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How HubPages Launched A Thousand Ships

Updated on October 3, 2014

The Beginning

I obtained a degree in Creative Writing from California State University Long beach in 2009, with hopes of writing and producing films in Los Angeles. After four years in LA, circumstances required that I move away, and with that move, my career in film slowly died. My whole life was aimed at one target: working in the film industry. I was left, directionless, with a degree I had no idea what to do with.

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

-Hunter S. Thompson

The 4-Hour Workweek

Always a drummer with a different beat, I wanted to live life a little differently than most people. I looked around at the general unhappiness with the standard overworked American Dream and decided that I wanted to do everything possible to live passionately and fully by finding work that lit my soul.

I picked up a copy of Timothy Ferris' book The 4-Hour Workweek and discovered what I knew in my heart all along, that I didn't have to arrive into retirement in a broken body, a crushed spirit, and very little time left to do the things that really matter.

I have realized that a thousand lifetimes wouldn't be enough to experience all of the adventures that I want to accomplish. I have come to terms that there are places I will die without seeing. I only have another decade or two of a top performing body and I need to cram all of those adventures into the time I have.

My HubPages Journey

The Four-Hour Workweek exposed me to the option of being location independent by starting an online business. I began researching the possibilities, and landed on Hubpages, online writing, and affiliate marketing. On a whim I created a profile and put up my first Hub, not knowing what was coming.

I found the platform to be very easy to use and the writers to be extremely encouraging. Countless Hubbers commented on my first couple of articles and welcomed me to the group. Within a couple of days a few pennies rolled in, and I was hooked. I saw the potential this site presents, given a touch of talent and boat loads of hard work.

I have learned so much from this community about how to write successful articles, make my work SEO friendly, and utilize social media. Trying to figure out SEO, hosting, domain buying, content creation, formatting, and affiliate marketing on a first website would have been overwhelming without first being a part of HubPages.

I am entirely grateful and in debt to the wonderful group of writers on HubPages.

Music That Sets the Mood for Writing

A Thousand Ships

HubPages is the catalyst that propelled me to branch out to other writing endeavors. Using the skills and knowledge I gained here, I have built two websites and joined Web Answers.

Leave No Rock Unturned

As my first site Leavenorockunturned., I enjoy working with Blogger's free blogging platform and writing about minimalism. However, I discovered the pitfalls of working with Blogger versus a self-hosted site, and decided that if I am going to take my writing career seriously, I needed to pay the money to self-host.

Lovely In Dirt

In July 2013 I launched, an online adventure magazine. It has been a rewarding challenge and has allowed me to write about topics that I am extremely passionate about.

Web Answers

Web Answers has been the quickest way for me to boost my Adsense income. I answer people's questions and Google finds appropriate advertisements to work alongside the information.

What I really like about this site is the freedom to choose topics to write about and the simplicity of being able to write very short paragraphs and mini articles. I can write about the things I enjoy without having the expectation of writing 700 words with multiple pictures. There are topics I enjoy that I may not want to write an entire Hub about.

Availia's Vision

While walking through the streets of Galway, Ireland, I had a vision of holing away in a little cottage and writing by day and enjoying the bohemian culture at night. That image of long walks through the countryside, strolls along village main streets, and the freedom to write when inspiration strikes, hasn't left my mind.

I want the availability to explore the world, to enter the grave maxed out on adventure, and use my writing skills to best of my ability, not wait for retirement to have all of the fun.

Here's to making the most of our time here!

Galway, Ireland

The place my heart wants to write a novel in a little  cottage.
The place my heart wants to write a novel in a little cottage. | Source

Short Fiction by Author Jennifer Arnett

The Recluse

Janice's father is a Nashville tycoon, at the top of a media empire, but at the bottom of Janice's favorite person list. He's everything she wished he wouldn't be: distant, a womanizer, power hungry, cold, and impersonal. All he cares about is his empire, at the expense of Janice's childhood.

Now an adult, Janice struggles in her desire to build a relationship with her father and keep him at an arms length for the sake of personal sanity. She is days away from getting married to David, a man who is the polar opposite of her father: patient, kind, humble, a good man, and everything Janice ever wanted in a suitor. They say that you tend to marry a man who reminds you of your father, and Janice is beginning to see the similarities.

An excerpt from The Recluse:

My father took a sip of his double shot, extra froth latte and went back to watching the elderly lady cross to the other side of the street.

“Huh,” was all that escaped his tightened lips. It frustrated me how someone whose life was so constantly plastered across the public’s eyes, could be so boring and withdrawn.

He pulled a cigar out of his back pocket, shuffling his bulging stomach forward, revealing a patch of dark frilly hair set against a pasty white backdrop. I looked around, hoping the young couple a few tables over wasn't watching, or even worse, recognize him. The young man was too busy making love with the back of his girlfriend’s neck to notice a fat, socially awkward man try to keep up a once a month relationship with his young adult daughter.

Into Her Chambers

Into her Chambers is a story about love, loss, temptation, and the different ways that people deal with grief.

Luke has built the life he has always dreamed of: a house by the sea, a boat, an amazing wife, and a son he would give up the world for. Everything is perfect, until he gets one call that changes his life forever. His son is killed in a car crash, and his whole perfect world starts to cave in.

Dealing with grief in his own way, Luke pours all of his energy into finding sunken treasure off of the Orange County Coastline. He finds the shipwreck containing treasure of mythical proportions and enters into her chambers. Drawn in by a siren of the deep, Luke must decide whether temptation will overcome him.

An excerpt:

I received the call during a quarterly financial meeting at Angeles Life Insurance, my first job out of the fire department. Instead of saving people, I gave money to their relatives after they died. It was only halfway going the opposing direction, but at least I wasn’t forced to see my clients in some severely twisted or charred form.

“It’s happening!” My wife screamed over the phone.

“Are you sure? I mean, he’s two weeks early!”

“Yes, yes! I’m sure. Meet me at Sinai, Mrs. Anderson is taking me.”

“Honey, I love you. I’ll be there soon.”

“We’re in labor!” I practically jumped out of my conference chair. “I mean, my wife is having a baby—now! I have to go!”

“Go. But, I want those reports on my desk by Thursday-” my boss started to say, but I was already halfway to the parking lot.

Due to Los Angeles rush hour traffic, I missed the head, but I got there just in time to see the tiny feet of Joshua Alexander Peyton emerge from within my wife.


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    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Susan, I think figuring out what you want to do is less of a destination and more of constantly reacting to what life throws you. I've just learned that nothing goes to plan, so we just have to walk forward with what we are given. It took years to learn that I really wanted to write. I'm still struggling with making enough money at it to live on. Just because I enjoy it and am good at it, doesn't mean it will ever completely pay the bills.

      What a wonderful time in life you are in. Times of refocus can be a great new start towards new purposes. It can very hard to head into retirement because so much of your passions and identity can be wrapped up in your career or homemaking responsibilities. What you have accomplished is yours to keep and can never be taken from you. I remember Bear Grylls once saying that he felt a quiet pride that even as he aged, he knew that at one time in life he was considered strong enough to join the best of the best British SAS.

      I hope that through writing here, your new purposes (and they can be many) will come to light. Writing has a way of doing that to people.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I loved reading your literary testimony (as Joe called it). I'll admit that I'm a tad bit jealous that you seem to already know what you want to be when you grow up. As for me, I'm searching for my purpose once again as I plunge head first into my retirement years. Very glad to have found you and your encouraging spirit here on HubPages.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      5 years ago from California

      Mahalo Joe, it has been a wonderful journey and adventure. Just trying to keep up with you and billybuc. Your encouragement means a lot. I really enjoy reading about your Ebay adventures. Keep up the good work!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      A beautiful Odyssean (if I may) adventure, my friend! Wonderfully written and compelling to read! Thank you for sharing your literary testimony. Best wishes for a stellar writing profession! Aloha!



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