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How to Write for HubPages and Beyond
~An eclectic collection of tips for writing quality hubs~
I started writing for HubPages after being encouraged by a few friends who felt I had some good ideas to share. I had no expectations, just the dream that a few curious minds would find my work enjoyable or interesting. What began as a spark of interest in sharing has led me to learn and understand more about the nuts and bolts of writing, and this knowledge is applicable both on HubPages and beyond. I would like to share some of what I have learned on my own so far and acknowledge those fellow HubPage writers (hubbers) who were gracious enough to share their tips which I have learned from as well.
Here is some of what I have learned along the way:
A few weeks ago my 8 year old son told me that J. K. Rowling started writing her Harry Potter series on a napkin while sitting in a coffee shop. At first this might sound crazy. My son then guessed that this was because she was poor (If she was poor she is certainly not poor anymore). Any writer would quickly figure out why this best selling, international award winning author would have found the need to write on a napkin and this is because ideas for writing can come at anytime and any place. She most likely didn’t want to lose the idea for her story and neither should you. Carry paper and a pencil or have them in as many places as possible, beside your bed, in your car etc. My smart phone has a notes application that has become my go-to place to jot down ideas that pop into my head. I first read about the importance of getting ideas on paper from HubPages writer Rebekahelle in her hub Why I Love Writing And Publishing on HubPages which suggests this and other useful tips on writing successfully for HubPages.
Write from your heart and about things you are knowledgeable about. This knowledge and sincerity will likely shine through. Writing is an intimate art, the reader can sense so much about a writer. If the writer has a passion and knowledge about a topic this will likely show both in the words and between the lines, giving the writing a human connection which makes the experience most enjoyable for the reader.
Trust yourself, trust what you know and believe that what you have to say has value. Even if after publishing a hub you might not have many readers, some hubs are late bloomers. Many hubs take time to find their way in search engines, stick with it and sit tight. In the article, Improving Your HubScore, author Relache explains that hubs take time to find their standings in search engines.
“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of ‘crap’,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the ‘crap’ in the wastebasket.”
Try not to compare yourself with other writers. It is easy to feel inferior when reading work from a seasoned writer who seems to have mastered the art of writing not long after learning to walk, while others like me had to edit over and over to get a good grade in school. Just remember that great writers like Ernest Hemingway were known to have spent a great deal of time editing their work. Writing quickly and with ease may be true for some but not all successful writers. When reading other people’s work just enjoy it and when it comes time to write your own work tune into yourself to find your own voice.
Surround yourself with supportive people. If there are negative people in your life that don’t believe in you or are always finding some way of putting you down, try to stay away from them. Think about your past achievements and the compliments that have been paid to you. This will give you the confidence to trust yourself. You can even make a list of these positive things to help you remember and focus on your strengths.
Be conscious of the full meaning of Plagiarism. I have Miss Olive to thank for explaining this to me in her hub Online Research Writing and Tips. Sadly it was not long after learning this that I discovered I had been plagiarized myself. Miss Olive explained that Plagiarism not only has to do with copying exactly what someone says but even using someone’s ideas and acting as though they are your own. Miss Olive also suggests using Copyscape which checks the internet for ‘word for word’ plagiarism. However, I discovered I had been plagiarized when I was checking the Google standings of one of my articles since the plagiarized article was just above mine and it looked so similar that I decided to read it.
After writing your article it is time to edit. Editing immediately after writing is good but I find leaving the article and coming back to it later works since it lets your mind clear so that when you come back to what you have written you will have a fresh look, almost like a second pair of eyes with which to edit.
"In art economy is always beauty." ~Henry James
Eliminate unnecessary words. Try to make your point using fewer words; don’t waste the reader’s time. Have you ever read a non-fiction book with a great deal of interesting information in the first chapter and then ‘fill’ the rest of the way through? Some articles do something similar by making a point and then continuing on. Your reader will know the difference if you have taken the time to make your points as clearly as possible and eliminated what is unnecessary.
Finishing and publishing means deciding when it’s done. If you are a perfectionist, this day may never come. Writing is organic and will not always fit into a box or form based on an outline and sometimes it can be the imperfections that makes the writing have a more human feel rather than reading something that belongs in an encyclopedia. My favorite example of this organic type writing is HubPages own Mark Ewbie.
Self Promotion and Perserverance
You may be the most eloquent, witty or informative writer in the world but without self promotion you writing may never be read by others. Authors are making a name for themselves by publishing articles and books online and promoting their own writing. This is a new way that writers can gain exposure for their work. However the work of promotion requires a separate level of dedication, patience, faith and perseverance beyond the writing itself.
There is a great deal of interaction going on between fellow hubbers. There are friendships and support. One way that hubbers learn, grow and support one another is by commenting on one another’s hubs. Ubanichijioke has written a hub about how he interacts within the HubPages community which is worth reading, called HubPages: My Personal Experience on How to Become a HubPages Elite.
I am so thankful to the members of the HubPages community for inviting me in, allowing me to learn and grow and making me feel at home.
© Copyright 2011 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.