sent back in your direction. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I always enjoy your thoughts, MizB. Keep them coming. I spent the weekend driving down to southern Oregon and driving back....sixteen hours of driving total...lots of NPR....I found it restful for some reason....who would have guessed?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, November is our worst month here in Olympia. I just heard that November 19th is historically the wettest day of the year here....something to look forward to. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Besarien, I appreciate that. I don't think I've ever been called timeless before. lol I kind of like it! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I spent a lot of driving time this weekend listening to podcasts. It was a nice change of pace. I hope your week is a brilliant one.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lori! I have never heard of that paper towel remedy. Thanks for sharing that. I just might give it a try this week. What do I have to lose, right?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is always my pleasure, Ruby! Thank you for always supporting me, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! September is upon us. I hope yours is a great month.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Valid it is, Shannon, but I'll try to get it down after the first of the New Year. Thanks for finding the time to stop by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa! I always enjoy hearing from you. Glad to hear you are enjoying pleasant weather. Now on to the holidays! lol Happy September to you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Fall is indeed here. We have started the process of closing our summer cottage and it is always a sad event. I wish I can extend summer but Fall has its own unique beauty and I look forward to the change of colours. Regarding Eric's question, when I lived in hot countries, we always placed computers in air-conditioned rooms.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      2 months ago from India

      Another informative mailbag. I agree with you to be consistent in blogging. I write on hp & my two blogs but along with a day job, it becomes too much to handle.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      2 months ago

      Have a safe trip!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy First September Mailbag!

      Re: The Mailbag Book... Or Something Else? You and I have already had some chatter about this. Honestly, I don't think a book is a useful expense of time for it, mainly because the questions and answers will vary over time as the world changes. So the book will not be evergreen and not worth the investment. However, I think a podcast of the Mailbag is more viable. People don't expect those to be evergreen. It's more like radio. It would be easier to produce, too.

      Re: Podcasts. Podcasts are not for every author. What they broadcast, as you suggest, should be quality. However, many authors don't have enough topic fuel in their tanks to keep it going. It's particularly tough for fiction writers where news stories have little impact on their work. Lots of people start podcasts, very few keep up with them. There's also the issue that the results from podcasts are very difficult to quantify. Another reason why most people don't keep up with them. I could go on and on about this, of course, from my own podcast experience and what I observe from others. But I think you get my point.

      Re: New Bloggers. Yes, write about your passions. Just be aware that almost a billion others (and that's not an over-exaggeration according to some reports) are also doing it. The blog landscape is over-saturated. So you darn well better love what you do and love writing about it or you're finished.

      Okay, now I gotta get to work. Have a great September kickoff week!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you already do a guide to writing.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      2 months ago from Ohio

      Eric's question made me laugh. Definitely make sure you have a fan for your computer. Sending you lots of love from Ohio and keeping you in my thoughts this week. :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 months ago from Beautiful South

      Hey, Bill, so the mailbag is short this week. This is a holiday weekend, and you deserve the rest. I hope you enjoyed it. You had a couple of subjects of interests, blogs and podcasts. Everybody has his opinion, of course, including me. I love reading blogs, but I'm not too keen on listening to podcasts. I'm not sure why, but I get bored listening to somebody, or a couple of somebodies, drone on about a subject when I would enjoy reading the same material. I don't know why. I don't even listen to Larry and his group's podcast on PalTalk (he's the Friday moderator). Maybe it's because I spent a couple of years working in talk radio. Just a thought.

      Enjoy the cooler weather. It's still in the high 80s and 90s here.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It does feel like fall is approaching rapidily. On one hand it's a shame that summer is disappearing, but on the other there are some nice things in September and October to look forward to. I'm not looking forward to November, though. As you say, such is life. November will come whether I want it to or not.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 

      2 months ago from South Florida

      I love Bill De Giulio's idea of a compilation of the best of the mailbag in book form. You have a lot of material from which to choose. Most of the topics are always going to be of interest to budding writers. Your sound advice and personal stories are timeless.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      2 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I'm so pleased you included Pat Flynn's podcast video. I always find value in his work.

      I hope your new blogger finds success in their new venture.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great installment. To Eric, I get frustrated with temperatures while using my laptop. In the winter my hands get frozen touching the surface of my laptop. So now I wear thin gloves with the fingers cut out of them and it works quite well.

      In the summer I sweat on the surface and that is a harder fix. Gloves are too hot. I have air conditioning but try to keep it set at a high temperature to keep my power bill down. Still, sometimes my hands sweat so I try to put like a paper towel or napkin under my hands. They slide around a bit but it helps in a pinch.

      Good luck to our budding new writer. I'm glad you found the mailbag early in your efforts.

      I love your blogging answers Bill.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      It is still hot here. I must say that I'll be glad when it cools down. Thanks again for helping writers be better writers and for caring...

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I’ve always thought a compilation of your mailbag would make a good book. Perhaps someday? Have a great week.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      2 months ago from Texas

      Hi, Bill! Feels like it's been a while. Too much work for me perhaps and not enough me-time.

      I think a compilation of your mailbag in book form is an excellent idea. Time is a valid issue, though.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      2 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Hope you are enjoying a long Labor Day weekend! I love having 3 days off in a row...makes me wish I always had a 4 day work week...And we are having the most pleasant weather possible, not too hot and not to cold. No complaints here, except that I can't believe its Sept. I am definitely in the "where-did-2019-go" camp.

      I wish you a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda....it's time to take care of some storage issues for sure. So much to do, so little time. This weekend reminded me of that, I'm afraid.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pamela! I'm back safe and sound, and I'm glad to be back. I like my life here; traveling is for younger folks.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I had not heard about turning off the wifi...that's a new one for me. I'll check it out thanks to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Labor Day means going to the grocery store and taking the dogs for a walk, Eric. Life is good my friend.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I'm glad that you are back with batteries recharged and ready to take on whatever comes your way. I hope you run backups (or better yet, store in the cloud). If you're working on 3 novels and your hard drive fails, . . . well, let's just say I'm certain I'd hear your wailing up here. Heat is bad for computers. 101 years ago when I worked for a Federal agency, we had our own mainframe computer system. It was kept in a controlled environment. The rest of us could have died in the heat, but the computer was always comfy.

      I've organized my weekly Q&A's into a Table of Contents. I suppose you could do that if the masses ask nicely enough. It's not difficult, but it took me a weekend (with about half as much content as you have). Perhaps when the next blizzard hits.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's hard, John! Most of us have other things in life pulling us...finding the time for a blog is not always easy. Good luck, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine, and Happy Labor Day to you as well.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A short but good mailbag Bill. I hope your trip to Oregon went successfully. I have a blog that I have neglected badly...I either have to start maintaining it or delete it..thanks for the prompt, Bill.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Take your trip as necessary as we have plenty to discuss in this article. You need not apologize. I just started a blog a couple of days ago, so I am still working on it. It will be about one of my passions, which is genealogy. We'll see how that goes.

      I like some podcasts, but you really have to develop a following. If you have the time and energy, much can be accomplished. Have a safe trip on this Labor Day.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      There's no need to apologise for a short mailbag. There's plenty here to digest. Sometimes we have an 'Indian summer' in the UK, a blast of hot weather after the schools have gone back. I live in hope.

      A book of mailbags is a great idea, but it would take some organising under topic headings, so I understand your hesitation.

      Occasionally I wonder about the heat with my laptop, but it's a rare issue in the UK. I was recently advised to switch off the wifi monthly to allow for cooling and updates. That's not to say that I remember to do so though.

      You make interesting comments about conferences and podcasts. I guess time and cost could be a stumbling block for many regarding conferences. You make a good point about the need to do a quality podcast to draw attention to your written work. Talking of podcasts and blogs serves as a reminder of how much the world of writing has changed beyond belief in our lifetimes.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      We work at it Bill but really now, isn't it great when life gets in the way of writing?

      I am going to look it up and go to a writers conference. I think I might look up a journalism class at one of our "higher" education establishments and monitor - we only have about 1,000 here in Sand Diggo.

      The question about starting out writing cracked me up as a clerk asked me what I did and two people in line started laughing -- "you are a writer?" hihihi.

      Labor day, how fun is that? I labored about 15 years ago. It just got old so I stopped laboring ;-)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      2 months ago from New York, New York

      No apologies necessary and I totally get it with schedules and such. As you know with summer vacation, I pretty much just go with the flow. But tomorrow begins a new school year, so slowly but surely hope to get back on track now myself, as well. But Happy Labor Day Monday and wishing you a wonderful week ahead now, too :)

    working

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