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My First Year with Hubpages: Igniting My Passion
My Introduction to Hubpages
As my first year on Hubpages drew near, I began to wonder about how I would commemorate this significant event. Let me start by sharing how I came to know about Hubpages. My mother, hubber Denise Handlon, had been a hubber for about 9 months when I joined. She had been sharing her writing with the family and had been nominated for a few hubnugget awards and Soul Work: Joy, won one of them. Clearly she was enjoying great success on Hubpages.
At the time, I was busy with “life” as a full time elementary teacher and a mom of my two and three year old children. Extra time was not on my side. Although she encouraged me to join (knowing that one of my life goals is to write and have published children’s books), I hardly had a moment to read her hubs let alone write any of my own.
Around November of 2010 I started doing some major life reflections. As I said, I am a teacher and LOVE being a teacher. However, in this day and age of teaching in the United States, especially in an urban district, teaching is not about teaching anymore. I began to think about what I was truly passionate about. The answer was writing. However there was a problem. Even though I had experienced success as a young writer in elementary school, I did not have the confidence to put my writing “out there.”
Although I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, I do try to set goals for the year to come. I decided that 2011 would be the year that I would make my writing happen. So at the tail end of 2010, I joined Hubpages. Now you would think that the first thing I would do would be to call my Mom and tell her, but alas, there goes that confidence thing again and so I SECRETLY joined.
Once I was “found out” my Mom was excited to have me along and continued to encourage me to write and shared my writing with many of her followers. And my love of Hubpages was born. So how has this changed my life over the last year? Well, that could probably fill a whole book, but let me share with you a few of the highlights.
Encouraging Words From Fellow Hub Friends
Of course one would expect your Mother to encourage your success, and mine definitely did, but there have been many others along the way as well. The family support continued as my aunt, hubber Danette Watt, also shared encouraging words for me as I began my journey. My first recognition that I was actually somewhat good at writing was my nomination for a Hubnugget award for my hub A Lesson for the Teacher. Not only was it nominated, but it won for that category. Thus my love for Hubpages, and my addiction, was born. With each hub I wrote, my confidence grew.
One of the things that I love most about Hubpages is the community. I have really enjoyed getting to know many of the other hubbers through the exchange of comments on hubs and in the forums. I really feel like I have made some great friends, even if we have never met. I know that many others have mentioned this same feeling, but it really is a wonderfully supportive writing community and one that I am proud to be a part of.
Yet even with the win, I'm not convinced that I would have continued to write if it had not been for the uplifting words that I have heard from so many other hubbers. I have greatly appreciated the support from some of the Hubpages staff, like Simone Smith and Robin Edmunson. Their feedback makes me feel like I have something positive to contribute to the community.
I can always count on some thoughtful and caring comments by Happyboomernurse who I knew was one to cherish when I first started reading her hubs, especially How My Swimming Pool Party Became a Civil Rights Lesson. She has a lot of wisdom and caring spirit that we can all learn from.
I have also gained some personal growth through Hubpages, particularly in cooking. So along the way I have baked chocolate pumpkin muffins from RTalloni, veggie buns from Joe Macho, and canned jelly from Leah Lefler.
Photos from Stephanie Henkel and sofs have inspired me to take a photography class in 2012 to gain a better understanding of how to use my camera more effectively. In addition, randomcreative has kept my creative juices flowing with her many hubs, by reminding me that creativity is an important outlet not to be ignored, and it's fun too!
Playing around in the Sandpit has led me to meet some great and supportive people like thecleanlife, Beth100, and klarawieck. Although I have only known them "virtually" for a year, they feel like an extension of my own family.
First Year Accomplishments
So as I mentioned earlier, my first accomplishment was winning a Hubnugget award. But there have been so many other things that I have been very proud of over the last year. Some of my hubs have been selected as the Hub of the Day. A couple of these include The Best Online Interactive and Educational Games for Kids and The Impact of the Beauty Industry on Young Girls.
I have also become a Hubpages Elite as a Hubpages Greeter and I was voted as Most Likely to Become a Hubpages Employee and Best Hubpages Best Teacher in Hubpages first annual Hubbie awards.
What I've Learned and the Year to Come
So what have I learned in this past year? That I really can write and I have set my sights on larger goals. I've learned more than I ever knew I wanted to know about SEO and keywords, along with Google's big, bad Panda.
My confidence has grown and I am now going to send in that manuscript to the publishers even if I get that rejection letter. I am going to develop that blog that I have been toying with for the last several months and even look into developing a website for children. Lofty goals? Maybe. But even with the possibility of failure, I know that I will never know if I don't put the effort in to try. I have Hubpages and all of its Hubbers to thank for leading me to this point.
Thank you to all those that have directly impacted my first year on Hubpages, including all of my followers. Even if I did not mention you specifically, you have made a difference in my life and I appreciate every one of you. Here's to another year writing on Hubpages!