The Writer's Workshop: Six Months On A Writer's Site
I’m into reflections in a big way. It seems to me that there is no better way to learn than to reflect on the past, pick up some lessons and then move on. So that’s what I’m going to do with this Hub. I’ve put in a fair amount of time now, six months to be exact, and I’ve picked up a few observations along the way.
I’m not going to bore you with statistics from my first six months. I’m not really into statistics all that much for the simple reason that I write on HubPages to improve my craft. The money I make on HubPages is just enough to keep me in ice cream bars for a month, so obviously I’m not here to get rich. I have a better chance of being left a million bucks by Bill Gates than I do of getting rich from writing Hubs.
So what follows is a series of observations gathered from my first 180 days. I’m sure I’ll have more observations after the next 180 and yes, there will be a next 180. You aren’t getting rid of me that easy!
If you get anything of value from these then great; if you find no value you can still print this Hub and use it as liner for the bird cage, or use it as toilet paper instead of the next Land’s End catalog.
Shall we begin?
I didn’t understand the Hubber score when I started and I still don’t today. I actually had a score of 100 for two days; today it is 90 and I swear on a stack of Bibles, I have no idea why it has changed. In fact, the 100 came after about a month on this site when I knew next to nothing. Now that I’m reasonably aware of the goings on at HubPages and I have some sort of experience, my score has dropped ten percent. In other words, I have been rewarded for longevity and knowledge with a decrease in my score. Thank God my grades in college weren’t determined that way or I would have never graduated.
Another way to look at it is that HubPages is a great forum for leveling the playing field in life. None of us liked those little goodie-two-shoes in school who were the teacher’s pet and who did everything perfectly. At HubPages those little over-achievers are kicked in the behind and taught what it felt like for the rest of us in school. Go ahead and try to be perfect, Miss Priss! You’ll get what’s coming to you in spades!
As I write this I have 803 followers. I can tell you with all certainty that a large percentage of them have never left a comment on one of my hubs, or at best they left one comment on one hub. I believe, and without a doubt this is a subjective belief, that there are a lot of Hubbers who follow people just so they can rack up their own followers. The question that has to be asked is why do they do that?
It’s kind of like some kids I knew growing up who had all of their awards on their bedroom dresser. You know, the Mr. Congeniality Award and the Miss Kiss Up Award. They had very little value but they sure made those kids feel good. Melt them down and you might get 50 cents, enough for a couple bottles of pop, but that was about it as far as value.
IF YOU DON’T MIND I’LL JUST BORROW THAT IDEA OF YOURS
Have you had this happen to you? You finish writing what you believe to be a great Hub; it gets a lot of views and a substantial number of comments, and then within the week one of your followers writes a Hub that is substantially the same thing as what you wrote. Um, dude, that looks a lot like mine! No way, man, that was my idea….I mean look, I used ten more periods than you did and twenty more commas. No way is mine like yours!
Melt them down and go buy two bottles of pop! I mean come on! They look pretty I guess but I’m not sure what value they have. I’ve got ten of the little buggers and before you bow in my direction let me tell you I have no idea what four of them mean. They are basically the Mr. Congeniality Award all over again, except that I never won that award when I was in school. How could I? Sister Mary Attila hated my guts!
Hey, if you are into little round circles with numbers inside of them, then go for it! I know a couple Hubbers who are great with crafts. They might be able to help you make those accolades into craft items and then you could put them on your bedroom dresser right next to the Miss Hottie Award that was voted on by the football team.
Again, no clue! Currently I have one Hub that has a score of 97 and it has 123 reads. Down the list I have another with a score of 91 and it has 2,205 reads. It would take the FBI, the CIA and a team of mathematicians from MIT to figure out what makes a Hub score.
I have this picture in my mind of the HubPages Administration, sitting in their offices, throwing darts at a big dart board. On the board are numbers ranging from 46-100 and whatever number they hit is your Hub score for that day. That explanation makes as much sense as any I have heard so far.
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
There was a Hubber recently who was doing a lot of spamming; I have to assume it was all an attempt to garner followers and somehow raise her score and earnings. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for that little over-achiever to be found out by her fellow Hubbers, who all started un-friending her. I’m a big believer in Karma and that young lady got a firsthand taste of Karma at HubPages.
Genuine people attract genuine people. Phonies do not last too long on any forum and HubPages is no different. If you are making a genuine and honest effort to follow others then others will follow you. If you are leaving meaningful comments then you will receive the same. If you are writing quality Hubs then your following will grow. If you are an active part of the HubPages community then that community will embrace you. They will share your work and they will recommend you to others.
Phonies need not apply. We will find you, we will hunt you down, and we will ignore you just like we ignored the teacher’s pet on the playground.
RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS
We have all had them, right? The chosen few who feel it is their duty to let you know what you did wrong, or feel it is their God-given right to shout your opinions down and teach you the error of your ways. They are few in number but they are determined to make their presence known.
Listen, I have no problem with someone who disagrees with me. Feel free to drop me a note via email and I’ll discuss all of your points with you. Feel free to invite me onto a related forum and we can debate until the cows come home. However, if you feel that my comment section is your own personal soap box, I will delete you so fast it will make your inflated head spin. Of course, then you can shout about personal freedoms and how your freedom of speech is being taken away from you. Please….get a life! I like to think of my site as a benevolent monarchy. I treat people with respect and compassion, and I expect the same. If you don’t like those rules then hit the road and don’t let my benevolent door hit you in the butt on the way out.
LEARN TO WRITE IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE AS A WRITER
Maybe my teaching background is overpowering my better sense, but too bad. Good grammar is mandatory if you are to advance your craft as a writer. A good writer’s voice, and I’m talking about your own, is necessary if you are to advance your craft as a writer. Quality and original material are necessary if you are to advance your craft as a writer. All the bells and whistles are worthless if you can’t write. You may be great at designing a visually-pleasing Hub but if the writing sucks the writing sucks! How’s that for blunt?
SO MUCH MORE; UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
And we will meet again if you are an active member of this community. I’m planning on staying here and I hope you will join me.
As I stated before, HubPages is a platform for me to improve my craft; having said that, I have received much more on this journey. I have been lucky enough to make some very dear friends in six months, dear friends who I would love to meet in person one day. They are my kindred spirits, my soul mates of writing, and I will always be grateful for their following and friendship. Numbers and accolades mean very little to me but those friendships….WOW….they mean everything!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
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