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Mythbuster Hub Challenges
September 2012: Alphabet Challenge.
I just wandered into the forums and found a thread on "Alphabet Challenge." This is a hub challenge with 26 hubs in 26 days with each hub topic corresponding to a letter of the alphabet.
I plan to just go in alphabetical order as I write. (wish me luck!)
Starting on September 2, 2012 and will list hubs and dates completed below.
A: Ancient Anomalies (published Sept 4)
C: Clurichaun article (you've heard of Leprechauns, right? These are fey cousins)
D: Dullahan article (published Sept 10)
E: E.L.O. Electric Light Orchestra (still working on it)
F: Fay Wray (Golden Age actress - Early "Scream Queen" - pub Sept 12)
March 2010 Challenge!
I started a personal Hub Challenge on March 1 2010 through to March 31 2010. My personal hub challenge was to write 60 hubs in 31 days and to write and publish more hubs than the last time I attempted a hub challenge in May 2009. In May, I produced 16 hubs and around the middle of March, I realized that 60 hubs was just too much...I gave myself points for having an abitious goal but had to take away some points and adjust my goal: The adjusted goal, as of March 25 2010 - 32 hubs in 30 days. Alas I completed 29 hubs, all told
BUT - I wrote articles elsewhere which took up a lot of time that I didn't factor in during my original goal-setting. These articles were at a site called Ghost-Space, on my blog, at Bukisa and via Triond.
I'll spend the month of April sprucing up some hubs made in haste - and start doing research for another MAY HUB CHALLENGE... I'm going to THINK BIG again and go for the 60 hubs in 1 month goal once more. Perhaps with just a bit more research completed before the personal challenge begins, I'll reach my goal.
List of Hubs for March Hub Challenge:
March 1 2010: Final Girl Series Hubs finished, "Archetypes" series finished, Shadow People series finished...others still being researched and written.
Hubs completed for my personal Hub Challenge for the month of March, 2010
Archetypes Series: About Archetypes (General info) - Archetypes: Willing and Unwilling Hero - Archetypes: Jungian - Archetypes: Shakespearean Archetypes in Literature - Archetypes: Common and Unannounced -
Shadow People Series: Shadow People Series: General - Shadow People Series: Hat Man - Shadow People Series: Old Hag - Shadow People Series: Hoodies - Shadow People Series: Peeking Shadow - Shadow People Series: Shadow Things -
People In Strange Sciences Series: People in Strange Sciences Series: Charles Fort - People in Strange Sciences Series: John Keel - People in Strange Sciences Series: Loren Coleman - People in Strange Sciences Series: Ivan T. Sanderson -
29 in total... the midnight marker of April Fool's day came upon me whilst I was trying to complete two hubs and I published one last hub, the one in the Paranormal Bytes Series about the dangers of debunking.
Currently April 1 2010 - I declare my March 2010 Hub Challenge - DONE...
May 2009 Hub Challenge
In early May 2009, I read about the Hubpages Hub Challenge. The "Hub Challenge" was NOT an official contest with prizes, set forth by the Hubpages website. It was an unofficial challenge that Hubpages members were invited to try in order to test their mettle and find out how they'd do in 'writing on demand.'
Two categories for the mock-contest arose once "hub challenge" details were posted in the Hubpages forum: (1) 100 hubs in 30 days, and (2) 30 hubs in 30 days.
I choose attempt the 2nd category, 30 hubs in 30 days.
No, I didn't complete 30 hubs in 30 days, but what I did complete was a self-assessment of how I am able to or not able to write 'on-demand.' I never would have found out what kinds of obstacles I encounter on a personal level with the planning of, researching for, and actual execution of text/content for publish-worthy hubs had I not attempted this contest.
Sixteen Hubs in Thirty Days
What I managed to produce within the 30 day mock-contest time limit was a collection of 16 hubs that I am pleased to have published. These hubs do not fall short of my usual style, effort of preparation, word count, and I kept 'quality' in mind while working on all hubs for 30 days.
I did see, during the contest time period, a few hubs produced from other hubpages members that were of lower quality and word count than usual during the contest and this was a concern of mine as soon as I heard about the contest. Luckily, I didn't see very much of this lower-quality activity from fellow hubpages members and only a few hubs published for the mock-contest fit this lower-quality, lower-word-count status, in my opinion. Too few, thankfully, to even take the time to list such hubs!
My main concerns for the mock-competition were to compete against myself and to make sure that I didn't write lower quality and lower word count hubs simply in order to establish myself in the contest and finish 30 crappy hubs in 30 days.
I was well aware from the outset that the contest was not an 'official' Hubpages competition, so this helped me to remain level-headed and focused on my regular research habits and such.
I managed only 16 hubs but in producing these and publishing hubs, I kept to the following guideline for myself:
I like my hubs to have content that is slightly open-ended so that I can add more than just comments to a hub a few days, weeks or months down the road
I like to publish hubs at a word count of more than 450 words instead of publishing little mini-articles that look like 'abstracts'
I like all my hubs to remain under the same themes of 'urban legend,' 'folklore,' 'mythology,' 'fairy tales,' 'oral tales,' and related topics (I also write extensively on other topics, particularly philosophy and social justice issues, but NOT HERE...there was a danger, in writing on demand, that I'd mix up my philosophy, social justice and 'legend' disciplines just to spit out more hubs)
I have only a few rules I keep to in writing as Mythbuster on Hubpages but still - having these few things to guide my content are important to me
The following sixteen hubs were submitted as hubs belonging to my personal attempt at the hubpages mock-contest: "Caller in the House," "The Exploding Cactus," "Accidental Survival in Urban Legends," "Paul Bunyan," "Categories in Folklore," "Fairies and Little People," "Vanishing Hitch Hikers," "The Goatman of Maryland," "The Bunnyman of Clifton," "The Jigsaw Puzzle," "The Clown Statue," "Snakes in Tales," "Legend and Story-Hunting Resources," "The Black Eyed Kids," "Ostension and Urban Legends," and "Monster of Leeds."
I'm not linking to the hubs as there are too many titles above. All the links for the above topics/hubs are on my profile page is you're interested in viewing them.
Still Learning About the On-Demand Writing Process
Since I found out a lot about how to pace myself and also about what sort of activities and tasks limit my ability to publish content quickly and within the flexible guidelines I set for myself, I can move forward now to create my own self-generated hub challenges.
I have found that giving myself a 30 day time limit with a goal of a certain number of published articles allows me to create a structure, framework to 'fit into,' making SOME decision-making about content MUCH EASIER than I thought it would be. The 'easier' part comes right at the beggining of decision-making about topic and titles for articles/hubs.
Here's the process (very minimal and short, but important) :
- I do minimal research and assess the urban legend or folklore/myth topic I am intending to write about, finding out how many sources online carry the topic/legend or myth, so that I have sites to refer to for help, variations of specific tales, etc. (If I find too few sources, it's not a topic to stick with for a 'contest' but may be a long-term writing goal to work at for a few weeks and a hub to keep in 'unpublished' state for a few weeks until completion)
- I check to see that the topic I start/publish on a hub will accomodate additional information after publication - are there more versions of legend/tale that I can add later? are there 'asides' that will be useful to publish later, thus providing a fresh 'update' to content later on? are there 'arguments' surrounding the legend/tale/information presented that can bring about need for fresh information later on?
The above are the most important details I pre-plan about or consider before deciding upon a hub topic/title. Somehow, just taking in those main considerations CHANGES the way in which I approach and manage information for articles when my TIME IS LIMITED.
Just prior to this hub challenge, I sometimes just wrote about the most current legend told in real-life story circles I participate in or I'd write about an urban legend that I'd been reminded about through a movie I'd recently seen or a book I'd been reading, which is basically a process of no planning at all. I would write just because stories, characters, legends, mythology are fascinating for me to discuss, hear, watch, read, and write about. Still, self-expression when I am fully seeing the falue of writing content on demand for income is really a sore set of (no) guidelines to stick to. I'd not have realized this latest point without having participated in the hub challenge! Now, I've found that there's a way to incorporate more structure, ENJOY expressing myself, AND advance by lining this all up within the Hubpages website's income potential guidelines.
I learned that planning a set of like-themed or like-topic hubs to work on TOGETHER, all in unpublished mode for a few days is much better than working on different sorts of content or working through one hub at a time.
For instance, I worked on "The Goatman of Maryland" and "The Bunnyman of Clifton" together, in unpublished mode for a while. You'll note that the two legends were published somewhere just past the middle of the contest period - so I had learned through trial and error about half-way through the contest that it was better to work on multiple or at least 2 hubs at the same time for best results.
I've learned that, in certain types of writing, PRE-PLANNING might take an hour or less per hub but may save a HALF-DAY of searching for research site links and bookmarks. Also, in pre-planning before even setting a title to an unpublished hub, OTHER OPTIONS start to appear before I have to try and think them up. That is, while in pre-planning stage, doing some research on the availability of stories, sites, versions of legend/tale for the kinds of hubs I write, I automatically find like-topics that are hub-worthy, so I end up thinking 'in series' with connections already being made in my writing to that once finished the hub I am working on, I am automatically connected with the next, ready to write MORE and on-demand.
I think that the pre-planning just creates a certain mind-set as well as some 'topic connections' that naturally occur through the activity of planning and 'organizing categories,' but it is amazing that THESE THINGS DO NOT SEEM TO HAPPEN with any reliability when I just write 'off the cuff.'
End Result of My First Hub Challenge Ever:
Hub Challenge Hubs May 11 - June 10 (2009):
1. Caller in the House 2. The Exploding Cactus 3. Accidental Survival in Urban Legends 4. Paul Bunyan 5. Categories of Folklore 6. Fairies and Little People 7. Vanishing Hitch Hikers 8. The Goatman of Maryland 9. The Bunnyman of Clifton 10. The Jigsaw Puzzle 11. The Clown Statue 12. Snakes in Tales 13. Legend and Story-Hunting Resources 14. The Black Eyed Kids 15. Ostension and Urban Legends 16. Monster of Leeds
Working on Coming Up With More Text
What Now - What's Next?
I enjoyed the mindset of being in a 'contest' - even if it was a 'mock-competition' so I intend to tidy up the 16 hubs from the May-into-June Hub Challenge and then create another contest to challenge myself during the summer.
I will invite some hub-friends to see if they'd like to 'compete' with me, go through some pre-planning with me and set hub numbers, time limits and other 'rules' for competition.
I think that starting on the first day of a month and ending the competition on the last day of a month is a good idea, so I'm putting on my 'brainstorming cap' to figure out who I'd like to compete with, starting on August 1 2009...
Drop some comments in the box if you're interested.