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Hubs & Followers: Inspiration for Hub Ideas, Experiences & Surprises; Technical Learning; Part of a Community
What a Great Place to Be!
I was so excited when I reached my 20th hub and at the same time, my 50th follower! I know, I know, so what? It’s not a great number, especially compared to others’ achievements, but for me it was a significant milestone. I realised I could link the two and timed my 20th hub accordingly! I like to give myself little goals; that way, I can reward myself with treats more often! Great oaks from little acorns grow.
Trivia: (just thought you might like to know) it seems that the saying ‘great oaks....’ is nothing to do with acorns but comes from the old English ‘aecern’, meaning berry or fruit, so in my case I’m hoping it’ll be great moonflowers from little seeds grow!
Growing all the Time
Everything has its Spring time, its growth period - early in the year we have daffodils, primroses, more sunshine, warmth; the grandchildren grow apace, delighting me more every day; I’m growing - no, no, not the age or the size - in knowledge, garnering information and trying to share it; my number of friends on hubpages is growing and I’m honoured. I've now published a few more hubs and have over 200 followers*(see below); I regard this as good, for me, though I see many others who have fewer hubs and many more followers. This spurs me on, makes me determined to improve, to sow the seeds for more hubs.
I've now got past the springtime of my hubs but I still have much to do. I don't think we ever finish learning and growing.
Knowledge & Interests v Popular Subjects
There are many reasons for this, one being that I write about what interests me most and about subjects I know well; these are not necessarily the subjects which are the most popular! However, subjects we are passionate about are likely to be those we write about best.
As we are often advised in hubpages, it's a good idea to research which subjects are the most searched for, which keywords are best, how to write our hubs to include pertinent words. I am always trying to improve in this area but find I have to compromise between interesting content and keyword appeal.
How do my Hub Ideas Grow?
I have so many interests and hobbies that it's sometimes difficult to decide which to write about. Life is so diverse, so rich. There are so many beautiful and interesting places both here and abroad; I'm still exploring. I'm absorbed by the antics and achievements of my grandchildren. I love reading. That's just for starters!
The ideas grow in various ways; from little thoughts that occur (which I have to jot down or they're forgotten), from phrases I hear people utter as I walk about (which also need to be noted!), from dreams I might recall, from programmes on television or radio which inspire, from conversations which bring up issues of note or snippets of humour. Then there are some Hubs which themselves naturally lead on to further articles or which prompt lateral thinking.
Most of my hubs grow:
from my own Passions and Interests:
- dyslexia, which has fascinated me for over 15 years, an offshoot of my English studies, needing to specialise in order to return to teaching; we grow as people when we learn from the difficulties of others:
- travelling, whether in Britain, France or further afield; I only went to Australaisa for the first time a few years ago and was stunned by the beauty and lushness of New Zealand and the vast openness of Australia, even after visiting only a few places (around Brisbane, Sydney and Perth); my acceptance of other ways of doing, of living, of being, has grown ;
- books, be they fiction, autobiographies or information, are so important to me; I learn from them, they fire my imagination, I get to know so many characters - some good, some bad - I can travel to places in this world and in others and I can see into people’s minds, experience thoughts I would not even imagine; books broaden the mind and enrich the soul;
- poetry, in all its forms from haiku to epics, inspires me, can show beauty and ugliness, can please or repel, can be thought-provoking, make me smile or make me cry and can be a challenge to create from ideas which grow within;
from my Family:
- my partner, who suffers my idiosyncrasies and puts up with the amount of time I spend on hubpages, who is so practical and knowledgeable (mechanics, plumbing, electrics, carpentry, building.... you name it), who has travelled the world and has many fascinating tales to tell; we grow in understanding;
- being a parent and grandparent; I can look back at my own mistakes and try to be wiser (the ‘older’ comes all by itself!), I can be much more relaxed with my three grandchildren (one 50 years younger than me, two 60 years younger!) who delight me, teach me, make me laugh and make me worry about what the world has in store for them;
from my Own Photos:
- places I’ve lived in, visited, travelled to, both near and far;
- people, mostly the children, of whom I must have thousands of photos - thank goodness we can now keep them on iPhoto and the like, otherwise I’d need a whole house in which to store them!
- photos taken by my father, from whom I caught ‘the bug’, from whom I learnt so much, with whom I still talk, learn and grow, despite his death in 1994;
from my Experiences and Observations of Life:
- my idyllic childhood, spent with loving parents in a comfortable environment; they saved up so that I could go on the school Mediterranean cruise, so that I could go to college and they sacrificed much to help me through life’s ups and downs;
- my school years, learning from mostly honest and inspirational teachers, especially those who taught me English, French and PE (you’re looking at the junior tennis champion here you know, oh yes!);
- different experiences which go with jobs, relationships, celebrations, highs and lows, births, deaths, marriages, operations;
- philosophies on life; religion, ethics, manners, politics;
from other Hubbers’ Words and Encouragements:
- followers; I was thrilled with one, now I have considerably more; thanks to all of you for even bothering to look let alone anything else; there is an atmosphere of courtesy, curiosity, respect, friendship, admiration and fun on this site, a coming together of like-minded people who enjoy words; I’ve never experienced the like before, so, again, I thank you;
- comments; such conversations grow in the comments boxes! - compliments, advice, help, constructive criticism; friendships grow, all within the art of writing and the wonder of living; ideas flow and inspire;
- votes; finally, the votes give us encouragement too, to continue, to branch out, to follow a particular style that works, to tell us whether our work matches our intentions, sounds the way we meant.
The surprise is that ideas spring more and more one from another; once I start thinking and writing, another tangent appears and I need to give it its own space, its own hub. Then another hub materialises from thin air, then another.......!
The surprise is that people actually keep reading them! I know information on places, on practical advice and the like, is sought after, but what about personal poetry, what about recounting one’s own experiences (a bunion operation for heaven’s sake!)?
The surprise is that I am not technically proficient and have to spend hours trying to find out the best way to insert photos, sort out videos, make links, but I manage eventually to overcome!
Technical know-how has been a huge learning curve. Others are so willing to help when the technology swallows you up and spits you out, when html becomes a logistics firm , when a links capsule becomes a snag, when a vote becomes a lost deposit and an import is seized by customs. The biggest surprise is probably the fact that I’ve fought my way through the technology and managed to publish anything at all!
Confidence, Challenges & Growth
Am I sounding confident now, do you think? Maybe I should do the 30 hubs in 30 days challenge then, but - you know what? - I don’t want the stress. I’m not long retired, I’ve given up all the hassle and I love the tranquility. I want to do my own thing, not be tied to someone else’s schedule or agenda or suggestion.
I like to be able to mull over ideas, make notes, mess about with words. I like to peruse my photos, prepare thoughts and narratives, pretend I know what I’m doing. I like to seize the moment, set the scene, savour the excitement of creating something to share.
I’m lucky to have the leisure time to do all this. I admire greatly those of you who, continuously, present hubs of high quality, who have hundreds of followers and who offer good technical advice and step by step instruction.
Thank you to all of you who have helped me, encouraged me and made me feel a part of this growing community.
I want to say to those readers in Britain, ‘Come on, let’s have more of you writing! There must be many more who can make valuable contributions to the expertise and friendship that exists here. Let’s get the number of hubbers growing!’
Next goal? 50 hubs! I’ll let you know when I get there and if anything’s changed through the process - I hope so or I’ll have learnt nothing, I won’t have grown!
I was thrilled when I published my 50th hub even though it was nowhere near many people's output but the pace suited my life at that time. At the same time I managed the heights of 250 followers! I was even happier when I published my 90th hub but I couldn't rest on my laurels; time to try even harder and catch up with fellow hubbers who joined about the same time as I did. How do they do it?! I know, hard work and dedication. That's necessary to produce consistently good quality hubs at a regular pace.
I was awarded my first 'Editor's Choice' in October 2013 - I was thrilled! It's what HP calls an Evergreen Hub, something that is relevant year after year, and it's topical at the moment so I suppose that helped in the choice, who knows? Then to my further surprise, a few days later, another one! Now I have a total of 5!
In the first edition of this hub I gave myself the target of 50. My next target was 100 which I've just reached so I'm feeling good, especially as I now have over 400 followers (whom I appreciate greatly).
What's the next target? Well, I think I'll just continue to write as the fancy and the ideas take me. Having got this far I'm not about to stop. 'Fits and starts' mode is how I seem to work so who knows how long it'll take me to catch up with some of the others here? It's not a race though, it's all about quality and enjoyment. I've made a few pennies along the way but that's just a little bonus for me; fortunately I don't have to rely on it!
The most important aspect is that I enjoy writing so much. Hubpages is even more important to me now than ever; the writing practice, the fun reading others' work and, most of all, the friends I have made here.
Good luck to you all, newbies or long-standing hubbers! We'll continue supporting each other until our fingers stop rattling the keys.
Copyright annart/AFC 2015 (text & photos)