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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Fifty-Six

Updated on July 20, 2015

You’ve Got Mail!

And happy I am because of it!

We complain when it’s too hot in the summer. We complain when it’s too cold in the winter. One thing we hopefully do not complain about is writing. Hopefully our passion outweighs any minor problems we have while we continue to hone our craft.

Let’s see if we can’t answer a few questions and help a few people continue to hone their craft.

Welcome back to the Mailbag
Welcome back to the Mailbag | Source

PUBLISHERS

From Carol: “Hi BIll: I have been away for a few weeks and little internet. Back in time to read your great mailbag.. What are the chances today of going with a traditional publisher?”

Carol, I’m glad you’re back and thanks for the depressing question. J What are the chances? Can you say “infinitesimal?”

The figure I often see is less than one percent. How much less really isn’t important, is it? Less than one percent of the hundreds of thousands of books queried to traditional publishers are actually picked up and promoted by those publishers.

And to throw more water on the fire, there are fewer big advances being paid even if the book is picked up by a traditional publisher, and then authors are now expected to do the majority of the marketing for their book.

Makes you wonder why we do it, doesn’t it?

This guy is my best PR service.  If he's willing to work hard at marketing then good things will happen.
This guy is my best PR service. If he's willing to work hard at marketing then good things will happen. | Source

Pr Service

From Jo: “Bill, another interesting and informative mailbag, keep 'em coming. I like the idea of collaborating with another writer, but I agree, there is the potential that it could go spectacularly wrong. Promoting my own book, scares me witless. :) Are there any good reasonably priced PR Services out there?”

Jo, great question, but unfortunately I don’t have a satisfactory answer for you. The tripping-up point of your question is in the words “reasonably priced.” For struggling writers, the cost of a PR firm does not have to be too terribly high to be “unreasonably priced.” Heck, Kindle does promotion, for a price, but I’ve found that price to be a bit high, and quite frankly, and this brings us to the second point I want to make….who do you trust in this business? I don’t know the Kindle people at all. I don’t know any of the online firms that advertise in the literary industry. Who do I trust to actually represent my book and really do a good job with it?

I think this business is ripe for scams and that’s what really worries me about PR firms we find online. Best word of advice I can give: if you really want to go this route then find someone who has used one of these firms and get recommendations. Ask around. Check in forums online. Ask questions of agents like Janet Reid. As questions of people like Hope Clark on her blog. Do not spend money on a PR firm until you’ve done diligent research.

One of my favorite TedTalks

The Muse Again

From Ann: “Another question: Do you ever find that an idea for a hub (or novel even) that comes into your head during the day (let's say whilst you're mucking out the goats!) files itself in your subconscious and is mulled over throughout the day, to emerge as a working draft? I believe the brain works on ideas in our sleep and in our subconscious. Is the result all the better for that subconscious time? Or is that your muse?!”

Ann, I love questions like this one because the whole creative process thing just fascinates me.

I know exactly what you are talking about. At first, when it happened to me, I was floored. I was stuck on an article and couldn’t go any further with it. So I walked away. I believe I cut some wood and then did a few other chores around the yard. Bev came out and talked to me a good four hours after I had finished my writing endeavors, and in the middle of a conversation with her about animals the entire article came to me, out of the blue. It was the weirdest thing.

My first novel, the “12/59 Shuttle from Yesterday to Today,” which you will be receiving in the mail in about a week, was the product of this process. That novel started out as a writing exercise. I simply wanted to write an introduction that was as weird as anything Tom Robbins has ever written. I did that and then walked away from the writing exercise. Two days later I was driving home from Portland, Oregon, and the entire story line of the novel came to me during a one hour trip.

I have no clue how that happens. I think we use about 10% of our brain’s capabilities. If we ever learn how to harness and use the other 90%, we really might live up to our billing as the most superior species on this planet.

To answer your question, and this is just my opinion, I think “the muse” is more involved in the inspirational part of the process, but what you are talking about is part of our brain’s subconscious and how that whole process somehow works.

Confused yet?

This lady....my wife...is one of the greatest influences on my writing
This lady....my wife...is one of the greatest influences on my writing | Source

One of my literary influences

INFLUENCES

From Dream On: “Do you ever feel the more you read the more chance you will unknowingly write the same way some of your favorite writers write ?Using their style because it feels so natural. I am afraid that I will copy someone else's ideas. I pride myself on being creative and thinking outside the box. My ideas just come to me out of the blue and my fingers just tap away.”

Dream On, I not only feel that it could happen but I know it can happen, and to a certain extent I think it happens every single time we sit down to the computer to write.

How can we not, in some small way, be heavily influenced by our favorite writers? I know my story-telling abilities are greatly influenced by Harper Lee. I know two of my novels are influenced by James Lee Burke. Does that mean I am copying them? I certainly hope not, but I can easily see their influence in some of my phrasing or the way I set a scene.

And you know what? I’ll bet if you polled the great writers of our time, they would say the same thing. My voice is distinctly my own, but if we were to analyze my writing, the phrases I use, the way I describe characters and scenes, there are definite similarities with some of my favorite writers.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If I were a famous author I would be honored that others learned their craft from my books.

The End Is Nigh

That’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “nigh,” and I’m quite pleased about that.

I’ve got more answers than questions this week, so now is a good time to wish you a great week of writing. Always remember that what you do is meaningful. I hate to think of a society that is not heavily influenced by the Arts. Keep up the great work.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 22 months ago from New York, New York

      Another great edition here Bill and so glad to see you back here this Monday morning. Now wishing you a wonderful week ahead, as always! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks as always, Janine, and I hope your week is everything you want it to be.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 22 months ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      "More answers than questions" I like the whole hub, but that phrase is really deep!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, I always enjoy your posts, especially this one like it. Voted up for interesting and informative at the same time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria! it's always nice having you stop by. :) Have a splendid week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kristen. I appreciate that very much.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 22 months ago from Scotland

      Hallo stranger :) I popped in for a visit. I'm glad to see that your mailbag is going from strength to strength, it isn't surprising though, your advice is always interesting and wise.

      I hope that you and Bev are well Bill, and the dream is edging ever closer.

      Anna :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 22 months ago

      I find that reading inspires me to write. I also find that I love this series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, it's so nice to hear from you. I hope you are doing well too, and thank you for your kind words and the visit. Don't be a stranger. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop. I'll be by to read your latest in a few minutes.

    • Muses on Life profile image

      Samantha Lim 22 months ago

      Very informative article. Voted up!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 22 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, thanks for answering my question in this week's mailbag. As always, you've given me much food for thought. I think you're right about the trust issue when sending out unpublished work. I'm really not keen on self-publishing, but I'm also wary about sending work out. Getting one's work published is like treading through a minefield isn't it?

      I'll be calling you up for a chat soon, let me know when is the best time to call. Great questions and superb answers. Take care, blessings to you always.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 22 months ago from Arizona

      Thanks for your great answer and all the others Bill. Are there still book signings at what is left of book stores. Too bad we cannot do this online. Someone will figure out if they haven't already. Writing today is a fragment of its former self..so to speak. However if you are determined and have something of value--fiction or non fiction that 1 percent may work.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I find the Writer's Mailbag a great excuse to stall prior to staring at the blank page. Keep up the good work. Oh and PR, the author is likely the best PR firm to shout out about their title. At least the price is right.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 22 months ago from Central Florida

      I, too, follow Janet Reid and Hope Clark. They are wonderful resources. Hope Clark also offers publishing leads in her weekly newsletter. Your readers who are not yet following these two certainly should consider doing so.

      Have you ordered your copy of Go Set a Watchman yet, Bill?

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 22 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      So ends another Monday Mailbag day - thanks again for all your great advice. And I want to thank those who sent in the questions if I may. So often something is mentioned that I never thought about before, but once it's brought to my attention, I see how important it is to the whole writing process. Carry on, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Muses, thank you so much for the visit. I'm glad you found it informative.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, a chat? How wonderful. What are you, six hours ahead of us? I'm at the desk for sure every morning from seven until eleven...it gets unpredictable after that.....but you can always give me a time that works for you and I'll make sure I'm available.

      Looking forward to it!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There are still book signings, Carol, or at least there are here. Our local book stores are quite happy to have local authors hold signings.....you might look into it in your area.

      I still haven't recovered from all the changes in the book industry. I think I'm about twenty years too late. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Mike, about the author and PR. I'm still a bit surprised by the number of writers I know who do not want to do the marketing....I think they're killing their chances.

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm almost ashamed to say no, I haven't ordered it yet. Just been too busy, but it's high on my to do list. :) How about you?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for mentioning that, Bill, and you are right of course. The questions feed this series, and most of us can find something of interest as long as those questions keep coming in.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 22 months ago from Central Florida

      No, not yet. I have other priorities for my cash at the moment.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Another interesting look into the concerns of the modern writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know the feelings, Sha. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad you found it so, Larry. Thanks for stopping by once again.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      An idea cannot be owned or copyrighted hence cannot be stolen. It's the implementation of an idea for a story, painting, or other work that is copyrightable.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      And many of us are influenced by your writing and by the answers you give in the mailbag. Thanks again!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This series is always informative, always helpful, always intelligent -- and sometimes I even pay attention. Oh God I hope there is not a final!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are absolutely correct, Brian. Thanks for adding that and have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I am honored by your words...thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, three out of four isn't bad, right? No final....trust me. :) Thanks my friend and Happy Monday to you.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 22 months ago

      Yet another mailbag, yet another inspiration this time with an added advantage of a noble thought that writing has no complaints it's always complemented, and if it happens to be motivational like yours then writing will flow in the viens like blood, thanks Bill Sir for a guiding write. Interesting to know about a unique PR and also source of your inspiration that's your better half... We should be actually thankful to her that her influence gets articulated and comes in our way as a guiding hub, may God bless you both. Let the installments of mailbag never end.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah javed. You bring a smile to my face. Yes, perhaps you all should thank my wife...she is my guiding light and my real life muse. :)

      blessings always, my friend.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 22 months ago

      It's my pleasure sir, take care.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 22 months ago from Brookings, SD

      Interesting thoughts, as always. A pleasure to read. The chances of traditional publishing... how can we even quantify that? The chances of a first query, or a four hundred and first? The whole game has been a crapshoot since inception. I guess I'm an odd duck... I prefer small press and self-publishing, where we get exactly as many results as we are willing to work for. :)

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 22 months ago from Europe

      Do I understand it correctly that the question are drying up? Wishing you a great inspirational week, my friend. I hope your little goats are doing well.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 22 months ago

      Bill, I have to observe from all the questions about muses, writer's block, inspiration, etc., I get the idea that people try too hard. I wonder if they are damming up their own creativity? I love your tale of getting an idea after feeding the goats. Some of my best ideas flow when I'm doing something mundane and boring like washing the dishes or doing housework. I don't always follow through, in fact, there's not enough time to, but a lot of the time I write down at least the subject matter, which I keep in a list of topics on the computer. I recently drafted a whole short story on a legal pad because Mr. B was on the computer.

      Times have really changed since I was taking writing classes in college. It looks like today we have more opportunity to self-publish, but promotion is still a high cost.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You do the same, m abdulah javed!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Serenity, I can't argue with your logic at all. Best wishes to you on that self-publishing journey and thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, I'm not sure. Maybe it was just an off-week and things will rebound nicely. Thanks for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, honestly, I've never really had writer's block, so I don't know what it feels like or what causes it. I do tend to think people try to hard at times...just relax and let it come to you. It will....in its own sweet time.

      Thanks, my friend. The times they are a'changin' for sure.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill. I'm constantly amazed at what my brain comes up with after mulling over various ideas subconsciously. Thank goodness it does, otherwise I'd be stuck most of the time! Not short of ideas, just how to treat them!

      I've had a marvellous Monday as I now have a new desk and a 'proper' office - posh, eh?! All done by my wonderful partner, I hasten to add.

      Hope you are having a marvellous Monday too, bill.

      Ann :))

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I loved your question. I made me feel like I was normal. :)

      Glad to hear about your Monday and your posh office. There's nothing like having a handy partner. :) I know I have one for sure.

      Enjoy the rest of your week. I have a sick baby goat on my hands and it is keeping me quite busy. She doesn't care at all that I have writing to do. LOL

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Tell her she'll be famous one day, in your writing; that'll make her feel better! Seriously, I hope your baby goat recovers quickly. It's so difficult to deal with sick animals because you can't ask them what hurts or tell them all will be ok. I presume that's why vets can act as doctors but the reverse is not permitted, but then we're only animals after all!

      Your writing will not suffer. Tell your poorly goat 'Get well soon' from me.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will, Ann. Thank you!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 22 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for putting the number on traditional publishing opportunities. It is essential to be realistic. You are very good at reminding us there are many great ways to learn and use our writing skills besides 'publishing a novel' even though that is your current ambition. And, marketing our work is, and always will be, our responsibility. Thanks for another great mailbag! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You summed it up perfectly, Bill. Thank you for that succinct truth. I'll be by your site shortly.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great edition of the mailbag. You have become a part of my Monday routine; get home from work, feed the dog, check the mail, read the Monday Mailbag. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Bill, thanks for inviting me into your home. It's always nice feeling wanted. :)

      Have a great week of life, my friend.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 22 months ago from Minnesota

      Hey Bill, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your weekly mailbags! I was on vacation last week, and blissfully away from the internet....but, now I'm back. And my Monday mailbag was waiting for me. Happy Monday!

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 22 months ago from The Great Midwest

      Billybuc, You're not the mailman, you're the mailbagman. I see we share a muse. Work (especially physical work) and exercise seem to invite my inner muse to show up. I believe this physical perspiration stimulating creative inspiration has a scientific physiological basis, but I cant quote any particular studies that prove it.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 22 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Good words here, Bill. Thanks for all your hard work on our behalf.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 22 months ago from Florida

      I always enjoy reading your Mailbag! I wish I were as disciplined as you are in my writing (Hubs, that is). I used to dream of writing a novel, but I've given up hope on that dream!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 22 months ago from south Florida

      If you are a writer looking for common-sense answers to your questions about writing, publishing, marketing, etc., then 'billybuc' is your man. I have spoken!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday again, dear Bill!

      Interesting questions posed once again. Wonder if we submitted our novels to Harper Lee's publisher : ) ... I can't wait to read her new novel. She is a hard act to follow, as I am sure her publisher knows all too well.

      Peace and blessings

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 22 months ago

      Great answers to apply as needed, for simple 'Thank you.'

      Hi Bill. Something is witnessing to my spirit and I needed to hear it from you my friend, "who do you trust in this business ?" One word - "this" - encompasses all we come in touch with. I can respect "you" anyone out there doing business with, but I can't trust "you" everyone out there anymore. Respecting is for free; trusting expensive, might cost "you" all you have.

      Vive la The -Writers- Mailbag-man.

      Good night and many blessings.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, what's up with your title and the " up there... you can delete this one

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I hope you had a great vacation. Thanks for thinking of me on your return. It wouldn't be a Mailbag without your participation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      justthemessenger, you are probably correct about the science behind it all, but i'm not nearly bright enough to know what it is...I'm just a writer and part-time mail carrier. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Chris. Just doing my thing and enjoying the visitors.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well then Mary, as my mom used to say, it just wasn't meant to be. :) I appreciate your kind support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And when drbj speaks, i listen. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Faith and thank you. I heard they didn't edit this new one at all....that may be the first time in history since the Bible. LOL I hope you have a great week, and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you wouldn't believe how many times I do that....it's just one of those weird physical things where I hold the cap key down and don't mean to...but I do it like ten times daily. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I hear your words and the meaning behind them. I wish I had a medicine for the ails of man......trust is a hard-earned attribute and I rarely give it out. And I find that sad.

      blessings always

      bill

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 22 months ago from California

      If only I could get my ideas into writing as fast as I think them. I get the best ideas while hanging clothes or weeding.

      Here is a idea for marketing; whenever we hear a friend has published, go into bookstores and ask for their book, or put in requests at local libraries.

      Then after reading write a review on the store or library website. The power of one is mighty.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Bill, thank you for all the information you provide in the Mailbag.

      I hope to read them all.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 22 months ago

      Bill, it was wonderful to see your answer and now I look forward to letting my mind wander as it may. Learning and appreciating so many other writers. I know in the past year Hub Pages hit some stormy weather. Some people got their row boats out and high tailed it to calmer waters. You have stuck it out and I thank you for that. I find something that works and I ride it to the end. I am a dreamer and I believe in people and I find it difficult to leave my friends who now have become my (extended family).Could you give your readers an update where HubPages stands. Have we increased our hubbers and in hubs. Are we heading for more dark clouds ahead ? It may seem silly to some people but I don't have the time or energy to do two writing sites. I would rather write and read your hubs and writers like you who care about other writers so much you bleed ink. I am proud and so happy to have met so many gifted writers. I am not computer savvy and don't know where to look to see how HupPages is competing without other writing sites. I do know that when I close my eyes at night I am thrilled of the day that I stumbled on HubPages and every day after that . Before that I just wrote to myself in a journal saying there has to be a better way. I did not find my family or friends at all supportive excluding my wife. They said I was waiting my time and theirs too. They rather watch t.v. or post on Facebook about bad events in the news and continue the drama. To each their own. I personally have better ways to spend my time. Combining the will to learn and all my fellow hubbers who love to write. For the love of writing. In time the money may follow but money was never my motivator. People who get excited about life and all it's beauty. That's where my head is at. That's where it will be till the day I turn into a pile of dust in the wind. Thank you for being a onesie of a kind. I know you think your just like everyone else. I like to think of you as the secret ace that quietly changes the game for ever. The people that find you can only do so by believing in helping other people by doing something you absolutely love "writing". Have a lovely day.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I find it amazing how words fly into our subconscious and we write. I agree with the above comment. Where have all our good writers gone? I still love the way you help other writers. Thank you again...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      tireless, I love that idea, and it's the first time I've heard it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Shyron. Thank you for taking the time to read them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On, what an incredibly lovely thing for you to say to me. Thank you so much. You touched me deeply with your words...a human connection from a distance...who would have thought it was possible in this day and age? :) Thank you....as for HP and its health, the answer is coming Monday. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby. I guess a certain amount of attrition is normal. Life moves on and often life has other plans. I'm sad others have moved on, but I've made new friends and that's nice too.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 22 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Thanks Bill for more helpful info to ponder, tuck away and use as you hope we all will. Any tips on planning novel series? Tips on creating that strong memorable character that will shine through several books (hopefully). Not asking for secrets here just practicalities or perhaps I'm asking the wrong question. Have a great week :)

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey

      The muse questions are usually my favorite. I enjoy reading your thoughts on it. We all know how difficult it is to explain why autopilot is the best mode to unleash creativity. I love your story with the mid-conversation about animals. That happens to me all of the time. Do you think it's rude to ask someone to give you some alone time when that happens? Whenever I wait, it goes away, so I kind of panic, and tell the person, "I have to write some notes, sorry!" Meanwhile, I probably look nuts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, my first, gut response is of course not; they should understand if you need the time to write down your thoughts....but bottom line is, most people will be offended if you do so....I am happy to report that I surround myself with people who understand this and are not offended. Can I use that question in the Mailbag next week?

      Thank you my young, sensitive, intelligent friend.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey

      That makes sense! Yes, those who understand are vital! Thanks. Yes, I thought you would like to use that in the next mailbag!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, Kailey. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Babby, I don't think you're asking the wrong question at all. In fact, I love the question, and I'll have an answer for you on Monday. Thank you and I'm sorry I misspelled your name last week. :)

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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      again billybuc your mailbag replies are right on.. the tradiotnal publisher answer was helpful for me too bless you bro...:)

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Frank. Take care, buddy, and I'll catch you down the road.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      You enjoy Harper Lee so much I was wondering if you plan to read her "new" book? Whaddya think of it?

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      Liz Elias 22 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Bill, I can totally relate to stuff "just coming to you out of the blue." I've not had that happen with stories, but that is exactly how my poems usually come to me.

      They just happen, as if I'm but the medium, and the words are just flowing through me to the pen.

      When I try to sit and write a poem on purpose, it usually does not work out well; it doesn't flow, it sounds contrived and stiff and forced.

      Cheers!

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll definitely read it, Flourish. Having said that, I am almost guaranteed to be slightly disappointed in it. When you start by publishing a classic, how do you match it? :)

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      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting installment of your mailbag series, Bill. Of course, it's useful as well!

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Lizzy. I've had the same experience. I'll sit down and try to think of an article title even, and I can't. Then I'll go feed the chickens and five article titles come to me. :)

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Alicia. I appreciate it as always.

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      Deb Hirt 22 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, it's funny. I have both read so many diverse novels and written so much, I can't fathom having anyone else's writing voice but my own. I tend to have always taken the best and left the rest, and created my own personal style.

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      Heidi Thorne 22 months ago from Chicago Area

      Mailbag catchup #2...

      Re: Traditional Publishers. Interesting to see your estimate on the chances of getting published traditionally. Just had a student ask that last week. Figured it was around that.

      Re: PR. Ack! PR firms can be VERY expensive. And, unless they state specifically, there are NO guarantees of results. Having PR in my background, I can guarantee that this is the case.

      Re: Muses & Influencers. I think my favorite writers are my muses in disguise.

      Okay, I think I'm ready for the next Mailbag. Have a great weekend!

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, between you and I, there's a good chance we'll scare everyone away from traditional publishing. LOL Thanks as always and have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Deb. I happen to agree completely.

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      Krzysztof Willman 22 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Such great answers yet again. I too find that I get struck with an idea almost out of the blue. Whether there's a muse present is unclear because it's unpredictable. Great job!

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chris. I always enjoy hearing the process taken by other writers. Inspiration is a marvelous thing.

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      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Really enjoyed this, especially about the 'Muse'. I find she sneaks up on me while I'm at my day job. One way I've started to get things down (if I wait until I get home it's late at night and the next day the idea's gone!) I use the word processing App on my phone, write down wharever comes and work that way.

      Whenever I've got the basic structure of a hub or article I email it to myself then copy and paste into wherever I need it and produce that way. The last couple of hubs I did this way and it seems to work.

      Just thought the idea might helo others struggling with the time and inspiration of writing

      Have a good weekend

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, Lawrence. I use a variation of the same process and it's never failed me. Glad to know I'm not alone. Carry on, my friend, and thank you.

      bill

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      Dianna Mendez 21 months ago

      Another great mailbag installment. I would love to write as one of the great authors of all time. However, I do agree that you have to have your own personal style to make it interesting.

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It would be nice to write on that level, but I'll be satisfied if I end up being the best writer I can be. Thank you Dianna!

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