An Interview with Haunty

Haunty

Haunty on HubPages

One of the best Hubbers on HubPages is Haunty.  Currently supporting the community as an Elite HubPages Greeter, Haunty has been on HubPages for two years and consistently turns out engaging Hubs on topics ranging from the world’s most dangerous animals to the effect of birth order on personality.  We even covered a collection of Haunty’s ninja Hubs in our latest Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcast!

Though busy writing fascinating histories and cool explanations, Haunty was willing to take some time to share more about his background as well as offer some helpful Hubbing tips.  Enjoy!

HubPages: You have been on HubPages for over two years now- do you remember how you first found it? Why did you join?

Haunty: I started using the Internet for daily tasks not long before I found HubPages. I got introduced to the site by Hubber jimmythejock when reading one of his Hubs. I think he also referred me.

As a child I wrote a lot of historical fiction, science fiction and the like. I don’t know when I stopped, but the love of writing never disappeared completely. So when I ran across HubPages, it seemed to be a great place for my writing. It was obvious that if I write again that would be on HubPages. At first I just bookmarked the site for reviewing later, but I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I signed up. The prospect that I might earn from my writing was also quite attractive.

Since joining two years ago, how has your writing changed?

I became a more disciplined writer. Some of my early Hubs were often the products of just a few minutes of keyboard improvisation and when I view them today they make me want to tear out my hair. I am a non-native English speaker and also a perfectionist, so you can imagine it is not always easy to bring the two together.

Not every one of my older Hubs are a disaster, though. Some I like much more than the recent ones. Actually, I like the wording of the question, “How has your writing changed?” Because that’s what it did – change, and not improve. I learned that if you want to improve you writing you have to study writing. It’s not enough to just practice it, especially when you’re doing it for fun. This is akin to being a comedian who has some talent but never actually does anything to perfect his craft. He can be hilarious by nature, but he is not in control. While another comedian who has been honing their talent and passion to be a skilled humorist can be hilarious and cute, or hilarious and witty, or even hilarious and ridiculous at the same time, because she owns her skill. So writing is a craft that should be studied and practiced consciously.

Your Hubs are positively amazing- they’re packed with fascinating information and are on a wide variety of subjects. What inspires them? How do you decide what to write next?

If I were to provide the sole answer to ‘what subjects make Haunty tick,’ I would say they are historical and philosophical topics. This proceeds from a romanticized nostalgia for the perceived virtues of the past that are gradually disappearing. So when I decide to write about something it will most likely have something to do with one of these things. Also, whatever I write on has to have some practical value. Most of the time, this is just a message that I think is important, and not some tangible advice on things like diagnosing heating problems in your home. This might give you some idea of the volume of traffic that I’m getting. Although, it’s gradually increasing.

The HubPages staff particularly loves a collection of Hubs you have on ninja. We even did a podcast on it! What inspired you to delve into ninja history, training, and weapons?

It is very inspiring to see fellow Hubbers do complete series on topics that interest them. I loved darkside’s several capstone series and wanted to do something similar. I wasn’t sure it was going to be based on factual information or just another one of my idealistic and far-fetched projects.

In fact I was writing Hubs on the martial disciplines and when I arrived at ninjutsu, it occurred to me that I admire the ninja for several reasons and this could be a whole new group of hubs that I’m writing. I admire the ninja’s inclination to act undetected and without leaving much of an impact on the environment, which is the complete opposite of today’s tendencies. The ninja’s success depended on whether they could select a path from one place of concealment to another and move stealthily between them in order to not be noticed. If you want to be successful today, you do the same thing, except that you plan your path from spotlight to spotlight and swagger between them making every noise you can make in order to get noticed.

Writing on ninja was also interesting for me, because I didn’t know much about the topic. I had to do extensive research to gather the information I needed, and it was worth it because I learned exciting little tidbits and several less-known facts on training, weapons, etc.

Of all the Hubs or groups of Hubs that you have written, do you have a favorite?

My favorite Hub is entitled ‘Daily Life in Ancient Rome.‘ This was one of my earliest Hubs and its message is central to my life. I believe in the redemptive power of the heroic values that I write about in this Hub. It’s an idealistic Hub that describes Roman values from a traditionalist point of view, which is not a popular one by the way.

Finally, what advice would you give to Hubbers who want to improve their work and success on the site?

It’s not easy to give uniform advice to such a diverse group of Hubbers. I think a good way to approach it is to write what you are all about, and always for the benefit of the reader. One good strategy is when people write Hubs for future personal use on things that they want to remember such as a recipe that you love, a procedure that is likely to come in handy sometime, etc. You can then come back to these Hubs when you need them and others can also benefit from them. On the other hand, don’t even think of writing on topics that are completely alien to you. I don’t recommend writing for money in general, because that’s when your focus is on money instead of helping people and it produces Internet junk. It’s said that if you help enough people to be a success, you will become a success too.

More advice from me (don’t laugh). There are three kinds of people:

  1. those who enjoy starting things, getting them going and then quickly moving on to the next thing;
  2. those who enjoy running things, honing them and perfecting them; and
  3. those who enjoy ending things, closing them down and cleaning up.

I know I am on to new things all the time, meaning that after a while I simply can’t go back to an old Hub to add information or to modify it in any way, because it’s in the past. I’d rather write something entirely different. So if you know where you fall in this categorization, plan your projects in accordance with this knowledge.

 

[Thanks, Haunty!]

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