The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #314
Blessed Summer Has Arrived
Man alive, it was a long wait. I was beginning to wonder if I was destined to walk my dogs in rain and chill forever, a modern-day Greek god, sentenced to a miserable task forever for some transgression I didn’t even recall.
But summer finally arrived in our little corner of the United States, temps in the 70’s and low-80’s, decent humidity, all the good stuff we love during summertime in the Evergreen State.
How ya doing during our strange new reality? Okay? Adjusting? All is well in my world. Bev is back to work full-time. I’m still cranking out articles for businesses, making their marketing managers happy. The dogs are healthy and demanding. And our kids seems to be functioning like adults on most days.
Anyway, I hope you are well. Let’s see what we have in the way of mail this week.
Technical Stuff and Heartstrings
From Eric: “Do you get to write any technical stuff with an aim toward tugging at heartstrings?”
Eric, what a strange question. LOL I had to stop and think about this one for a moment. No, not that I recall. I write a lot of technical stuff, but the stuff I write for customers I never do any heartstring tugging with it. They don’t pay for that and I leave that “at home.”
It is interesting, though, that my writing voice is apparent even in articles about salvage yards and event centers. I’ve had friends read some of my freelance stuff I do for customers, and they can see me in every article. It’s something I’m not even aware of, but they’ve noticed it right away.
Evidently, I just can’t turn off my voice.
From Denise: “As for blogs, I have one because I read somewhere that I should for building my audience. However, I haven't built an audience there. I have a much more substantial one here on HP. Would you suggest I give that blog up as being a waste of my precious time? Just wondering.”
Denise, this is such a common problem/dilemma with writers. Most of us are simply not good at marketing ourselves. We can start up a blog with the best intentions, but then it comes time to doing the actual work of building an audience, and most of us fall by the wayside.
Here’s what I think about blogs: if you enjoy doing them, then do them! Don’t worry about building audiences. If you enjoy it then do it. If it seems like a chore then don’t.
Pretty simple, right?
I have two blogs. My audience is not huge for those blogs. I might get twenty people reading them on any given day. I don’t even have them monetized. I just write them because I enjoy sharing information about those two topics, and I also enjoy connecting with people. I just keep on keeping on because it makes me feel good doing it.
So, all you have to do is answer this question: do you enjoy that blog of yours that doesn’t have much of an audience? If you do then keep doing it; if you don’t then say goodbye to it.
Another Excerpt Please
From Karisa: “How about another excerpt from your new Shadows book? I am waiting patiently for you to publish it, but my patience might be wearing a bit thin.”
Well God, Karisa, we don’t want that happening. Here you go, from “Shadows Over the Pond:”
Twenty minutes later he was knocking on the flat once lived in by Penelope Harris. Craven Hill Gardens was directly across the street from the stately brownstone. He heard footsteps approaching from within as he scanned the streets. No threats were detected, but his hand remained on the Glock tucked into his waistband.
The door opened and a woman, late-twenties, early-thirties smiled at him. Perfect teeth, perfect bone structure, perfect complexion, five-five, maybe five-six, cascading black hair, undertaker black, solidly built, an athlete’s body, wearing workout clothes. Sweat was on her forehead and her upper lip, for some reason reminding him of a young woman in Kabul, twelve years prior, stopping in the middle of an intersection, pulling off her coat, revealing dynamite strapped to her thin frame, and disappearing into a red mist as the explosion shattered nearby windows and birds erupted from scraggly trees.
“May I help you?” and the smile gained wattage.
“I’m sorry to bother you. I’m looking for Marie Staten.”
The smile remained as she held out her hand.
“I hate to contradict you, but you don’t look like you’re sorry at all. I’m Marie Staten, born and raised in the Midwest, married at one time in Rainer, Washington, in the good old United States of America. And you are?”
Striker took the hand that was offered to him, wondered what the odds were that this woman grew up ten miles from Olympia. He figured close to zero.
“Striker! Paul Striker, private investigator from Olympia, Washington, and I’m investigating the death of Penelope Harris.”
The smile disappeared. She stepped back.
“I suppose you better come in then, Mister Paul Striker, private investigator. Penelope was my roommate and I would love to know what happened to her. I suspect you know much more than I do at this point. You can take your hand off that gun, Mister Striker. I am not a threat to you, unless you fear a workout machine.”
“I fear nothing, Marie, but suspect everyone.”
“What a terribly sad way to live, Mr. Striker.”
The Future of Hubpages
From Petra: “You’ve been here a long time, Bill. You’ve seen ups and downs on HP. Currently it seems like earnings are down considerably. Do you think HP can last? Or will it go the way of Squidoo?”
Petra, honestly, I’m a bit surprised HP has lasted this long. What’s it been, twelve years? More?
For many writers yes, earnings are down. However, I have several friends who are telling me that income is up for them, so obviously it depends on what you write and how you write it. I’m not sure we can use the current earnings to answer your question.
I think a better question is this: can a format like this be successful financially? I think the move to Maven was all about this question. They are tinkering constantly trying to find a way to increase earnings because, truthfully, this is a tough format.
About the only way I can answer your question is this way: HubPages will last as long as it lasts. I think we will continue to see earnings slowly drop, unless the HP management finds a new way to increase income.
All Done for This Week
That was a short one, but that’s okay because the weather is fantastic and I’ve got yardwork to do.
I wish, for all of you, a fantastic week ahead. Thanks so much for the visit. If you want to get in touch with me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop me a note in the comment section below.
And for all of my friends who are fathers, allow me to wish you all a belated Happy Father’s Day!
Be good to others and be good to yourself. Life is way too short to do otherwise.
2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”