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The View Inside My Head During a 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge
Point of View--The Spectator (Reader)
When you present your tickets to the usher and step into the convention center, there is a sense that you're leaving the real world behind and entering a fantastic domain of make-believe.
You are either escorted to your designated seats or free to choose your own from among those that have not yet been claimed. You and your date excuse yourselves as you carefully maneuver your way among knees and feet to what you perceive to be the best seats in the house.
Settling into the plush, cushy seats, there is an ambiance akin to what you feel just before a Boeing 747 sprints down the runway. There's a sense of accomplishment. You made the plans to be right here, right now, at this very moment. You're with your significant other, and there's nary a care in the world that has followed you through the door with the neon exit sign. You're ready for the magic to begin.
You recall that you need to turn your cellphone off, and you remind your partner to do the same. You do a last minute shuffle of the Rolodex in your mind--the notes you wrote for the babysitter and placed them where she could easily find them, including your phone number; setting the phone on vibrate; remembering where you parked the car; out of habit, nervously feeling for the wallet in your front right trousers pocket and the cellphone in your left front trousers pocket; reviewing the program one more time, memorizing the key actors' and actresses' names as well as the characters they play. Ah, just in time...
The lights are dimming, and there's a kind of rush deep down in your belly as you anticipate following the rabbit down the magic hole.
Ain't life grand?
Point of View--The Performer (Writer)
I'm beset with marauding insecurities.
What if I can't remember my lines?
Am I credible?
Can I absolutely LOSE myself in the role of the character?
What if the audience absolutely hates me?
What if I suck?
Will I come across dry and stilted?
Will my timing be impeccable?
What if someone in the audience distracts me?
What if they start booing?
What if someone else makes a mistake and I lose character?
What if I lose my voice?
In case of an emergency, do I have what it takes to ad lib?
Oh, man, I'm sweating profusely! What if they see the sweat stains?
What if my makeup starts running? Will I look like a clown?
What if they laugh when they're supposed to cry?
What if they cry when they're supposed to laugh?
What if somebody throws something at me?
Will I be able to effectively convey the message of the playwright?
What IS that message? I can't even remember! I'm SO nervous!
Oh, shoot! 1 minute to go! What's my cue? When and where do I come in? What if I can't hear the other actors? How will I know when it's time to get on stage? Where's that stage director when you need her? My opening line...WHAT'S MY OPENING LINE?
Oh, my God! Why am I naked? What happened to my clothes?
The 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge
Have you ever participated in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge?
Okay, so you get the point.
What you, the reader, are presented with is a finished hub with all of the necessary accessories. At the very least, you will hopefully find it interesting reading. At best, it will provide you with a compelling and refreshing respite from the demands of life.
My job as a writer is to facilitate your excursion from the real world into a literary dimension. Professional presentation requires me to do this in such a manner that you never see me sweat.
Which is precisely why I respond, at least in preserving the core integrity of this hub, with: "Hell, no! I'm speaking the truth! Engaging in this 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge is terribly difficult! Anyone who tells you differently is lying through his or her (false) teeth!"
It's Day 9 of the challenge, and I'm still hard at work on my fifth hub. That already means, less than a week and a half into this challenge, I've already put myself behind the 8-ball. At some point in time, I am going to have to write at least two hubs a day on at least four different days.
The pressure never lets up. No wonder I'm experiencing the same dreaded anxiety I faced as a thespian in high school and college.
The real source of my stress? It's me! Me and my high expectations. Me and this asinine pursuit of perfection. Me and my paradoxical fear of success!
I joined HubPages sixteen months ago to become a successful writer. My awareness of that dream is that I am more convinced than ever--after 112 featured hubs--that my fear of success is still a very real and present entity.
Why? Because every time I write, I feed that ravenous wolf at my door.
Here are the thoughts I would never in my right mind dare to reveal to anyone else. So why am I sharing these thoughts here?
It's obvious, isn't it? I'm not in my right mind.
You see, when I write, especially in the midst of these challenges where there's that added tick-tick-tick of the alarm clock in the belly of Captain Hook's reptilian pursuer, I am definitely not in my right mind.
There is a psychological process known as compartmentalization going on. It's a form of lying. To illustrate it best, think back a few years ago when President Clinton declared on national television, "I did not have sex with that woman."
He was lying to himself. Because a president lying to himself was incongruent with Bill Clinton's limited perception of self, he was convinced that what he was saying was true. Because there was no intercourse involved. (Okay, that's as far as I travel with that illustration.)
Similarly, when I write, I am compartmentalizing myself into dual entities...wait a sec!...no, make that three entities.
First, there is the man who attends the play.
Secondly, there is the man who is a principal performer in that play.
Two different men; two different roles; one on either side of the curtain.
Third of all, there is the writer. He has creative license with as well as a necessary empathy for each of the first two men.
The lie I tell when I write is the appearance of effortlessness.
Okay, maybe I'm being hard on myself. Maybe, in an oblique manner, I'm being hard on every writer.
My ultimate point is that the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge sucks! It sucks because it forces me to tell the truth. And the truth is simply this: IT IS HARD WORK!
The Value of These Challenges
I would be remiss to end my hub on a ranting note.
Actually, dear reader, there is value--tremendous value--in participating in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge. Let's take a look at some of them.
The distress hones your skills as a writer. Would there be pearls in the absence of irritant grains of sand? Would a butterfly's wings be strong enough to fly if they hadn't first broken through a cocoon wall? It's just you, a blank screen, and a ticking clock. Make something happen!
You help build a network of global connectivity. Do you think you're writing in a vacuum? Think again. At any given point in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge, you'll receive a pat on the back from one or more of your teammates empathizing with you, encouraging you, and motivating you to the finish line. Don't forget the value of receiving timely feedback from your readers. They're your most fervent cheerleaders!
Your example of facing the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge head-on is an example to others who are considering similar challenges. One of our goals as writers is to perfect our craft. While we never reach that proverbial perfection, our work in progress can serve as an inspiration to others. What if all of mankind concentrated its energy on inspiring rather than squabbling? Imagine how advanced our civilization might be!
The repetition of meeting a daily goal over an extended period of time requires commitment, discipline, focus, diligence, selflessness, and hard work. Participation in a 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge builds overall character. That's never a bad thing!
Some of the best hubs you have ever written may very well be the result of the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge. It's just a gut feeling that I have, but I'm willing to hear from other HubPages writers as to whether or not they've found this to be true in their unique experiences.
You may see an increase in hits and followers as well as an accompanying boost to your HubPages earnings by participating in a 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge.
Scientific evidence suggests that doing something for three weeks or more creates a new habit. The 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge will make you a creature of habit--a bona fide writer!