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The Writer's Mailbag: installment Ninety-Three

Updated on May 18, 2016

Welcome to the Show That Never Ends

I’m back, you’re back and all is normal in our world. One thing you can always count on….the Mail will be delivered.

I’ve been good….busy but good. I hope you can say the same. I’m about to publish my second novella…this week…and the third is moving along nicely. Once I finish that one I’m going to start in on my fifth novel.

So, busy but good!

Let’s get right to the questions.

Welcome to the Mail Room
Welcome to the Mail Room | Source

Exercise and Writing

From Mary: “I have another question for a future mailbag. This is regarding exercise for the writer. In an interview I watched with Janet Evanovich, she said she does daily pilates because she sits in front of a computer for long hours. I know your work on the farm and other jobs keep you busy but for other writers is there a good rule of thumb? Even in a place of employment people are given breaks to keep them mentally strong. It is easy to get caught up in writing and sit in the same position for a couple of hours or more. Do some people use a timer to avoid this?”

Hello again, Mary! You’re becoming a regular questioner here on the Mailbag and I appreciate it.

I heard somewhere it takes a month to either stop a habit or develop a new one. We get into routines and it is very hard to get us out of them. I’ll take it a step further, talking about me, and say I get downright testy when I’m forced out of a routine. And the habit you’re talking about is so very important.

This writer becomes stale and boring if he doesn’t get out and do something on occasion. I need to break up my day of writing with periodic ten or fifteen minute breaks. Otherwise, my writing begins to sound like blah, blah and more blah, a sad shadow of what I am capable of.

It seems to me you do whatever it takes to form that new habit. Have a relative text you every two hours. Set an alarm. Put post-it notes up around the house as a reminder. Whatever works on an individual level should be done. For me it was post-it notes. I have a set of weights in an area I have to walk by often. I also have the animals, as you noted, and I’m constantly feeding and watering them out of necessity, so that makes it pretty easy for me.

A Question About the Mailbag

From Denise: “Great questions and answers. This is a very cool idea. How did you start it? Where do you send questions for this venue? Am I asking too many questions? I love your writing style. It's like I'm in your living room sipping a cool glass of tea with you while you talk. Inspiring.”

Hi Denise and thanks for the question. The Mailbag began when I found myself with several questions from followers and friends. The questions had been piling up and I decided to just answer them all in a hub. Then the same thing happened the following week. The response had been so good for the first one, I decided to do another…and another…and another….and here we are closing in on one-hundred. It seems to be popular.

You can submit questions in the comment section or you can email me at holland1145!@yahoo.com. I’ll see either one and I promise I’ll include your question in the next Mailbag.

And thank you for your very kind words at the end. That’s how I set out in writing. I wanted my voice to be conversational, like an old friend talking to you in person….so I really do appreciate your affirmations.

The city is just part of my marketing plan
The city is just part of my marketing plan | Source

Creative Marketing

From Petra: “A friend told me of a local arts and craft fair being held in our town in June and I was thinking of possibly renting a booth for that fair and featuring my books. Do you think that’s a good idea or would it be a waste of time?”

Well, Petra, I’m doing the same thing in August here in Olympia, so obviously I’m on your side.

Listen: writers need to get creative with regards to marketing. What you are suggesting is a risk, of course. You will shoulder the cost of your books, plus the cost of the booth, and you might not sell a book…but….you might sell fifty books, too, and you’ll never know if you don’t try.

What I do know is that people like to support local artists and writers, and just getting out in public is a good thing for any writer. For me, the cost of the booth is $50 for a weekend. The books cost me$4.50 per through CreateSpace….I will sell them for $15 each. You do the math on that. I may make money, I may not, but I’m going to meet literally thousands of people that weekend, hand out an equal number of business cards and also flyers, and I think it’s worth the risk.

I say go for it!

Another Marketing Question

From Steven: “I’ve been reading the Mailbag for quite some time now. I don’t usually comment but I want you to know I enjoy it. Having said that, I remember you talking about writers needing to be their own marketing managers in today’s literary world; do you have any suggestions for some creative marketing within my community?”

I suspect, Steven, that quite a few people are going to be interested in my answer because this is a problem for most writers who have books to sell. I’ll start this answer by saying you’ll never know unless you ask.

Check out the answer above. That’s creative marketing. I have gone around town and simply asked local shops if they will give my books a display. Yes, there is an initial cost, and in many cases you have to split the profits with the shop, but it’s worth it for name recognition.

Go to the library and schedule a reading/book signing. Go to local independent bookstores and do the same. Go to local high schools and middle schools, introduce yourself as a local writer, and offer to speak to the Language Arts classes at those schools. Go to your local public broadcasting station and ask to be interviewed. Go to your local newspaper and ask to be interviewed. Hell, set up a booth on a street corner and ask for donations. Go to community centers and teach a creative writing course. Go to retirement communities and give readings.

The point is this: get out there and let the locals see your face so they can connect your name with a real person. I honestly believe writers have to do things like this in order to eventually see some gains.

Get out there!

I'm not getting any younger, friends.
I'm not getting any younger, friends. | Source

Panic Level

From Ann: “Do you ever hit panic level when there are so many things to read and so many things to write that your head is spinning and you don't know what to do next? How do you, or how would you, cope with it?”

Ann, one of the hardest things for me to cope with, almost on a daily basis, is the knowledge that I can’t accomplish everything I want to accomplish. It’s just impossible. And being totally honest, I feel frustrated most days because, at 67 years of age, I feel like time is running out for me and I still have so much to do. That may nor may not be a realistic view of my life, but that’s how it feels to me.

Do I panic about it? I don’t think panic is the right word….more like constantly deal with frustration.

And how do I deal with it? When I’m being rational I just tell myself to take a chill pill, I’m only human and there is only so much I can physically do in one day. When I’m not being rational I sit and pout.

How’s that for honesty?

Empathy and Inspiration

Again from Ann: “Which writer's style do you feel the most empathy with and why?”

I don’t know that I’ve ever been asked this before, Ann, so thank you. I would name three: James Lee Burke, Harper Lee and John Steinbeck. Steinbeck and Burke because of their ability to delve so deep into the human psyche, and also their ability to see the good and the bad in all characters. I have always been fascinated by the conflict of good vs evil within all of us, and those two writers did that so well. There is a lot of those two writers in my writing….get down and dirty, feel the gritty, see the grime of society, be part of the bad and yet exhibit so much of the good of humanity…..superb writing!

Harper Lee for her ability to say so much in such a simple manner. She was not interested in dazzling her readers with six-syllable words or her intellectualism. She told a meaningful story, her pace was remarkable and in the end the characters were people you actually felt as though you knew personally. Man, if I could do that I would be in hog heaven.

More Next Week

Great questions this week. I don’t know about you but I love the Mailbag. I learn from the questions and I learn from those of you who leave comments sharing your own experiences. We all learn in a safe environment where we all understand what each is going through. I think that is a win-win situation for us all.

Thanks to all of you! I’ll see you next week.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 13 months ago from New York, New York

      Most definitely love your mailbag, too and look forward to it each and every Monday morning here. So once again, thank you always Bill for being so kind and generous with your help, tips and advice here. Happy Monday now :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks are not necessary, Janine. I really do enjoy doing this....so thank you for always being here and reading my ramblings.

      Happy Monday my friend. Spring has arrived and it is wonderful.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 13 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Wow, 93 installments....you are quickly closing in on that magic#100 and I still look forward to reading these weekly mailbags just as much as the first one. Congrats on publishing novella #2. I'm going to sound like a broken record, but you need to get your author page on amazon updated! They added some really neat features, like the follow me button which will send out alerts to your fans every time you publish. That is totally free advertising! :)

      Have a great week!

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 13 months ago from Europe

      Good morning, Bill! It's incredible how you created this almost holy space of questioning and answering each week. I did my exercises this morning. :) Wish you a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, you are a very nice broken record and I don't mind listening to your scratches at all. :) Thanks for the reminder...this week, I promise. :) Happy Monday my friend and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Buildreps! We can call it the Church of Writing Skills where we all come to worship the holy word of writing. :) Thank you, always.

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 13 months ago from Ontario

      Your writing is always very informative it makes me want to get back into writing my novel which I have been putting off to work on here and my other blog thanks for the info.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 13 months ago

      I have established a routine that I love. I get up and exercise immediately. I follow that with exercises for my mind and then I hit the computer. When the routine is interrupted, I have to admit I get testy!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 13 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I'm wondering how to market an e-book. A bookshop would not get a cut of sales if you did a reading there. And how would an e-book author show his/her wares at a craft show? Have a handful of chairs and a handful of e-readers and charge by the minute after the first 10 minutes of reading, with the option to buy, for the retail price minus the cost of reading minutes used?

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 13 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      As you know, I do a lot of the things that you suggested in your post concerning marketing although, you have given me some more ideas. I copied and pasted your suggestions to Petra and Stephen.

      I have done what you suggested locally as you know, but I am also working on doing the same back in PA where I grew up and the majority of my family still lives.

      Also, it doesn't hurt to write press releases about your books for local newspapers. I wrote press releases for local papers and the regional papers as well. The more (free) publicity you can get never hurts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Louise, thank you so much. I hope you do start in again on your novel and blog. The world needs more writers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      So glad to hear that, Pop! I thought it was just me. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I was smiling as I read your questions. I'll have answer for you next Monday. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you, Donna, and I appreciate you mentioning the press release. There is a lot of free publicity out there if a writer just knows where to look and is willing to ask for it.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 13 months ago from New Jersey

      I appreciate these. Thank you, Bill. I like the Panic Level one, especially. I haven't published in a while due to working on so many different articles. I figured it comes easier for others. It's nice to know we all struggle, somewhat. :)

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 13 months ago from Fresno CA

      I absolutely appreciate your answering my questions in this venue. You really do have a homey welcoming feel to your writing, much like Harper Lee. Keep it up. I know I'll be writing and painting tell they roll me away from the computer or pull the paint brush from my cold dead fingers... until then I carry on.

      Blessings,

      Denise

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I have a routine when I go down in the basement and exercise. I also ride my bike when weather permits. I know I've been at the computer too long when my back hurts. Your advice on marketing books sounds like a lot of work, but if you're driven, you will get it done. Thanks for continuing to help hubbers. You are appreciated!

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      William Leverne Smith 13 months ago from Hollister, MO

      'Just get up and walk around' - in circles, if necessary. Simple, but essential for good health and a clearer mind. Good question... important answers. Similarly, good to see two Q & A on marketing. Writer's must market their work if any income is a goal. I love your 'creative marketing' discussions. Anything that gets you out before the public, with your materials - flyers so important - is critical. ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Kailey! Yes, we all struggle. Show me a writer who says they don't struggle and I'll show you a fabricator of the truth. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Denise, and I totally agree with you. Here's hoping we both have many more years of writing and painting ahead of us.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I try to give back what I freely received. Thank you for the appreciation. I'll try to always deserve it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your input, Bill, input I totally agree with. Of course, if money isn't a factor, I guess marketing is a waste of time.....but then what would we do with all that spare time? LOL

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 13 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, another happy start to the week. Your comments about panic level hit home--I have not been writing because the weather is just to darned cooperative right now. With 2 acres, believe me there is more than enough for this old lady to do. But, I am feeling antsy (although physically exhausted) because I have not been at the computer. So much to do, and so little time (left). It's all a matter of finding that perfect balance. ...I'm still looking.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 13 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday! Looks like a lot of marketing questions this week.

      Re: Booths at Events. Not a bad idea. But pick the right events for your market. For business writers, that might be chamber of commerce events.

      Re: Creative Marketing. For some writers, thinking of "marketing" as "building a fan base" might not only be less scary, but might inspire some creative ways to connect with those all important fans. As with booths just discussed, only choose those tactics that are appropriate for your fans. Forget chasing all the rest.

      Thanks for another mailbag to start off the week. Only 7 'til 100! Go you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, when you discover that perfect balance, please let me know how you did it. :) Have a great week in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it, Heidi! I can always count on your for some timeless wisdom. Thank you my friend and Happy Monday to you.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 13 months ago from Wales

      Your mailbag is as wonderful as I remembered it. Great to be reading your words again Billy. Lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy! Good to have you back!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Good mailbag, Bill.

      I can really sympathize with the 'so much to do, so little time' thing. Some days I get so overwhelmed by it, the motivation vanishes into the ether. I end up doing nothing. That's when it's time to hit the reset button and do something completely irresponsible. I may go for a walk in the park, do some crochet, watch an old movie, anything but what I was supposed to do that day. It always surprises me how the following day I can jump right back in the saddle and actually do better work than if I had tried to force myself the previous day. Humans are funny creatures.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      You offer such good advice. I will be forwarding this to our former neighbor who recently published his first book. It may give him some marketing ideas.

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      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for answering my questions, bill. I understand what you mean by the frustration. I've hit it lately because I've had to spend so much time on doing up a house but you're right that we have to give ourselves a reality check and just get on with it.

      Great writers you've mentioned there! I'm not sure I could come up with who inspires my style. I just write the way I write but I'm sure there are several authors in my subconscious who are saying 'Me! Me!'. I must pay more attention and when I've figured it out I'll let you know.

      Quite a few different questions this week; they're always fascinating. It's like having a good chat with like-minded people.

      Thanks again for this great series, bill.

      Have a mind-blowing Monday evening!

      Ann :)

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      William Kovacic 13 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Another Monday here and almost gone! Still the learning process continues for me. It may just be my opinion, but I thought the questions were really great this week. Of course, all great questions require great answers which you provided. Thank you again for a meaningful mailbag.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 13 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great questions and answers this week Bill. I really do look forward to the mailbag every Monday. I had always wondered how this all started, now I know and a thank you to Denise for asking. Have a great week.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      I feel so much behind when I read of all you productive people having books to showcase. I'm encouraged to catch up. Meanwhile best to all the published authors.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday Mailbag again, Bill,

      Another set of great questions posed here, and answers as well.

      Oh, yes, that exercise is a matter of life and death, really! I wish my workplace would get those computer monitors that raise up to where you can stand part of the day. I sit all day doing legal writing, and then when I arrive home, I am beat, but still try to keep up with reading and write a bit in the evenings But it sure is not good for one's health at all. I forget to take breaks at work! Crazy ...

      I can't believe you used the phrase "Hog Heaven," for we say that all the time here. LOL You'd do just fine around these parts. There are plenty of farmer's markets and such, you would love.

      I think that is a great idea about having a booth at the fair to promote your books. I mean its there, people are there, you are local, and, so, there you go.

      Peace and blessings always

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

      Whether you call it the conflict of good vs. evil or refer to it as peeling back the psychological layers, I am fascinated in the topic as well. Some of the most unbelievable things are true if you only talk to people about their life stories.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 13 months ago

      Interesting :) I enjoyed getting to know you more through your work :) Have a blessed day :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 13 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and always useful to all writers. I look forward to your next one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Zulma! The same thing happens to me...it's like the muse needs 24 hours of rest.

      The rains return today. Perfect day for writing. :)

      bill

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so, Peggy! That's what the Mailbag is for, so please do forward it.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, this Mailbag wouldn't exist if it weren't for people like you who share questions, so thank you. I always appreciate you taking the time to ask a question or two, especially because I know how busy you are....so thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'm as big a fan of the Mailbag as anyone. I think we all can learn from each other through vehicles like this one.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill from Mass, it all started almost by accident. There's a lesson for me in that somewhere but I can't see it. LOL Thanks my friend and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, you're not behind....you are exactly where you should be on your own personal writing journey.

      Have a great trip and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, more power to you. I could not sit all day and do what you do. Billy would be a crazy boy writing legal stuff. LOL But thanks for sharing that. I'm in hog heaven every single time you visit.

      It comes from my uncle who lived in Missouri...that and goobers. LOL

      blessings and hugs, Faith!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Flourish, for saying that. I was beginning to worry I was just fascinated with darkness. :) It really is fascinating and I agree, the stories of regular people....amazing stuff out there if we just talk to people.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that Sparrow. Thank you my young and talented friend.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I can always count on you being here.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 13 months ago

      Very good mailbag today, Bill.

      I think the idea of a book booth is a capital idea, in more ways than one. I did flea markets years ago, and they are a great way to meet people. Locally owned book stores, what’s that? I live in a rural state, but my area has over 300,000 people, and I’m not sure we have any locally owned bookstores anymore. We had some really good ones until the tax law was passed that required owners to pay yearly taxes on their inventory. Within five or 10 years they had all folded. All that are left are big box book chains.

      On the subject of breaks, can you believe it? Our employee manual, written by the brass, says that employees do not get breaks. It’s hard to concentrate when a person has a backache from sitting too long, so we usually find a discreet way to work them in.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 13 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      As always my questions answered and new ideas born. As for that panic about so much to read and write. I have long learned how to keep my panic level real low because I know that no matter how much I try I will never be able to keep up but I can keep even with all I have to do. BTW the poetry challenge is going alright and yes, I am also able to keep up with my blogs. Hope you have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, no breaks at work? I couldn't do it. Maybe when I was younger but no way now. I find two hours is my limit when writing and then I need to head outdoors and let our critters re-energize me.

      In our town we have five independent bookstores. This town is really into shopping local and it's really nice to see.

      And thank you as always, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't think I've ever really panicked over writing, but then panicking really isn't part of my nature. :)

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      Krzysztof Willman 13 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I've missed reading these, been busy lately, but always great to read. Wow nearly 100.

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      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The idea of a booth at an arts and crafts fair sounds very interesting. Thank you for the idea, Bill and Petra. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 13 months ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative read. Chill pill definitely works and as humans there is only so much we can do in a day. Wish there was a magic wand!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 13 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you for another helpful installment. I am sorry I missed reading few of them. Had been busy in the 'real' life. Will catch up soon. Always a pleasure to read your suggestions.

      Thank you!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Working without breaks? Is that even legal? Here in the UK workers are required by law to have breaks if they work more than 4 hours a day. Honestly, I think society is moved forward so fast that it is actually going backwards. Next thing you'll know we'll be back to working 18 hrs a day, 7 days a week with no paid holidays or benefits. Everything the union worked for will have been for nothing. Wage slaves. That's what we're turning back into. Wage slaves.

      Anyway....so, Bill, you prefer writing when it's rainy out? I can't do that as I find it too depressing. I much prefer sunny days. Especially in the spring. Like it is now. Days like this make me feel anything is possible. Enjoy your day.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 13 months ago from london

      Another great one, Bro. Keep going! I like the look and name of your novella. Here's a question then. Was it really exciting for you getting it published? Much Love.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, I appreciate you returning. I suspect the Mailbag will always be a part of my writing gig.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Alicia. If it helps you then fantastic....writers helping writers, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Vellur, though I doubt I'll ever be satisfied with the amount I do...there is always more I think I can do. :) My curse!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      ChitrangadaSharan, no apologies necessary. Real life is infinitely more important, so thank you for coming back to read this one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'm laughing...have you read my Shadows books, or the Billy the Kid series.....dark and depressing because of the rain. LOL I thrive on it as a writer.

      Seriously, unions? My dad was a staunch union supporter, as am I, but today in the United States, unions have a bad reputation, and business would be very happy if all unions were dismantled....here's hoping they never are.

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      Mary Wickison 13 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my question in this week's mailbag.

      I would be interested to know if you or any of your readers have found work using Linkedin either through advertising themselves as article writers or through book sales.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Truth be told I'm not a keen supporter of unions but their contribution to a bearable working life for the common labourer shouldn't be marginalized. Their current bad reputation is of their own doing. Like all groups that wield great power, it went to their heads. They believed they could act with impunity and the hell with the consequences---(small yelp followed by heavy thud)

      Sorry, Bill, I fell off my soapbox. We'll talk later.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. I'll have an answer for you on Monday.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, where would the Mailbag be without your questions? I'd hate to find out.

      Answer coming Monday...thank you!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I totally agree with you, Zulma, and my dad, if he were alive, would agree as well. Too much power corrupts no matter which institution you are speaking about.

      You looked good on that soapbox. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      93 strong and I have yet to miss one of your installments.. each one brings a certain helpful tid bit I can use so I won't be missing anyone anytime soon.. thanks for continuing this project.. bless you

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Bill. I try not to climb up there too often. It makes me too easy a target. :)

      And, btw, no I haven't read Shadows yet. It's on my list along with loads of others. I am currently trying to get through Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House'. It's hard going on the best of days and I refuse to start another book until I finish this.

      As for the Billy the Kid series, I don't find it at all dark. I think it's a fun ride.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Zulma! No hurry on the Shadows. It's not going anywhere and it may expand by next year.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I don't have the words to thank someone who has been here for 93 straight...thank you seems so trivial.

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      Christy Birmingham 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Bill! I wanted to come over here and show you some love ♥ I think your advice to Mary is very astute. Taking breaks actually makes us more efficient and creative when we then return to our writing, I think. So glad to see you are still writing quality hubs here! Thank you for your friendship and contributions to the writing community.

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      Martie Coetser 13 months ago from South Africa

      Oh, dear Bill, I don't know where do you get the time and energy to be such a prolific writer and promoter at the same time. The example you set is a challenge I am not able to meet due to too many other responsibilities. But one day... one day...

      I can write a book about the negative results of sitting 24/7 on one's jack, writing, plus doing other sit-work, like bookkeeping in my case. Setting an alarm in order to have regular breaks is highly recommended, as we all know time flies while we work. Unfortunately, breaks are a luxury in my world. But one day... one day...

      I love this writers mailbag series of yours. Thank you, billybuc!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, I appreciate you stopping by, showing love. It's always good to hear from you, my friend. Enjoy this summer weather we are having.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, so good to hear from you. Real life does make it hard, doesn't it? So many demands of our time, so many deadlines.....and so we keep moving forward. We do what we can and we pat ourselves on the back for a job well-done. :)

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      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      So good to read this mailbag. OK I'm about three weeks behind but even so, it's just good to learn from other writers.

      Really enjoyed Mary's question about the regular breaks, for me when I'm writing it's when the kettle let's me know it's time for a hot drink!

      Great hub.

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, thank goodness for that kettle. LOL Thanks for joining me in the Mail Room, my friend.

      bill

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      Deb Hirt 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      This mailbag was a wonderful idea and the conversational style also reflects in your articles and stories. I believe that you really are going somewhere, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Deb. I wish I'd get there before I'm too old to realize I've arrived. LOL

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 13 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, congrats on getting your novellas published and all the best for your new novel. These mailbags are a treasure of information. Just hope you keep it going....forever.

      Have a nice day!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will keep it going, Rajan! Thank you for the support and very kind words.

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      Shauna L Bowling 12 months ago from Central Florida

      Good luck on your upcoming August venture, Bill. I would imagine you're already becoming known in your town. You're not afraid to get out there and hob nob with the locals, while creating awareness of and a following for your novels. BTW, how did your writing classes work out? Did you get many students?

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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha! As for the classes, they started out small and I'm building on them this year....five students in one, eight in the next....and away we go!!!!!

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      Shauna L Bowling 12 months ago from Central Florida

      Very cool!

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      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Sha! Thanks again!

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