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Adding a Challenge to a Contest

Updated on March 31, 2012
HubPages March 2012 contest
HubPages March 2012 contest | Source

When HubPages announced the Know-It-All-Contest, I was incredibly excited. Writing hubs as answers to questions was a task I already tackled whenever I needed a little extra motivation. Questions make for great inspiration when brainstorming what to write about next, so the contest seemed just too easy. To add a little challenge to the contest, however, would set the stage for a real task worthy of prizes to be won.

Do you stick to your niche during hub challenges?

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Planning Ahead

As the Know-It-All Contest neared, I started thinking ahead. Which questions would I tackle? Would I stick to my usual niche and write only about topics relating to interfaith relations? Or would I branch out? In the spirit of "knowing it all" I truly have a vast array of interests outside of interfaith relations and my personal religion. I like video games, read a lot, and study various fields of science with a focus on psychology and astronomy. I like to get out and garden, I have been independent since the age of 11 and have an array of knowledge on taking care of oneself and the home, and have lived in a few states drastically different from one another. I watched a ton of movies, listened to music spanning generations far older than me, and written several different forms of poetry. I have been a sponge my whole life and have knowledge in a vast array of subject areas that surprises many who know me.

Considering my knowledge-base that borders on, but just misses a jack-of-all-trades, I decided I would answer any question that inspired me to write. I thought about the contest some more and realized that it would span from March 1st to March 30th. What a perfect time to do a 30 hubs in 30 days challenge! I would post one hub a day everyday during the contest. This would make the contest far more interesting and really motivate me to push forward with a writing challenge.

Did you participate in the Know-It-All Contest in March 2012?

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Did you combine the contest with a hub challenge?

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Did you sign up for the March Challenge through the 30 Hubs in 30 Days for March Contest thread?

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Unexpected Support

As March 2012 neared, I reflected on how busy the month would be. I had a new roommate moving in, gardening to prep for, a hectic work schedule, and several other tasks I knew were coming. So I got a head start and posted the 30 Hubs in 30 Days for March Contest thread to announce I would be combining the contest with a 30/30 challenge and that I would be spending the last week in February prepping questions and hubs ahead of time and inviting others to join me. I had expected only maybe one or two others to join, but was blown away after more hubbers signed up than I could count on my hands and toes! Although a handful had decided on a regular 30/30 challenge for March outside of the thread, they joined in the thread and showed a dynamic support for the HubPages community. Rather than a thread for just those combining the challenge with the contest, the thread became a little spot in the forums for encouragement and sharing for anyone taking on a challenge during the month.

During March, I had many things come up that threatened my time to write. The new roommate turned out to be an active alcoholic who would go through half a 1.75 liter of rum in less than four hours before heading out to the local dive bar for beer. Considering my childhood experiences with a physically abusive alcoholic, this brought on an anxiety that made writing difficult to focus on. After kicking the roommate out, I was too shaken to concentrate on writing anything. In the days after this, I had my first case of troll behaviors in hub comments. Normally able to handle such nonsense like a pro, I found it nerve-wrecking in light of the roommate situation. Then, with my birthday on the 15th, I decided to try to recuperate by not touching the computer at all. I got behind in my goal fast, but I did not feel bad about it.

During all these struggles, I had an immense amount of support from other hubbers. Some offered kind words about the roommate situation. Many commented and offered advice and tips on dealing with trolls and other negative behaviors we may come across here at HubPages, and several wished me a happy birthday I did not expect! AEvans, as busy as she was participating in the challenge, reading, commenting on, and sharing others' hubs, helping to run the fast growing group of writers, and all the other tasks in her life, took the time to send me a personal message and listen to the details of the situation. This support made what could have turned into a demotivating failure into real learning experiences and inspiration to keep moving forward. Thank you to all of you!

Did you meet the goals you set for March?

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The End Result

From March 1st 12pm PST to March 30th 12pm PST, I published 23 hubs answering 23 questions. Some of these hubs were published on the same day meaning that there were a few days nothing was published and others in which two, three, and even four hubs were completed. Seven short of the goal and the timing of published hubs off, I did not complete the challenge. However, I hardly look at this as a failure. I started a thread that built community support, was invited into a group designed to provide that same nature, and published 23 contest qualifying hubs when events in my life could have stopped me at nine and my motivation was held at gun-point after 11. The Know-It-All Contest turned out to have nothing to do with the possibility of earning cash. Instead, it was all about finding inspiration and motivation for writing amid life challenges and other priorities and the love, care, and support of a strong community. The experience was worth it.

Hub #25/30 for March Challenge

© 2012 Evylyn Rose

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    • Evylyn Rose profile image
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      Evylyn Rose 5 years ago from Colorado, USA

      Millionaire, thank you! I definitely feel that I've learned a lot during March and hope I can apply that learning to all areas of my life. Thanks for the comment and encouragement!

      Turtlewoman, the situation reminded me that I have things I need to address from my past, and now that it's over, I know the right roommate will come. :) Thanks for the comment!

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

      I'm sorry to hear about the roommate situation. You did answer 23 questions in the contest which is more than what most Hubbers have one.. Hopefully you'll win one of the final prize! Great job!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on a successful HubPages Challenge. Even though you didn't write 30 articles in 30 days, you were able to do so much more. You found the strength and encouragement to keep writing quality hubs, formed connections with the HubPages community, and probably learned about yourself as well. Keep up the good work!