Participating in the Weekly Topic Inspiration Program

On HubPages, we’re all about giving as much as you get, which is why Weekly Topic Inspiration is such a fun way to spread the love in our community. This weekly challenge is all about sharing and getting feedback on your work- as well as constructively critiquing the work of others.

Weekly Topic Inspiration involves the selection of a new theme each week- one on which Hubbers are encouraged to write. Throughout the week, Hubbers post their Hubs as Answers to the Weekly Topic Inspiration Question and also share them in the week’s official forum (the current theme’s thread is always stickied).

By sharing your Hub in the thread, you can get valuable feedback on your work- as well as encouragement. You can also lend other Hubbers a hand by providing them with feedback on their own work and offering some suggestions on how they might make it even better.

We even provide search-friendly title ideas for those who would like an extra push. 🙂

If you’re looking for something to write about or hoping to make some new friends on HubPages, Weekly Topic Inspiration is a great place to start!

How to Choose Topics to Write About

Online Writing InsiderWe often hear from Hubbers that the hardest aspect of online writing is finding topics to write about. When in doubt, we recommend writing on…

  • Your areas of expertise (specifically skills, hobbies, and activities in which there is significant interest online)
  • Day-to-day tasks and activities in your life (such as fixing healthy meals for teens, improving your swimming skills, and learning how to housetrain new pets)
  • A subject of which you have many photos and images (chances are you already have great photos- why not create Hubs that put them to good use?)
  • A subject on which you have already done research (for example, a major purchase you made, the subject of a recent college paper, or the focus of a lot of inquisitive Googling)
  • A subject that you have searched for online that is not well-addressed by existing online articles

For a more detailed explanation of these areas, listen in to this week’s podcast (Choosing Topics to Write About). Here’s hoping your writer’s block is short and fleeting.

Is there some other online writing issue that is keeping you from happily writing new Hubs? Tell us about it! Email questions, comments, and suggestions for future podcasts to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

DESTROYING Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is one of the scariest roadblocks a writer can encounter- and unfortunately, it is almost inevitable!  Luckily, writers make for creative problem solvers.

Pia Chatterjee wrote a post in her On Writing Well series sharing her favorite means of overcoming writer’s block some days back.  She got even more great writer’s block busting tips in comments, so we thought we would do a podcast on the subject!

Listen in to this week’s podcast (How to fight writer’s block) for a collection of our favorite means of bringing back inspiration.  We hope you enjoy it, and if you have a tried and true method for getting over writer’s block that we did not cover, tell us about it in an email! Just drop us a line at podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.

Writing Marathons – A Great Way to Kickstart Your Career

If you are trying to kickstart your career as a novelist, poet, freelance writer, blogger, or columnist, you should consider taking on a writing challenge!

Writing marathons, just like running marathons, are very challenging, but are exceedingly rewarding. Listen in to this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast (Writing Marathons) for some advice on embarking on a writing marathon, be it the HubPages 30 Day Challenge or a more personal, private writing odyssey.

Are you in the middle of a writing marathon, or has taking a writing challenge on made a difference in your career as a professional or amateur online writer? If so, tell us about it! Send your thoughts and experiences to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.  We’re also looking for feedback on the podcast, questions, and suggestions for future podcasts, so send those to the same email address as well!

On Writing Well: Getting Over Writer’s Block

Every writer, especially one who has recently finished a long piece of work, confesses to felling a kind of creative exhaustion. A pretty significant fraction of writers also go on to describe what may be only be named writer’s block, where they are unable to get words on a page.

Very often, writer’s block creates a sense of unhappiness and hardship on the part of the writer, who believes that they will never again be able to write. Yet, when questioned closely, writer’s block is described by many, not just as an inability to gets words on the page, but instead as a deep dissatisfaction with the words and ideas themselves. After having completed a longer work, writers are often very harsh on the new drafts and are exceedingly critical of the fledgling works. Unfairly compared to the completed work, the unedited first draft does often look paltry in comparison, and the ideas seem childish when juxtaposed with the finished manuscript.

As someone who has struggled a few times with this sense of dissatisfaction I can offer my top tips to work our way out of writer’s block:

Don’t be too hard on yourself: writing is hard, and your brain, especially after working on a long piece of work, is tired. Don’t compare your current writing to your completed work, to awards you may have won, or praise that your admirers offered. Sometimes success can be the greatest barrier to our creativity. Remember that this work is only a start, that you will have lots of time later to make it polished. For now, be nice to yourself, and don’t judge your work.

Give yourself some time: sometimes taking a break can be just what your writing needs. If, for whatever reason, your brain is not wanting to deal with words and language, then give it a break – cook, go for long walks, exercise, knit –  and give yourself a bit of time before writing becomes fun and interesting again.

Read poetry: this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get out of the writer’s block rut. Read poetry that you love – Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost. Pick a poet you admire and read his or her work  everyday.  I promise that this will get your creativity flowing again.

Write letters and emails: Even the most exhausted writers can find it in themselves to write to friends and family. Look in your address book, see if there are folks you’ve neglected for a while, and write to them. It’s an easy step to get words to connect to each other in a non-pressured environment, and you will find yourself wanting to write more after your letter is finished. That would be a good time to start the new Hub, article, or short story.

Overcoming Writer’s Apprehension

The Online Writing InsiderAre you new to HubPages, or online writing in general? Are you having trouble publishing your first couple of articles?

In this episode of the Online Writing Insider (Writer’s Apprehension), Michelle Padro and Yours Truly discuss the mysterious effects of Writer’s Apprehension- that troublesome nervousness about sharing one’s writing in the public sphere.

In addition to sharing solutions to common roadblocks new online writers face, Michelle and Simone outline the best ways to push through Writer’s Apprehension.  After listening in, you may feel it is just as easy to publish an online article as it is to send off an email.

Is there an online writing-related topic you’d like to see covered in a future podcast? Tell us about it! We’d love to discuss it.

5 Ways to Fight Writer’s Block

There comes a time in every writer’s life where ideas don’t flow quite as easily as they once did.  Being faced with writer’s block can put a huge damper on life, but luckily, there are ways to fight back!

Here are some great ways to fight writer’s block on HubPages:

  1. Participate in the weekly HubMob: Every week, the HubMob team shares a new topic and challenges Hubbers to write Hubs on it!  These topics are search-friendly and perfect for getting your writing back on track when you are running out of inspiration.  To see each week’s new HubMob theme, simply go to the Forums section of the site – the weekly topic will be stickied.
  2. Participate in HubPages contests: HubPages periodically hosts contests related to a particular category.  Participating gives you something to write about, plus you’ll have the chance to win prizes! Our current upcoming contest, Money Grows on Hubs, is related to the Personal Finance category.
  3. Try your hand at keyword research: By doing a bit of keyword research, you can discover absolute treasure troves of great subjects to write on.  Check out our Learning Center to learn how to get started.
  4. Get academic: We recently launched a page for Students on HubPages and are showcasing new academic Hubs every week.  Why not research something interesting to you and publish your findings on HubPages, or edit and publish some of your old school papers on the site?
  5. Read the work of other Hubbers for inspiration and ask for ideas in the Forums: The HubPages community is wonderfully supportive and always willing to give helpful advice, plus reading other Hubbers’ Hubs may give you some ideas for your own!

Other simple actions such as working on something else for a while, going for a walk, talking with friends, and simply taking some time to relax can make a big difference, too.

The best thing about writer’s block is that it is temporary – and it might be just what you need to refresh your style or start exploring a new subject!