- HubPages Tutorials and Community
My Journey Through HubPages
The Start of My Journey As a Writer
My path as a writer began when I was very young. My grandfather, who lived several states away from me, encouraged me to write letters to him. He provided me with stamps, paper and envelopes, and I eagerly wrote to him. He would correct my letters, and show the mistakes to me when I visited. I understood that he didn't do this to make me feel bad, but he wanted me to know the correct way to write, and to spell.
My journey continued as I took advantage of writing in school. I especially enjoyed the creative writing, because I could write about whatever I wanted. I was very much a dreamer, and when I had a pen and paper in front of me, words would spill out as fast as my hand could scribble. My handwriting was not pretty, but at least I could read it.
I also enjoyed writing in a diary, and creating my own "trip journal" for our rides to Virginia to see my maternal grandparents. Writing about events, feelings, thoughts and dreams, observations, and anything my senses picked up made everything seem so much more alive, and I liked reading over past entries. Every one of them brought back what I was feeling at the time I wrote it.
Spelling and English Composition were my favorite parts of school, and I excelled. It felt so good to grasp certain elements, to discover "new" words, and to grow as a writer.
I have also been an avid reader for most of my life. I remember the first book that a teacher gave me in first grade, and how excited I felt when I moved on to chapter books that only had a few pictures. Next, I started reading books with no pictures at all- by then, my mind was used to making its own "movies" in my head. I could bury my head in a book for hours, and at the completion, feel as if I had been in another land, another life. I was fascinated by the way reading could make you feel transported.
When I started writing my first long story, which I lovingly titled "Ghost Alley", I spent almost every spare moment writing, and coming up with ideas for the plot, the background, and the characters, that I was lost in my own world. It felt great! Years later, I revisited this story, and since then it has developed into something completely different, but with the same "seed" as the original. This is the book that sits in my filing cabinet, three drafts completed, and ready to type up. Once I have time again, that will be a big project for me, and I will enjoy it again. Every time I touch my manuscript, my fingertips and my mind buzz in a way that most writers would understand. The anticipation of getting back to it is great.
- Our Love of the Rose
As Spring nears, I am eager for fragrant rose blossoms. Here I explain what a rose is, what it is used for, what it symbolizes, and include photos for your viewing pleasure.
It all started just 3 months after I moved to Boston from Connecticut. I had been spending hours a day looking for a job, to no avail. Initially, I saw HubPages listed on a job board as a source of income. I generally don't trust those "nontraditional job" listings, but I decided that since I love writing, I would try it out. I'm glad I did! No, this isn't a get rich quick scheme. If you want to make money here, you need to work. And the money doesn't necessarily add up quick, unless you happen to publish many articles that are search-friendly. But it is a great source of residual income, which may come in handy if you are patient.
For me, HubPages is more than about money. It is about doing what I love- writing- and interacting with other very fascinating writers who post a broad range of articles about almost any subject you can think of. It is about the helpful community, getting to know other writers, and receiving comments from people who come from all over the world.
My Progress In a Nutshell
As of October 18, 2013:
- I have been here for nearly 10 months, since January of this year
- This will be my 40th hub
- All of my articles are featured
- I have 224 followers, and am following 168 people
- I have a total of 13,438 views on my hubs
- I have 2,346 comments (including my own. I like to respond to every comment I receive)
- At the moment, my Hubber Score is 95. It has been 99 a few times, including a few days ago
- My Hub Scores are between 49-96, and the average is 82
- My 15th hub, published on March 8th, won a Hub of the Day award on May 8th. It is called "How To Stay Productive While Unemployed", and it continues to be in my top 3
- HubPages: 4567 views
- Google: 1701 views
- My profile: 1248
- Pinterest: 654
Social networks give me about 50-160 views each, and Google in other countries (6) gives me a total of nearly 600 views. Other search engines only give me about 100 views.
I tested and reviewed around 20 recipes for this hub
- Tried and Tested Recipes From HubPages
My love for cooking has been stimulated by this community, and I have tried and tested some fabulous recipes that many of my fellow writers have published
Photos From Some of My Food HubsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Topic Ideas Inspired By Life
I have so many ideas for hubs, but not enough time to write them all. Life itself is full of inspiration, and my variety of hubs is evidence of that.
- When I was unemployed, and looking for a job, I wrote three related posts. One was a reflection on unemployment, one was on being productive during that time, and another was on a list of possible interview questions
- I enjoy baking and cooking, and many of my hubs throughout the months reflect that. I also enjoy trying out recipes I see online, and I wrote a tribute to other hubbers who have posted recipes, called "Tried and Tested Recipes From HubPages"
- On the same not as above, I like to make my own baking mixes, as well as to make a pizza (including the crust) from scratch. The hubs on those topics continue to be very popular, especially on Pinterest. Soon I plan on making one or two more on pizza, as well as additional recipes for the baking mixes
- When Bill Holland, aka billybuc, had a fiction contest, I wrote a short story for it. Even though I didn't win (there were so many wonderful stories that were written for the contest), I enjoyed stretching my writer's muscles for this creative piece. At this point in time, I am also working on part two of my "Lost Memories" story, so stay tuned!
- During the Winter time, we experienced a blizzard, and that spawned a couple of articles on them, as well as one pictorial hub on Carson Beach during the Winter
- Close to the one year mark of a very good friend's death, I posted a memorial to her. It was perhaps the most personal post I have written, and yet it is always on my top 10 (sometimes my top 5), which surprises me
- When I was browsing online for gift ideas, it prompted the creation of two popular gift posts
- When I was on a diet, that gave me several ideas for posts. I wrote one on a diet challenge, one on rewards for weight loss and fitness, and an article listing the calories of different fruits, as well as a pictorial hub on walking along the beach in South Boston
- During the Summer, I was inspired to write an article on cookouts, as well as a piece on finding things to do while on public transportation. I have been spending 2 1/2 hours every work day on a bus and subway, and I wrote most of that while sitting on a train
Photos From A Few Other HubsClick thumbnail to view full-size
- I enjoy paying tribute to other writers, and many of my hubs do that. "Meeting Seafarer Mama in Boston" was a fun piece to write, because it was a result of meeting another HubPages writer
- Recent life's circumstances prompted me to write "Finding Happiness During Hard Times". This was a very helpful article to write, and reading over it has brought comfort during distressful moments of my life
- Since I have been so busy deciding what to do with my life (and where to go), and then hunting for a new place to live, and jobs, I haven't written much these past few months. I initially answered a writing challenge for earlier this month, but only had time to write 2 of them. Even though I didn't complete my goal, I am glad I tried, and that I can re-prioritize when necessary
- One of the articles I wrote for the above challenge was on evaluating resolutions. I am a goal-oriented woman, and it was on my mind at the time I started writing it. My life was full of changes, and as a result I needed to reprioritize what was important to me
- The last article I posted was on some of the benefits of living alone. This also had to do with my apartment hunt, and was helpful in helping me to determine the pros and cons. Ultimately, I ended up choosing a roommate situation, so that is a hub I plan on creating in the future
- This hub is the result of reflecting on my journey through HubPages, and writing in general. I have enjoyed these past few months, and being both a reader and writer here has helped me through life's rough patches so much
Writing Throughout the Months
How often I write greatly depends on what is going on in my life, and how much free time I have. The first 2 1/2 months, I didn't have a job, so I was able to devote more time to writing. Between mid-January and the end of March, I published 18 hubs.
The table below shows how many hubs I have written each month so far. The October total is including this one.
Hubs Written Per Month So Far
Inching Closer to My First Payout
I haven't been able to write as much as I would have liked to lately, so progress has been slow. Back in late June, I hit the halfway mark. That was an exciting milestone. I have enjoyed watching the money add up every week, and right now I am about $5 away from my first payout. It seems so close, and I look forward to reaching it.
Read Susi10's Experience
- I Got Paid From The HubPages Ad Program!: My Story Plus How To Increase Your Earnings
After six months hard work, I have finally got paid! Read my story, how I achieved payout and how you can increase your HP Ad Program earnings!
My Top Three Performers
According to HubPages, these are my top 3:
- "Finding Happiness During Hard Times", published on August 21st
- "What Not to Put Down the Garbage Disposal or Drain", published February 12th
- "How To Stay Productive While Unemployed", published March 8th
"Great Gift Ideas For Your Boyfriend on His Birthday" is another top performer. This site gives it a low score (76), despite being one of the "Exclusive Titles" when they were being offered. But it is very popular with Google search results, and has received 1,578 views since its publish date of May 10th. That is only just over 300 views less than my #3 hub, which was published 2 months prior to this one, and received extra traffic due to the HOTD award.
Interested in Reading More?
Check out my author page below to see the articles I have listed, and more. Stay tuned, because I have many more ideas for future posts!
Also feel free to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers, and receiving feedback.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day.
More information on the author and her full array of articles are available at http://kathrynstratford.hubpages.com/