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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 178

Thanksgiving in the Rearview Mirror

We made it through another one, hopefully safe and sound. I know I’m having a little trouble breathing this morning after packing away a few thousand calories yesterday but oh well! There is no way I’m showing restraint on Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving to you all! A little late but better than nothing.

Bev and I ran to the store three times yesterday while preparing the meal. No matter how prepared we think we are, we always forget something . . . in our case, yesterday, we forgot three “somethings.” And each time we ran to the store we passed by some homeless people.

A sobering vision!

I’m trying to think of a worse Thanksgiving than standing on a street corner with a sign in my hand asking for food or money. I guess death would be worse, but . . .

And of course that led to reflection, and my reflection was just how damned lucky I am. I am privileged enough to spend my days writing stories and articles, and rubbing shoulders with some incredibly talented people . . . you . . . and when my day is done, I have my critters and a loving family.

Yes, damned lucky!

Let’s do this!

Welcome to the Mail Room!

Welcome to the Mail Room!

Announcing Publications

From Rasma: “I am working on getting my e-book out. Speaking of that I have many hard hours of work ahead of me. Once I get it all done what is the best way to make my announcement. On all social sites, on my poetry blog and can I also do it on HP?”

Well, Rasma, first of all, congratulations on getting to the point where you are preparing to format the e-book. That is great news and I’m proud of you.

As for your question, I’m not sure there is a best way. Some will argue with that, and they may appear in the comment section, but I think a writer has to learn what works for her and what doesn’t work for her. I announce mine on Facebook and my blog . . . period! I know some writers who make announcements on five or six social sites as well as a blog as well as a signing party.

Whatever floats your boat!

Can you do it on HP? I don’t know if there are regulations on that or not. I’ve done it and never gotten in trouble for it. Write an article detailing the process you’ve gone through while putting together the information for the book. That way it is informative as well as self-serving. Quite a few writers, myself included, have done that and never heard from the HP gods about violations, so GO FOR IT!

Songs to Use for Videos

From Louise: “Hey Bill, I was wondering if you knew of any sites or songs that aren’t copy righted to use for videos on blogs. I’m having trouble finding songs for my fitness videos.”

It turns out, Louise, that there are quite a few sites where you can find free music. A quick search netted me Free Music Archive, another site called CCMixter and Jamendo., ,

If you don’t want to go that route, contact some local musicians in your area and ask for free loops. Some, like our son, will be happy to share a few chords or verses for free in exchange for their name being mentioned.

There are quite a few other sites online where you can find what you want, more sites than I was aware of.

Happy hunting!

Scroll to Continue

Changing My Style

From Kaelin: “Hey, Bill, I recently picked up a new customer for my content writing business, which should be good news, but the customer wants to micro-manage what I write. She doesn’t like the “voice” at times, so I’ll get emails from her suggesting changes. What do you think I should do?”

You have two choices, Kaelin: either give the customer what they ask for or drop them as a customer, and I’m not being flippant when I say that.

The customer is paying you for your service. It is a service which directly affects her business. It is your job to provide the product your customer is asking for. This is a straightforward business transaction, my friend, and if you feel insulted by the suggested changes then you have a decision to make: stay in the game or get out with that particular customer. How badly do you want the customer’s money?

I’ve had to drop customers before because they have asked for far too many rewrites, and it became a losing proposition for me. My time is valuable and if, after one rewrite, my customer is still not satisfied, it isn’t worth it for me to continue. So you’ll have to make that same decision.

To avoid this happening in the future, I suggest you make sure your new customer has seen samples of your writing. Let them get a full taste of your style and voice. Perhaps that way you can weed out the micromanagers.

Best wishes!

Change my style? Not likely!

Change my style? Not likely!

Why Comment?

From Pearl: “I know you’ve been here quite awhile, and from the looks of it, you receive a lot of comments. I’m pretty new, and I came to HP with the purpose of having a site where I could publish my articles, and nothing more than that. Can you tell me why I should bother with all the commenting? I’m not sure I see a value in it.”

Pearl, first off, welcome to HP!

There may not be a value in commenting for you. If your purpose is to simply have a site where you can publish, and you don’t care about establishing friendships or increasing your views, then I see no reason for you to get involved in commenting. I think you are missing out on a lot by not doing so, but considering your limited goal I don’t see commenting as a value for you.

But there is value in commenting!

Some of my best friends, and I mean that sincerely, are friends from HP. Those friendships would have never happened if it were not for commenting.

And commenting leads to sharing, and sharing leads to more views, and more views lead to increased exposure and increased revenue.

But if none of that is important to you then don’t comment.

But I’m happy you are here!

This is why I comment!

This is why I comment!

Lucky Indeed

This might be the shortest Mailbag on record, but that’s okay. I’m a little sluggish after eating so much on Thanksgiving, so cutting this short is just fine with me.

Sluggish from eating too much . . . yep, I’m blessed.

This is the 178th installment of this series. I know for a fact quite a few of you have read all 178 installments, and I find that remarkable and humbling. Thank you so very much!

I’m going to the doctor this afternoon for my annual checkup. I expect a clean bill of health, so there’s a good chance you’ll be stuck with me for quite awhile. J

P.S. back from the doctor…slightly elevated levels of cholesterol….blood pressure and heart rate fine….all in all, not bad for an old man. J

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 08, 2018:

PS, my dear friend, sending you hugs across the Rockies. Good to hear from you again.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 08, 2018:

All true, Peggy! Feel free to leapfrog your way through the Mail Room any old time you want. :) Thank you!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 07, 2018:

Bill I definitely agree with Peggy's comment. Your remarks do stand the test of time. Thank you for helping each of us to become better writers.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 07, 2018:

As you can tell I am leapfrogging my way backwards through your mailbag articles. The nice thing is that much of the advice you freely share is timeless. Comments mean a great deal to most of us on HubPages for all the reasons you wrote. The sense of community here is great! Friendships are made even if we never meet in person.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2018:

Very helpful, Lawrence. Thanks for mentioning that. Hopefully others will see it and do as suggested. Me, I rarely use HP to promote my books. I'm just here to practice my writing and promote my books on my blog and Social Media.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 06, 2018:


I haven't quite been here for 'every' one of the mailbags, (I think I started around number 40, but every one has been worth every word, keep 'em coming (please).

Just want to pick up on a point that Zulma asked (I know he probably won't read my comment, but it might be helpful to know)

The only issue you might have with using HP to promote your work is they don't like us putting ads for our books etc on the hubs that go onto the 'Niche' sites.

They don't get too mad about it, but they tend to 'snip' the ad from the hub.

I emailed them about it, and 'Luke' from HP replied saying that the best way is don't put the 'ad' in the Hub but put a link to the books (or Amazon page) on your author profile as they're more than happy to allow that, and the articles then do get featured on the niche sites.

To me, what 'Luke' suggested seems like a 'win win' situation.

Hope that helps, (and I guess that's the value of commenting, that way we all learn a little from the comments)


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 19, 2017:

Yes indeed, Dee! I've used them a couple times.

Dianna Mendez on December 18, 2017:

I didn't realize there were free music sites out there. Good to know. Another wonderful installment for readers.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 10, 2017:

Devika, I am glad you stopped by, so thank you, and Happy Holidays to you.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 09, 2017:

Happy Holidays!! I am glad to have stopped by. Another great lesson learned. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 03, 2017:

Thank you, Mary, and I think you do quite well with the commenting.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 02, 2017:

I know I am not really doing well as I should in the commenting business here in HP but putting that aside, I think it is our way of saying I'm happy you visited and spent some time reading what I have written. I always feel happy when I get comments. Am happy about your no restraint on Thanksgiving!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 02, 2017:

So do I, Flourish! I give them three chances to comment on my work and then I move on to someone else. Thanks for the support.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 01, 2017:

Bill, I really liked this one. The comment about micromanaging is an issue of trust. Does the micromanager trust that the writer can clearly convey what is needed to achieve the result? I like your answer. Personally, I’d nail down all the specs in writing, put it through a program that checks for grammar and spelling as well as grade level and allow some feedback. But there’s a point at which micromanaging is actually micro aggression and it’s not worth the time. Time is money

I also liked your comment about what the value is in commenting on others’ work. That could be an article actually — practical and relational reasons. I unfollow people when I feel like it’s a one way relationship.

You take care of yourself.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2017:

Thank you very much, Devika! I believe in passing it forward, which is what we all do here at HP.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2017:

You stated it perfectly, Cchitrangada Sharan! Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2017:

Michael my friend, you are one member of HP who could refrain from writing an article and will always be a valued member here. Thank you for your friendship!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2017:

Thank you Bill! I hope your week is everything you want it to be.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 30, 2017:

Feedback is important from other writers as from yourself too. Writing brings out positive and negative vibes in writers and when one receives a comment that makes the write feel encouraged. Your hubs are useful to all writers.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 29, 2017:

As always, useful discussion in this installment as well.

I agree with you that commenting is an essential part of hubbing. Reading others work and providing feedback, helps writers to grow and improve. This mutual encouragement is an important part of online writing.

Thank You for sharing this one!

Michael-Milec on November 29, 2017:

Oh Bill, several words of your responding wisdom "a value in commenting" has extended my life line on HP. As is well know after all these years, commenting is all my presence among so many exquisite successful writers , without of any my Hub published yet. Incontrovertible conclusion of your response to precious pretty new Pearl gave me chance to reconsider my termination as of now...

Meanwhile I will live under impression that writing articles as well as comments works in harmony as a good marriage of loving and sharing partners within community of honest and loyal friends.

Thank you so much for everything my friend. Blessings always.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on November 29, 2017:

Hi Bill. Sounds like you had a very nice Thanksgiving? Glad your visit to the doctor went well and was without any surprises. Another excellent week of questions and answers. Have a great week.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2017:

It did, Zulma, thank you! I have a follow-up next week to clear up some matters, but no worries. :) I appreciate you inquiring.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2017:

Anusha, you are absolutely correct about views and comments. Comments are definitely not necessary for income to occur. Thank you for pointing that out and blessings to you always.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on November 29, 2017:

Hi, Bill. Hope your check-up went well.

Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on November 29, 2017:

Some great resolutions to some interesting queries again. Changing the expression for an artist is difficult, and I can imagine how difficult it is to deal with "micro-managers". But unfortunately, when you do it professionally, that's part and parcel of your job.

Now while I agree about friendships that we can build and nurture from quality comments, the organic views which are responsible for our incomes generally, are a different ball game altogether. There are many examples of ultra-successful authors on HP who just don't comment, and don't bother replying to the comments they receive either.

Best wishes for your health, and well being.

~ Anusha

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2017:

I love that, Brian, and I thank you for the reminder. All true, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2017:

I sure would think so, MIke! I can't imagine being on HP and not making a connection.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on November 28, 2017:

I'm glad your checkup showed you're healthy, Bill.

The books and videos of Marshall Rosenberg have convinced me to do only what I freely choose to do and to convert all thoughts of 'should', 'must', 'have to' into thoughts of choosing that I shall or that I shan't. When I think I should comment, I procrastinate, because I resist being told what to do, even by myself. When I comment because I have an urge to say something and the time to say it, I'm glad to choose to do it.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on November 28, 2017:

Hello Bill - Commenting is a form of validation. It would not take long to feel like you were talking to yourself if there were no comments. A person new to HP would feel pretty lonely if no one responded to their work.

Glad your check up went well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Bless you as well, Frank, and welcome back. You have been missed by many of us.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

I learn here as well, Nell. I think this Mailbag series is here to stay. :) Thanks as always!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Happy Tuesday, Melissa! It's always good to hear from you. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Thank you Heidi! Your points are right on as always. I always learn from you and that is an invaluable gift you give me with every comment you write.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Thank you, Peg, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you. We all do the same for each other with our comments. I try never to be negative on HP; we all struggle at times, but we keep writing, and that, to me, is a gift we give to humanity. Thank you for the kind words.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Hey, Tim, thanks for the visit and Happy Thanksgiving to you. Yes to the comments and yes to HP. One of the best decisions I ever made was joining this site.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

All true, Manatita. Thanks for the chuckles as I traveled through your comments. Blessings always from this old man to you.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on November 28, 2017:

Thumbs up on your health.. boy I missed these.. Why Comment.. I like the way you handled that.. but then again.. you're always on the right track.. bless you

Nell Rose from England on November 28, 2017:

lol! glad you passed your health test okay! You always manage to find the right questionss/answers on here with things I didn't know I didn't know! lol!

Melissa Propp from Minnesota on November 28, 2017:

Happy Tuesday Bill! I was traveling yesterday, so didn't get a chance to add my comments (or maybe I was still in my Turkey coma, lol).

Glad you enjoyed the holiday and congrats on a healthy report card from the doctors!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 28, 2017:

Happy post-Thanksgiving Tuesday!

Re: Announcing Publications. Agreed, put notices wherever it is relevant and allowed. HP is not the site for this! HP is a blog for content, not news. But don't expect that any single announcement will be "the one" that creates a horde of buyers. Really want to get the word out to the media? Then you have to consider paid PR press release distribution sites such as PRWeb.

Re: Customer Issues. The customer is in charge! He who pays has say. That's not to say he's always "right." I agree that if the customer has a lot of edits, it's a sign you're probably not a good fit for this customer.

Also, having a revisions clause in your agreements will help deter some of the never-ending edits. Detail how many rounds of changes will be allowed, and how they are handled. Some writers will allow one round of changes, then charge for everything after that.

And, for heaven's sake, keep your ego out of the equation!

Re: Comment or Not? Commenting can be just as much work as writing! So if you don't have the time or inclination to do it, don't. I take that approach on some social media platforms. I just cannot justify investing in it. So be selective and have an objective for commenting. For me, I get a lot of ideas for new blog posts by swimming in relevant comment pools (like this one).

Glad to hear your health is in good standing! Have a great week!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

I completely agree, Dennis. I hope Pearl reads the comments here and becomes an active part of this community. Thank you sir!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

You and me both, Larry! LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Thanks for stopping by,Will, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

It is my pleasure, Linda! thank you

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Very neat, Bill! We pass it on, this community, and I love it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

From one ex-homeless to another, Happy Thanksgiving, PS. You are a joy in my life and I thank you.

Love, hugs, and blessings coming your way.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

Thanks Pop! There is so much to love, you know?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

There is for sure, Dora, and I thank you for yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2017:

I love you approach, Ann, to is rude not to eat the food someone else prepared. I feel so much better now,thanks to you. LOL

Wishing you a tubular Tuesday!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on November 28, 2017:

Bill, Happy belated Thanksgiving to you, too! Congratulations on your annual medical review and the news.

I like the way you answered the new user about comments. This is a great community of folks who uplift us in our efforts as writers and keep us motivated by their interest. For a fact, your last comment on my latest release inspired me to write another 200 words that day. It's amazing what a few words of encouragement will do. And you're right about friends. I've met some terrific people here who've become dear friends. Without comments, they would just be anonymous readers.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on November 28, 2017:

Another great mailbag Bill. Glad to hear health is a plus today. And, Thanksgiving was a bonus for the life experience this year. Hooray! I think comments have value and are controversial if reading the forums. Won't go there now. I usually always read the comments when I read an article because they offer more insight.

Dennis L. Page from New York/Pennsylvania border on November 28, 2017:

It is always a pleasure to see one more of your installment articles. I truly do look forward to your insight and love the way you explain things. Pearl's comment about not wanting to interact or comment on posts had me somewhat puzzled. One of the best ways to improve writing skills is to read, read, and read some more.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on November 27, 2017:

Turkey slows me down, too:-)

Will Starr on November 27, 2017:

Well done, Bill, and happy to here you're in fine health!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 27, 2017:

Congratulations on the results of the medical checkup, Bill. Thanks for sharing the useful information, as you do every week.

manatita44 from london on November 27, 2017:

Yes, we are 'darn'lucky, bro and Happy Thanksgiving once again. It's never too late to offer Gratitude - the very life-breath of the Divine. I heard a poem this very night about the rich 1% and how we 99% are used.

Not my style, but it has its value. Still, I see why you needed my Hub today. Chuckle.

22 more to go and then a 'hat-trick' as they say in football, or a 3-centuries hat-trick. (made that up)

Fit old man and stay fit as you have many promises to keep; many more miles before you sleep. Another great mailbag. Watch the food!

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on November 27, 2017:

Congratulations on clean bill of health. Always a good feeling! On commenting: I haven't done much lately (shame on me), but, last evening, I happened to some, intentionally. Today, I have a new reader, new friend...she likes the kind of stuff I write. She is one of your readers, too, of course. How neat!! ;-)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 27, 2017:

and Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you and yours....and like you I, we, are so very blessed. We do not take one minute of any day for granted. I was not homeless on Thanksgiving but was homeless on Christmas...but goodness found me and my daughter and grandson...anyway I digress...which is not unusual...always learn when I read these mailbag sharings Bill...and your candor is spot on....Angels are headed your way this evening ps

breakfastpop on November 27, 2017:

I am glad all is well, and I am happy to know that you love your life. Your enthusiasm inspires me.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 27, 2017:

Thanks, Bill, for sharing your wisdom in response to the mailbag questions. I so agree with you: "There is value in commenting!"

Ann Carr from SW England on November 27, 2017:

As always, lots of good advice. I'm certain commenting does us all good. Who doesn't want to make a few friends and read nice comments about one's work? It's all part of making the world go round, isn't it?

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. Never mind the few extra pounds (maybe that's why you had an increased cholesterol count?!), we're all entitled to some excess once in a while. Anyway, it's rude not to eat food someone's prepared for you!

Have a marvellous, multi-functional Monday, bill!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

It's a valid point, Mary, and I've experienced the same with some new writers. I now give them three strikes...I'll comment three times on their articles, and if they don't reciprocate by then it is bye-bye!

You are appreciated, my friend! Loved your outfit on Facebook the other day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

I'm glad to hear someone else say that, Jo, because it is comforting to me as well. Thank you!

Mary Wickison from USA on November 27, 2017:

Great question about the music. I love the fact that there is 'free to use music' out there.

The value in commenting is difficult for some people to see. I have commented on maybe 25 of a new writer's articles and she hasn't even once commented on one of mine. She now has double the number of articles that I do and it makes me a little peeved to tell you the truth. However, the top earners here follow very few other hubbers. I guess it all depends on what you're after here.

Have a wonderful week.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thank you so much, Nikki. I love that the British say "brilliant"'s such a great word to describe a job well done.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thanks Kari! I want to keep me too. :) Happy Holidays to you and good luck with that freelance career.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Martie, I suspect our meal company will be smaller for Christmas. Several of the kids will be gone over Christmas, so it might just be four or five of us. And thank you for the kind words. I value your friendship.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

it's okay with me, Eric; is it okay with you?'s your story. I'll touch on this in the bag next week, but in my opinion you should go ahead and do it the way you want.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thank you Rasma! I'm glad I gave your an wishes on that mystery promotion.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Shannon, first of all, thank you! I like our friendship and I hope it continues for decades. :) As for you returning, I think most of us are very sensitive introverts. Negative words hurt us and push us further into our introversion. The online world is a scary place for me, but it is a place I am determined to live peacefully in. :)

Jo Miller from Tennessee on November 27, 2017:

If it's must be Bill's Mailbag. So comforting to have this kind on continuity each week. Thank you sincerely and happy writing this week.

Nikki Khan from London on November 27, 2017:

Amazing mail bag installment,enjoyed a lot reading it Bill.Brilliant work.Thanks for sharing.Haven’t read other installments,will read those through now.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 27, 2017:

Bill, another great mailbag! I enjoyed learning about the music. I have been playing with the idea of making my own videos and I had not even thought about needing music. But now I know a couple of places to look. I liked the video also. I am just starting to do some freelance writing, so this was good advice to me also. Glad you got a good bill of health from your doc. We want to keep you! :)

Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 27, 2017:

After all these years I still enjoy your mailbox series, Billybuc! I always agree with your advice.

I am glad you've had such a wonderful Thanksgiving, and so many reasons to enjoy it. I am sure that even those homeless people have reasons to be thankful. Are you going to have another feast on Christmas Day? As you know, SA doesn't have a Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving goes with Christmas down here.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 27, 2017:

Yahoo, My good buddy Bill has a healthy body!! I would just assume so. You do have a fine recipe for that; outdoors, healthy exercise, loving wife, animals - and perhaps the most important of all, you have gotten over your internal resistance to creating.

Bill I did a piece recently about a Man talking to a Boy. I chose to have the boy speak in quotation marks and the man not. OK?

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 27, 2017:

Another great mailbag. Thanks you for your reply. You have given me an idea for how I will approach the promotion and no you won't get on the net one day to find balloons dropping from somewhere and horns tooting but I will be here, there and everywhere. I have learned that the road to the final product is a long and bumpy one but I proceed step by step each day and hope to finally reach my destination. Hope you have an inspirational week.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

You are too funny, Linda! No the appointment was before Thanksgiving . . . the cholesterol was slightly high last year. I'm afraid there needs to be some changes to this boy's eating habits. :)

And you are equally important to me, so thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Emese, I'm willing to bet a large percentage of writers are introverts and insecure. It's just in our DNA, I'm afraid. I've come to terms with it and I'm at peace with it, and HP is perfect for I'm going to keep commenting as much as possible, as time allows, and meet fascinating people like you in the process.

Shannon Henry from Texas on November 27, 2017:

Good time for counting blessings. I do every time I see a street lined with people who are apparently living there. It is all too easy to fall and a person can only far so far before getting up becomes a monumental task.

When I look back at my time here at HP, you are one I count among blessings. Someone once told me that people on HP are merely people to be friendly toward but not necessarily friends. That hit home to me after realizing that a few I counted as friends were not. But then I also learned who truly is. And although I met them here or through someone from here, I don't communicate with these people primarily through HP. I think perhaps we chat more here than elsewhere, but you've always been a sincere supporter and I appreciate you. You're an inspiration.

That said, my feelings about this place have changed, but your answer to the question about comments makes a lot of sense. Because I know you are right. I keep wrestling with myself over the idea of becoming more involved here again. In doing so, I also keep asking myself how much I want to write, share it, what my goals actually are, etc. It dawned on me that it is fear that mostly keeps holding me back and keeps me procrastinating. It always has been, bit a bad experience magnified it again. Funny thing is I wasn't aware of that until this very morning. Months. . . or years even. . .of trying to figure that part of myself out. And then it hit me over the head while thinking about something entirety different. Go figure that. But now I am rambling. My point is that I suppose I will have to begin commenting more again.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 27, 2017:

Bill, a short but sweet mailbag today. I agree with you regarding commenting on HP. I feel if someone takes the time to write, it's good manners respond. And that does lead to relationships being formed--you read mine, I'll read yours, that sort of thing. OK, maybe that sounds a bit self-serving. BUT, sometimes you end up forming friendships, like you and me for example.

Only one item in this mailbag makes me question your judgment (or sanity). Who in God's name schedules a cholesterol check the day after eating probably 5,000 calories at one sitting, with dark meat, gravy, butter-laced whipped potatoes and real whipped cream on that pecan pie?! Eat Cheerios or oatmeal at breakfast for the next 2 weeks, return to the doctor in the morning, and do a fasting cholesterol check. You'll probably get better (and more accurate) numbers. And please, take care of yourself. You're important to me.

Emese Fromm from The Desert on November 27, 2017:

It might be short, but it is still great mailbag, Bill. I can't say that I read all 178 of them, I wish I did. I know at one time I set off to go back and read as many as I could, since they were well established when I joined HubPages. I didn't get through them, maybe I will some day, when all my kids grow up...

I, for one, always appreciate comments on my own sites, and it makes me think that probably others do, too. So I am trying to get better at doing it (almost) every time I read a hub, or blog. You are right, it might lead to friendships - at least virtual ones. And I think writers can use all of the friendships they can get. At least those who are like me, introverts and a bit insecure. One of the best medicines against it are connections with our readers and other writers.

I think you taught me that, Bill. :)

Have a great week!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thank you Kristen! The older I get, the less I look forward to the doctor's office. I wonder why that is? LOL

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 27, 2017:

Hats off to your Bill and your wonderful advice in this mailbag. Good luck at the doctor's, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thanks Janine! You are, indeed, great about commenting and I appreciate you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

A few more walks will do the trick, Bill. Thank you as always.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 27, 2017:

Thank you Sally! I figure every day is a bonus at this age, so I'm going to live to the fullest in the time remaining. Blessings to you always.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on November 27, 2017:

Bill, you know how I feel about commenting and still try my best after all these years on this. Happy (after) Thanksgiving to you, too now. Plus, now onward and forward to Christmas we shall go. Happy Monday right back at you now :)

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 27, 2017:

Bill, I thought the questions this week were really interesting - and of course, you always have the answers. it may have been short, but informative. Hope you recover from your sluggishness. I know you will!

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on November 27, 2017:

Good to know that the annual checkup went well but then we all know your heart is in fine fettle. Have a blessed week Billy.

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