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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Four and a Half

Updated on February 8, 2016

Did the Title Confuse You?

If you were with me last week, you know that HP wouldn’t let me use “eighty-three” in the title of the article, so I used “eighty-four” instead…so today’s mailbag is really eighty-four, but to set things right with HP it is now 84 ½. Confused yet?

Let’s get started before this becomes far too muddled to navigate.

PROFITABLE?

From Sha: “I have one for you, Bill: Are you making any money from your eBooks and self-published novels? Do you find the ROI versus time spent writing, formatting, and self-publishing is equitable or profitable?”

There are actually two questions here, so your answers are “a little” and “yes.”

My dad used to say you should never ask anyone how much money they make. I never really cared if anyone knew or not, so I’ll answer this question gladly…..plus, you really didn’t ask how much I made. LOL

I hardly make any money at all from my eBooks. Oh, I make money, but I’m not rolling in it, if you get my drift….but I didn’t expect to at first. I’m a firm believer in the theory handed down in the book “Write, Publish, Repeat.” The more you publish, the more you make….a little at first, but each new work earns you money and sales build on sales build on sales. In other words, pennies add up.

Is it worth it to me? I’m a writer. Of course it’s worth it to me. I never expected to be a bestselling writer. Any money I make is a bonus for me. I’m just thrilled there are people out there who think I’m good enough that they are willing to spend their dollars on my work. I’m in it for the long haul, and I’ll keep on writing until my muse dies.

I think many writers come into this writing gig with far-too-lofty and unrealistic expectations. There are very few overnight successes. Most times, successful writers toil in obscurity for years if not decades….so I’m willing to put in my time. Besides, most of my life has been obscure, so what’s a few more years?

And I’ll end with this: Any writer who is writing simply to make money is in the wrong business.

Welcome to the Mailbag!
Welcome to the Mailbag! | Source

Turning It on and Off

From Eric: “Now this question is not so much about the muse coming and going but about the dark muse. Or even the light muse. How do you stay even keeled in your writing? Some days I am dark and foreboding and some days light as a feather on the breeze. For me - I just do not write to publish in the dark as my focus is on uplifting. But you have characters and plots to deal with. How do you stay "even"? You must turn it on and off to write about the Dales one day and Billy the next. Release your secret for it must be a secret about balance in life!”

I understand your question, Eric, but I’m not sure I have a good answer. I actually can turn it on and off. I can’t, however, do it in the same day. In other words, if I’m going to write “dark” in my Billy the Kid series, I do that all in one day. The next day I switch gears and write “light” about the Dale family. That process works for me. I’m not sure it works that way for other writers. I suspect that most writers who work on different projects must separate them in that way. It’s too hard to switch gears and moods otherwise.

The other thing I do, which helps me, is I re-read some of my earlier “dark” works before writing “dark.” The same is true when I write “light.” I need to put myself in a dark mood, or a light mood, before writing that way.

Did that help at all?

Updating Articles

From Ruby: “Hi Bill. Do you think it's worthwhile to update an article that was written and published for awhile then not featured after traffic stopped? Another great mailbag. Thank you.”

Hi Ruby! It’s good to get a question from you. Thank you!

I think you are referring to HubPages with this question. My answer is this: if your goal is to gain maximum views through Google searches and thus to maximize your earnings on HP then yes, I think it is worth your time to update your articles. Having said that, maximizing your earnings on HP may, or may not, be worth the effort. I can’t speak for others, but I don’t find HP earnings to be worth my time at all. The type of writing I do will never earn me big money on HP, and that’s true of anyone who writes poetry or short stories, so in that case why update them???

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit soured on HP and their “evergreen” suggestions. I’m just a writer and I refuse to have the HP staff tell me what is “good” writing and what is not.

But that’s just me, Ruby.

My second novel

Satisfied and dissatisfied at the same time
Satisfied and dissatisfied at the same time

The Dis-ease When the Work Is Done

From Kailey: “As for "Re-writing Novels," I thought you were going to change major parts, as well. I found it interesting because I have always felt that if I published any of my fiction, I would probably never be satisfied with how I wrote it, and not because of errors like you speak of, but the bigger events. Do you have those concerns, as well?”

Kailey, I have those concerns as soon as I hit the “publish” button, on all of my works, articles and books alike. I find it darned near impossible to be completely satisfied with anything I write. With my first novel, which you are referring to, I was dissatisfied with it a week after I published it. I was proud of it, but I also knew I could do better. So I’m working on that rewrite now. The story won’t change because I absolutely love the story, but I can make it better, and that’s what I plan on doing.

I battle daily between the desire to publish and the knowledge that no matter what I publish, I could do better. I could literally delay publishing anything because it will never be good enough, but I’ve got enough of an ego that I want my work published…so I compromise and do the best I can and move on to the next project.

Great question!

This picture was actually the inspiration for the "Farm" series of short stories
This picture was actually the inspiration for the "Farm" series of short stories | Source

This series began by writing a character study

Writing a Series

From Linda: “Now, I do have one question--when you began to write this series did you know where it was headed, or are you making it up as you go along? (It's OK, you can tell me. I won't share your secret with anyone {{wink}}).”

Linda, thank you for promising not to tell my secret…..with that promise secured, I’ll go ahead and answer.

I don’t have a clue when I start a series. In truth, I barely have a clue about plot when I start a novel.

How’s that for honesty?

I’ve said all along that my characters tell the story, and I meant what I said. I start a novel or a series with an idea. I write the first chapter and then turn it over to the characters. They have never failed me yet. In the case of my “Billy the Kid” series, I began by simply taking part in a writing exercise about an Irish street rat walking the streets of New York one cold night. That was my main goal when I started. About halfway through his walk, he told me he was keeping a low profile because he had sex with the Russian mob leader’s daughter…..and from there the series just happened.

In my “Dale Family Saga,” my main goal when I started out was to describe the United States on a cross-country train trip….then the main character, William Dale, met Sarah (with an h) on the train, and their lives commenced. At that point I knew they needed to be together and I turned the story over to them to tell.

That’s as close as I can come to explaining the process I use. I start with a very simple idea and let it grow from there.

And That’s It for Another Week

Fantastic questions this week and I thank you! I’ll see you next week for #85, provided the HP gods allow that number to appear in the title. Have a great week of writing and a great week of living. Remember, please, to do all things with love. We need more of it in this world.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 15 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, always so happy to see you here giving writing advice each Monday. That said more great words of wisdom here today and you never fail. Happy Monday and wishing you a wonderful week ahead once again now, Bill! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Janine and thank you so much. Have a great week my loyal friend.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 15 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      I know that for me, there are not only dark days and light days, but seasons as well. I just came out of a long season of book writing where I finished the second draft of 2 novels (have one to my first beta reader, wrote the first draft of another, and wrote and published two short booklets. As of the first of the year I have transitioned into a marketing phase of writing where I am writing content articles and newsletters and the like. I have a lot of books out there that I have been so busy producing that the PR has taken a backseat. Not that I won't be putting out more books this year. I probably will be putting out two more novels, but my focus is off writing the books and more on marketing.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 15 months ago

      Someone who is writing for money is definitely in the wrong profession. Great answers as usual!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sooner or later, Donna, the focus has to be on marketing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and good luck in 2016.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Swalia. It's always good having you visit.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning to you Bill. I look forward each Monday to your advice. Thank you for including my question in your mailbag.

      I guess writing is like any creative process. Does a painter know what the final framed piece will look like? I doubt it. I rarely follow a recipe--unless otherwise noted, I make up all of the recipes that I post here on Hubs (you only get to hear about the good ones). As for writing, all of yours are "good ones."

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      Hello Bill. "Eighty-Four and a Half" rang in my spirit, ' this must be good.' Overtime your "Mailbag" supplies best practical answers, no doubt about, however this time is the best of all best because with the practical is associated full of life sustainig wisdom. Your dad has a great deal in it. (Isn't it a blessing to listen/obey and apply of our dad's wisdom?!) Then, making money is secondary! you just blessed me so much that at this point I was compelled to celebrate; and it was a big deal to me. I went to finish my four onces coffe, which I am keeping for a specila treet, saved from my first mornig sixteen onces cup. I heeted it up, add some raw honey, just a pinch of milk, then slowly sippink I was digesting powerful words of your answer,- drinking unto your healht my friend.

      Oh, don't take me wrong that I am against making / having money. They are comming- following us as our need unfolds. More important is to " Be thrilled there are people out here who think I'm good enough..." Yes, there are people who benefit from your writing ( Most of the time the outhors are not inform of our appreciation for their helping us to know more, thus become better persons.)

      " Most times, succesful writers toil in obscurity for years if not for decades..." (This is as good as a credo.) You might be familiar with the saying "The artists are always busy - most of the time witout money and hungry" (an ancient sayng).

      "There are very few overnigh successes..." Predominatly, what is a cuccess and what is a measure of a success.? " Any writer who is writing simply to make money is in the wrong business."" ( Quoting you here is my best way letting you know where are you making me richer.) You have to know how enormous truth you said. One have to live longer, long enough to "walk" a distance, then after a, let say forty five or more years, you would hear from the readers reminding you how their need has been met because you kept writing... ( It happened to me recently twice in one week, and I said Glory be to God).

      Thank you My friend. You made my day, my days...

      Now I would go on finish reading the rest of your article.

      Blessing and peace.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      So it's not just me who writes by the seat of their pants. You've no idea what a relief that is to know.

      I usually start off with a rough idea but something (a lot of things) happen between the time I start and the time I finish. The general idea is still there, but my characters tend to hijack it and have their wicked way with it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are too kind, Linda, but thank you very much. I just wish I had started writing at an earlier age. I've got a lot to write in my remaining years...gotta make up for lost time.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 15 months ago

      Bill, I’ve updated some of my “evergreen” shelved hubs only to find them shelved again in a few weeks. I’m assuming that this is typical, so I’m not sure I’ll update any more that aren’t linked together. I just updated a couple of my hubs that feed traffic on each other. I’ll just see how long it takes for them to be shelved again.

      That is a gorgeous inspirational picture. Where is that beautiful scene located, Washington? Happy Monday to you and have a good rest of the week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I smile whenever I hear from you, and I laugh silently because you always talk about your poor language skills and yet your comments are always rich with truths and beautifully written. How can that be so? Perhaps you are a better writer than you believe? I think that is so.

      Thank you for your kindness. I, too, put honey in my coffee. Just one more reason to like you. :)

      Blessings my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'm winging it right now. I just started a new short story series and I have no clue where it is heading...and that uncertainty is part of the fun for me. :) Thanks for knowing what I'm talking about. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, that picture was taken in Yellowstone National Park...that's the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. I'm so glad you liked it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on updating hubs. I know I won't be doing it again in this lifetime. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      '"Laughing with tears, makes one a believer in himself'"

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 15 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Good morning from windy S California.

      Forgive me if I am redundant about questioning the '83' Title issue.

      The number 83

      -----------------------------------------

      A strongly connected digraph is a directed graph in which it is possible to reach any node starting from any other node by traversing edges in the direction(s) in which they point. The nodes in a strongly connected digraph therefore must all have indegree of at least 1. The numbers of nonisomorphic simple strongly connected digraphs on n=1, 2, ... nodes are 1, 1, 5, 83, 5048, 1047008,

      ----------------------------

      83 is also a Prime Number as it can only be divided by 1 or 83 itself.

      -----------------------------

      So, other than that what is special about '83'?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Michael my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Brad, I now know much more about 83 than I did at the beginning of this day...but I still have no clue why HP rejected it. This may forever be a mystery, and I can live with that. :)

      Thanks my friend. Have a great week!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 15 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Does that mean that hp is a Numberist? :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I think Brad, that HP is an elitist. :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 15 months ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      The mailbag was interesting as always. Regarding updating hubs I think it is a good idea. I know when I look, I can always find something I wish to improve on.

      With products I design, I tend to look and think, ' I could have done it differently'.

      I don't see your name come up in the forums on HP but there is once again talk about HP folding. I would like to know if this site goes down the pan, what are your plans? Will you look for another site such as this or are your books, websites, farm and job keeping you too busy. Hmm I think I just answered the question myself. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond I hadn't heard that about HP possibly folding. It wouldn't surprise me at all but I hope it doesn't happen. As for my plans...how about an answer next week? :) Have a great week and thanks for sharing your thoughts about updating hubs. I guess, if I had more time, I would probably do that as well.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 15 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Great questions. Great answers. Yeah, like you, I don't make a lot of money with ebooks, but it is still fun to write them. It is certainly a weird thing that HP rejected your title with a number in it. I'm tired of trying to figure things like that out. Adapting seems to be the name of the game here.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 15 months ago from California Gold Country

      For a minute I thought your mailbag was only half full, but it seems you are still getting lots of good questions. Your advice is always generously helpful.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 15 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Wow, I find it absolutely fascinating that you don't have a plot in mind when you start a series! I mean, I know that you don't do formal outlines and you let the characters do the talking, but it sounds so scary to just jump into it like that. I love it! Thanks again for this series. Have a great week!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 15 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Interesting to see Blond Logic's talk about you never appearing in the forums, especially since it was going to be my question to you. I know we don't see you in the forums but do you read them or take any notice of what goes on in them?

      I don't mind admitting that I started writing here because I was motivated by the need to earn money from my writing though prior to that, it was always a dream of mine to write a novel.

      You must be one of the most focused people I know and I am in awe of organizational skills. You sure know how to allocate the time you have into neat little bundles.

      Very interesting subjects today, have a terrific week Billy.

      Sally.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I'm just here at HP because of all of you....I'd be gone if you all weren't here, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rochelle. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, it's much less daunting for me to do it that way than write an outline. LOL

      Happy Monday to you and hoping you see spring soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'll just answer your question now....no, I don't stop by the forums. I encountered some nastiness very early on there and I haven't returned since. I will occasionally answer a question that is posted, but never the forums.

      Thank you for your kind words. I guess my parents deserve the credit for my organizational skills. :)

      bill

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Nice Bill. We seem to have some similarities. I never plan anything, although I may have an idea in my head. Once I start, then everything flows.

      Thanks for another magical mailbag. Let us hope that you are allowed to write number eighty five by Hub Pages. Great Job!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      You made a believer out of me. The hubs can just sit there. I hate to delete them because I love some of the characters. Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita! Evidently there are quite a few of us out there who "wing it." Have a fabulous week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Ruby! I'm glad that helped. Thanks for the question and have a wonderful week.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 15 months ago from Hollister, MO

      You let your characters tell the story. I do too, but it doesn't all come at once, I would suggest. I think about them, listen to them all the time. Over a days, sometimes weeks, certain story lines come out. As the writer, I pick and choose which ones, to write down and share, which ones to hold back, which ones to let 'percolate' a bit more. Only on rate occasion does the story just 'pop up' as I start writing... it was developed on the tread mill, on a walk, at the mall, in the grocery store... how about your? Great mailbag this week. THANKS! ;-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 15 months ago from England

      Great advice and wisdom as always, and yes you do answer my unasked questions too!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I totally agree with you, my friend. This is, most times, a slow and arduous process, as you stated...and boy do I ever love it! Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Nell. Thank you so much!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 15 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Love the title. Another great week for the mailbag. The countdown is on to 100! Have a great week.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 15 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      It is always an experience to read about how you go about your writing. Thanks for the educative series, Bill.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your Monday mailbag hub is always enjoyable and informative, Bill. It's often thought provoking, too. Thanks for continuing the series.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 15 months ago from Dubai

      I have learned some more today from reading this installment. Thank you for answering and sharing your knowledge. You must be spending a lot of time and effort doing this, voted up.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 15 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for another useful installment!

      The question by Ruby is relevant for everyone at HP. It is important to keep on updating hubs at HP for the sake of views/ earnings but it is so difficult to update poems or stories.

      Thank you for sharing!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Your hubs are helpful to writers and always a great message. I enjoyed reading another informative hub. Thank you.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 15 months ago

      I feel the same way as you about writing. The first question people love to ask me is "do I actually make money." Personally, I think the question is rude, but I always say, "yes, of course." The truth is I don't care how much I earn. I love writing and I must do it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Another marvelous installment. Wow what great readership you have. About a day and you have 45 comments. That is incredible.

      I got some issues. Is there a top notch site that really gets it with regard to punctuation? This one gets me confused "do you always say that?". What the heck does the question mark go outside the quotation mark and do you need that period? And there are many more questions like that. I am sure you know all of that stuff -- but is there a place for a neophyte?

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 15 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Re rewriting published work, I have read (sources forgotten) that it is common for many of the poems in a collected poems book to be rewritten and quite different from the poems that originally appeared in magazines and chapbooks. I expect that prose writers take advantage, too, of opportunities to rewrite. I, for instance, long ago and far away had a story published in a locally distributed anthology of works created for a writing workshop; one of these days I'd like to see if I can make that story even better and then get it published where it might find worldwide readership.

      One time I read in an interview with novelist John Irving that he had a neighbor and acquaintance who wrote exquisitely beautiful prose, superior to his own efforts, but that, unlike himself, she just kept rewriting in search of elusive perfection, never submitting for publication her perpetual works in progress. While his shelves were filling with his published with all faults novels (and his works, I think, are masterful), her waste baskets were filling with precious but short of her high standards drafts. The moral? Many writers need deadlines.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed 84 1/2 Bill. What was HP's problem with Number 83 pray tell? Updating is a pain...I usually just change a title slightly or delete an Amazon capsule and it gets featured again. Trouble is it's happening too frequently now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I hope your week is productive as well, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Rajan! Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And you are always here, Alicia, and for that I am very appreciative.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, I'm doing what I love to do...so it really is not bother or effort. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree ChitrangadaSharan. I question the value of updating poems and stories....I guess only HP knows for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Pop! Of course I make money, but it really isn't important to me. Glad to know I'm not alone.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, exactly, and it is happening too often for me to bother with. This is just a showcase for me. It is not an attempt to make money or increase my views, per se. I'm a writer and my job is to become a better writer while informing and entertaining....period!

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 15 months ago

      Scheherazade- now there was an over-night success!

      Writing has to be the hardest "job" in the world to make a living doing, but when you love it, and I know you do, it makes for fun work. Hope your "overnight success" is scheduled for any day now, billybuc. I still think Matt Damon needs to be in Billy the Kid. I can see him there in my head. If I ever meet him I'll tell him so. Stranger things have happened too.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 15 months ago from SW England

      More and more interesting questions and answers every week!

      I agree about the 'dark' and 'light' moods; it's impossible for me to do both in one day unless they're short poems.

      Talking of which, I know you don't like creating poetry yet you're so good with the rhythm of writing and imagination so I don't understand why - what, do you think, is the difference, especially when these days it doesn't have to rhyme? Some of your writing sounds like poetry to me anyway!

      Another question: have you ever tried to help a child to write a story, poem or anything else? What kind of advice would you give children which would be any different from that for adults?

      Have a terrific Tuesday, bill!

      Ann:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, Eric, now you're asking for the moon. lol I'll have an answer for you next Monday. Thanks my friend.;

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I know a few writers like that...never satisfied with what they write, so they never publish. I think it's sad....and I think it short-changes society, who ultimately is the beneficiary of anything written. At some point we simply have to pull the trigger and put it out there.

      Thanks for your input; thoughtful as always, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Besarien! Stranger things have happened. I would be quite satisfied with Matt Damon playing my lead....color me happy if that ever happens. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Ann! I just finished my "other job," the one that actually pays the bills. Now I'm settling in for some "writing homework." Great questions you asked and they've never been asked. I'll have some answers for you on Monday. Until then, have a fabulous week, my friend.

      bill

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 15 months ago from Europe

      Great advices here, Bill. I like how your explanation how to switch between your 'dark' and 'light' moods. Being here on HP to make money is like you say not worth your time. That's how it is. It's a good way to promote your ideas and test the waters. Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All very true, Buildreps. I know there are a few on HP who do make good money, but obviously I'm not one of them....and strangely I don't care.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ok I am keeping tabs on you -- 3 days 64 comments and you responded to each one with deliberation. Just who is the other Bill that has time to write novels and farm? Come on I know there are two of you, at least.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      Oh, just enjoyable read. A seeming dilema found in questions, is disappearing in the course of your answer expanding the horizon by the additional comments.

      Thank you my friend. Blessing and peace.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The secret is out, Eric. I've got a twin brother. Darn it! I tried so hard to keep that a secret. LOL

      You know the drill...thank you from the bottom of this old heart.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 15 months ago from New Jersey

      I'm sorry I wasn't able to read this until tonight. I'm not used to working six days a week, yet. Yikes! I'll figure this out soon enough!

      I can relate to the "Turning It on and Off" question. I have worked on pieces that are light and pieces that are dark in the same day because I grew tired of one or the other. I enjoy both, equally. I admire your ability to keep at it, though!

      I am so glad you have that feeling of uneasiness, too, with your work. Yay! I am not alone! Thanks for elaborating on my question. Your response was interesting, as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I always love your comments. I am beginning to believe that the fact that English is your second language gives you an advantage in writing it....you have such a unique "voice" when writing....beautiful.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, you are experiencing the ups and downs of more hours for sure. It's always nice to have that extra money but it sure does cut down on free time. I'm sure you'll get used to it quickly. The worst for me, by far, was a year I had a paper route in the middle of the night. It was the longest year of my life. Graveyard completely turns your life upside down.

      No apologies with friends...you made it here and I'm appreciative.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      Reaction to a 'serious' charge. Hi.

      Two of recent your replies to my comments, Bill my friend made me to go back and read what is making 'kind of sense' you have seen, and I wasn't aware of when hesitantly let it go . ( I never see what you do and I am never sure if there is anything cognitive in my gibbering). Now being aware of that secret I have to confront Michael, take seriously in consideration known circumstances , then make strategy for future consideration...No promises, please.( Perhaps similar doubt of one's own frailty troubles the other real writers fro time to time?)

      Thank you, and goodnight. Be blessed and prosperous.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, as I am sure all writers feel, I too have doubts of my ability. This is natural. Writing is exposing one to instant scrutiny, and that takes a certain amount of bravery on any given day.

      You have talent. I believe that, and I await the day when you will believe it.

      blessings always

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      ah....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Michael....

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 15 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I was curious about your last two serials myself. Glad that you answered.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Deb! Thanks for following along and have a great weekend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      that was clever adding the half bag of mail LOL....again informative, useful and worth the read no matter how busy I am this month.. awesome my friend :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

      With the title issue and HP, try numbers instead. I just tried "Writers Mailbag: Installment 89," and it worked. Of course I deleted the title because this is your gig and I was just testing a workaround solution for you. At least it would avoid the odd "half" and other issues you're dealing with. Just an idea.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 15 months ago from The Caribbean

      It is empowering to discover that writers share the same concerns. Thanks for sharing your views which are always enlightening. Since you are an editor and you edit your work, whatever you post is Editor's Choice.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I really appreciate it, Frank! Thanks my friend.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Funny, Flourish, but I never considered doing that with numerals. Such a simple solution. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thank you Dora. It is empowering to know we are all similar like that.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      We had been on the road so I have not been reading your posts but each time I do, it focuses me back to keep writing. I have not yet started writing a story. I want to try and am glad to let the characters write the story. I have been thinking about the characters but nothing clicks yet.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, you are wise to wait. When something clicks you will no it and it will be much easier. Never force creative writing. :) Thank you for the visit.

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      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for your detailed answer to my question(s), Bill. I certainly wasn't asking how much you make. I was raised the same as you: that information is in the nunya category.

      I wonder why HP wouldn't allow you to use the number 83 in your title? Very strange. However, I love your creative response to getting back on track!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I didn't think you were asking....I was just mentioning what my dad always said as a funny....and who knows what HP's problem is this week? I gave up trying to figure them out.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      I know you didn't. Just wanted to let you know I was brought up with the same morals as you. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes indeed we were, Sha!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I nearly skipped this one with the '84' in the title like that, then I decided to 'check' if I'd read it, glad I did!

      I think I identified with just about every point you made regarding novel writing. By the way the 'evergreens' aren't really that great either! (not as I see them anyway)

      I took a look at some of the stuff thar HP's folks are putting out and it was DO I REALLY WANT TO WRITE THAT??? Still I'll keep writing the stuff I've been writing in the past even though the hits aren't that great!

      I found it interesting what you said about starting the novel with very little idea of a plot and letting the characters tell the story. I thought I had a good plot worked out for 'Sting of the Scorpion' but that lasted to about the middle of the first installment and things started to happen that weren't in the original idea. Now I'm just having fun.

      By the way I've taken a look at 'CreateSpace' and what they have there looks awesome so thanks for the recommendations in precious hubs!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Just thot of a question to do with 'self publishing' that you might be able to help with.

      On CreateSpace they have a facility that people can get feedback on part of their book from other writers (Kind of a review of a preview I suppose) but I'm wondering when is the best time to put something on this as it's partly to get people (other writers) to 'critique' the work and help you make improvements, but it's also partly to sell the work and as such you probably don't want too long a gap between the 'preview' (for review) and the actual do you?

      Is it best to wait until you've done the manuscript and 90% happy with it or do you 'Just do it' at first draft stage? What do you think?

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's all good, Lawrence. I'm glad I could be of help and thanks for your reflections about our craft. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lawrence. I'll give you an answer next Monday.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      Another wonderful Mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, you are doing yeoman's duty with all this commenting. Thank you sir!

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