How to, not write, another How to!

Yesterday, I spent some time "hub hopping" only to discover that I was really "how to" hopping. "How you can teach your dog to bark the national anthem. " "How to make cookies with ingredients found only in your compost pile." "How to keep your under-ware from riding into the discomfort zone. " and a host of others. These all served, to illuminate my obvious, ignorant and lazy mind. These barn burners captured my imagination and moved in me, to consider writing my own "how to".

After an hour of continuous perusing, I concluded that I was the only living person on the planet not telling everyone else "how to" do something. Not wanting to be left out or excluded from anything sweeping America, I began considering the things I knew so that I could share them with everyone anxiously awaiting some "how to" from my newly liberated mind.

After some profound soul searching, I realized that the only thing I knew was how not to write a "how to" article. Imagine the elation I felt finding a thing that I could do. Furthermore, no one else in America knew how to do the thing, which I discovered, I didn't know how to do! Enlightened and empowered, I felt compelled to share my new knowledge with everyone else in America and put pen to paper immediately on a work destined for literary immortality.

I hadn't written two words when I realized that telling you "how to not do something", was in itself, telling you "how to" do something. I was demoralized. I fell into despair. The anguish tormented my soul for minutes and then! It came to me like manna from heaven. I knew how to write a "how to" about absolutely nothing! I was overjoyed. My heart swelled with pride. I found the perfect "how to". I found "how to" write about nothing and I could tell all America "how to" write about nothing. I could write endlessly about "nothing" and the world would flock to my writings to read, about absolutely "nothing".

Think of the time we could save writing about nothing. Reading about nothing would be a breeze and if you can't read, who cares; What would you miss? None of us would ever confront writer's block again. No need for spell check and the grammatical queen who always leaves a little comment in the comment section! Gone with the wind! This could be the single greatest money making idea ever written and I don't know a thing about it. As a matter of fact, my not knowing anything about "how to" is the very nothing, I know nothing about and I've discovered it. Writing about nothing is everything I know nothing about and therefore, I know the only something about the nothing that you want to know something about.

I am, needless to say, overjoyed and humbled all at once, however, since I know nothing about what I've written about, I don't know why I'm overjoyed, but, it doesn't matter, because everybody reading this knows less about it, than the nothing I know about it. If you don't think everybody wants to know how to write about nothing, then count the eyes that have come this far to read the about the nothing that I have so eloquently writen?

The following fifty pages are everything I know about "how to" write about nothing. Share them with anyone you want. It is enough for me to know that I have writen well. Can't wait to see the ads selected for this hub, probably about nothing, but then, nothing is nothing new.

By the way; those of you who want to subscribe to my newsletter about "how to" write about nothing, send money! I will in return, send you the nothing you so eagerly await!

Comments 44 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I need that emoticon with the little character lying horizontally on the page, laughing hysterically, kicking his little slick legs in the air and rolling over in an orgy of laughing amusement!! This is soooooo refreshing. haha. Thank you for (again) making my morning - well, now, the rest of my day. Hugs.

(HOWEVER, don't look for the check in the mail for the newsletters. I'll just print out a copy of this to tide me over.)


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City

Very interesting and good.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hugs to you Nellieanna! I thought the money would be rollin in by now. I'll have to write a follow up on how to transfer funds to no where for the purchase of nothing. Be well!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

thanks for the visit!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I'll look forward to that next 'how-to' hub from you! hehe


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I had to chuckle at the "compost pile" and other gems here, Arb...it is a delight to see you back. :-)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Don't hold your breath - I would miss you immeasurably!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Genna! It is good to be here - I was delighted to see you here when I returned. You remain one of my 3 favorite hub page authors. btw. I was singing your song yesterday and my wife got a shovel and began digging in the back yard. Said she was going to bury the bird!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

haha...Arb..very difficult to "how to write nothing" 'cause mind is wandering always and so are our thoughts!

voted up as interesting :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

The wandering mind is too often filled with infatuation for itself. Sometimes my thoughts go out for a visit and they end up getting lost. They should know where they are going before leaving the house, I think! Ha Ha.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Well I never thought I would laugh so much reading a hub about 'How to' write nothing. You have written about nothing just perfectly.

You certainly know 'How to' brighten someones day :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

sometimes I simply wallow in excess time and being so proficient at doing nothing I could not help myself. That I can brighten someones day, doing so, simply provides the evidence that I should make every effort to do more of nothing. Thanks for the delightful comment.


lisa 4 years ago

I can't stop laughing! give us more.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I have only nothing to give lisa. Thanks


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Great Hub! Very funny stuff! Nice to see another Oregonian here. You gave us nothing, what more could we want? Still smiling about this.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hey xstatic! We are growing accustomed to getting nothing. Maybe, I should run for office! I am pre qualified. Thanks for the nice comment, neighbor.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Well that was entertaining! (Chuckling loudly!)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well, if I'm anything; I'm entertaining. That does, however, put an to my dreams of becoming a television star!


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

LOL I agree whole heart with your sentiments about 'how to' advice. When I read the rather 'stupid' instructions on even simple items I buy, I wonder "Just how dumb are we?" Well I'm waiting for the perfect: 'How to pick lint from a belly button' hub. Maybe one will come along soon. Great hub!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

The instrutions are meant for kindling to start the fire, that will burn the product, which after reading the instructions, you no longer want! AS FOR LINT, real men use a back hoe!


Sphinxs Sanctum profile image

Sphinxs Sanctum 4 years ago from Southern United States

I think you and Jerry Seinfeld should get together for a little brainstorming. He made a show about 'Nothing' & made Millions from it! Imagine the potential of both of your brains working toward the same Nothingness.

This got a belly-laugh from me. :D


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

That I have made you cry and laugh in a single day is the stuff friendships are made from. Postcards from the dark side of the sun by Empire Mike. I think you should read and leave a comment. You can tell him I sent you.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I have found a kindred spirit. I'm so over "How Tos" I don't know what to do with myself. I've given them my best effort because everyone says that's where the money is, but I've bored myself to tears. You've said it well.

When I read this in your profile

"haven't managed to remove my writings from the walls to share them with anyone"

I so identified.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Kathleen you could never identify with one so old as to remove writings from a wall, but, as always, you are gracious in your comments. If one has to make money writing, a how to, is justifiable. I'm simply waiting to be discovered by writing and if I'm not, then I will die broke. Then I will come back and write, How to die broke!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Love it! Now that one would make money!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan - I laughed and laughed. This is a terribly clever Hub...who would have imagined a Hub about the "how to of writing nothing" could be such fun. :) And apparently a lot of other people thought so too. Glad to see Kathleen Cochran's comment. We are friends outside of hub-land and she pestered me for months to "come join HubPages."

For four months I resister her for all kinds of reasons. (1) I wrote on a BBS twenty years ago and don't want to do it again. (2) I don't care for most social media; I think the resulting diminishment in language and thought outweigh the advantages. (3) I know it sounds awful, but I pretty much despise Facebook.

I finally caved about 3 months ago and joined FB so it would be easier to see pictures of my grandchildren and that has been nice... But soon my worst fears were realized. Within three weeks I had received several hundred mind numbingly pedantic and mindless posts about "putting in a load of laundry, what color socks to wear, what kind of food to give the cat today?

And I also received no less than four (I am absolutely serious) four invitation to join someone and play Farmland and grow turnips! Who were these people? How could they not have a clue about who I am and what I care about (not Farmland and not the color of their socks)? Was the Apocalypse around the corner? Did this madness presage the end of the world?

So now that I have almost written a Hub, to return to my point. I did eventually join Kathleen here on HP, and slowly but surely I found my footing, some good writers to follow and eventually gained some readers myself. I am so grateful and I have told her so. HP has enriched my life in ways I did not imagine or expect.

So what am carrying on about all this for? Well Saturday morning Kathleen and I met for breakfast and I told her she should check out your home page and read a few of your hubs. And she has. :) It made me smile to see the two of you in conversation. :) Really liked this Hub. :) Theresa


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I am so glad that I popped over here... because before I didn't know how to write about nothing and now I know that it is relatively easy... after all, I might have been able to write a similiar hub because after reading this I realize I am actually very talented in writing about absolutley nothing.

Thanks for the laugh.. this was pretty fun! :)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Very well done. Are you sure this is about nothing? Or maybe it is. Is nothing, something? You show great skill with the gratuitous hyperbole common to authors of the, "How I Made A Million Dollars In Just One Hour, And You Can, Too!" ilk. Are you positive you have no prior experience in the field?

Laughed myself silly--voted up and funny--I hope you won't be disappointed that you collected votes for nothing.

Now following.....


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Theresa. I had so much fun with this that i found it hard to stop. Thank you for sharing about Kathleen and for sending her my way. I am enjoying getting to know her. Wanted to respond, but, I am just finishing an essay on something I said I would not tackle. Sure to be controversial, but, what the heck? It gets hits.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello barbergirl and thank you for the gracious comment. I am beginning to realize that those of us who know nothing, know more about something than those who know nothing about the something they are writing about. I think!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi DzyMsLizzy! I am not sure this is nothing, otherwise, as you say, it would be something and something would invalidate the nothing which I claim I know nothing about! It is good to laugh admist all our seriousness. I am glad that we could do it together!


StephanieBCrosby profile image

StephanieBCrosby 4 years ago from New Jersey

I love your rapier wit. I don't come across that too often.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you stephanie, I do not play it often enough. I end up cutting myself while laughing.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I'm trainable! Not the first time I've taken her good advice.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

With good friends, it is usually mutual!


That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

The Internet is slowly being turned into a giant shopping site. It started years ago. The how to posts are part of it all. Eventually you will find yourself writing one too. How to Avoid Toe Fungus in your Fingers. How to Get your Dog to Smile and Thank You for Using the Pooper Scooper. How to Keep your Children Bed Bug Free in Cheap Motels. Etc. Just throw random words in after the standard 'How to'.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

That Grrl, Thanks for reading and the comment. Round and round iy goes and where it stops, no one knows.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Funny hub and even funnier selection of ad by Google underneath the comments. If it's still there when you read this, Arb, the ad concerns getting a degree in "Script Writing.' How's that for product placement on a hub about how to write about nothing?


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hey drbj! The ad has changed. I have noticed some whacky placements over time. Thanks for the read and the comment.


sammimills profile image

sammimills 4 years ago from California, USA

I enjoyed reading your hub! Thanks for sharing.


chrytalia 3 years ago from Tucson

ROFL--I so agree with you, and you have a real,way with words--from one wordsmith to another :-)


Diane Woodson profile image

Diane Woodson 3 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

I had been wondering why we all write so many of these how to's as we are the authority on the subjects we write about!!! great topic...


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks for the read and the kind comment.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Diane and welcome to my ramblings. We are all an authority on something I suppose, unfortunately none of us know what it is.

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