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Defining my success as a writer on Hubpages

Updated on March 27, 2013
As a writer, am I all wet?
As a writer, am I all wet?

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.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, first of all, thank you for the mention. Believe me when I tell you that you have given me as much as I have given you. I respect you as a person and a writer, and I don't hand out respect often or easily.

      Secondly, measuring success on this site is difficult. I have never had a HOTD, and I have seen some winners that I thought were ridiculously poor examples of good writing. What does that say about my writing, that I can't beat out some of the HOTD winners? I'm not sure, but I sure don't lose much sleep over it.

      Your breeding hub.....was an honest statement based on reflection and logical thinking. If people don't like that, too bad. We can't compromise who we are as a human being or as a writer simply to make everyone happy.

      No, the numbers do not spell success by certain standards, but I still believe you are a success. You are writing and improving your craft, and that should be the goal of every writer. :)

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, Bill. I value your thoughts above all others. I am shocked that you have yet to be "blessed" with a HOTD. Of alI that I have read here, your hubs have the most to say. Perhaps that is why they are not chosen. Like me, you tend to "tell it like it is" and not how they want it to be. Perhaps I should not endeavor to be accepted by the community at large, but rather by the few whose opinion I truly respect. Yours is foremost among them, along with Beckie, Amy, and a select few others. Aviannovice comes to mind, as does Chris and Gus. Good tidings to you my friend. I have very few I count as friends, and you are most definitely in that company. God bless.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about your experience here on HP very much. It's interesting how you described your successes and failures. I can't remember how it all went for me in the first year, but I remember that I had the same thoughts, hopes and doubts. Anyway, good to have you here and I hope you'll always be motivated enough never to give up. Voted up!

      P.S. billybuc is very special, happy to have him as a friend, too :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mr Archer,

      Congratulations on reaching a year here on HP! Your reflective look back was extremely well written and honest and it was a pleasure to read. Success here seems to mean different things to different writers and I enjoyed reading your success v failure takes. I too admire and respect dear Bill and he has also been incredibly inspiring for me as a new to writing newbie. You speak your mind and that to me is a good thing, writing is about being passionate through the gift of words. Keep going! Vu, Interesting and shared!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Vox. I appreciate your comment, and to know I am not alone in my thoughts of my time here on Hubpages. Motivation from people like Bill and you will keep me going strong. You take care.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thanks Suzie. One year here surprises me, and it has passed quickly. And yes, I have to look hard and decide what Success means to me. Sometimes I get a little cloudy about what to call it, but Bill keeps me grounded and inspired. I am so glad to know he does the same for so many others here. One of my hubs is about electing one of our own via a viral campaign to the office of President. I think we need to get him going, don't you?

      As for speaking my mind, sometimes that isn't a good thing, but I am hard headed enough to just keep doing it.

      I am glad to make your acqaintance, and look to read more of your hubs as I go along. My wife and I would love to visit Ireland sometime; I may pester you sometime to tell us a bit about it, if you don't mind.

    • Dan Barfield profile image

      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      Well year on one year down - many more to go! I think a successful writer is one who continually seeks to improve and actively engages in the process of writing. You are clearly a self-reflective person who considers what they are setting out to do and continues through to the end of the job at hand. I respect that. I also happen to be a fan of Bill's work and any friend of his gets my full attention straight off the bat. I will be reading more of your work... there is no doubt about that.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Dan. I am at times perhaps too reflective, and tend to cast doubts upon myself. But I do strive to write, and to the best of my ability. Writing has largely replaced my reading; the hours I spent reading have been reduced dramatically and put into time creating words that makes some kind of sense, either through humor, or through more serious purposes. I appreciate your stopping by, and any future comments you feel comfortable to make.

      Bill is a wonder for us all, isn't he? We are so lucky to have him in our lives here. Best of luck, Sir. Take care.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      It is always nice to be honest to your readers and it can really inspire others.

      Thanks and have a good day! :-)

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, and may you have a great day as well!

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Mr. Archer,

      I found you via BillyBuc and was deeply moved by one of your comments to him. Your comment inspired me to find you. For what its worth I will be reading many more of your hubs after this one! Einstein said, "Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." Based on that yardstick, I'd say you're way ahead of many, if not a bit sadly, most.

      I love that you write from the heart and share the thoughtful, honest, multifaceted aspects of yourself. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspectives and your "voice" with us. And congratulations on all your fruitfulness to date...with surely more to follow! Blessings, Linda

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, Linda. I am moved that you found the need to find me through Bill. He is a wonder, isn't he? If any are worthy, surely it be that man.

      I appreciate your interest in my works, and I am deeply thankful you find me to be what you described. I try to be, but it is a chore sometimes to find the good in the world and its inhabitants, and it is even more difficult to walk that path.

      You take care, Ma'am, and thank you once again for the read and comment.

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      You are most welcome! Yes, Mr. Archer...Bill (whom I lovingly & respectfully address as Sir William) is indeed a wonder.

      There is a unique and profound peace which comes through that sacred "chore," or honest struggle. Embrace and celebrate that! L.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      It was interesting to read through your experience here. You should not let anything drag you down. Keep writing. Your hubs are interesting and I look forward to reading more. I wish you all the best.

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