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A New, Realistic Look at the Hubpages Experience (Edited)

Updated on March 27, 2019
cam8510 profile image

Chris shares lessons he's learned about writing short fiction in articles about genre & literary fiction, flash fiction, and believability.

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Are you enjoying your HubPages experience? I hope you are, and I hope it lasts for years to come. This is a wonderful place to write, in my opinion. It is also a wonderful place to meet people and make friends. I won't even begin to list names, but I think many of you know that I value your friendship. I appreciate your gifts as writers and thinkers.

So why don't I maintain my relationships with everyone I know on HubPages? Let me tell a story, and then I'll answer the question.

Imagine driving your car down a road that is known for having lots of hitchhikers. You pick up one. As you drive along, you get to know the person and become friends. Then you see another hitchhiker so you stop and let them in as well. You and your first hitchhiker become friends with the second one. Then you pick up another hitchhiker, and another, and another, and another.

Pretty soon, the car is full, and hitchhikers start climbing onto the outside of the car. Sooner or later, you can't accept any more riders.

Back to the question at hand. Why do I not attempt to maintain all of my friendships on HubPages? Because I can't. I know others who are doing a marvelous job of maintaining hundreds of these relationships.

One way this is carried out is to return a read for a read. That is when someone reads one of your hubs, and you return the favor by reading one of theirs. Many seem to feel that this is the unwritten etiquette of the HubPages community. It sounds fair and reasonable until a person realizes they have reached the point where it has become unsustainable.

We have all watched hubbers leave HubPages. My guess is that many of them have done so out of frustration. They could not Keep up with the ever-increasing load of reading and responding to comments. On the other hand, there are those here who thrive on the interactions they have as they read, comment, and return comments.

My point is not that I believe everyone should abandon the read-for-a-read way of being on HubPages, but that it be considered optional. We should all feel free to read what we choose to read based on preference, not obligation.

Have I offended you? I hope not. This is, I believe, a sensitive issue to even broach. Feel free to comment here whether you agree or disagree with my position. We can have a mature discussion about the subject.


If I do not see a certain person on my hubs for a long period of time, I will not, for that reason, avoid reading their hubs. That is the game I don't want to play.

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    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      3 weeks ago from London

      I do agree with you Chris, we all are busy in our daily lives and got so many responsibilities, can’t cope with all the comments stuff sometimes and can’t even post new hubs at times but it doesn’t mean that friendship ends, and we only stop reading others’ stuff because they aren’t posting for a long time.

      We are all humans after all, cannot read our friends’ hubs just because can’t find enough time to be free to log on hubpages.

      Like I was sick in this whole year, was pregnant, been in hospital for most of the days during it, had the most difficult c section, one of the rare one according to one of the best surgeons of St Georges hospital London.

      Then after, responsibility of my little one and other kids, have been through a lot, would write about my rare c section condition though for people’s information separately.

      But my husband and my family were a great support through all this phase which is now gone thankfully.

      So my answer is you’re right, can’t manage sometimes. And we all should be bit realistic in this as it’s not an obligation to read and comment and it shouldn’t be.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Devika, welcome and thank you for responding here. I'm used to seeing you on FB. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Lawrence, my apologies for not seeing your post.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I started 7 years ago on Hubpages and my first time to leave a comment on your hubs. A subject I know affects hubbers for sure and understand your side of it. Every hubber writes on various topics and most of these topics isn't of interest to everyone else. Thank you for sharing your opinion here.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Chris

      First of all, apologies for not getting here sooner, it just didn't appear in my feed until today.

      I'm glad you broached this subject as it's something that I'm well aware of. I enjoy the interaction with other hubbers and I've learned a great amount from them.

      It was a fellow hubber that finally showed me it was possible to follow my dream, and just go ahead and publish my first novel, a process where I think I made or am making every mistake possible, but one that was immensely rewarding.

      You're right, we can't follow every person that follows us, and I've struggled with that, but the reality is I can only read and comment on the subjects that interest me, and even that creates it's own problem as mine interests are pretty wide!

      I enjoy the interaction we have and the things I've learned on the way.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Genna, you are one of my favorite hubbers. I'll say that right upfront. This site is about writing, and you know how to write. Thank you for visiting this hub. It was difficult for me to write. I love the people here, but we are all human and have our limitations. Some push themselves so far, I don't know if it is good or harmful. It is their life. I'm simply sharing my opinion.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I find that I just don't have the time to read everyone regularly...time does not make this possible. I barely have enough of it during my busy work week to read -- let alone write, myself. So I understand your perspective quite well. Happy Sunday, Chris, and thank you for the thoughtful words.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Shauna, You are an amazing hubber. You show up in so many places, and you are always encouraging and inspiring. You have given us a personal example of how HubPages should work. It really is simple. Read what you want to read. Comment when you have something to say. Never feel pressured to do a read-for-a-read. It simply is not a sustainable way to participate on this site.Thank you for being such a good example.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Cristina, I remember you, and I recall that you are an amazing writer. Thank you for your comments here. I hope to see new hubs from you in the future.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Rodric, you state it perfectly. "I write because I feel like I have something good to share. I comment when I feel moved to do so." This is good, common sense. Thanks for sharing it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 months ago from Central Florida

      Chris, I've been with HP since October 2011. Admittedly, I haven't posted anything new in quite a while, but I still read and comment regularly. I get notifications several times a day that a Hubber I follow has posted, or new a comment to an article I'm following has posted.

      I don't always comment, but I'd say I do 99% of the time. If and when I don't it's simply because I don't know what to say.

      I've never followed the read-for-read practice. The reason is simple: most of whom I follow, follow me so there's a natural engagement in reading in commenting. It's not forced or tit-for-tat. It just is.

      If someone new comments on any of my articles, I may check them out if I find their comment interesting or of value. In fact, I recently started following a hubber whose been here for quite a while because he dropped by one of my articles and I liked what he had to say. As it turns out, we have a lot in common. It's always nice to make new friends. It's even nicer if its by happenstance, not I'll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours!

    • Stina Caxe profile image

      Cristina Cakes 

      6 months ago from Virginia

      The past few years I have stopped writing the things I love to write and only wrote for the company I work for. I recently bought a house and right at the end of my road is my spot... the one spot that had always inspired me. Now it is just a short walk to the little park bench overlooking the point where the James and Appomattox river meet, where I used to sit with my coffee and notebook and write for hours. Being there again, being inspired again, writing again, felt amazing. I soon came to realize how much I truly missed this. How much I miss sharing my knowledge with the world. How much I miss Hubpages and all the amazing writers here. Also, I realized how much I missed you Chris and all of your encouragement! I am glad to see you still here and still being the amazing you that helped inspire and encourage others so many years ago!

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      6 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Chris, I want to again assert my support and agreement to this article. We comment when we can and when it interests us to do so on the site, or we should, anyway. That is what makes it such a great place to be. I love getting comments, but I write because I feel like I have something good to share. I comment when I feel moved to do so, as I feel now.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Sean, you said it all when you said, "No expectations". That is what is needed here on this wonderful site that is filled with lovely people. Thank you for connecting with my heart on this matter.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      6 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear brother, Chris, thank you for writing an article that I was thinking to write for some time now, and you wrote it the way I would!

      I am in the classroom, teaching, 55-60 hours per week, I even work some Sundays. I have four sons who need me. I am running the publishing of my second book in Greek, I am writing the third, and I am preparing a tribute book for Manatita in English. So it is impossible for me to read and comment on every article! I choose the Hubs which help my Soul and Heart! This is what I can do. I respect the work of all the lovely people here in HP, but I am just a human! Anyway, I don't want someone to follow me only to gain some comments; I want to follow me only if is happy with the things I write. So no guilts, just fun and Love!

      The only thing I try is finding and support some new writers on this site because I've been in their place and I know they need our Love and encourage.

      Thank you so much for being honest one more time! I treasure your friendship!

      Give without expectations; there is happiness!

      Sean

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Candy, thank you for taking part in this discussion. Welcome to HubPages.

    • Candy Cuanan profile image

      Candy Cuanan 

      6 months ago from Davao City, Philippines

      "It sounds fair and reasonable until a person realizes they have reached the point where it has become unsustainable." I so agree with this. I'm a new hubber and I work whole day (until evening) in a company, thus, I feel a bit guilty for not having enough time to read the ever-increasing load of reading. Thanks for your great post!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Rodric, you make the case very well that these decisions are up to the individual. Clearly, there are those who spend a great deal of time reading and commenting. The motivations are varied. Some do it simply because they love people and want to support them. Others have a self-imposed sense of obligation to return a read for a read. These hubbers need to give themselves a break if they find the time commitment is burdensome.

      I don't know if I will be any less evil, but I will be along to your profile soon to see what you have going on there. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      6 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Chris, I have to agree with you on this. I have had stopped following people and limited them to a smaller number of people that I like. I am not interested in everything the people that I follow write, but I comment on the ones who have earned my respect. I read everything that they write whether it interests me or not!

      It has become about supporting a colleague and less about whether it piques my interest for some. It also depends on how I feel that day. I feel obligated to read the writings of those who comment on my writings, but I don't force myself to do tick for tack commenting.

      Also, Bill H., for someone with your opinion about commenting, I see your comments EVERYwhere! I find new hubbers to follower because of your comments.

      Chris, I try to comment on each article I read. I learned from Bill, however, to only say positive things to help build up writers and offer advice if asked. If I cannot find something good to say I tend to avoid commenting. Also, if I cannot add to the positive flow of the discussion regarding a writers work, I now refrain from commenting.

      So, now I expect you to read an article that I have written and comment on it with the same word count or you are evil!!!

      Seriously, I think it is fine to not comment. It is enough that people read when they can. Comments are the cherry on top. We writters need to have thick skins so that we can create meaninful work.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Randy, Sorry, my earlier comment to you seems to have disappeared, or maybe I wrote, but didn't post. Anyway. Nice to see you. Thanks for visiting. Yes, all kinds, and we have them all here.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Verlie, You make a very sensible suggestion. Just be who you are in real life. I implied that some hubbers have certain expectations. That may just be my perception. We should be ourselves and allow others to do the same.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      6 months ago from Canada

      Hi Chris, Interesting points you make around commenting etiquette. I say just be who you are, and who you are in real life. Be authentic. If you are a shy introverted type of person, a loner, or not much of a social media person there's no reason to change that online. A good writer, whether story teller, or poet will draw readers who come to view the work, and if they can't comment that's okay, and if you can't reply to comments, that's okay too. Whatever your comfort zone is just do that. I was away several times, sometimes for a year or more from Hub Pages, but readers find you if they like your work, and that is heartening. I know though if someone doesn't reply to a comment I make, I am sometimes disappointed, just like in real life I guess. And if no one comments on my work it is really disappointing. On another poetry site I write at there is a wonderful poet who leaves beautiful comments on others work, but he does not respond to comments on his own pieces. It's just his way, and totally acceptable from what I can see. But that's a different venue, sorry if I got sidetracked. But I think it would be the same practice here. I do respond to comments, but I don't write much so it is no big deal. I also like to see the work of people who read me, I enjoy that, but I usually only read a selection of what they write, or read something new when it catches my eye. I hope it's not something to 'quit' over.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Linda, This is HP, guilt-free, the vertically challenged are welcome. Thanks for sharing in such an open and heartfelt way.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      A fresh look at HP, Chris. It takes all kinds.....

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      6 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Chris, I'm glad that you brought up this topic. There are only so many hours in the day, and I simply cannot read the writing of every hubber that I follow. I've felt guilty for that, for picking and choosing the ones that I will read and comment on.

      I have formed some wonderful friendships here on Hub Pages; that's why I stay. We stay in touch with one another and if one is absent for too long an inquiry goes out, just to make sure that everyone is OK.

      Thanks for giving me permission to skip, and choose, and be human.

      P.S. Dora gave me a chuckle with her comment that some topics were over her head but most times she's tall enough. Yikes, I'm only 5 ft tall. Maybe that's why so many topics seem beyond my grasp.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      John, I see you, Bill, Eric...I'd better stop there. It's a representative list. There are many. But I see you doing what you do here on HP. Your hearts are big and your arms are wide open. You have helped to create something here that maybe the founders of the site never envisioned. Yes, this is a social media site. Not everyone uses it that way, but many do. We've learned to build these relationships on a site that most definitely is not set up for such activity. I know you have been wrestling with these issues. I hope you find a way to resolve it all.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Dora, The room brightens a little bit when you walk in. Thank you for sharing here.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Chris, thanks for the encouragement and advice when I needed it. You are a great friend and colleague. Keep doing what you do, you are great at it.

      P.s. glad I managed to send a couple of new readers your way.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Chris, I hope that your guess is not a fact. It would be sad if hubbers left HP because the unwritten read for read policy proves too hectic. We do not always get to talk with (or read) all our friends everyday. I'm loving it here on HP too, and I try to keep up; but if I miss, it doesn't mean that I love that friend any less. Honestly, I have skipped a few topics which were over my head, but most times, I'm tall enough.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Paula, Hint? Did I drop a hint?

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Doris, That was very kind, thank you. And thank you for telling us a little about how you use your time here on HP.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Stella, Thanks for your input. Finding the level of interaction we are comfortable with...Yes, that is a very good way of putting it. Thank you.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris...LOL....OK, OK, I get the subtle hint!! LOL

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Eric, It is good to see how you handle your time here on HP. Your thoughts and wisdom are appreciated.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Kaili, Thanks for following me and for responding to John's encouragement to visit this hub. Your input is valuable. It is good for us to understand how others have handled this issue.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Ruby, Nine years? wow, That is awesome. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Elijah, I'm glad you heard about this hub and decided to read and comment. The wisdom of so many will help those who need it.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 months ago from Beautiful South

      Chris, you have some very good thoughts on how to manage our time on HubPages. I value your work because you are one of the most, if not the most, intriguing writer on this site. I love your stories, but, as several have mentioned, sometimes life gets in the way of keeping up with those we do value the most. I think I'm behind on the last couple of your stories, but as soon as I get a house sold and our income taxes done, I promise I will catch up.

      I agree that we should post an answer to comments on our articles, and I always try to do that. As much as I like a writer, if he or she writes and moves on to publishing the next article without commenting on the previous, as some of the most prolific writers do, I find myself skipping over most of those articles. Also, I've met up with a couple of writers who leave hateful comments back to anyone who is not in total agreement with and admiration of them. As much as their articles may interest me, I now have a policy of not leaving a comment when I do read one.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Bill, Thanks for joining the discussion. It wouldn't feel complete without you.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Pamela, It's good to see you here. Thank you for sharing your thoiughts.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Paula, I appreciate alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll...of your input. Thanks for participating, um, so...fully. Seriously, thank you.

    • Stella Kaye profile image

      Stella Kaye 

      6 months ago from UK

      A very valid point. I think the main thing is Hubbers do have a choice and don't necessarily need to interact if they really don't want to. There's no pressure so you can take or leave that side of things just like any other social platform. Personally, I take the middle road. Whereas it's great to have some interaction, too much can prevent you from concentrating on your writing. Having said that, every different opinion you come across is food for thought and does help you develop as a writer. The knack, I suppose, is to find the level of interaction you are most comfortable with so there is some balance and you don't feel overwhelmed. I don't get a lot of comments anyway but when I do, I always respond and I'm always happy to answer questions if it helps someone in some way. I'm quite happy with HubPages in general because my writing is out there getting read even if the remuneration is abysmal... I don't even bother looking at my earnings page as they have been so low in the past!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chris this is a thoughtful caring piece. Approach a tough subject in love and it becomes nice. I believe that HP wants articles about 1,250 words. To me that is key. Fun photos and music. If I had a real boss other than my children and wife, they might fire me for about an hour and a half on HP. (excluding publishing and writing) HP is a social networking site. For me that is a network of loved ones.

      But back to that 1,250 words. An article simply cannot exceed that, especially on hard intellectual matters. Our congregation on my Sunday Sermons is only about 200. About what is intended. People read but do not comment. Only my besties do.

      At this many words my comment is too long – but you called for that. I look at my notifications and some subjects are not at all interesting to me. So I pass. But if it is from a buddy I at least check out the title first. Every comment on a Hub you wrote demands response by my mind.

      My mom made me enroll and take a twelve week course from Virginia Tech in speed reading. And my brain fires on 8 cylinders though I have only 4. Most people don’t understand that speed reading actually gets you in a groove where you get more out of pages. Like your short stories. Boom done in 1 minute. And then back to savor every nuance in natural time. I call that the flavor and scent of beautiful writers.

      So I dig all the writers I associate with. It hurts my feelings when they don’t read and comment on my stuff. I take it personal. Personal because I hope they do not comment because of a problem in their life. I do prayer just about as much as I comment. I had not heard from you for a bit so I prayed that you were in the Appalachians and down time from electronics.

      I know that my boat sometimes paddles against the eddy. Oh well.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      6 months ago from Canada

      Hello Chris,

      I am here by way of your friend John H., who recommended that we have a look at this article. So, you have a new follower as well :-)

      I have been here for six years. At first, I read and commented on absolutely everything, visited forums etc. Over the years, due to my often busy life, I have written less, commented less. I have now entered a (short) period where I can devote more time to writing, so I have been publishing one or two music articles a week. That is not sustainable though.

      I stay on HubPages because I love to write, and there is no pressure here in terms of deadlines. I always appreciate a visit to one of my articles from a fellow Hubber, and comments are always welcome. But commenting is totally optional.

      I always glance at the "Notifications" email to see who has published something new because I like to, at a minimum, skim through articles by certain people, even if I don't end up leaving a comment. Other stories and articles get a thorough read if I have time, but even with those, I may or may not leave a comment.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Chris, I have written on other sites and I always return to HubPages because, in my opinion, it is the best. I do not read every hub written because it's impossible, and I do have preferences, such as poetry and short fiction. If a story is long, no matter how good it is, I can't stay interested. I can remember when I first started writing here ( nine years ago ) I needed help badly, and I got it from many Hubbers, esp. Mike. He would email me with instructions. About comments, if we read a story, I believe we should leave a comment, that's only common courtesy.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      6 months ago from Washington DC

      Chris, I found this hub because a follower we both follow had this hub by name in his introduction and I took his advise to read this. I found it short and most informative concerning how to manage the Hubpages experience. Thanks for sharing it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree. Commenting is not a requirement at HP, nor should it be.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 months ago from Sunny Florida

      You certainly bring up a good point. I have difficulty reading all the hubs of my follwers. I write about 1 article each week, and some write almost daily. Keeping up with that number is impossible.

      At the same time if I am commenting on someone's articles frequently and they never comment on mine, then I sometimes stop commenting as they are not friends.

      I do appreciate many people that I consider friends, but other obligations sure make commenting all the time very difficult.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris.....It shouldn't surprise you that I have some valid (I hope) thoughts to add here. First of all, what you shared with us is so true. No writer, with the possible exception of seriously FULL-time, dedicated writers, can respond to every single article all the time. Even at that, most of them devote the bulk of their time to writing their articles, as is expected.

      Like you and so many of us, I too have formed some wonderful bonds of friendship that are firmly in my heart forever. I'm grateful for this and try as often as possible to keep our interaction going.

      I actually scrolled down my list of the many people I chose to follow and the hundreds who "originally" followed me. Of that latter, I was amazed at how many have been long gone from our site, the ones who have sadly passed on and others who for one reason or another simply fell by the wayside.

      My activity over the years has dwindled a bit more each month. Presently, with the little time I allot to HP in a week's time, I can and do only read and comment sporadically. (Just enough to keep in touch with those I am closest with) I may even read an article written by someone I've never responded to before just as a different touch or because the title attracted me.

      To sum it up, my visits are sporadic and my choices are where ever the wind blows my whims. Sort of like my life, my schedule and my interests, these days.

      We have lives, families, several other interests, responsibilities and many of our fellow writers, of course, have full-time jobs. (Since I've retired, I find I need to remember that most of the people around me, still work!)

      It is good of you, Chris, to mention the elephant in our midst. I believe there are many of us who have felt pressured and overwhelmed at some point and had to make an adjustment. It can't be avoided.

      Rational, mature adults realize all of these things and certainly should not feel slighted at any point.

      As Jodah said, & I totally agree with him. I feel it is very important to always acknowledge comments left for us on our own articles. To not do this is simply rude, lazy and unacceptable. (and as I travel around now and then, there actually are plenty of writers who never return to their articles after they publish! WTF??! ) My fix for that sort of bad business is to not ever read another article by that specific writer. If they can't be bothered to monitor their articles, they're telling us that they couldn't care less if someone reads their work or not. Soooo....there ya go.

      It's OK Chris, you can tell me I gab too much.. It's been said before! LOL... Peace, Paula (My comment is longer than your article!! LOL)

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      John, I want to encourage you to take time for yourself and your wife. This community has embraced you. Feel free to take some time for yourself. I think there are several here in your shoes, but I can think of only two who must be feeling incredible pressure, you and another friend of us both. My heart goes out to you and to him. You both were willing to do what I was not willing to do. You gave from your heart to people you did not know. They love you for it. You both gave to me when I first started writing, and I will never forget the encouragement it was to me. But you can't be every writer's hope. Take some time. Enjoy life. We will be here when you come back. Love you, my brother.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Mike, I rushed to respond to your comment. In my estimation, you are a key player on this site. Thank you for responding. For a writer such as you, who has distinguished himself as a sought-after writer, I consider your input here to be indispensable. Thank you.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Chris - I threw up my hands a long time ago trying to read and comment on everyone. I read a few people, generally the ones that gathered around me eight years ago. I have stopped rushing over to read some very good writers. There just is not enough time. Hubpages has changed a good deal, good writers remain, and good writers have gone.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      John, thank you for this response. You are the person I have gotten closest to on HP. So your response here is very important to me. I agree, responding to comments should be a priority. I will add that to my daily "to-do" list. Seriously, though, I steered away from even that because of the pressure I was feeling. Thank you for responding my dear friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      7 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Chris, you know I value your friendship, and also our occasional collaboration as writers. I also thank for for starting this discussion. Yes, it is quite reasonable when you start off here at HubPages to reciprocate by reading a hub of every person who reads yours.

      Eventually though, as you built followers, this becomes harder and harder. Some people also write about subjects that really hold know interest to you, but you still feel obliged because they have read something of yours.

      I still try my best to do this but I find myself failing more often. I used to love reading novels, but due to the amount of reading I do at HubPages, even that has taken a back seat.

      Apart from that, I also belong to The Creative Exiles where I also have to write and read other people’s work. So, I agree that the read-for-a-read etiquette should be optional as you suggest. I do however believe that you should always reply to people’s comments on your hubs/articles as a way of appreciation for them taking the time.

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