Hubs, Hopes and Hoorays, a Maiden Hubber's Launch
It's a Start
Thank you for joining me. This is my first hub which I penned in longhand in one of my many notebooks scattered around the house before signing up and committing it to the HubPages template. It's the way I've always written, never plunging straight for typeface. Everyone has their preferred method, just as they have their individual perspective on a subject which is why they're committed to paper, virtually or not these days.
How I found HubPages
I have to thank my good friend Barbara, aka Les Trois Chenes, who mentioned HubPages one Saturday night when she and her husband were round for drinks. We give each other moral support as we are doing our houses up here in rural France, though I have to add that we're in a better position as we've not had to rebuild the gable end through which brambles had taken a major stronghold.
On this convivial evening, having said I'd had the odd (well, all of two) articles published in magazines more than a decade ago, Barbara informed me that she wrote for HubPages, and this could be the perfect outlet for me. You won't make a fortune, but hey, if you enjoy writing, why don't you have a go? Nothing to lose and the satisfaction of seeing your work in print.
The following morning I received an email with a link to her hub on pipe bending. Believe it or not we made use of the advice in her pertinent article only a few days later as we are installing central heating and and needed to fly one copper pipe over another.
And that was the start of my journey up to the HubPages front door opening onto this wonderful and hitherto unknown world of words.
A Modest Tour of the HubPages Website
You must, I advised myself, learn as much as you can that's relevant to the totally unsavvy novice before launching in. I took my counselling on board and read articles from the learning center, pinning them to 'start' on the laptop so they' re close to hand to guide me through the initial months and beyond. You never do stop learning, do you? At least, you shouldn't.
From what I've gleaned - and I'm more than aware I've barely scratched the surface - this is a lovely site. As with everything, the more you put in, the more you get out and the more you engage with fellow hubbers, the more they will engage with you. No, this is not a scheme to make lots of dosh for very little effort. If I believed that I'd be a fool. I see it as a slow burn, but burn it will as long as I fan the flames.
I'm forever jotting down ideas but have stagnated these last few years. It's notoriously difficult to persuade magazines and newspapers to accept your submissions. General policy is to bin unsolicited material as soon as it arrives at the building. Competition is hot. Unsurprisingly, my drafts have languished in drawers, destined to lie unwanted and unread for as long as I could envisage. Despite that, my pen didn't keep still. Ink continued to be spent.
Scanning through HubPages I can't imagine it isn't perfect for me. The only deadlines are self imposed. I'll be given feedback through comments that won't undermine my confidence. On the contrary, it'll encourage me to hone my literary skills, imparting facts if the subject is non fiction in an engaging and informative manner, or improving the 'hook', perhaps, of a story. No bad thing to be kept on my toes.
Initially I was awed by the prodigious number of hubs some people I came across had rolled out. Where did all that inspiration come from? A thousand plus! How could I possibly come close to anything approaching that amount? Do I a) have the wealth of knowledge relating to my pet subjects and b) assuming I might, where do I find the time to write them all? Then to my relief, I discovered another hubber with the grand total of two. Phew! What's more I'd stumbled across it with ease. Hope for me yet, then.
A Steep Learning Curve
Having never followed any of the social media get-togethers apart from Facebook, which I dip into only every now and then, I'm forced onto the less than comfortable plane of working the business end of my new venture. I'm not in totally unchartered territory but I feel I could definitely do with a map as I sign up to all the must-haves. Twitter, here I come...
Camera skills, a tad on the unsteady side, require practise in composition, eradicating those inevitable blurry photos and remembering to be aware that a picture could be the inspiration for something to write about - so keep a lens close to hand wherever I might happen to be. Then there's the added pressure of videoing. Wow, have I plenty to grapple with! But, I tell myself, I'm not such an old dog I can't perform new tricks. In any case, not all hoops are blazing with fire. Also I remind myself that I can go at whatever pace I want, snail, Formula 1 or anything in between. In fact self imposed targets bring out the best, or at any rate better in me.
You never know, in no time at all I may feel like a seasoned hubber embedded in the day to day routine of reading a few hubs and commenting, hopefully reading ones left for me, dipping into social media and springing into writing action when a fresh idea for a hub pops into my head.
Onwards and Upwards
I've decided not to set the bar too high, to give myself an achievable goal as I'm also grappling with the serious renovation of our house - not merely a set of shelves being erected here. A major central heating installation is underway, undertaken solely by ourselves. Being a bit of a tortoise I marinate my thoughts for a good while. My contributions will be laid like eggs, brooded until ready to hatch. I simply can't give birth to antelope, ready to run at a moment's notice.
So here goes, my maiden hub, the first I perceive to be of many. I'm looking forward to the next few months. How exciting!
How did Frances discover Hubpages?
© 2016 Frances Metcalfe