What an absolute joy and pleasure it has been to participate in the "So You Think You Can Write Online" contest here at Hubpages!
I've won not a single daily draw or staff pick or a People's Choice award in any of the 27 days (with one more to go). But that's not important. There can only be one winner. Well okay, two per day. I think it's a great idea to involve a random daily drawing as it involves an element of surprise. I mean even if you suck, and you happen to win it, you'll be encouraged and inspired to do better!
In addition to the contest which involves prizemoney, there is also the 30 Day Challenge, which is more of a challenge than it being an actual competition. Because you don't compete against other people, but rather, yourself.
Can you publish one hub a day for 30 days straight? Consistency is the key. It seems easy enough to do, until you try it.
If you can do it once, then you can do it again. And the second time feels so much more easier than the first. After you've made the accomplishment the first time the thought of doing 30 hubs in 30 days is easy. If you haven't done it before, give it a go!
The most important thing is you know what you're going to do before you even click on Start A New Hub. Because nothing will help writers block more than looking at a blank page.
Or one that insists that you fill in a whole bunch of empty boxes.
So you need to approach it with a clear message in mind. What is your intent? It should be summarised or in point form before you open up your web browser, in my opinion.
Look around you. Ask yourself questions. Ask people you know questions. What are things they want to know about. Don't just ramble on with useless crap (pretty much like I'm doing in this hub. LOL!). Do something on purpose. Solve a persons problem, find a solution. Get the answers for the questions they have.
Hopefully you'll know something about the topic. Otherwise you'll need to research it.
And do the subject justice. Make it useful in such a way that it's the type of webpage you wished you had found when you went looking for information on the topic.
That's what made this months contest so interesting. Previously the daily topics were spoonfed. Already outlined BEFORE the contest even started. Which was handy, because it allowed everyone more time to research. But of course that didn't stop anyone from doing research early. Just we all had to get our head around the notion of winging it. Of finding subject matter for ourselves. The more obscure the better. Though still being information that other people were looking for.
Will I participate in the next hub contest? I don't know. It will depend on the subject matter.
So we'll have to wait and see in a few months what it'll be. And perhaps I'll do it again. And perhaps another 30 day challenge!