Beating Writer's Block!
You'll forgive me, I hope?
Just open a page and write!
It’s pretty incredible, really, just how many people are spending hours of their time writing for hub pages. And it amazes this old hack to see the quality of the articles. Some of the contributions, indeed, would be suitable for publication in glossy magazines and the editorial pages of the top daily newspapers. And neither of these could showcase the photographs and videos to the extent they are found in many hubs.
One can see from a quick scan through the contributors that they come from all walks of life: all ages, experience, and professions. Some have hundreds of hubs; other, only two or three quality pieces, which have enabled them to get into print at no cost and reach a sizeable audience.
Many contributors were seduced by the fact they could place ads through Google, etc., on their work and perhaps make some money. Apart from just a few, there seems not to be a sizeable return on the investment in time. But as there is no cost involved, anything that does come in is all gravy. Many hubbers are obviously housewives (homemakers?) with time on their hands as little Johnny and Brenda take their afternoon nap and they have an hour of two before daddy or mummy comes home and it’s time for dinner and the TV. Others are older, retired persons, some even retired writers, who miss the excitement of seeing themselves in print regularly and realize, belatedly, that the rewards of being a published writer were much more than just the salary. Many find they make genuine friends and find people who hold the same view of life that they do: for most, the warmth of many of the comments and much of the criticism that is sent from fans and casual readers of articles makes any pennies received from clicks on the ads a secondary consideration.
Regular contributors are also taking a huge, perhaps often unconscious, opportunity for a second education. Unless you are an expert in just one field, and that’s all you write about, researching material to add authority and information to an article can reveal a whole new world to you. My own modest hubs on the insect world, for example, have given me an insight into the often dangerous creepy-crawlies of our planet, and a growing interest in learning about more. So much so, that if I had been much younger, I would have been tempted into one of the sciences involved with studying the simpler creatures of our world. On the other hand, I have learned little about Mexico from the articles I have published on hub pages, because I lived there for 20 years and most of the hubs were adapted from my books and articles I had written as a working columnist in that country, rather than on a lot of research. But it still gave me great pleasure to see the interest others had in reading about “my” Mexico and maybe going soon to experience “their” adventures in that wonderful land.
The beauty of hub pages and the easy publishing format for even first time writers, is that so much of our life’s experiences and work can become grist for the mill. As I follow my own fancied hubbers and others I come across, it constantly takes my breath away with what they think of to write about and how prolific is the flow of their prose and number of their contributions. It almost takes me back in time - even before “my” time - to when there was no computers, television and only rudimentary radio…maybe nearly 100 years. Then, the only communication was by the written word in letterpress: popular columnists, poets and the rest were held as being the celebrities by their readers who followed their every word.
How many writers - apart from best-selling fiction authors - hold celebrity status today? Very few; it’s how much money you make these days. Just look at all the asinine ghost-written biographies there are around - from celebrity sports stars for instance: kids still wet behind the ears who think their life to age 24 is worth a 300-page biography! But you can’t blame them, they are supplying the demand of today’s fame-at-any-price driven youth who would do well to be taught in the home or at school the futility of being sucked into this delusionary emptiness, which is available for just the very few extremely talented athletes.
Hubpages is rapidly becoming a good source of information on practically any subject. It gives us another alterative from the huge search engines of Google and the rest, and from the often too technical or incomplete offerings from Wikipedia, (still love you, Wiki). Information delivered in hub pages is often delivered in a much warmer, first-person article with accounts of the writer’s experiences first-hand in whatever he or she is writing about (strange how we always say “he or she,” not “she or he,” yet it’s supposed to be better manners to mention the lady first). This makes for much more absorbing reading that the forgettable “text-speak” of Wikipedia and the labyrinth of Google, which often leaves you having forgotten why you were there in the first place.
In fact, the commercial activities of Google and Hubpages are so linked these days, it seems inevitable that the python will one day swallow the squeaking mouse and the two will merge. Google’s arachnids seems definitely to be giving precedence to Hubpage’s titles and information. All to the good, no?
Well, World Snooker is starting and my Ronnie is playing, sorry, better things to do: you get on with your own workaday writer’s block and thanks for reading these idle peregrinations…Diogenes.