40 is just a number
Well here I am at the cross roads of 40! F-O-R-T-Y! 40 is not just a number! It was a long road to get to number 40.
What am I talking about? Certainly I am not referring to my age. This is not some emotional rant finding me on the brink stressing over turning forty, no no no. To the contrary, 40 looks damn young to me now that I am nearing the end of the 50's. No, this hub is not about fears of turning age 40 but rather writing my 40th hub.
I am finding it a challenge to come up with any interesting hub ideas . I have been a "hubber" for a couple of years now but only recently obtained my 39th hub. For the last couple of years, in between binges of employment and unemployment, I have managed to walk the rocky path toward completing 39 hubs; and much like reaching the age of 39, I seem stuck here for a while not wanting to move ahead to 40.
Reaching 39 hubs was an accomplishment. It took a lot of time with a lot of chaos in between. Starting new jobs, losing jobs, losing a home, moving--all time consuming and creativity killers.Finding myself currently, once again standing in the unemployment line, I have time to write some more hubs. However, I struggle between sitting down to write, which I enjoy and my conflicting thoughts that my time would be better spent at the computer searching the online job sites. Guilt aside, I find myself several times a day checking in on Hubpages to see which of the funny and interesting hubbers I follow has written a new hub or has new comments on existing hubs. It is amazing the professionalism and creativity that happens on hubpages. I know some hubbers are professional, accomplished writers but the professional level of the so-call amateur writers is truly astounding.
Reflecting back to the beginning, when I first became a "hubber" I realize now that I merely stumbled upon hubpages and what a lucky stumble it was. I did not realize what a gem hubpages is and cannot be compared to other sites that claim to offer just as much.
I am not the most prolific writer on hubpages. I am not sure of the stats but I probably fall into the 5-10% of contributing regularly to hubpages. I am not one of the "big time" hubbers but all the same, feel honored to be a participant. I find it impressive the amount of hubs written by my fellow hubbers. Some of you are over 1,000 hubs to your credit. Many of you have followers in the 5 digit range. I will say it again Impressive!
Even at my low rate of contribution, however, I have managed to make an small income from hubpages. I was shocked to get paid. Sometimes I donate the money and other times it came in handy to supplement living expenses. Although making money was not my motivation for joining. I joined for my own sanity and to use my hubbing as a forum to vent about the fraud being perpetrated by my home lender on me and other customers. The outlet provided by hubpages which allowed me to get my story out to others in the same situation, was priceless.
I have expanded beyond hubbing solely for the purposes of "venting" to actually trying to improve my writing. One thing about Hubpages I particularly like is the spirit of comradery among hubbers. Unlike other social sites, hubpages has a lack of nastiness and attack. To the contrary, I find everyone's opinion or constructive criticism is accepted without the resorting to name calling so frequently found elsewhere in cyber space.
Hubpages has a Worldwide membership and since joining, I have been befriended by hubbers all over the World. I have enjoyed reading and following other hubbers from exotic and strange places whose hubs give me a glimpse into a life very different from mine. There is Arun in West Bengal who sent me the loveliest fan mail. Eileen in Buckinghamshire England whose hubs are fascinating and interesting. Ultimateteam in Belfast, Ireland who keeps me laughing with his Irish yarns. Sen in Kolkata, India who writes wonderful haikus. Equally I have had many a nice exchange with people in my own country from coast to coast and in between. The friendly exchange, the words of encouragement have all been appreciated. We come from different backgrounds but find a common place as we share our stories, ideas and beliefs. The World seems smaller and much more cooperative when feedback is received from across the waters telling you they relate or they have been where you are.
Let's face it, writing from your soul and putting it out there for everyone to read is really scary. Maybe that is why so many hubbers are less critical than those found on other sites. I am not yet to the point where I feel confident to any of my hubs on my Facebook wall. My hubs are like children to me. I fear anyone's criticism of my children but I know, like children, my hubs will have to become grown and able to stand on their own, criticism and all.
Part of my hubs becoming good enough to share with others, means I have to frequently stop and read each hub with new eyes. Be objective, see how others might read something I wrote the wrong way or be confused by what I am trying to state. Recently I took stock of the hubs I wrote and felt they were too negative and so I set about to find more uplifting, positive things to write about. I think I accomplished that but still sometimes fall back on my negative ways. I like to think that my ways are not so much negative as they are my need to be a voice for those who need one, as in those of us who were ripped off by our mortgage lenders. I hope to be a help and pray anyone who stumbles upon my hubs walks away with that impression.
I hope to grow and become a better writer. I have enjoyed every aspect of writing a hub, from the conception of the idea, to the organizing of my thoughts, to the building of the thesis of the hub, the substance and the conclusion. As my creative writing professor stated to me long ago, a story should be like a sandwich, the top piece of bread, the filling and the bottom piece of bread--all in a common sense, understandable fashion. And, with that I think my sandwich is ready to eat and enjoy!
Onward to number 50!
© November, 2012
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