Every now and then, I come across a Hubber whose Hubs both pique my interest and inspire me to improve my own writing. Cclitgirl, though still a new entrant to the HubPages community, is definitely one of those individuals.
Since one does not always come across new Hubbers who ‘get it’ so quickly, I was very curious to discover cclitgirl’s secret to success. It turns out that she has all sorts of good things going for her: a splendidly grounded worldview, an inquisitive mind, excellent discipline, and a strong passion for writing.
Cclitgirl expounds on these aspects of her life in the interview below. Perhaps her ventures will encourage you to up your ante on HubPages. They sure have inspired me!
How did you first hear about HubPages? Why did you join?
I found a HubPages article online about getting paid to write. I was interested in making a little bit of side income and had recently rekindled my love of writing. I thought, “why not?” I have a blog and maybe I can do this, too. I joined and have never looked back. It’s been a great experience.
You share in your profile that you’re a Spanish teacher and studied Anthropology, Spanish, Fine Arts and Education. Have any of those fields made their way into your Hubs?
They really have! I would say that they’re part of my Hubs in both indirect and direct ways. I’m noticing skills that I have as a teacher showing up in my Hubs. For example, I’m obsessed with grammar. I really try hard to keep my Hubs typo-free. In my teaching as well as my writing, I also have to be organized. I know that if I’m not, I won’t be an effective communicator. When I studied these different disciplines, I recall the intensity of writing a 125-page paper for my Anthropology thesis and many 25-page papers in Spanish. I enjoy that intensity and enjoy learning. Thus, I can show that enthusiasm in my Hubs – or at least I hope I do. My love of Anthropology, Spanish and Art also show up more overtly at times in my Hubs. I make a living out of using language and culture – especially US culture, because I live here. I have written about selling art and my own artwork. I have peppered some of my Hubs with my Spanish skills. I even have plans to talk more about learning Spanish and doing Hubs on painting.
It may not seem like it, but all my Hubs actually reflect my philosophy towards life, as well. When I was 15, I took a trip to the Philippines. I acutely remember meeting a happy, giving people while also seeing more poverty than I ever had in my life. Since then, I have been to several other countries and I looked at how people lived and how they interacted with each other. People in many other cultures seem happy and they often live on so much less than the average American. Seeing that affected me deeply. It got me thinking about being green, living with less, and living more simply. So, if my Hubs aren’t dealing with language, art and culture, they’re dealing with living simply, frugally, and with commonsense ideas for approaching health and happiness.
You have only been on HubPages for around two months but have already published 40 fabulous Hubs. Are there any secrets to your strong start that you could share with fellow Hubbers?
When I got here to HubPages, I instinctively knew that I would need to participate in the community. I immediately delved into writing Hubs while ascending a steep learning curve. I thought it wise to seek out the Elite Hubbers and emulate them. I also studied Hubs of the Day and other Hubs about creating really well done articles. I was so thankful that so many Hubbers shared information so freely – I learned about referral trackers, backlinking, writing about what others want to read, and even some HTML code. I began commenting and voraciously reading to learn as much as I could about Hubbing and interesting subjects in general. I certainly hope that I can give back to the HubPages Community what has been given to me.
In one of your Hubs, you admit that in the past, you did not enjoy writing, but have recently discovered your passion for it, and have even finished over 200 pages of a memoir as well as another book. Where did the inspiration and drive come from?
There was a time when I definitely didn’t enjoy writing as much as I do now. I was in college and my professors and I didn’t see eye to eye on how I was writing papers versus what they wanted. However, I pressed on. I have notebooks full of journal entries and I have saved written assignments from elementary school onward – physical proof of my love for it.
I decided to write a memoir about two years ago after meeting some friends and telling them some of my life stories. They immediately asked if I had written any of those stories down. When I told them “only some – in journal entries,” they kept prodding me to write. Finally, I decided to do so. I wrote about growing up in a nursing home – yes, a nursing home – and my crazy life with five other brothers and sisters… and how I was adopted when I was little. That added an interesting twist. Though I have around 233 pages, it’s still the first draft. I wanted to set it aside for awhile so that I will be able to go back to it completely fresh and edit and revise for a second draft. I hope to publish it someday.
In addition to having a presence on HubPages, you have a couple of blogs and a website, as well as a Facebook presence. Are the things you publish in all these different places complimentary? How do you manage to maintain so much while also maintaining your career and personal life?
It’s definitely a system of balance and time management. Before I arrived at HubPages, I already had a Facebook presence. Because I enjoy fine arts, I also had that website going. It was after I got to HubPages that I read about the necessity of a blog, so I created two to compliment my writing here. After writing a Hub, I’ll often post to one of my blogs and either take a different angle to the article I wrote or supplement what I wrote in my Hub. The good thing about blogging is that the entries don’t have to be as word-intensive as a Hub – a real timesaver! But with all this writing, I had to create a “routine” of sorts. I get up before work to write and respond to comments from fellow Hubbers. If I have time during the day, I might check to respond to a comment or two. Then after work, I commit to writing for a few hours. I won’t let myself eat dinner until I’m finished! If I have something going on in my personal life, I might take a day off from writing, but otherwise, I try to make this my daily schedule so that I can meet my goals.
What are your writing goals for 2012 – both on HubPages and off?
Because of my passion for writing and conveying information, I hope to create 300 Hubs this year. I know that’s a lofty goal. But I know myself. If I don’t have a routine and don’t make it a habit, I won’t sit down every day and write. One of my biggest inspirations is Jack London, the author of White Fang. He once remarked how he made it a routine to write, with no excuses. He wrote 1400 words per day. While I don’t usually write that much on any given day, it’s definitely something to work towards.
I also hope to start revisions of my memoir during the warmer months. I’ll have more time and can really devote plenty of hours to writing – one day at a time.
I also want to thank HubPages and the Community for reading my Hubs, for all your feedback and help and here’s to great Hubs from all of us in 2012!