Copyright by Flora Robison.
This was the final article I wrote on Hubpages in response to a question asked by a hubber on Hubpages. In fact, it was the last article I wrote on Hubpages where I felt I had free speech, and the last non-poem I wrote on Hubpages. I am republishing it here because it is too personal to be on anything but my blog. Because of the nature of the question asked and the nature of my answer, I am not going to delete a single word.
Instead, I add to the beginning of it the fact that I no longer felt that I could express myself freely on Hubpages anymore when I wasn’t writing poetry. I am so happy to be off that site as an author, even though I continue to visit my friends on that site and leave comments on their hubs.
Here is the body of that article as originally written:
Sometimes I Get Frustrated, Sometimes I am Burnt Out
This hub is in response to a question asked by fellow hubber Tams R.
A LIFE-LONG WRITER:
I have gone through several stages of my relationship with my own writing and writing in general. Overall, I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a little girl. I published my first poem when I was nine years old as part of a poetry contest- it was called “Julie and the Jeans.” I think it was quite good for a child- had I not been a child, perhaps the judges would not have liked it so much. I didn’t win a money prize, but publication was the main thing for me.
I am used to writing articles and stories several thousand words long, if not 20,000 words long. I took lots of creative writing classes throughout my schooling. In university I majored in Psychology and minored in English, so I was always writing essays and research papers that were quite long. I was very productive. Actually, my major and minor were originally reversed. However, I became burnt out when I reached upper level courses and switched my topics around in the hopes that this would help me finish my degree by changing which courses I would need to take. Luckily, this worked and I did graduate.
However, I discovered an unfortunate lesson in this:
While I took these courses through my love of literature both as a reader and as a writer, I was getting an external reward for my writing: grades. There is a huge jump between 200 level English courses and 300 level English courses, and I didn’t always get A’s in them anymore. It seems odd to say this because I always got A’s in English and it never occurred to me, but it appears that that I had no interest in writing English essays if I wasn’t going to get A’s. Does this make me petty or simply a high achiever who does things only if I can excel at them? I can assure you through much self-analysis it is certainly the latter. I will forever be found choosing to do activities I excel at while avoiding at all costs things I cannot do well, rather than basing my decisions on what will be practical.
DOUBTING WHY I WRITE:
Writing then became a job- a necessity that didn’t feed my soul. I learned to hate it. I stopped writing anything -essays, articles, poetry, short stories etc. – unless I had to write for a job, a class, a resume, etc. I enjoyed it as much as I did having my wisdom teeth removed. When I do not only not enjoy writing but actively hate it, I want to give it all up. I did give up writing for the sake of writing after graduating from university. I did not write a single poem for over a decade.
Furthermore, I lost my ability to enjoy reading for the pleasure of reading and always approached reading as an essay writer. Unless I was reading a book which you would never find in a high school or university English class because it is too simple – such books never interested me, by the way – I would find myself analyzing the book as I read it as if I were going to write an essay about it. Twelve and a half years later, I still analyze books as I read them. Perhaps that is why I have never lost my love of traditional mystery books- readers are meant to analyze them to try to solve the case before the detective does.
REDISCOVERING A LOVE OF WRITING:
A wonderful thing happened nine months ago when I joined Hubpages. I started writing poetry again and I enjoyed it. Since people don’t generally click on ads for poetry hubs, I wasn’t writing them for money – an external reason for writing. It was the best thing that could have happened to me- to reconnect with my internal reasons for writing. Even with hubs on topics where people would be inclined to click on ads, when I choose topics that interest me my internal love continues. Because I was my own publisher, I felt I had control over whether or not I published anything, when I published, and what I published.
This continued for several months as I realized that you cannot force people to click on ads. For one thing, I joined the site after Panda hit, so the traffic I would have gotten prior to this Google change never happened. I have no comparison. You may make cents a day based on ad clicks when you only have a small number of hubs and the rate of the money you make depends upon the ads on the hub for a specific day. Furthermore, fellow hubbers are not allowed to click on ads, and most of my traffic was from Hubpages. All this meant that I was writing primarily for the love of writing, which is great for my soul.
I START TO DOUBT ONCE MORE:
While I didn’t mind writing for the love of writing and need this for my soul, bills were beginning to build up and I have been laid off since December 2010. I didn’t worry at the time, because I was part of a program. But as the end of the program approached, I started to panic. I realized that even if I became a success on Hubpages, the amount of money mentioned in those success stories would be, for a person living where I do, extra money at most. The money will not pay everything. I started to hate writing everything except poetry around December. I began to resent several aspects of the process of writing. The program ended last month. If I write the type of writing I must write to pay my bills and never write poetry anymore, my soul will die, but I will feed my stomach.
DELETING MY WORK:
Finally, there came a time when I decided to unpublish my online work, and perhaps delete it completely. I thought when I started on this site, I would never do this, but instead edit things to make hubs better. That is because I didn’t realize at the time that I would write anything that dissatisfied me or which only required me to unburdon myself of any stress or worry I felt. I did write both types of hubs.
One of the great things about being able to write is to creatively share any pain or stress you may experience with other people. People who know you online only are third parties to anything happening in your life, so sharing your experiences with them can be beneficial. It’s like calling a crisis line, only you do this by writing and you reveal who you are in a way that connects with your readers. It is cathartic.
However, such intimate glimpses into my soul are not necessarily what I want to remain available to all people for all time. Once people have read the hubs I’ve written about problems in my personal life or rants about things that irritate me, and they left comments about their own views, the hubs have accomplished their objective. Most of these hubs were written in the small hours of the morning when no one else was awake. Writing was necessary to help me. But then I got responses from people that gave me outside perspectives, I didn’t need the hubs anymore. I then deleted them. There are several hubs of mine that I have deleted for this reason.”
Post-script: Now that I am no longer on HP, all of my hubs are either being moved elsewhere-or if they no longer have a purpose-deleted completely without being re-published. Articles in the latter category include the most successful article I had on Hubpages-the one I wrote about Commentary Levels on Hubpages and how they only told people how often you comment, not anything related to worthiness of your comments or worthiness as a writer. There is no place for it anymore.