New Writing Venture: HubPages!

Just when I was starting to feel disappointed with my writing endeavors, along comes HubPages! What took me so long to sign up there, only the Universe knows. All I can say is that in the last 4 days that I have been a member, I have had more traffic, views and comments on my 'Hubs' than I ever received on Infobarrel in four months. Part of this, of course, is because Infobarrel is much younger in internet years, being a start-up by four guys trying to make a go of it. I totally and completely respect this, as I am a businesswoman myself and began with nothing--zero--from the ground up. However, from the experiences I have had over the last four months on Infobarrel, compared to the last FOUR DAYS on HubPages, the differences are staggering. I'll explain....

1. Instant Publishing: At Infobarrel, approval/publishing of an article can take 1-3 days. They say they try to publish articles within 24 hours which I did experience about 50% of the time. However, the guys are based in Canada, and do not work on weekends or holidays (and remember they have different holidays than the U.S.). So if you have questions, problems and/or submitted articles on Friday or later, don't expect an answer/approval until Monday or Tuesday.

I had a few issues with my articles on HubPages, and received near immediate responses OVER THE WEEKEND from their team so I could fix them. Simply amazing, and very refreshing.

2. User Friendliness: Now granted, I found Infobarrel to be very easy to navigate and understand. Initial set-up with AdSense, Amazon, etc. was admittedly a bit of a struggle, but the forums were very friendly and helpful, and everything was set up very quickly. HubPages offers the same ad sharing opportunities and more, with direct links for sign up directly on the 'earnings' page, so if you don't already have your accounts, you can sign up very easily.

In addition, they offer ad sharing for eBay and their own earnings program, giving you more opportunities to earn money from your Hubs, and more control over your Amazon promotions. While the percentages are a bit different for ad share (Infobarrel offers 75% to the writer, HubPages offers 60%), the traffic at HubPages is so vast it makes up for the difference right there. For example; in the four months at Infobarrel, I have received exactly ONE ad click, and very little impressions. In the four days at HubPages, I have already made money from impressions with only seven Hubs, or articles.

3. External Links: Infobarrel only allows you two 'self-serving' or external links within any one article. As far as I can tell, there are no limits to external links on HubPages whether they are links to your own websites or blogs, or other web pages that pertain to your Hub's subject. It makes so much sense, really.

4. Quality: Quality is a HUGE issue with me, and I have struggled with some of the content on Infobarrel not being what I would call quality. I do a fair amount of reading of other people's articles and works, and have to say Infobarrel publishes a lot of dreck. So far, I've read at least 50 Hubs on HubPages, ALL of them without spelling or grammatical errors, and of interesting and informative topics. Basically, I feel HubPages attracts a more capable writer, at least from what I have seen so far.

5. Layout: The overall layout on HubPages is just more attractive, more pleasing to the eye. As authors, we have more control over what the final layout looks like. Also, there are more choices for 'capsules' or elements to include in the hub. On Infobarrel, you can add things like video, photos and the like, but being able to place links to other websites, articles and Hubs as well as Amazon products within the body of texts--specific products if you like, really give your work a well rounded look.

I'll keep you up to date on my HubPages progress and experiences, but for now suffice it to say, I'm hooked! If you'd like to check it out and read some of my 'Hubs' please do so here: http://alwritetea.hubpages.com/ Wanna sign up for HubPages? It's easy and awesome! Sign up here! Happy writing!

Writing Slacker And Changing Your Life With "The Secret"

Photo by Kittisak
Inevitably, the Holidays have bitch-slapped my writing momentum, causing a dry spell of posts here, as well as my freelancing duties. Ok, Ok, I know I'm ultimately responsible, and I will strive to get that momentum back to where it was-at the very least-or to a higher level when the Holidays have passed. Granted, this is the most successful time of year for my Etsy Vinyl Shop. Between packaging orders, listing new titles and hunting for new inventory, there just aren't enough hours in the day left to devise a witty or informative article, blog post or even a journal entry. I miss it. I miss the feeling of my brain getting a workout, as well as putting something valuable out there into cyber space. Not to mention a few dollars in my pocket, from writing, that is.

So I have decided that today is a writing day. No hunting, no packaging, no standing in line at the Post Office. Today is about staying cozy indoors with a perpetual mug of steaming tea, Marilyn Monroe on the turntable and with a little luck, a 600 word article and freelance work in addition to this post.

Normally, it isn't difficult to come up with interesting things to write about. But as I have vinyl on the brain, the subject matter lately doesn't seem to stray too far away from music and related topics. However, a couple of nights ago, I did have the most wondrous dream...

I had submitted a story line to a company I worked for (which seemed to include machinery, office work and comic books) and they wholeheartedly accepted it, paying me generously for the submitted work along with a huge promotion to the writing team. It marked the first time in my life to receive a promotion of this magnitude, also resulting in a huge change in my current life situation for the better.

The reason this dream is so important is because I now know what it feels like to experience the feeling of success in a writing capacity. It has been said that to receive the things in life that you want, the key is to feel what it's like to receive these things, manifesting that good feeling and positive energy flow. In a sense, pretending that you have already received whatever it is you are asking for, and projecting that satisfied sense and GRATITUDE out into the Universe. By doing this, the Universe will immediately go to work to make it happen for you--provided you don't sabotage yourself or fill your head and heart with self doubt, negativity or uncertainty. It can be very difficult to not let these things get in the way of your desires, by seeping into your subconscious and blocking the Universe's work with just a few, poor choices and actions.

If any of these tactics sound familiar, it's because they are promoted in The Secret which is available on Netflix streaming, or for purchase on Amazon. The idea behind The Secret literally changed my life, as it has for so many people. I cannot recommend it highly enough, the principles are so simple and make SO much sense. One of the ideas which struck me the most is to think of a genie up in the Universe waiting to do your bidding. If you say, "Oh I could never afford that!" or "I couldn't possibly lose enough weight to wear that", think of the genie saying "Your wish is my command." And that is a premium example of self-sabotage. You just sealed your fate with a simple sentence. So instead say, "I can't wait to buy that" or "I will feel so good wearing that outfit". Then, again, think of Genie saying, "Your wish is my command". See the difference? IT WORKS. I am not a paid representative, I promise you. I have just learned that these concepts (and many others all explained in The Secret) really do work and it costs NOTHING but a few simple (simple, but not necessarily easy) changes in your thought processes and patterns, choices and behavior.

With the New Year upon us, it's a perfect time to reflect (but not dwell) on the failures of the past year and decide how we're going to tackle them in the coming year. I know for myself, there are many things to work on, improve upon and accomplish differently to ensure, yes, ensure that 2012 will be my most successful year to date. Won't you join me?

Photo by jscreationzs   
Happy Holidays everyone, be safe!

Fictional Story Excerpt: Viggo & Me - A Dreamwork Exchange

*A word or two about this story; this is a brief excerpt from a dream I had nearly a year ago. Currently, it's sitting patiently, waiting for me to wave my magic wand and expand it into a full-fledged short story. We shall see...

Looking down at me, I heard these words; "This feeling is unique to us only. What we share cannot be felt by anyone else." He said this with his eyes. His mouth never spoke a word. All of my fears were conveyed the same way, without speaking. Mind to mind, heart to heart.

I thought I would burst with love for him. "I have a husband, a life. How could I have such feelings for another man, in just an instant?" I thought.

"There are humans with responsibilities in our lives." He said with a wry smile, still without speaking.

I could sense he was quite used to this feeling, more evolved than I was. For me, this was heart-wrenching, a hollow longing that didn't have an end in sight. But somehow, I was comforted by his calm, deep-seated knowledge. His quiet, 'at peace' way of being.

Even though we were surrounded by a bustling film set with people running hurriedly at their jobs with serious, determined looks on their faces. Within the circle of Viggo's embrace, I felt so completely apart from this frenzied world. As if we were invisible, looking in on this human existence and its silly inhabitants.

Being inquisitive by nature, looking up at him I asked suddenly, "You must get paid more for your engineering services than as an actor." Marveling at the elaborate set being built in front of us. He looked at me, gave a light chuckle and said, "You would think so." I guessed not.

*Judge not too harshly, I am not in the habit of writing fictional stories at all. I really only know how to write the truth. But somehow, this brief exchange felt a need to be realized, immortalized into some sort of something...

Follow Your Passions, Feed Your Creativity And The Rest Is Gravy

I just read this very inspiring article How To Follow Your Passion When You're Just Trying To Pay The Bills and it couldn't have come at a more fortuitous time. While I am still highly motivated to write EVERYDAY, I do still need to pay the bills, and sometimes let my inner faith slip a bit when my phone service gets temporarily shut off, or I'm dangerously close to losing my car insurance. You see, my 'regular job' IS my passion. I sell vinyl records for a 'living' (and I use that term very loosely), as well as writing, freelancing and selling vintage clothing and accessories. I know we've talked about diversifying before, and it simply cannot be stressed enough. But that isn't what I want to talk about today....

This article states exactly what I have come to learn; that you need to feed your passions and creativity FIRST before you can expect to create any kind of abundance in your life. I had been going about this all backwards for most of my life until recently. It's like I said in my post: November 1st: A New Year, New Beginnings, etc.. you have to please yourself before you can please others. When you comply with your soul's needs, you are able to be of service to others to help them realize their soul's needs, and so on, and so on. It truly is that simple.

When I got out of my own way long enough to realize that writing is my true calling; and the career path I needed to follow seriously, all the 'problems' worked themselves out and a path was opened up to me. Soon the money will come as a result of exercising my passion and creativity. I'm essentially 'killing two birds with one stone' by writing about subject matter that I'm passionate about, but in a way that is helpful to others who have similar passions. This is why I feel so satisfied with writing, it gives me purpose and fuels my inherent desire to help others in a way I know best. And you can do the same just by doing whatever it is that brings you joy. Honestly.

If anyone has a similar article, post or story, I'd love to hear about it, and would be happy to post it here. This kind of message needs to be shared all over the world and any way I can help spread it is a welcome task indeed.