Sharilee has been writing online for four years, starting with Hubpages. She now has several blogs and websites.
Hubpages 30 Day Challenge
Well, I made it! Since April 1st, I have been involved in something called the Thirty Hubs in Thirty Days challenge here at Hubpages. Those of you who have been around the site have heard lots about the challenge. Those who are new, or visiting may have not heard the term.
This hub is last in the series of my 30 days -- 30 hubs challenge. This month, I have learned a lot. I did not know it would be as difficult as it is, and I am glad it is done. This article will outline the pieces I have created this month and a bit about the experience. And perhaps as you read, you will decide whether or not you would like to take part in the Hubpages 30 Day Challenge.
Answering Questions On Hubpages
The first article I wrote came from a question in the Questions and Answers section. The question was about the games we played in our childhoods: Board Games From My Childhood in the 70's.
This hub got me thinking and reflecting about the 1970's decade and had decided to write another related article, also based on a conversation I had had with my sister about this strange decade: Dumb Things We Did In the 70's.
Another article based on a question was about lessons we can learn from our cats and I ended up writing called Lessons We Learned From Our Cats. I was so thrilled when this hub made an appearance in the top 10 hubs of Hubpages for a day, too!
During the challenge, I began to realize the importance of the Questions and Answers section at Hubpages. One more article based on questions was Favourite Design Tips Learned From HGTV.
The next article I wrote, Pretty Journals for Writing, Reflecting and Expressing, Recording, Praying, came about when I had been looking at Amazon and was surprised at how many journals there were. I did some keyword research and thought it would be nice to share some of my my find with others. I am firm believer in journalling and I was able to share some of my thoughts in the article, too.
During this challenge, I started to see more income come from Amazon and this motivated me to try more product hubs. I read an article about a hubber, Supermom in NY, who had made a significant Amazon sale and was amazed by what had happened to her. I began to believe in the possibility myself and decided to try another product-based article, this one based on E-Bay. I had never tried an E-Bay hub but saw other hubs around the site and wanted to give it a try. This hub was called Buy Your Mothers Day Gift From E-Bay.
While searching for cool Mother's Day Gifts, I ran across across my products that were absolutely gorgeous. I had seen the same product line while researching my journals hub and decided to go for it and make a hub on these gorgeous products, after a quick check on Hubpages search to see if anyone else was covering these products: Punch Studio Mothers Day Card and Gifts.
My first online experience was with a blog devoted to weight loss, healthy living and beauty for all women, no matter what size. It was a blog I am still using in an effort to lose weight and become healthier. For the next hub, called How To Lose Weight: A-Z, I admitted my weight loss efforts and shared them in this venue. I had been nervous about doing this but did so, with the interest of bringing my online venues together. I was very touched by the supportive comments and even gained a couple of readers for my weight loss blog, whom I also consider Hubber friends.
National Poetry Month
April was also National Poetry Month and a number of hubbers took a challenge to do a poem a month in honour of this event. Although I did not wish to focus exclusively on poems for the month, I did do a few poems during the challenge. Here they are:
About halfway through the month, I came across a very helpful hub by Alocsin on creating indexes for your hubs. I had read about it before but this reminded me that I would like to do that. I then created this index hub about my teaching hubs: Teaching Articles By Prairieprincess. Placing all hubs with a similar theme in one index allows searchers interested in that topic to find a particular hub more easily.
Write What You Know
One of the earliest mantras of writing anyone hears is "write what you know." So, I was often frantically searching for topics that would be pretty easy to write about, requiring little research: topics that I knew about. Finding these "sweet spots" is the key to sustaining yourself in your writing efforts. I decided to write on a recipe I had sitting in my notes in my kitchen, and a few about T.V. shows that I watched on a regular basis:
T.V. Show Review: Best Friends Forever
One of the best things about doing the 30 Hub Challenge is that it really motivated me to clean up my drafts folder: all those half-finished ideas sitting there, taunting me. I had to decide are they half-baked or worth pursuing? I got rid of quite a few, decluttered, up my list, and then proceeded to add a few more half-done ones. But what the challenge taught me was that I have to really decide if I want to write something, instead of just idly thinking, "seems like a good idea." Am I willing to spend the time that it will take? Can I handle the actual writing?
The following hubs were ones that have been sitting in my drafts for a while and are finally done! Here they are:
My Mom Taught Me To See Beauty (in draft since last May!)
How I Planned My Wedding In A Month -- Quick Simple Wedding Ideas (that was the second hub I ever started on Hubpages. It's been in draft for eighteen months!)
Writing About The Hubpages Experience Itself
The last category of hubs that I did during the challenge is what I am doing right now. I am writing about writing, about hubmaking, and in this case, about the challenge. This is a form of introspection that writers tend to practice. After all, it's normal to talk (in our case, write) about what we are doing.
There is a term for this in the education field: it is called meta-cognition. It the act of reflecting on your own learning, and it's the stuff of "self-evaluation" and reflective journalling about a student's own assignments.
Here are the hubs that fall into the category of hubs about hubs and hubmaking.
and finally, this one! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go exercise, play with my cats and pay close attention to my husband. I am so glad to be done. I have appreciated the community so much during this challenge. Happy Hubbing!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 23, 2012:
Let, good for you! It sounds like you are getting close, and could make it. It is great to set challenges for ourselves as writers, because we do tend to work mostly alone, and these challenges can help keep us motivated. I am glad that this hub was inspirational. Have a wonderful day!
Letitialicious from Paris via San Diego on September 17, 2012:
I love the way you've summed up your experience and hubs with the challenge. I read your other challenge hub too, and saw that the third time was the charm. I started a challenge (from LetitiaFT) at the beginning of the month, but have now just got my laptop back from a week in the shop. It had all of my drafts and all of my photos for the challenge in it. Most discouraging, since I was already 9 days into it. Not sure I'll make it, but I'll try, then I'll try to make sense of it all as you have done so well here and in your other article! Thanks for sharing your experience. It's most encouraging.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on August 13, 2012:
Bridalletter, I wish you all the best on your challenge! It really does spark some ideas in you, as you are "forced" to write a hub every day. Take care and thanks for the comment.
Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on August 12, 2012:
Congrats and thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am hoping that cleaning up of the drafts part will work beautifully. I am ready to embark on the challenge. I am excited to get the number of hubs up there closer to what I want them to be. I like how certain ideas you had sparked other ideas. Should be an interesting and consuming experience!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 22, 2012:
@Christy, I understand! It is a big commitment. One thing is, that you don't have to necessarily do one hub a day but you are allowed to "catch up" at the end.
@Keely, that's awesome! I want to follow you and cheer you on! Go for it!
Keeley Shea from Norwich, CT on July 21, 2012:
You have inspired me! August 1st that's when I will start the 30 hubs in 30 day challenge!
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 21, 2012:
Congrats on getting through the 30 Day Challenge! I have debated it but no decision made yet... It must feel great to make it to the end :) I worry that some days I won't be able to fit a hub in so I have not committed. I vote up and will share too.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 12, 2012:
Tillsontitan, thanks for the great feedback, and yes, it can be done! It is a challenge that does stretch a person's abilities and vision. Any time we do something in a very concentrated manner, we learn and grow. I wish you all the best in your writing, as well. Have a wonderful day!
Mary Craig from New York on July 10, 2012:
Congratulations! I know I'm coming to this party late but I'm here! This was an interesting hub and proves you (plural not singular) can do the 30/30. You have done an outstanding job with some very interesting hubs. Your topics were great and it looks like I need to read more of them!
Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 19, 2012:
Greensleeves, you are funny! I hardly slept last month, to tell you the truth! It was definitely challenging. Thanks so much for the comment. Have a wonderful day.
Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on May 16, 2012:
Well done on completing 30 hubs in 30 days. The most I've ever managed is 6. So I'm getting there :-)
Did you sleep last month, or is that what you've got planned for next month?
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 14, 2012:
@Denise, thanks so much for the kind words! I am so glad I finally got through it. Have a wonderful night!
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on May 11, 2012:
Congratulations again, Prairieprincess. It is a challenge for sure...but, your tenacity paid off. Good for you.
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 06, 2012:
@Christy, awww! Thanks so much for the encouragement. Have an excellent day! :)
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on May 05, 2012:
Good for you, getting through the 30 day challenge! I liked following you through the 30 days over the course of this hub. You go girl!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 04, 2012:
@Thank you so much for the congrats! Take care!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 03, 2012:
@Wheelinallover, thank you so much. Yes, it really does help to love to write. I find writing hubs often takes hours of research, too, to make sure everything is correct. You have written a lot of content in the last year. Have a wonderful night!
Rob from Oviedo, FL on May 03, 2012:
Hi; Bravo on finishing your challenge. You've done a good job. Congratulations.
Dennis Thorgesen from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S. on May 01, 2012:
Hats off to you prairieprincess.
I have written over 200 articles in the past year and three months. At times it can be daunting. It is harder for business because many of them take hours of research, most of them require sixteen hours before they are even started. Website content takes about as long, I lost count of how many of pages of content I have written long ago. Without help for the business not all of this would have been possible. It is a good thing I love to write.
What you have done is really an achievement many others won't even consider doing this challenge. Great job
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 01, 2012:
@Thundermama, I would definitely recommend that you try it. I had started twice before and given up but it's a good feeling to finish and you learn a lot. I look forward to reading about it, if you do! Thank you so much for your comment.
@fpher, yes, that is exactly what happened. I thought I was crazy and I couldn't do it, but it's a great feeling to finish. Thanks so much for your kind words. Take care!
@Kashmir, thank you so much for your kind words. Have a wonderful evening!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 01, 2012:
@Justateacher, thank you! I want to get over and look at your poems. Writing a poem a day is a big creative challenge. Have a great day!
@Thank you, Millionaire Tips! Yes, it is nice to get my numbers up, which the challenge forces you to do. I am enjoying a little rest from Hubbing. Have a good day!
Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 01, 2012:
@Victoria, thank you! It really is challenge. I want to go over and read more of yours from last month, too. Have a wonderful day.
@Davenstan, yes, I like reading about other people's experience in doing this, too. Thanks so much for the comment.
Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on April 30, 2012:
Big congrats on completing the challenge my friend,great job !
Vote up and more !!!
Suzie from Carson City on April 30, 2012:
Congratulations!! Cheers! You've earned a rest and a bonus. My hat is off to any and all hubbers who accept this challenge! I'm sure it is quite a task and a lot more difficult than first thought. Once you get into it, I can imagine that half-way through, one might ask, "WHAT was I thinking???!!!" LOL! UP++
Catherine Taylor from Canada on April 30, 2012:
This was a really useful hub. I have considered doing the thirty day challenge but thought it might be too daunting. I really appreciate how you systematically laid out what you wrote and how you were inspired. Maybe I will take this challenge on after all.
Shasta Matova from USA on April 30, 2012:
Congratulations on a successful journey! You've added quite a nice collection of hubs to your portfolio. You deserve a break!
LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on April 29, 2012:
Great job prairieprincess!! I just finished the poetry challenge myself...it was easier than I expected and took a great effort to make sure I wrote everyday...now if you'll excuse me I have a few of your 30 hubs to read!
Katina Davenport on April 29, 2012:
Congrats on completing the challenge. I haven't given much thought to the 30 hubs in 30 days challenge for myself. It is fun to see what everyone else is doing. I have learned from a lot of hubbers' experiences with this challenge.
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 29, 2012:
Hey, girl! Great hub! One that I'm going to save so that I can read more of your hubs later. What a variety! I did the 30/30 in March. Isn't it such a challenge? I read quite a few of your hubs but not all, so I'd like to read more. And I will. You have some great titles here. Way to go! I'm so happy for you for completing this challenge. Many votes and sharing, Sharilee!!!!!