I'd like some help with passing the Quality Assessment Process. Will you please give feedback on my Hub Freedom of original experiences. What can I do to improve? Thanks!
First of all, you need to add some photos and some ad capsules. Some sentences don't need to be in all caps--just to make your point across. Your writing seemed fine. Feel free to check out the Learning Center too.
HubPages' writing standards have increased a lot in recent times. I'm thinking your hub as it stands is hard to read. It's well-organized and it has a logical progression of ideas, but it's so hard to understand what's being said that the value underneath is still hidden. Basically - it's confusing. And here's why:
1) It lacks an introduction that tells us what the hub is about and what it offers to its readers. And it lacks a conclusion that affirms how the advice therein is helpful.
2) It's in the Self Help, Mental Help section, but it does not say clearly for what problem a reader can expect help. Define that for your readers.
3) It seems to me that your hub is actually about accessing creativity. That's a very general idea. It needs more focus. Especially on the web, general and universal philosophy doesn't tend to get readership. Specific, targeted philosophy can.
Ask yourself of your idea: Exactly how is it useful? To whom is it useful? Pick a group and commit. Recognize that with your one page, you're not going to equally reach artists trying to find their muse and people struggling to overcome addiction and people upset at the small, normal problems they encounter in their day.
One way to focus is to write a focused title - like "How to Enjoy the Rain, for the Weather-Phobic."
4) You're using a lot of words to express pretty basic ideas. Effective writing makes big ideas look simple, not complicated. People's eyes will glaze over if you make 'em process too many words (this I know from vast experience - still have trouble applying it )
If you find you need to use capitalization to express so many of your key ideas, that means you're not using the words, themselves, to their full potential.
I recommend you take a look at your paragraphs and the progression of your ideas. Instead of writing by letting the words "flow," which is a good first-draft exercise but doesn't always work for the finished product, try summarizing your ideas and then building the text outwardly.
Here I've summarized the ideas I found in each of your paragraphs:
1) People have habits.
2) The habits help us sometimes, but other times they prevent us from being creative.
3) We all rely on habits. Often we don't take responsibility for acting habitually.
4) At one time, you, my reader, looked at the world as new.
5) As you matured and you became familiar with the world, you lost the ability to look at things in a new way.
6) When you are unhappy about small things, try looking at them in a new way again instead of habitually.
7) I (your author) developed a new habit for myself: breaking out of thinking of things habitually.
8) It's okay for you to do this, as long as you're not obnoxious about it.
Now think what I failed to take away - what I missed in reading your work. Think what more you can offer to a reader.
If you landed on this essay, would you feel directed?
Would you know when to apply it?
Would you know how to apply it?
Would you know how to deal with obstacles you found while applying it?
Would your neighbors?
Other people you know?
Strangers who don't know you?
With the answers to these questions, you can make an expanded outline. Taking this outline, you can write the essay again around those core ideas, and it should be easier to find accessible ways to express them.
I hope this helps!
Hi, Fiction Teller,
Thank you so much for your elaborate and helpful advice. Except for a couple of points that I will definitely have to address, reading your evaluation is equally confusing to me as your reading my hub was. I didn't know there were so many guidelines, almost forming a stiff cliché to be satisfied. In my somewhat naïve assumption, I considered readers' tastes, including yours, and editors' - but not excluding a wide variety of others that would determine the value of my hub. Like the Latin saying goes : "De gustibus non disputabant est" (Tastes are not to be discussed); so, for example - while one reader may be turned off by my lack of literary cosmetics, another may welcome it. That goes for many other aspects of writing. In short, I thought I had some freedom in deciding what to accentuate, whether to give a clear-cut advice, or even whether or not to keep in mind how readers could "benefit" - since the whole material could have been merely intellectually entertaining, with only a hint at "what to do". The title :"Freedom with original experience" is not necessarily announcing a bunch of useful instructions. From one reader to another the whole material may produce a different impression.
I am aware of my saying the same thing in different ways, but many bestselling books in self-help category were just paraphrasing their material all along. I don't do it to increase the volume though, but simply to express it in different ways. Well, I guess, another no-no to keep in mind.
Please, don't take me wrong, I really do appreciate your input, and I'll definitely have to squeeze my literary freedom into moulds of those existing standards. (Not without being more self-conscious every time when I choose how to write my hub). And I still have to figure it out how to "remove spammy material" from this hub that editor advised me to do. For the life in me I don't know where to look for it, let alone how to get rid of it - and Learning Centre is too general, as usual. Well, I guess it takes time to do it right. - Thanks, and I apologize if my gratitude is not obvious enough. - Val
The letter they send you is a form letter. It hints at, but does not tell you, what the problem in your specific hub might be. In the forums, we are pretty much guessing what HubPages has in mind when they decide not to feature a hub.
I didn't see anything spammy there. It appears you'd already stripped your article of pretty much everything except the title and the writing, if it ever had more than that. Your request for assistance suggests it still hasn't passed the QAP in that state. That leaves pretty much the title and the writing as the problem, or else something that's NOT there - like photos as Kristen suggested.
I, too, wish the guidelines were more specific. It would save us all a lot of time and allow us to stretch the guidelines to their maximum flexibility, affording us all more freedom.
You are absolutely right - you have a lot of freedom with what to say and how to say it on a hub. You still have that freedom. When a hub goes unfeatured, it is still published. If you have a following who like to read your hub, you can still get traffic from them. It doesn't have to pass the QAP.
But these days, HubPages has stricter criteria for letting a hub be featured. Being featured means being visible to search engines. Writing for search engine traffic is very different from writing for traffic that is driven to your hub in other ways (like through Facebook). Articles that remain featured on the site and that are not friendly to search engine traffic (the people who land on your article from the search engines) hurt the overall traffic to HubPages because of the resultant effect on the search algorithm. That's why HubPages cares.
The recommendations I suggested were to improve your hub for search engine traffic. They're not gospel, though I did think they'd help you reach a wider audience.
And naturally, yes, whenever you get a critique, it is just their opinion. You have the ultimate power over your text. You decide what you want from it and its fate. That's the groovy thing about writing.
You need to rethink your title. I have no idea what it means and no idea what your article is about. Consequently, there is nothing driving me to take a look at the article itself.
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