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Writing Creatively;100,000 Views – What Does It Mean to Me? What Does Creativity Mean to Me? Is It Hereditary?

Author:

Ann loves being part of the HubPages community, passing on ideas, thoughts and ways of finding inspiration.

Writing Process: Draft to Publishing Hub

Draft is Copied from a Pages file to the Hub for Publication

Draft is Copied from a Pages file to the Hub for Publication

Viewing Milestone

100,000 views! Well! I’m so pleased! I had no idea! How good it feels! Doesn’t it?

Of course I am really pleased that so many people read my hubs (and the comments are the best bit) but the numbers game isn’t my style. I have reached the amazing number of 500 followers for which I’m grateful, especially to the small percentage of those who actually support me regularly. I know, at least I hope, that the more I write the more people will read, so isn’t it a logical process that we’ll all eventually get to large numbers?

I realise that HP is trying to encourage us to meet targets, write more, obtain more readers. It’s mutually beneficial and that’s fair enough. But then I get an email that tells me I might have ‘spammy elements’ in my newly published hub, that it might not meet the ‘featured’ grade.

I’m much more concerned with writing good quality hubs than the numbers that go with them so the email about ‘spam’ deflates much more than the one about views elates.


What is Spam?

No matter how much I read the HP advice and criteria, I cannot find out what they view as ‘spammy’. Is there really such a word? I can understand too many links, I can understand badly written hubs, which I know mine are not. I can understand that layout is important along with sticking to the title subject. A list of ‘spammy’ content, with specific examples, would be much appreciated and shouldn’t be difficult to issue. Those I’ve read don’t really make sense and don’t seem to correspond with anything I’ve done. Going on forums is not the answer; they are subjective, can be abusive and, in my opinion, are not professional.

I also have to change words in CAPITALS in some of my titles, even though they are there for a reason (incidentally, the notification says that everything is in lower case!). An example is book titles; if the book title is written in capitals on the cover of the book, I feel that I am misrepresenting it if I write it in lower case. The author presumably had a reason to use capitals.

I have a series ‘Take a word…’ after which the particular word is written in capitals. That’s a style statement. It’s how I present my own work. If I can’t do that in such a small way, then I feel constricted, confined, squeezed into a corner. I don’t want to feel like that. I try to comply with HP’s ways of doing things, of setting out hubs, but the actual style and content is surely up to me, up to a point of course. Am I asking too much?

This is the second time I’ve been told a hub isn’t ‘up to scratch’. I unpublished the first one as I didn’t want to compromise myself. I’ve been through this second one and taken out a couple of links. I shortened one section that I decided had in fact gone ‘over the top’ a little. It is now featured, which is great, but I’ve no idea which bit of that was ‘spammy’ or anything else; it was purely pot luck!

Some days, this makes me consider halting my HP writing to concentrate on self-publishing. Writing is my passion and I want to enjoy it; I love the writing process, the expression of ideas, the thrill of creativity. I don’t enjoy being pushed into a corner nor trying to fathom out what HP wants. It’s a waste of my time. I can take criticism, I know I’m not perfect but I don’t want to be compromised.


Weaving a Cloth from Your Imagination

Cloth of Colourful Imagination

Cloth of Colourful Imagination

What Writing Means to Me

Writing should be, above all, a freedom of expression. As writers, we weave a cloth with the colours of our imagination. We should create interest, excitement, emotion. We should inform, encourage, help and entertain. Be it the latest short story, an article on travel or opinions on an important topical issue, we need to present our work with professionalism and with style. Our creativity should engage the reader, keep him or her focussed on the text and leave each one wanting more.


Travel, Dyslexia, Local History, Gardening

As I sit down to write a travel article, I recall the feelings I had when I visited that place. I look at the scenes in my mind’s eye, I revisit the emotions as I peruse photographs, I experience the smells of a place, the words of those I spoke to, the ways of life I’ve encountered and the background to the history of each location. I relive it. Then I try to convey all those things to the reader.

If the hub is to do with one of my passions, such as helping dyslexics, local history or amateur gardening, then I make sure I am as accurate as I can be. Even though I have lots of information at my fingertips, I still check facts, research a little more and try to find some extra gems that might appeal.


Travel to the Other Side of the World

Modern Building in Brisbane - which is sky, which is reflection?!

Modern Building in Brisbane - which is sky, which is reflection?!

English Words

I love writing about the writers’ tools; words, words and more words. Long ones, short ones, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives… ok, ok, I know, you’ve had enough. I know my partner’s look when I start on those; a sudden far away, blank expression and no response apart from ‘mm…’.

I wrote from an early age and I know I am one of only a few who actually loved grammar lessons at school. ‘Get a life’ I hear some say. ‘Sad case’ say others! Well, I did have a life outside those lessons but also I was privileged to have teachers who made it all interesting, who recognised my ability with language and who made sure I was given the tools to make something of it. To those academics I am eternally grateful and I offer a huge thank you to Mr Williams who started it all off at Primary School. Even though he was the most un-PC teacher I’ve come across, he was and still is my favourite.

Writing articles about the rich vocabulary of the English language, I enjoy exploring their etymology and definitions. I try to make them come alive in phrases and idioms within a story or poem, rather than making a list of them with meanings. After all, words are made to be used in context. They wake up when their potential is exploited.


Writing from an Early Age

Early Story from Yours Truly

Early Story from Yours Truly

Family and Issues Close to Home

Family is my life. I have a great, talented partner, two daughters and sons-in-law and, at present, five grandchildren. Come the end of September’ish number six will arrive to accompany his three sisters! I also have an older sister who is wonderful. Extended family is a superb bonus.

So writing about family and the issues that go with it is something I feel qualified to do - as are many other writers of course. In some ways it’s more difficult to pen an article about those closest to you. Emotions can get in the way, we can become over-adoring and cheesy, or we give an impression of thinking we know it all when we do not. That has to be handled with care.

It’s important, therefore, to be objective as with any other subject. There are social issues that affect our families. There are relationship issues that most have to endure or at least sort out. In these cases a writer can be drained with emotion with the sheer telling of it all. I tend to keep most family topics private. Family members are there to be protected, cherished, loved rather than be revealed to the whole world. However, there are times when it’s good to share a celebration of achievement or effort. Names can be changed and we can remove the characters from their real settings if relevant. The issues, though, can be discussed openly because there is no issue which is not replicated elsewhere many times over.


What Creativity Means to Me

It gives me a buzz. I sit down to collect my thoughts, to write a draft, and my brain tells my fingers what to type, as quickly as possible before I forget! It’s exciting. Then….. I want to hone the text, edit my choice of words, delete unnecessary detail or irrelevant material. I make sure it flows, follows the theme in a logical way and reaches a satisfying conclusion.

Fiction, of course, is the most creative of all. You have to form your characters, give them credibility, put them in a credible setting and give them some fitting dialogue. Your plot has to be well-constructed, the pace has to be just right, varied but consistent. The conclusion should satisfy the reader or have a cliff-hanger that finishes the story in a way but leaves room for a sequel. Personally, I can’t stand stories which leave you wondering what happens to your main protagonist; I feel cheated.

Be it novel length, a short story, flash fiction or poetry, it has to appeal to your audience, it has to be alive, it has to be well-written.


Selection of my Favourite Writers and Shelves of Books!

Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz

Shelves Full of Books, from A A Milne's 'Winnie-the-Pooh- to Thor Heyerdahl's 'Kon-Tiki Expedition'

Shelves Full of Books, from A A Milne's 'Winnie-the-Pooh- to Thor Heyerdahl's 'Kon-Tiki Expedition'

Goals and Personal Best

Each piece of my writing has to be of the highest quality, my best at any given time. I’m interested in the quantity of readers, of course I am, but I’d rather write one quality piece than 1000 mediocre ones.

There are many writers better than I. That doesn’t stop me wanting to be the best, aiming high even if I never reach that level. Above all, I write with my soul, with passion for what I believe in, with an intense need to be the best at creating something worth reading, something better than ever before. The day I lose that attitude will be the day I stop writing.


Hereditary?

Just indulge my wish to wax lyrical about my seven-year-old granddaughter. We are talking about young creativity here. She entered a story-writing competition, stories for children written by children, which her school organised in conjunction with a local children’s books publisher.

Over two days, she sat and wrote her little story, complete with illustrations, with no help from anyone. She even included a ‘find the character’ element within the book. Her story was submitted and she waited over a couple of months. A few days before they were informed of the result she said, ‘I wonder when we’ll hear about the competition. Even if I don’t win, I’d like to read the story which does.’

She won! There was a presentation at school and a great fuss which rather overwhelmed her. Now that calm has returned she’s chuffed to bits that she won and she has been given two copies of her ‘published’ book. She is proud of her accomplishment and so she should be. The whole family is proud of her, none more than me as we have read lots together. Needless to say, I have a copy of her book, signed by the author of course!

Her older sister made up stories all the time, in fact we were working on one for years; she is now 17 so it might be finished some time in the next millennia, who knows?

My point is that you’re never too young to write, never too young to have a go, do your best and enter any competitions that come along. Writing is in our family. Both my parents could write and draw, I can write (and draw to a degree) and it seems that my grandchildren can do the same. That makes my heart burst with pride. The boys and the girls all love books and reading. What more could I ask?


Granddaughter's Book

Granddaughter's First Publication

Granddaughter's First Publication

© 2018 Ann Carr

Comments

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on October 02, 2020:

Yes I understand completely. It must have been hard to have a vision problem but I'm glad it was sorted.

You write very well, about your art and also the fairy tales. We all have our favourite outlets and you excel at art, with a good eye and a sense of colour. But don't slight your writing; it's very good. I'm flattered by your comments. Thank you very much.

Ann

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 01, 2020:

I loved grammar in school too. It was the way words could paint a picture that fascinated me. I had a vision problem back then and reading gave me terrible headaches but once I finally got glasses (in high school) reading has been a joy ever since. Still, I turned to painting rather than writing. I don't consider myself much of a writer because I see such fabulous wordsmiths such as yourself or my husband and I know I don't hold a candle to that. But I do know how to put one word in front of another and fake my way through. It's fun being able to write about my painting. That makes me laugh.

Blessings to you and your very talented family!

Denise

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on April 15, 2020:

Yes, Peggy, going with the flow is often the best philosophy. Thank you. I don't take much notice about these things but it was a good excuse for a hub!

Ann

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2020:

I agree that we sometimes use capital letters or purposely use italics to create the effect we wish to achieve. HP has its own rules and editors. I guess if we wish to write on this site, we must do our best to abide by them, and just "go with the flow." Some words in the song: "Don't worry, be happy!" (Smile) A very belated congratulations on your milestones!

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on September 30, 2018:

Ann

Thanks for the explanation, that sounds really good.

I love the 'Cliffhanger' but one that let's you know there's going to be more to follow.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 30, 2018:

Thanks, Lawrence, for your visit and valuable input, along with your congrats.

Yes, by a cliffhanger I mean that it makes you want to know what happens and it can take you to the next chapter, or if it's at the end it's fine too, as long as I'm not left totally in the dark which some novelists do.

For me, it needs to have a satisfactory ending and wind up that particular story but could leave room for the characters to develop or appear in a sequel. For instance, Harry Potter is triumphant over his adversary in each book but is left still searching to defeat the ultimate evil. Does that make sense? I feel I may have rambled a bit!

Ann

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on September 29, 2018:

Ann

I'm definitely a 'fiction' kind of guy! I love writing History, but fiction is where I have the most fun.

One thing that I want to ask you about though is that in the hub you say that the two endings should be either 'tying it all together' or the cliffhanger, though you feel cheated when the story ends with you wondering what's going to happen to the main character, isn't that a 'cliffhanger' though?

Congratulations by the way on the 100,000 views, that's awesome.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 07, 2018:

Glad you're feeling more upbeat about your writing. Don't put too much store by meeting all the HP standards - it's for their benefit rather than yours although the two do go together to some extent, especially when people want to make money.

Good writing comes from expressing your thoughts and feelings because people can relate to that; we all have similar thoughts and feelings, in varying degrees. If you convey your passion for life and your interest in people then you're more than half-way there.

Glad this helps and thanks for the input.

Ann

DREAM ON on September 07, 2018:

Ann Carr I appreciate you taking the time and explaining your thought process. I can relate to so many things you say. I also love to write at an early age and it was more like a diary. Growing up I watched a program on t.v. called The Waltons. Based on a true story. I had great respect for the way John Boy told about his life. Most people say that's nice. To me it was so much more than that. When I tried to tell my story i noticed how different it was from his story telling. He had more action more drama more something. That something I couldn't put my finger on. So I figured it would come with practice and time. A gift that needed to be nurtured slowly and in time it would reveal itself. So I slugged away like a batter in baseball that isn't very good but keeps practicing to get better. I turn my stories into poems because this way I can talk about my family and no one is offended. No one in my family wrote so I am kind of out there on a limb. I bare all and feel great after each hub. My hubs don't meet hub pages standards and I try to reflect my thoughts and ideas. Not always and probably most of the time not grammatically correct. It is the way I feel in any given moment. If I was to say right now at this moment I am experiencing butterflies in my stomach. I don't want to be told it could be longer. It is a combination of happiness, eagerness to get my point across, the excitement, unknowing what is about to happen next, my comprehending my thoughts and trying to get a grasp on them. Trying to pick the right words and maybe failing miserably. Either way it is what I am feeling. Well I would love to tell you more later if I don't bore you with details. Your writing triggers that beat that keeps on beating. Thank you so much.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on July 24, 2018:

Well, thank you very much, Paula! I appreciate your support and I'm thrilled that you think I ROCK; it means a lot.

Totally agree about the views issue; that doesn't seem at all fair. You've had the views and that's a fact they shouldn't take away.

I have neglected you lately so it's time I came across for a visit.

Peace to you; let's face it, we could all do with some.

Ann

Suzie from Carson City on July 24, 2018:

Ann.....Great article! I am about to reach 100,000 views for the SECOND time. Having unpublished as many as 20 of my hubs, of course when we do this, our views accrued are taken away. (Not at all sure I agree with this result.....once we've gained the views, why do they not remain on our account? It's not like the unpublished articles can be UN-viewed!!)

Anyway, just want you to know, YOU ROCK!! Keep up the excellent work. Peace, Paula

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on July 24, 2018:

Hello Audrey! Thank you for your encouraging comments.

To date, I have one daughter and two granddaughters who like to write, so I'm really pleased. I appreciate your support.

Ann

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 23, 2018:

Good going Ann on your milestones! Awesome achievements. Thank you for sharing the story of your granddaughter's book. She must take after you. Keep up the great writing. I like your style.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 28, 2018:

Good to see you, Frank! Yes those moments are indeed special.

Ann

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 28, 2018:

Thank you Ann for sharing Milestones and those special moments that make lives that much more worth it..:)

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 28, 2018:

Thank you very much, Linda. Yes it was exciting for her and for us!

Ann

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 27, 2018:

Congratulations on your number of views and followers, Ann. You deserve success. Congratulations to your granddaughter, too! Her win must have been very exciting.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 27, 2018:

Thank you, Cynthia. I'm glad your experience was a good one. I'm sure they try to be helpful, it's just that I need them to be more specific.

I'll be staying for a while yet I think.

Your support is much appreciated.

Ann

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 27, 2018:

Thank you Rinita.

I'm surprised about the images as I use many photos and never had a complaint about that.

Funny you should mention about 'quality check'. I did wonder whether they might take umbrage regarding criticism but I didn't have anything from them about this one! I think my points were valid and I tried to be polite about it.

Thanks for the visit.

Ann

Rinita Sen on June 27, 2018:

Ann, firstly congratulations! Secondly, I share your frustration about "spammy elements". For me it has mostly been around the number of images (they count those as links!!). So I have stopped inserting more than one image even if my poem calls for it.

Its great about your granddaughter. I am sure she will reach newer heights through her life.

On a lighter note, did this one go through HP's "quality check", after all the criticism about their methods? :):)

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 27, 2018:

Hello Shaloo. Thank you very much for your kind comment.

I know I shouldn't make a big deal of it but I do like to make sure each one is up to scratch! I've learnt not to get stressed about it now though.

Thanks for the visit.

Ann

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 26, 2018:

Congratulations! I too have received those rather confusing emails about my articles perhaps being too "spammy". I ended up taking out any Amazon ads since I do not seem to benefit in any way from adding them in. Other than that, I did have an editor offer to re-do one of my articles and it has done much better as a result of her work. She did some fancy things with the art and possibly something with SEO. I am not quite sure. In any case, there seem to be some new learning curves. Hang in there! ~Cynthia

Shaloo Walia from India on June 26, 2018:

Congratulations!!! Don't worry about getting featured. Your milestones are proof enough that your hubs are much appreciated by readers and that's what matters.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Hello Jackie! That's great - we can do so much when friends encourage us. I enjoy your writing tremendously and hope you never give up!

There is much encouragement of young writers here in Britain, with competitions on television and radio, one being the '500 words' children's story which has been going for a few years now. I think it's great! They are so imaginative and children have no inhibitions and no acquired 'convention' to hold them back.

Thanks for reading and for your great input.

Ann

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 26, 2018:

I was a straight A English student and I loved Literature but no one encouraged me to write. I wish they had. My writing came about from raging poetry friends here encouraged me to do. Well, flood gates opened after that and I have not long since been back down to earth. It was a fun ride.

Now I relax and dabble, but still never giving up.

You are so right, we should encourage our youth to write, all those years should not be wasted or maybe not realized at all.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Thank you, Linda, for your kind comment. Much appreciated.

Designing quilts and church banners sounds brilliant. I admire those who sew (as my mother did very well) as I am hopeless and don't have the patience!

There must be a hub for you to do about that...?

Ann

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 26, 2018:

Congratulations on your milestones. You are a very talented writer here on HP and I am glad that I am a part of your 500. I've not been approached by the spam-police, but I find that I can NEVER (oops, used all caps there) include an Amazon link to a piece of equipment, even if give it high praise, noting that I've used it in my kitchen for years and could not live without it, etc.

You asked what we enjoy creating, and I'm one who clicked "other". Although I enjoy writing my first passion is fiber arts. I design quilts and church banners. There is always a project under my needle.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Apologies, Nell, it seems I did not answer your comment though I thought I had - probably didn't hit the 'post' button!

Anyway, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm sure it would've been great to sit down with your relatives as they were writing and recording their lives. I have a lot of hard evidence of my father's and mother's work and a little of my grandfather's, so I'm really lucky. Like you, I'm convinced it's 'in the blood'.

Have a super week, Nell!

Ann

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Thank you, manatita. I still have a few more in the pipeline and many more to 'create'!

Ann

manatita44 from london on June 26, 2018:

Thanks Ann.

I missed out on the congratulations and it is a significant achievement after all. So well done! Look forward to much more of your Hubs.

By the way, sometimes they just don't like a picture. Once I change it, then it,s ok. But yes, some writers put so much effort and time into their work!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Hello manatita! Thanks for your comments.

You have a good point regarding happy 'clients/customers' make better workers and I totally agree with you. I think HP try to help us write better articles but much of the 'niggle' is all to do with their Google restrictions, I believe. So, to some extent their hands are tied and I get that. Creativity is still the most important part of any writing and should never be quashed, as I'm sure you'd agree!

Great points and thank you for your contribution today.

Ann

manatita44 from london on June 26, 2018:

That bit about your granddaughter is very charming. Congratulations to her.

English Literature was perhaps my best subject at school. I liked Grammar and read a variety of books. Perhaps I can say that I believe our system, yours and mines, were better than current formats or curriculum.

I am essentially a Creative Writer. I can and do essays, short stories and Flash Fiction; fiction and mysteries and spiritual works. I do plays and can break down the poems into Odes, Sonnets, Haiku's ... acrostics and so forth. I'm creative by nature and so I tend to like the freestyle medium and do new things, like Dickinson or Shakespeare. I love Jane Austen.

Hub Pages have frustrated some of us and it can be difficult to take. Organisations generally are self-preserving. You and I are perhaps at best, a close second. Nike treats its staff very well and their Rules or Principles reads like a Bible.

Still, they know from research, that when the staff or client is happy, that production increases. In other words, the goal of any organisation is the same, to protect it self. Is this good for us? Will it harm our image? Just two of their usual questions.

Au revoir, for now, by dear friend.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Hello Verlie! Thank you for your lovely words. Fancy you remembering I don't like ironing!

I guess it must also be a lot to do with upbringing and example; if you live with books you're likely to read and enjoy a little writing at least. Having said that, one of my daughters is an avid reader and good writer, the other isn't keen on reading - each to her own!

Ann

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on June 26, 2018:

Congratulations Ann! These are milestones to celebrate. Your pages are consistently rich in detail and beautifully illustrated, a pleasure to read. I always learn something new from your articles. It's exciting that this aptitude and talent for writing runs in your family. My Dad was an average working class type guy, but he wrote beautiful letters, and poetry, and I'm sure it had an influence on me. I hope you get your style issues ironed out with the editors (I probably shouldn't use that word because I know you don't like ironing :).

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Thanks very much, Nell. Good day to you.

Yes, it would have been wonderful to sit with those relatives as they wrote. I think my Granddad also passed his talent on to my father, as I've read a talk he gave regarding his part in the D-day landings and it's well-crafted. I suppose the creative gene is there somewhere!

Ann

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 26, 2018:

Hello, Eric! Thank you. It's good you feel the same - and don't talk yourself down, you write amazing pieces with your sermons etc.

Your final quote is so true.

Have a great day, Eric!

Ann

Nell Rose from England on June 25, 2018:

Good for your Granddaughter! and triple great for your achievements too! I do think its hereditary my mum used to write short stories, so did my aunt. I have a diary from 1910 where they all used to write poems et in it. I would love to have sat around my GGs back then to see them do it! well done!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 25, 2018:

Ann I am so happy to be here with rule being "wait" on projects. Sometimes I push way too hard.

So I was blessed; "it gives me a buzz. I sit down to collect my thoughts, to write a draft, and my brain tells my fingers what to type, as quickly as possible before I forget! It’s exciting."

Passion is passion. Criticize it, hate it and maybe sometimes lose it. But I do not want to rise myself to your outstanding level but I feel the same.

"do not love to write, do not write"

(aren't our editors a trip -- go figure those folks)

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on June 25, 2018:

Lovely to see you twice today, Flourish, and thanks for being first to this one.

Thank you, also on behalf of my granddaughter.

Yes, that's good advice which I probably should have pursued further but their initial response was to direct me to what I'd already read!

I appreciate your support.

Ann

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 25, 2018:

Congratulations on the achievements and milestones and to your dear granddaughter as well. Don’t become too discouraged about editor feedback. Instead l, send them an email back after you’ve thoroughly reviewed it and ask for clarification because they should be able to back up their statement with specific direction.