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A Truth About Publishing Block for Me at HubPages
Are writer block and publishing block cohorts?
We writers have all experienced writer block from time to time. We each have methods to overcome that dilemma. Some I use are:
- A free writing exercise
- Go for a walk and stepping away
- Perhaps asking a friend to ask questions about the topic/theme
- Or, typing a list of related phrases jarring the cogs of my mind
But, were you ever stuck because of publishing an article seeking an audience? You can’t write because of what comes next; publish. I have that happening more today than yesterday getting stuck with:
- Which article type to deliver a message?
- Who is the article’s audience?
- Will it meet the audience’s needs?
- What are requirements for the article type?
- What do I consider successful will be?
- Is the article marketable?
- What will I learn?
This article is an exercise to get past that block for me. Have others hit walls blocking the adventure’s path similar to mine? Follow along and I will explain as I overcome that block.
What type of article should I write; Fiction, informational, essay, or opinion?
Once upon a time was a scruffy, bearded dude sipping coffee while plunking on his keyboard . . . well . . . doing nothing at all? The air danced with Mike Oldfield, Yes, Muddy Waters, and Sarah McLachlan. His head hung slightly left. He favored his right brain hemisphere as he cried aloud for order to arrive. He was quickly thrown into the left side. Awkwardly reflective, pensive, and introspective he haphazardly pondered. Buried in his mind he pondered what to write while fretfulness set in. He was not dancing upon the keyboard with inspired fervor. Alas, he finally arrived upon a thought.
An answer to the question above may be all three. Why? I am in the mood for all three while I ponder is poetry fiction and used as opinion? Right here I hit a wall or have ‘Publishing Block’. I see pathways for the message:
- A short story
- A poem
- Informational type articles
- Various Essay type
- Or, offering an opinion with commentary
Which article type do you enjoy writing most?
The Foundation Block
I am left with I can’t get started. I arrive upon this article may be any of those based on the audience who read it. Who knows, all? Perhaps, some may insert here it is humor.
But, I digress from the question while ask what were those paragraphs above? That is a wall or a hiccup in the giddy-up for me. I jumped past one culprit; Writer’s Block. Onward I go on a pathway of learning.
Tick-Tock the clock’s silence haunts,
Once upon a time shares, a story told,
Opinion says more fact than fiction,
‘Narrative essay’ says share a real life experience,
Shhhh . . . are there lost words of wisdom?
Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.— Zig Ziglar
Is there a hiccup when no audience?
It must be published for an audience greater than one. Can an author learn to write without an audience? If writing, then is an audience at least one. Yes, that audience will be critical offering a learning experience. Is there more? Today there are advantages writing on a PC or laptop:
- With Microsoft Word, we can learn grammar and English language usage from its hints
- One can learn more with a copy/paste into Grammarly or download the subscription
- Learn to edit from software available online. Download one like Hemingway Editor or ProWritingAid at a minimal cost
- Email to a trusted fellow writer or a friend for review
- Apply personal scrutiny
- And, publish the article at an online community of writers for feedback
A bottom line if not shared still is an audience of ‘One’. Yet, there is subjectivity. That begs to ask a question; “Is having an audience greater than one beneficial even if silent?” The obvious is if read even by one then is a success. If more, then is a greater success.
What of Audience and Beauty?
Do I ponder audience for this article? One writes for an audience who will read it. That is the author himself onward to the world population that may be seen over many lifetimes. Say howdy to the internet. And, with good fortune at HubPages.com is a community of online writers.
There are means for taking aim such as the needs of the audience. That presents an opportunity for a written work having success. And, matters not if is fictional, poetry, essay, or informational. The goal is meeting the audience's needs with a message. Another goal is readers. Yet, the contentment of the writer is their own for success.
But, with the audience there is a saying perception is a reality. That begs the question, “What is the audience’s perception”. Seems perception is like “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The literal meaning is a perception of beauty is subjective. It originated with Greek thought in the third century. Let’s see what others have said about beauty while pondering audience perception:
“Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues”
~ Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost, 1588
“Beauty, like supreme dominion
Is but supported by opinion”
~ Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1741
"Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them."
~ David Hume
Are there any blocks to publishing at HubPages for an audience?
So, asked is if a wall comes down to a question; To publish or not to publish? Take the dare. Next, here at HP are a few hoops to jump through. First, writing the article. Next, learning the online writing site software and formatting an article. Finally, courage to queue the publish button. Done! There is instant exposure to an audience within a community of fellow writers. Alas, another block wondering if I am ready for any audience.
And, the plot thickens
Fingers having danced with delight and merriment a moment arrived of pause. He arose stretching his raggedy covered arms to the heights of Zeus perched on Mount Olympus. With a smile just past a hesitant grimace he offered a nod to his muse.
With a hop-skip- and jump he dashed beyond the rickety kitchen door upon the small stoop. Chest raised high he scooped a shovel full of fresh air filling his lungs. He listened to perched Stellar Jays babble between them and he wondered. Were they sharing wisdom while pecking on their prized peanuts? Assuredly it was time for a morsel or two to stymie yet another hiccup. He sat peacefully while thinking;
Alas, writing may be a challenge faced,
Yet, the obstacles are thoughts conjured,
Fears are but fleeting glimpses of ghosts,
A promise of learning is always wisdom gained.
Yet, a dare lay ahead if to publish or not.
Are there more publishing blocks?
Here is where a writer on HP may get confused. At least I do. The first audience is you as shared above. Who is next? The answer is someone to share with. Even though once published at HP to the community, there is another audience. That is an immediate occurrence. At HubPages that is the Quality Assessment Process (QAP). A part is real live readers with power. Oh, my! Lions, tigers, and bears. It’s achieved through Amazon's MTurk human outsource program. Yes, it is an objective assessment. There is professionalism governed by HP’s checks and balance system.
Also, the article is reviewed by an inanimate creature called a bot. It magically crawls through the article gathering data. Then using an algorithm which is a fancy word for formula, it gives an overall rating for the article. That includes the MTurk rating. The algorithm is a mystery somewhat. At the Edit Mode is a guide for some of what the bot checks. You can see it at the upper right. Things like:
- Word Count
- Image Count
- Interactive Capsules
- Other Capsules like maps and tables
- Basic Grammar and spelling
- I suspect measures readability grade level
- And, other mysteries of the algorithm
That is another publishing block for me.
“I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote nine more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organizations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book.”— Beth Revis
The need of a greater audience through marketing is another hiccup
There are two avenues for gaining an audience on the internet; Social Media and browser search results. Social media means a proactive strategy with those sites firstly by sharing. There are three recommended at HP while are share buttons at the article. Those are:
- Some others are Twitter, Stumble Upon, Google+, and more.
To get an audience through a browser service like Google with its search engine traffic is organic. It arrives from a search. Therefore, is ranked with the best article first at the arrival page. That is queued by a user's inquiry at the browser.
To rank an article there are many elements. Uses are the title and its relevance to content, content quality, keywords used, and much more. It is a science unto itself. If one gets to this wall, then listening to more experienced is a must along with study. At HP are many who have written articles on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) used for page ranking. And, too, are many in the forums willing to share.
But, that is another hiccup.
The Story has Ending while contemplating Fiction, Informational, or opinion
His fingers were missing keys while spelling became atrociously wild. Hesitations followed by a long pause offering time for reviewing his work. He read while counting all the hiccups one at a time.
He ran his fingers through short, grayish hair. His heavy head tilted while watching loosed strands flutter upon the keyboard. A giggle or two emerged like they were treasures discovered by a three-year-old on a walk along a forest path. Here and there were new acorns like nuggets of gold to hide in his pockets. Eureka echoed in the small room overlooking a garden of weeds begging for his attention. Alas, another block.
Knock, Knock is there more than here,
Six or half dozen no matter only ghosts,
Remain seven realities making a baker’s dozen,
Oddly divided always a choice to giddy-up onward,
The finish line lay close as I walk a path of learning.
On one shoulder a timid spirit and the other a brave soul
A summary always helps informational articles even if a little skewed
Well, this article comes to an end. It shares about my publishing blocks I encountered. It is evident the writer block has been overcome since we are here. A bottom line for me now is to review the article for content, context, and the message. Personal consideration is who the audience is and perception. I will:
- Give pause at the subheading Are there more publishing blocks?
- I will seek preparation for formatting the article at HubPages
- Realize a real person will read this and rate it
- A rascal algorithm will figure stuff out and rate it
An opportunity exists for a greater audience than the community of writers. That will take initiative and boldness. If passing the QAP, the article is available on the greater search engine of Google. Yet, opportunity exists through sharing with others with social media. Even though opportunity knocks on its mighty door, the last step must occur. Take the dare and push that publish button.
Was there learning with this narrative? Yes, for this author, of least. Both writing and publishing have blocks. Another thing this author learned is writing and publishing this article should be fun too. That like being an audience of one is subjective and has its own beauty. So, I leave these words; Remember to have fun, fun, fun . . . as best as can be, publishing. You may build something with those blocks.
© 2017 Tim Mitchell