The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eight
Are You Ready for Another Session?
I was so happy to hear from all of you last week, telling me that you enjoyed this series and you want it to continue….so your wish is my command.
You know the drill. You ask questions and I answer them the following week. Just leave your comment in the section below, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave it on my website at www.williamdhollandauthor.com. That’s how it works, and now it’s time to get started. Oh, one other thing: make the question about writing. I could probably fix what’s wrong with this country, but that would take a series of articles, and I’m not into marriage counseling, so let’s limit the scope to writing.
Here we go!
Deleting Articles from Hubpages
“I would like to know if you have unpublished certain articles from here before forwarding to a publisher? Or do you have separate articles for Hubpages and the wider world?”
This question is from my friend Anna. The question refers to duplicate material, and whether you can have an article on HP and still offer it to a publisher for print in a magazine.
I can only tell you my experience and how I believe this works. If you sell an article to a magazine, then you should delete it from HubPages. However, I have taken over twenty articles from HP and made them into ebooks without deleting from HP, and never had any problems doing so. I’m not sure if I got lucky, or if the duplication scenario only applies to magazines.
The concern is not with HubPages, but rather good faith with a magazine. If you are selling an article to a magazine, you are giving up certain rights to that article. There are exclusive rights, which means the article should only appear in the magazine you sold it to, and there are reprint rights, which means you can sell that article to as many places as you can find….but….HP will consider it a duplication, so delete from HP and all your concerns are taken care of.
Having said all that, I have sold the same article (reprint rights) to three different magazines, and it still appears on HP, so in the final analysis, your guess is as good as mine.
How Important Is Personal Identity?
“What I love about your writing is that you have such a personal identity.
How important is this to you? Many people for various reasons find the need to write under a pseudonym. Do you think this has any bearing on their success or lack of it?”
This is a great question. The question is in two parts, so let’s tackle them in order.
For me, and this is just a personal choice, personal identity is very important. I have always believed that a relationship should be formed between writer and reader, and that relationship can only be formed if I put myself out there as a real human being. I want my readers to relate to me as a living, breathing liver of life, just as they are.
But there are many writers who do not feel that way, and some have been quite successful. One that comes to mind immediately is John Roswell Camp, who has successfully written novels under the pseudonym of John Sandford. Doing so certainly hasn’t hurt his success over the years, so maybe I’m just full of hot air and I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I guess it all comes down to personal choice.
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The Importance of Blogging
“What importance do you place on the “Artistry with Words” blog which you write? Do you feel it has contributed to the success of your online writing? Would you recommend that others do the same?”
I believe this question came from Sally. For the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t write down names when I was copying the questions. Blame it on old age and let’s move on.
I believe having a blog or website is very important for a writer if they are writing as a freelance writer. In other words, blogging is an important part of the writing platform for any writer. Has it contributed to the success of my online writing? That’s a tough one to answer. There is no way for me to quantify the success of my blog in terms of overall readership of a my articles and books. The importance of a blog for a full-time writer is that it gives your writing business a professional face to the online world.
The other important aspect of blogging, to me, is that I feel it is more personal, and I’m all about personal. I can let my hair down on my blogs. I want my blogs to be like a conversation, and I often include personal vignettes about what is happening in my everyday life. For me, it goes back to forming that bond between writer and reader.
How We Affect Others with Our Writing
“Does this mean that the writer does not need to take in consideration of how this may affect people close to them? I ask this because writer Susan Shapiro said in her workshop (which I attended) that ‘the minute you upset your family with what you have written, you will know you have found your voice.’”
This question is from Lea. I’m happy to report I actually wrote her name down. One out of four ain’t great, but it’s better than batting .000.
This is a minefield of a question. Watch where you step with this question.
Lea is talking about writing a memoir, and she is concerned that she may upset some family members with her words. I recently had my niece contact me, asking me to help her with a memoir that will definitely cause hard feelings among her family.
Watch where you step!
Should we take into consideration how our words will affect other people? I would hope that we do. I would hope that we write with compassion and empathy….but….and this is a huge but (t)…..
Writers also have to be true to themselves. For many memoir writers, the act of writing that memoir is a cleansing one. The writing allows the writer to deal with some trauma that happened to them earlier in life, and it is very important, to them, to have that story told….and if it hurts others so be it.
Honestly, I can see both sides of this, and it has to come down to a personal decision. I understand what Susan Shapiro was saying about voice. I also understand that a writer better be prepared for some fallout and backlash if they choose to use their voice without restrictions.
Right on Schedule
From Bob in Toledo: “How important is a schedule to a freelance writer?”
Next question, please.
Oh, you wanted more, Bob? I don’t know how anyone can be a freelance writer without a schedule. By definition, being a freelance writer means you are in business. How can you run any business without working hours and a schedule? If you are taking your writing seriously, and you have goals you want to meet, then, in my opinion, you need a writing schedule, and it needs to be as specific as possible, broken down by the hour, five days per week, fifty-two weeks per year.
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- William Holland | Helping Writers to Spread Their Wings and Fly
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Until Next Time
Keep those questions coming or this series of articles will die a slow death. Thanks to the five writers who gave me material to work with this week. I hope I answered some questions many of you have, and I sure hope I didn’t further muddy any waters you are wading through.
Until next week…..Happy writing my friends!
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”