Defining my success as a writer on Hubpages
One day, I received an email in my Spam folder of my email address. It spoke of the opportunity to make money writing on the Internet, and led me to Hubpages. That was just at one year ago. I had developed the urge to write and recently, it had become an itch that was demanding to be scratched. I was looking for a way in which to earn some extra money anyway, so I decided "What the heck?" and gave it a shot.
My town had been hit by a massive EF-5 tornado in May of 2011. Some 162 people lost their lives, almost 8,000 buildings destroyed, and businesses left never to return. I had known some of those affected, through business dealings, friends and family, and through friends lost in this horrible storm. I had sat down and written from the heart a story with a slightly different take on the storm. I alluded to Satan creating the storm with the intent to cause people to lose hope and curse God, but Satan found that at their worst time, residents instead helped one another and he lost rather than gained. I was submitted to a local author who was compiling stories for a book. Surprisingly, it was chosen; I was a published author. The itch demanded attention.
I began to correspond with author Doug Preston, he of some 30 books published. He encouraged me, and eventually I received an honor when he and his co-author chose a title I had suggested to become their latest book title. Wow!
I placed a few works online, at Amazon in kindle format. Sales are there, continuing to spur me onward. Hubpages has become my outlet now, my testing of the waters so to speak. As it has been a year now, I feel compelled to sit down and examine my success as a writer.
To date, I have just over 80 hubs. I would qualify that as a success. That averages out to roughly one every four or five days. I have allowed myself to be carried into numerous directions, from the silly (Once upon a time in the middle of the night and Random thoughts from a random mind) to serious and political (My thoughts on gun control and Can a person run for political office without spending billions?). I have offered up musical hubs showcasing my taste in music, satirical hubs (My Dearest Barack), and heartfelt hubs (My wife, my best friend), even experiences from my youth. I have included excerpts from my ongoing works I am attempting to complete as books (Demonification of Man, River of Memories, Vox Publica). One could say my taste is eclectic, to say the least.
I have been selective in who I follow, attempting to determine whether I enjoy their works or not. Perhaps, I have been too much so. I have not spent enough time getting to know my fellow hubbers. I will have to rectify that in the coming year, spending more time exploring and less time writing. I can say that I have found my mentor here. Billibuc, aka William Holland, is one I would love to emulate. He is strong minded, exceptionally well defined as a writer, and loved by many. For all you have done for me here, Bill; I thank you.
Now on to my critique of myself and my success. Successes include the number of hubs written. I committed time and effort to these pages, and have accomplished what I set out to do: be heard. Failure: I have few followers compared to many here. I stand at 127, and have lost a few recently. I am pondering if it was due to my hub regarding the Indiscriminate Breeding in America? I may be insensitive on this subject, but I attempted to write an honest assessment of America from where I stand. I obviously offended some. I would say I am sorry, but I am not. Freedom of Speech allows us to speak our mind. I did.
Success: receiving comments from my fellow hubbers. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and follow with a comment. Each hub I read of someone else's I try to give some feedback. I feel that they worked hard on it, they trusted us by putting it out for us to read, they deserve our feedback. Failure: I have around 500 comments total, with half of them being my response to their comment. Is this due to my works being sub-par, and not worthy of someone taking a few seconds to comment? Or is it because some simply read and run? I do not know.
Success: I have reached a moderate amount of reads, approaching 3,000. Failure: I feel I should have more. That averages less than 40 views per hub. Not very good. Again, is it my content? My writing ability? My lack of following others which would draw them to me? Or is it due to my not being a good enough writer to warrant being front and center on the opening page of Hubpages? My thoughts: all of the above.
Success: I have earned money. Failure: 12 months of earnings average less than a dollar per month. Wow.
I recently saw a Hub of the Day that surprised me. It seemed simple, it had spelling errors, it was not what I would deem intriguing, but it was a Hub of the Day. I have not been honored with this yet, and it made me wonder. So I set out to create a hub worthy of what I thought a Hub of the Day was. My hub about the differences between the various sub-species of Black Bass was that creation. We will see where it goes, if it goes anywhere.
Overall, I deem my time spent here as a success if for no other reason than I am writing, but one tempered by higher expectations. I expected better returns, I expected better following, I expected better reviews. Ultimately, I hold myself accountable. If I had played the game a bit different, I would be in a better place here. I have failed to capture the attention of my fellow writers.
This is not a hub bent on my pity for myself; rather it is an assessment of what I am. What I am, is a writer, but one of modest at best talent. I accept that. What I am, is a moderately reclusive person, who fails to recognize others for their efforts, and I am committing to bettering myself in this area. What I am, is a man struggling to find an outlet for some creative feelings deep within.
If you made it to here, congratulations. I thank you for reading my words, and for listening to my feelings. I also wish you the best of luck in your endeavour to become or continue to be a writer. It is a noble profession, and one that we should feel proud of. Our words can help to change the world through the elimination of ignorance, through the lifting up of spirits, through the sharing of ideas. Words are powerful tools; we need to use them wisely.