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Writing On Unpopular Subjects, a Recipe for Failure.

Updated on May 22, 2014

We want to see this splendor and marvel at it, but we do not want to climb it.

Some look at injustice and shake their heads, others look at it and shake a finger. And some lift a finger.
Some look at injustice and shake their heads, others look at it and shake a finger. And some lift a finger. | Source

Here are three subjects not to write about and why.

Popularity is generally about making people feel good. Recipe articles, "How to" articles, How to improve articles, Travel articles and sensational articles do very well in attracting readership. And they should. People only have so much time and they should usually spend it reading about something to make their life better now. Or at least make them smile for a few minutes.

I like all the articles they all give me a release and that is a good thing. Some escape from worldly problems is necessary or we would all go mad. It would appear that the news is getting more about that these days along with more graphic and dramatic coverage of catastrophe and mans ability to hurt man in good news clip ways.

But go ahead and write about something that is horrible and people could do something about and watch the readership fall off the charts. Boring and nothing really new under the sun. We are well to try and ignore what makes us uncomfortable and guilty and sad. If we do not ignore it we will end up having to do something about it.

Close your eyes and put your finger on the map, it will land where stuff is going on that you want to ignore.

Kipling wrote:

If we can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same....

In the writers' house there are two really bad words that if spoken are harshly dealt with promptly. Oh of course there are curse words that are unacceptable and really just lazy speech showing a frustration with ourselves more than life.

No the two bad words are "hate" and "can't". Hate is unacceptable for it is the root of evil. And "can't" is unacceptable for it is the ground in which "won't" is grown.

When we won't reach out in love we lose ourselves within our own ego. And that is truly a lost soul.

Bad voice, mousy presence, and the only man to be on Billboard top 20 and win a Pulitzer prize. Somehow a combination of talent and addressing humanity.

Homeless PEOPLE.

Here is an example of what we do not want to read from the National Coalition for the Homeless:

The average length of stay in emergency shelter was 69 days for single men, 51 days for single women, and 70 days for families. For those staying in transitional housing, the average stay for single men was 175 days, 196 days for single women, and 223 days for families. Permanent supportive housing had the longest average stay, with 556 days for single men, 571 days for single women, and 604 days for women (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008). The homeless population is estimated to be 42 percent African-American, 39 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Native American and 2 percent Asian, although it varies widely depending on the part of the country. An average of 26 percent of homeless people are considered mentally ill, while 13 percent of homeless individuals were physically disabled (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008). Nineteen percent of single homeless people are victims of domestic violence while 13 percent are veterans and 2 percent are HIV positive. Nineteen percent of homeless people are employed (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008).

Yes it is overwhelming as a whole.

And here is the statistic that should make everyone read an article but it makes everyone turn away in amazement instead. " Another approximation is from a study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007)."

It is not okay.

Hopefully there is room in the shelter for him.
Hopefully there is room in the shelter for him. | Source

Human Trafficking

How horrible and please do not write another word on it. It is happening in your town and you know it but chose not to get involved. That is a fair choice and only you can make it. "I can't do anything so I won't pay attention" And we certainly do not do anything. Because if just one in ten of us did something the problem would be gone.

Think this way, police cannot act on 1 tip. But police must act on 10 tips. That is how it works but you have to work it. If you know of something report it. If it is an innocent crack house with proper prostitutes or a correct sweat house sewing factory --- hey no problem. If it is not acted upon, know that it is being acted upon just not visually. Or there is something very wrong so report it somewhere else.

But folks do not want to hear about this.

Will this little bear lose his little boy friend to a distracted driver.

We hope not, and we really hope it is not you.
We hope not, and we really hope it is not you. | Source

Distracted driving kills

Estimates are in that distracted driving, now that it is being tracked and watched for, will account for my death and serious injuries on our roads than drunk driving in year 2014. Oh my you would never drive drunk. But you only texted 4 times this week while driving. You only talked on the phone 7 times while driving. At about 60 MPH you go a football field length in the shortest of texting times -- you might as well shut your eyes.

But this one we do not even want to hear about until our child is killed. This one is not about doing something but having the discipline not to do something. And we just cannot take that "God given right to use your phone" while driving 3,000 lbs of steel at the speed of a cannonball down the crowded street.

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Like anyone would copy this stuff.

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me.

To read more by this fascinating author visit, Eric Dierker on Facebook and Pinterest and my sweet blog resipsaloquitor on google blogs


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much for adding so much to this hub. What a wonderful and very thoughtful comment.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      Some of the examples you give, such as the stats from the National Coalition for the Homeless, are not posted for recreational reading. They are made available primarily for people who work in government, nonprofit organizations that hope to address the issue of homeless people, people who are writing dissertations to obtain degrees, and many others who need to know those stats for serious purposes.

      I have personally written 3 articles about the homeless people in this country, all are published on this site, and they are among the most read of my articles. Not by other hubbers, but by people coming in from Google and other search engines.

      Generally it is the socially responsible people and the better educated people who care about improving the situation for poor people in this country, and who are interested in things other than the latest fashion or celebrity gossip who read about more serious issues. Granted, such people are in the minority.

      In fact, it is sadly religious articles that usually tank on this site. Almost as badly as fiction and poetry. How often have you sat down at your computer and searched Google for a good poem or short story? One you haven't read previously and whose author you have never heard of before? That's probably 10 times more often than most other people do -- even if you said never. I'm betting it doesn't even occur to most people to do so.

      Articles on all these subjects, poetry, fiction, and religion, will do well with your friends and you may get as many as 500 views if all of your friends at least open your hub and give it a quick scan, but the real views come in the thousands. If you're here just to write for the pleasure of it, then poetry and fiction and religion are good subjects to write on. If you hope to make any money, then you will need to find something more appealing to the masses -- the latest makeup trick, the fastest sports car, the latest tattoo or piercing art.

      One thing that seems to do exceptionally well is articles on technical devices and how to get the most from them -- how to modify them if that is possible, and how to fix or enhance them, among other things. If only I were a geek . . .

      Wrylilt writes primarily on child birth and things related and she does fantastically well (she reported more than 4 million views a few days ago), not only because of her chosen subject, but because she is into socializing on all the social networks. Those people who enjoy social networking seem to do the best on writing sites no matter what they write about.

      To do really well you have to think about what kind of information people most often go to their computers to find. People like practical advice and how-tos. They aren't much into intellectual pursuits as already stated, and reading for entertainment usually centers around novelettes, novels, etc., not poetry and short stories. People browse Amazon or their favorite book store for interesting looking books, or Amazon-Kindle for a good e-book they can read while waiting at the doc's office.

      So while the subjects you list here don't get the best views compared to more mindless subjects, they still do better than the 3 I have listed, religion, or poetry and fiction of any kind on any subject.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Joe for the read and comment. Very good point.

    • joedolphin88 profile image


      4 years ago from north miami FL

      Very truthful hub. I think we have all written about something no one cares about but us and it ends up being a dud but it was the enjoyment in writing it that dulls the idea that no one care.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      DDE, you are a shining example of writing on stuff that changes how we view life --- thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is just a great analysis and explanation. Thank you very much grand old lady. So does the protagonist go to the dens of issue debate or stay where the message stands out a bit more?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Write to inform on the best you know and and can do it can make a change to someone's life great thoughts here.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Oftentimes there are people like me who go to Hub Pages because it's my happy place. I want to read things that are inspiring, informative and helpful. However, I do like to keep abreast of the news and go to the news section for this. Regarding the homeless, I write about them on one of my blogs. FB used to be a good place to find out people's thoughts about social issues, but now we have this cybercrime law so that has toned down. Rappler is a good news source for the Philippines and so is the blog of Raissa Robles, one of the best analysts and investigative reporters, ever. So I guess people go to specific places for what they want, but it's always nice to hear what people think about social issues, especially when it comes from you, because there is always this bit of hope and no blasting anger when you discuss issues.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      As is wonderful ---- this just popped up 12 hours later. How is it they have the time to edit me but not the time to put up comments reasonably. HMMMM

      And that goes to the heart of the matter.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Eric, thanks for letting me know why I don't get many I have written hubs on all three of these topics you mention. But then I write about what concerns me and what my conscience tells me I need to write, so it's all good. Good read here though.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      CyberShelley, guilty as charged here. After I wrote the article I totally stayed away from "big issue" stories and spent a day denying that problems existed. I needed a break. I will now go write a puff piece on two generations of the same woman.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      I think the denial factor and the fact that these subjects require long, and well thought out responses puts people off - because it's not okay. But then again "the answer my friend is blowing in the wind." Thanks for Bob!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      EsPeck I was shooting for a lot more about topic than writer. I love my children raising articles and hiking stuff and hot political hubs. And actually my "homeless" articles do well. But this was more to raise awareness than about writing.

      Thank you for adding so much and for reading and commenting.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image


      4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Part of why it's hard to get traffic about some issues, like the ones you mentioned, is that the majority of the population is somewhat distanced from them.

      For example, unless you were homeless yourself, or have a loved one who faced it, it may not be as important to you as a different topic.

      There's also the denial factor. A huge number of people refuse to believe sex trafficking is a problem, especially in the USA, but that doesn't change the fact it needs to be addressed.

      Then, there's the universal need to decompress. When I'm already dealing with a heavy load, I avoid those articles until my inner strength is built up enough to deal with the emotions these issues carry. I think lots of people use the internet to relax, so feel good topics are more popular with them.

      As you know, in addition to lighter subjects, I also write about learning disabilities and related issues. Learning disabilities and related topics are something that many parents face on a day to day basis, as do a substantial number of adults without children. Tougher symptoms they come with can be unpleasant to deal with, and the emotional fallout resulting from poor reaction to them can be devastating, but it's still something a large part of the population has to face on a regular basis. So, I get some traffic from my writing, and folks have told me I've helped them get a better understanding of what's going on. Same goes for women's rights and physical health issues.

      I'm not saying it's necessarily right, though. Less popular problems like reckless driving, homelessness and human trafficking must get attention, and action must be taken to remedy the problems causing them.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And thank you much for following Dora, it is an honor.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I think the readers tell each writer by their responses, what they want to read about. So some writers who write on those topics may still have an audience. Different people like different things. Obviously, I like your content, so I keep following you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Mari, we just keep trudging along and if we touch one, we made a small difference.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The more that is written about social issues, the more attention they will hopefully get, and the more positive progress they will hopefully achieve. Thanks, Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "Forefront" not what we keep in the forefront but what we should keep in the forefront. I hoped the title caught some eyes of some great writers who I would hope would spend a little more time on important social issues, and realize that they are not for the wrong reasons.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill of course you are right and I am glad I have other writing interests or it would get lonely here in the desert.

    • slcockerham profile image


      4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Hey Eric,

      You seemed to turn the corner from your title, as you wrote about these things, as if there is good reason to do so. I was thinking of writing a Recipe for disaster hub myself, but you've given me second thoughts.

      I think I'll write about rainbows, puppies and lollipops instead! Not!

      Thanks for the interesting encouragement, in a backhanded sort of way.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you completely. Oddly, my biggest hub is about the horrors of an Indian reservation, so there are exceptions. In the end, we must write about that which we consider important. Views should never sway that.


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