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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Two

Updated on January 18, 2016

Happy January 18th to All of You

Did you notice the days are getting longer? I no longer tuck the chickens to bed in their coop at four in the afternoon…now it’s five, and for whatever reason, that makes me happier. We live under a lot of cloudy skies here in western Washington, so any added daylight is much-appreciated.

And all of the questions this week are much-appreciated as well. Let’s get to them, shall we?

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Guest Blogging

From Rasma: “I've stepped into the New Year with great ambition. First of all I am delighted that I am getting more followers for my blogs. Having said that a Wordpress blog about cats started enjoying my animals are wonderful blog and I began reblogging some of their posts. Now they have invited me to be a guest blogger with their site and I accepted. The problem? I have no idea how to be a guest blogger and what kind of things about cats I can come up with to write about lol and I should say help with your most thoughtful advice. Thank you Bill.”

Well, Rasma, congratulations on the additional followers to your blog and the guest-blogger gig. What to write about? Usually the blogger will give some guidelines when they ask you to guest-blog. If not, you just go with the general topic and write about anything you want to write about. I always ask for a desired word total and a general topic. Once I have that information I do what comes naturally….I write!

Good luck and have fun!

The lady in blue was actually the inspiration for a character in my novel and  she changed halfway through the book.
The lady in blue was actually the inspiration for a character in my novel and she changed halfway through the book. | Source

Changing Characters

From Ann: “Do you change your characters sometimes or do they change themselves? Can you give us an example please? I find that characters sometimes take me down a totally different path and some refuse to be as I want them to be - so I ditch them and listen to alternatives. That's the muse again I suppose. I know you've had a similar question before but it's the concrete example that I'm interested in.”

Ann, you always have interesting questions. So it’s concrete you want, eh?

I just finished my second novel in the “Shadows” series. One of the main characters is Liz, a former cop who is also Eli Baker’s lover. She has grown considerably in the two novels. She started out a “by the book” cop with a strict sense of duty and honor, but about halfway through the first novel she changed. Part of that change was my doing and part was hers. She became deeper, for lack of a better word. She showed her vengeful side with regards to her kid sister’s rape and murder, and eventually she became every bit as much of a vigilante as the main character, Eli Baker. It was like peeling off layers of an onion with Liz…eventually we found out what was really beneath that “by the book” exterior.

I hope that helps. One other character I’ll mention, this one from another novel of mine, “Resurrecting Tobias.” Pete began as a trusty sidekick with little confidence…..he morphed into the most reliable of the characters and really the strongest of them all. Again, Pete demanded that I change him about halfway through the book.

I hope that answered your question, my friend.

TWITTER

From Sally: “I often see on my twitter feed, promoters looking for writers and I have wonder if you have thought about going this route - or do you use twitter to promote your books?”

Sally, I’m about the last person to ask about Twitter. I have an account and I tweet my articles on that site, but that’s about it. I really know very little about it and haven’t taken the time to learn about it. I’m sure there are advantages to doing what you mention, but I get good results from other social media, and quite frankly I just don’t have the time to take on another project. Sorry I don’t know more. #twitterignorant

REVIEWS

From Blond: “Do you write reviews as a method of ensuring quality, especially with books. I know there are many 'paid for reviews' but it is really the only measure of quality when a publisher is no longer involved.”

Blond, I totally agree with you. Without constructive reviews there really is no longer a measure of quality with regards to a book. And yes, I do write reviews for books I read and I try to be supportive but still truthful. I just wrote a review about a book on quail I just read. Now I have to tell you, I thought the book was trash, but I didn’t say that in the review. I was honest without being mean. I really can’t be mean to another writer because I know how hard it is to be a writer….but I will find the words to tell that writer there is work to be done and improvements to be made.

Am I good enough?
Am I good enough? | Source

Am I Good Enough

From Eric: “Which brings me to my question. Anxiety over publication is normal. I get that. But that does not change the nagging worry over "Is it good enough?" Now I know you have no rational fear of such things but I would bet even you get that feeling. How do you overcome it?”

Eric, I follow Nike’s ad slogan…..I just do it!

I was raised to never back down. My dad drilled into me to always move forward, no matter the consequences and no matter how much I dreaded it. Just between you and me, I don’t think I’m good enough. I feel that way every single time I publish a book, and many times when I publish an article. I don’t think I’ll ever be the writer I want to be and there are days I don’t think I’ll ever be the writer I should be.

But I just do it, because not doing it is a sure-fire way of failing, and I refuse to give up. I can’t say what it will take for you to get over that hump. I am not silly enough to think what works for me will work for you, not when we’re talking about a psychological roadblock. We are all different, and it’s not enough for me to say “just do it.”

But you asked and that’s my answer.

And my last bit of response is this: is it good enough for what?

Think about that for awhile.

GRAMMAR

From Kailey: “The grammar question made me smile. Just tonight, my coworker was talking about how his teacher wants his class to do more grammar work. He's a senior in high school. I agree that some of the grammar rules are meant to be broken, but considering how most teens write, these days, I think high school teachers should be more focused on the basics. Don't you?”

My quick answer, Kailey, is yes.

As you know, I was a teacher for eighteen years, but it’s been nine years since I taught in high school and honestly, I don’t have a clue what high school teachers are teaching now in Language Arts. I don’t know how much time they spend on basic grammar rules. I think they should definitely be more focused on basic grammar judging from what I’ve seen from my young friends. I think most teachers need to concentrate on the basics no matter the subject, and I’m hoping with the changes in education and the sacking of “No Child Left Behind” we will see positive changes soon.

Formatting on Createspace

From Jo: “When you take a book you have labored over for years, and you try to set it up via create space. Why does it seem to not look right? I am still holding a grudge with Amazon. So, this isn't an option. I so wish you would think about being a source for writers to have they're e-book's published, or created with! Awesome reading....blessings~”

Thank you Jo, but there is no way I’m going to get into the publishing business. Far too many headaches for this boy to even consider.

As for the CreateSpace problem, it’s all in the formatting from Word to CreateSpace. There is an excellent book available called “A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and other Online Booksellers” and it is the best step-by-step guide to formatting on CreateSpace I have read. I use it every time I self-publish and you really should think about buying it. I was having the same problems you were having until I bought that book.

Thanks to You All

As they say in the movie business, that’s a wrap! Thanks for all the great questions this week, and thanks to all of you who show up every week to follow along. You are all greatly appreciated.

I just self-published my second novel in the “Shadows” series, so it’s time to start working on the next novel. I may not be good enough, but that’s not going to stop me from trying my hardest. Maybe one day in the near future I’ll be able to grab that brass ring.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hear you, Lawrence. .....take care, my friend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I wish my daughter was like that! Still it should be good.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I think you just got the best of both worlds....your blog and she does the work. I wish I had a daughter like that. :)

      Thank you my friend!

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Really good advice here. I was planning a blog this year and set some stuff up on WordPress but my daughter found out and now 'wants in' so I guess it'll be a joint one with muggins doing most of the work!

      Great stuff here

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it's so good to hear from you again. I've been a bit worried about you. Glad to hear it's good news that has kept you away. Congratulations once again, and blessings always.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill,

      So happy to see the Mailbag series is still going strong with great questions and equally as great answers! I'm sorry I've been off from HP for a bit. I don't remember if I told you I have another grandson, born December 28. My son loves making babies LOL.

      Keep on keepin' on ...

      Peace and blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Larry! I appreciate it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 19 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great installment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Audrey....give it a try. I've had a good experience with it.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      Ah--somehow I didn't realize that--a bunch of my poetry friends have used it--and have liked it

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, CreateSpace is affiliated with Amazon, so the obvious first advantage is the amount of coverage you get through the Amazon network....I'm not selling them, just relating a good experience from my vantage point. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      I keep wondering about create space---I am looking to publish my first chap book and am trying to figure out what to use

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes they would, Zulma, and we wouldn't have it any other way either. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      That would be fun. I can see it now: you and I wittering on about writing and characters while our significant others look on indulgently. They would exchange glances that suggest they wouldn't have us any other way. lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, you definitely don't need to say more...thanks for the chuckle and your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Glimmer. I'm pretty much the same way on book reviews...too many bad ones does not happen by accident.

      Have a super duper weekend!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 19 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Congrats on the publication. Yes, you ARE good enough, and I will say it until you believe it. At least you know basic grammar rules. Not only do the youngsters of today need grammar instruction, it sure wouldn't hurt with some a few years older. I once wrote to someone with a masters in education, who gave up "meet." Need I say more?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 19 months ago

      I use twitter, but not with much success. As for book reviews, I always read them, but take them with a grain of salt. Books that I read, my husband won't touch and vice versa, but if there are a lot that completely slam a book, then I'll stay away. Enjoy your weekend Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Rajan! Your kind words are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, thank you Vellur! My goodness, I wouldn't even know where to start, but thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are really very nice. Thank you, Zulma. I hope one day we can sit down with our significant others and enjoy some time together.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 19 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Informative as always and a treat to read your answers. The best is one to carry on and leave self doubts behind and this holds good for any field one is in. Thank you, Bill.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 19 months ago from Dubai

      Great questions and answers. Every time I learn something new and useful, thank you for sharing. I totally agree with phoenix2327, you should start an online course.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      If you did an online writing course, I'd be the first to sign up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I laugh my ass off every single time you comment. Love the toilet comment and don't worry, if I'm teaching you will always get a good grade.

      As for teaching a Writer's Course, honestly, I've thought about it but Sis, I'm buried in other projects and another part-time job. It's in the back of my mind, though. Maybe next winter. :)

      Thank you, Sis...you are a joy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I think we can assume he won't last long if he was referring to a student. :) I caught that and howled when I heard it. I'm glad you noticed.

      Thank you for always being here.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Installment 82??!! Well Teach, if you give a big fat zero for every missed class, I'm screwed. Don't even bother to mail my report card!

      I'm always impressed at the intelligent questions our writers submit. More importantly, you always have an answer......an accurate, clear & sensible one.

      Have you written the high schools and Junior colleges about teaching a Writer's Course, ( night school, extra credits courses, etc?) They do pay people to do those classes, you know. You're a natural and certainly more capable than most!......Don't make me hound you.

      I think I'm growing fond of the goofy-looking guy in your toilet. There's something to be said about just hanging around long enough until you're noticed!! Peace, Sis.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 19 months ago from south Florida

      Your answers to your readers' somewhat anxiety-laden questions, were relevant and realistic as usual, Bill. But I am worried about that "Mr. Bailey" teacher mentioned in the video. If the person he labeled as having "yellow teeth" was a student, then Mr. B. is in a whole lotta PC trouble.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Sha! Your support of me is greatly appreciated. Now on to the next novel. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes they do, Flourish. Isn't it wonderful being a writer? :)

      Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 19 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I'm so pleased to see the second in the Shadows series is now live and available for purchase. I'll be picking up my copy very soon. Can't wait to see what Eli and the gang are up to this time around!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

      Characters evolve like people do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will for sure, Frank! Too many people look forward to it for me to quit now. Thank you sir!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      Billybuc thanks for this continuing saga.. the Mail man that could..:) wow 82.. and in this mail bag, I really found the grammar question extremely helpful...:) keep them rolling

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that very much, Aesta. I'm glad what I learned can be of help to others. Again, thank you for purchasing my book.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 19 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It looks like I missed the Shadows series. I am reading right now The Ultimate Guide to Writing and going through it slowly, digesting every paragraph and applying what I've learned. I have more confidence now when I write and have write more. Thanks again for these tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Almost balmy here, MizB....fifty and right now dry. Strange weather everywhere. Not sure what it all means but strange nonetheless.

      Thank you and Happy Wednesday!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 19 months ago

      Good morning, Bill, another Monday, another mailbag, and you've done your usual great job. Hope you're warmer than we are here. We had a dusting of the white stuff, but nothing stuck, but it made us pull out our cuddle duds and boots.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very cool, Rasma! Take them and run with them, my friend. I look forward to the results of your inspirations.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 19 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you so much Bill. As soon as I read this and got all of your other great advice the writer in me kicked in. Now I already have a list of topics and I can take it from there. Hope you have a really great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you make me laugh. Should I answer that question in the Mailbag? Oh, why not? See you next Monday and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I appreciate that very much, Bill! Thank you and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very cool mailbag. I like coming over late as your readership makes the best comments. And you respond to them all with grace. That is super duper cool. Is it hard to keep from getting a big old fat head with all the compliments? Or does the rest of the world smacking you down keep you so humble?

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill, another great week for the mailbag. I'm a day late but will always find my way to the mailbag. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Besarien, I love your wishes at the end....thank you for that. I won't take that literally and then I can tell you that every day I'm above ground and breathing the wonders of life is the prettiest sunset of my life. :)

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 19 months ago

      Rest assured I am even more "#twitterignorant" than you, billybuc. I am not sure that I understood the question. I haven't dabbled in proper social media since Myspace was new. I loved your answer "good enough for what?" I think that is always the perfect answer. Somehow I doubt people in very high places ever think to ask themselves such things. So, why should we, then? Wishing you, and yours, and the chickens too the prettiest sunset all year so far.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you are too kind, but thank you very much. Have a great week too, my friend, and hugs and blessings are coming your way.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! I think you'll find that book very helpful.

      blessings my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Fear not, Dora. We'll get you through it. :) Thanks for always being here.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 19 months ago from New York

      There's never anything that can be added to the wonderful comments when one shows up on Tuesday for a Monday Mailbag!

      We are all thrilled to have a teacher in the house Bill, and as your successful mailbag attests, we lean on you for guidance and to teach us.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 19 months ago

      Hi Bill! :-)

      Thanks so much for the tip about the book. I am going to place in an order today! also, thanks for answering my question. As far as the days getting longer? It feels to me they seem to be going quicker!

      Great responses to the questions, really enjoy this series.

      Blessings always..hugs too ((((((( Bill )))))))

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great questions and answers! I paid special attention to the one about changing characters; I so scared of fiction, but I'm learning. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Colin yes, that's where people run into trouble on CreateSpace. The formatting on writing that is not straightforward can be tricky, but they do cover it in that book. Good luck and thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, ChitrangadaSharan! I'm glad I could help. I look forward to hearing about your guest-blogging experiences.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Alicia. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, thanks for your thoughts on Twitter. I'll take them to heart, my friend. Your advice is gold to me. :) have a great week, stay warm and stay safe.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! Hidden in your great comment is a question, and that question will be answered next Monday. Love what you said to Eric...thanks again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna! I wish I could instill that "just do it" credo in every writer crippled with self-doubt.

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      Colin Garrow 19 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Re Jo's question about Createspace - I've been using it for a couple of months and it's been pretty straightforward, but I've just published one of my stage plays and the formatting went haywire! Reckon I'll take a look at that book you mention... Great Hub, Bill.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent installment and all questions and responses are worth reading. I was also not very clear about guest blogging. Thank you Rasma for asking and thank you Bill for your helpful answer.

      All other Q-A are very helpful as well.

      Thank you so much!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      As always, thanks for the Monday mailbag hub. I still learn something new from each installment!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 19 months ago from Chicago Area

      It's still Monday and I'm in the Mailbag. Woohoo! Lots of goodies today I see.

      Re: Guest Blogging. I still do guest blogging (used to do a lot of it), but have been going back and forth about how I feel about it lately. I've gotten a bunch of junk/self-serving guest blog requests, including those that want to write on my blog and those that want to do a blog exchange (we guest on each others). What's hilarious is that they don't realize that I have my blog on HP. That tells me one thing: Junk/scammer request! But if it's a great friend who wants me to guest, I'm in. Just did one this month on using Twitter for business. Which brings us to...

      Re: Twitter. I'm a bit leery about Twitter promoters. I'm of the philosophy that if you're not personally active on that network or don't understand how it works, it doesn't make much sense to be there, aside from possibly using it as a news feed for updates on your work. I'm very active (meaning conversational) in the Twitter-space and have gotten good results over the years. But it does take commitment. Promoters may be betting on the fact that people don't understand Twitter.

      Re: Createspace Formatting. As you can also probably personally attest, getting the formatting right with the CS templates can be challenging and requires some experimentation to get it right. I finally got it down to a science and just use my own templates now. Part of the problem is Microsoft Word auto-formatting quirks, especially for headers, footers and pagination. As well, one needs to know how things should look in a published book. That takes education, experience and keen observation. For those that have difficulty, Createspace will format a book for you for a fee. Might be worth the price.

      Have a great week ahead!

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      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I may be a little late reading this, Bill, but I got here eventually. I felt this was one of the best mailbags yet. In regard to Jo's self-publishing question..thanks for recommending that book..I almost went crazy getting the formatting right for my poetry eBooks on Lulu and they still didn't turn out the way I wanted. I want to publish a book that is a mix of short fiction stories, essays and poetry (do you think that would work?) but I am reluctant to go through the formatting headache again in a hurry. Maybe it gets easier with practice.

      Oh, and to Eric (if you are the Eric I know) you need to have confidence in your writing ability. Everything you write exudes confidence and capability as a writer. I have never noticed one spelling or grammatical mistake in any of your hubs, and your life lessons need to be read by more...so yeah, "just do it." I know we all have some self-doubt. I got a negative comment on just one short fiction story I wrote and it deflated my ego..so I know what it's like. Thankfully another hubber made me see sense. I look forward to next week's mailbag, enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have to agree with Swalia's comments above: "Am I good enough?" Self-doubt can be crippling. I suffer from this, and it can be a paralyzing roadblock. But Eric was right -- as was Nike: "Just do it!" Great article, Bill, as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, thank you so very much. Your confidence in my abilities means a great deal to me...truly.

      Stay warm and safe. Summer is on its way. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      You are a brilliant writer! Your answers to questions are appreciated more than you realize. Just taking the time when you're so busy is wonderful. It is cold here too. It's going to snow tomorrow. Yuck..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita! I have to use the picture from time to time because I love it so much. :)

      Gold ring? Why not, my friend. It shall be so. I am officially going after the gold ring. I'll leave the brass for some recycler. :)

      Thanks my friend...blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I see you have a new one. I'll be by shortly.

      I hope your week is everything you planned it to be...and more. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 19 months ago from london

      Before I go any further, why not a gold ring, Bro? You're much better than a brass.

      Another exciting an encouraging mailbag from you. Always happy that the questions are coming in. Excellent work and questions!

      I think that Gypsy is a great researcher. For the cats thing, I would simply look up cats on the internet, maybe buy one book from Amazon also. Just by doing this, many ideas should come, and she can then play with them, like cats. He he. Just made that one up. Great work, Bro.

      P.S Don't think I've mentioned it before, but I always get a smile from your 'flush system.' Cool!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps. I appreciate your kind words. Now I would sure appreciate some warmer temperatures. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Melissa, enjoy your day off and for goodness sake, stay warm and safe. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jonas! Much-appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I've been there, done that and I agree...nothing on Earth will ever make grammar interesting. :)

      Thank you and Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, you just coined a classic sentence...."communication trumps grammar"....that's a classic and it is true.

      Writers walk a tightrope. Everything you said is true but still....one bad review geared towards poor grammar can sink any chance a book has of succeeding...so the writer is always cognizant of that fact and tries to have perfect grammar.

      Of course, perfect grammar is pretty much a myth, so there you go.

      And here we are....

      thank you my friend.

      bill

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      William Leverne Smith 19 months ago from Hollister, MO

      #twitterignorant - love it! Perhaps we can get it trending. I use Twitter exactly as you said. I never read Twitter feeds. Good mailbag today, with a nice variety. Always enjoy hearing about characters that change... on their own is even better. Happens to me, all the time, ... Think that is good. Have a great week!! ;-)

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      Buildreps 19 months ago from Europe

      As always, a great Mailbag, billybuc! Your use of language is as always crystal clear and insightful. Yes, the days are getting longer again. Finally:) Thanks for the great read.

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      Deborah Neyens 19 months ago from Iowa

      Interesting mail bag today, Bill. Lots of good questions and great answers. Enjoy your week.

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      Melissa Propp 19 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I actually got the day off...which is nice because it is like -10 outside and I don't want to go anywhere! Congrats on publishing #2 in your series. Do you know how many books will be in this series? Or are you going to play it by ear?

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      Jonas Rodrigo 19 months ago

      Good hub, billybuc!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      I smiled while reading about grammar. During my last year of high school, I was taking AP English and I loved it. We were doing literature which involved reading classic literature and poetry, dissecting writing styles, discussing the author's intent and if he/she had achieved it. It was so cool. The one day the teacher announced that the school board required us to do grammar work. We spent the next two hours (it was a double period) doing grammar and diagramming sentences. It was the longest and most painful two hours of my life. (Painful mainly because I had to keep pinching myself to stay awake.) On the bright side, since we met the requirement we never had to visit that topic again. Grammar is important no doubt, but there is nothing on this Earth that will ever make it interesting. lol

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      bradmasterOCcal 19 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Grammar!

      I keep commenting every time I see it come up in the mailbag.

      It seems to me that while it is imperative that authors know and apply the rules of grammar, I don't think that knowledge is requisite for the readers.

      Most of us, if not all of us that went to school were taught basic math and grammar. But over the years since we left high school, and even college those rules, at least for readers have faded into the background of our minds. It seems like, our memory creates a glimmer of math and grammar, if we are not utilizing it frequently. We know crystal clear that we had been taught math and grammar in detail, yet we cannot retrieve that information with any semblance of clarity.

      So, like taking a multiple choice exam, we sometimes just guess on the rules we once learned. Take the simple transposition in an equation. We remember how to do it, when we go across the equal sign, but do we remember the details of why it works?

      Probably not.

      The same is true of grammar, and spelling. But, thanks to the magic of spell check, we realize that we don't remember how many, even common words are spelled. Was it a single, or double L?

      The spell checker today does the heavy lifting of our spelling, as the calculator does it for arithmetic.

      MS Word also checks your sentences for grammar.

      My point is that communication trumps grammar, as long as it is geared for the reader. That doesn't mean spelling errors because they distract from the read.

      Newspapers are written for 8th grade level readers. Of course, it is set at that minimum level to get the widest of readers to read the paper.

      I don't know what level is arbitrarily set for readers of fiction novels, but that should be the factor for the level of grammar, or should it?

      Just a thought.

      Martin Luther King day, but there is not JFK, or R Reagan day???

      Just another thought, now, I am without a thought.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is indeed, Linda! Thank you for those kind words, and Happy Monday to you.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, a new profile picture for you. Very nice!!!!!

      Thanks for spending part of your Monday with me. I really do appreciate you.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Word. I appreciate it.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Janine, for taking a break from the family. Isn't it wonderful, the longer days? My goodness, winter has really affected me this year....sigh!

      Happy Monday! Enjoy your time with the kids and husband.

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      Linda Lum 19 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, a good morning to you and thank you for another good Monday hub. You are helping others to grow and learn and become better--and that is exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to do.

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      Mary Wickison 19 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my question in today's mailbag. There was a little bit of everything in the mailbag today.

      I think self doubt creeps up in most people. I remember reading something about Whitney Houston thinking she wasn't good enough. It breaks my heart to think that someone so talented could feel that way.

      I agree, I would rather fail than not have tried.

      Have a peaceful day.

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      Word 19 months ago from Chicago

      Hey billybuc, you've displayed another meaningful hub. Keep up the good work!

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      Janine Huldie 19 months ago from New York, New York

      A bit on the late side, as my kids and husband are home today for Martin Luther King Day, but just had to stop in to read the latest installment and to also wish you a very, Happy Monday. Oh and by the way, I have noticed about the longer days and just couldn't be happier about that still, too!! :)

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! It is going fast. The sooner the warm weather gets here the better. :)

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, good morning! Are you off work today? If so, enjoy your day off.

      Once a teacher always a teacher....I'm afraid it's so for me. I don't intend to sound "teachy" but I guess it's now just a way of life for me.

      Anyway, enjoy your day and thank you for always being here.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria! The days are flying by, my friend, too fast in my opinion.

      love,

      bill

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      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! January is going fast. Well done to you on great accomplishments. Always a worthy read from yo. So enjoy reading your work.

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      social thoughts 19 months ago from New Jersey

      Another great one in the bag, Bill!

      Haha I liked your "#twitterignorant!" Hilarious! I don't use Twitter, myself.

      The review response was interesting. I thought to myself, "I would love to read Bill's reviews of books as a series." Where can we find your review of that quail book you were so fond of? ;)

      Oh, that "Am I Good Enough" question. We've had those in the past, right? It's comforting to know that you struggle with it, too, even though I think you're amazing. I feel a rush of anxiety each time I publish an article on here, but like you I just do it, anyway. It's like any other type of artist. Performers may get sick before going on stage, but they'll get up there, regardless.

      Thank you for including my question. I hadn't intended it to be part of the Mailbag, but I am flattered you felt inclined to elaborate; especially, as a teacher yourself! Once a teacher, always a teacher!

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      Maria Jordan 19 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Happy Monday, dear Bill.

      Thanks for sharing your insights with us - congratulations on your latest accomplishment - a true inspiration to me.

      Have a great week. Love, Maria

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Ann! I'm off to get the car worked on, so must run. Have a super duper Monday!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eldon, good morning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on rules. I agree of course. I make the occasional mistake, as I suspect we all do, but when I'm trying to break the rules, as you said, I find it hard to do. So I know what you are saying.

      Happy Holiday to you! One thing about being a writer...holidays hold a little less meaning to us. :)

      bill

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      Ann Carr 19 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for the answer, bill. It strengthened my conviction that characters actually take over; they become what they want to become!

      Congratulations on the last publication and good luck with it. I'll get round to reading it eventually but I'm still concentrating on the 5 others I promised to review (the hubbers' works at the top of the list, then the two others!).

      Have a manic Monday, bill!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Swalia and thank you for joining me this morning.