Val is not an expert at publishing articles online, and his opinions are more a result of a personal observations and reasoning.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-- Maya Angelou
It's Nothing Really to Complain About
So many, if not most of the Hub Pages writers, seemingly have agreed to use this platform merely for their literary expression and for the sheer fun of friendly socializing -- forget about monetizing the results of the labor pains of their genius.
Nothing wrong with any of it, so what follows is not to question the validity of our motives for being and staying a part of this fine writers' community.
However, I wouldn't be myself if I didn't do what I have done so many times before -- namely, take a look from another angle at what is generally left to be untouched due to its apparent obviousness.
In this case, it's about one huge number of writers, myself included, who don't seem to be money producers for this literary establishment, so I just can't help being curious -- why are we really kept around at all, as such?
I mean, if our earnings of 60% from our personal literary contributions don't add up to much, then 40% going to HP must look pathetically little indeed.
I don't know if the comparison would be good or not -- but I've never heard of a publishing company that agreed to publish someone's manuscript -- and then gave the author some coffee money.
Any business, and this is one also -- not a "non-profit school for new aspiring writers" -- wouldn't keep those "employees" around who are nonproductive, and who, with some of their mediocre contributions, may even give the business a bad name.
Far from complaining about these less than symbolic earnings from writing, and yet, it could be fair to say that writing for free would be much closer to writer's sense of pride than receiving those crumbs in form of cents each month.
It's not a matter of deserving more or not, but a matter of the question -- why treat our writing as something of a value if it's not paralleled by a more adequate reward?
Like, every so often I receive a notification that a review of this-or-that article has been done and the article is "looking great", while the reading public don't seem to share that assessment, according to the number of views.
How is that logically adding up?
But the truth seems to be that it doesn't even matter how logical or not it may be. Namely, Hub Pages' bosses are not begging anybody to stay and to write -- we are totally free to leave and start collecting stamps for a hobby.
And they are perfectly right.
If they chose, they could even doctor all our traffic down to some few views each month, and from the standpoint of business that would be quite a smart move. We are not in a position to set the rules of this website -- thus again, take-it-or-leave-it remains the universal principle to be respected.
Many a good writer has left, and many are still in the process of gathering the courage to break this daily addiction -- for that's what it turns into after some years.
Some others still believe that "money will come some day". Well, as it used to be much mentioned metaphor at Erhard Seminars Training -- those lab rats may be smarter than people. Namely, in a maze with cheese being at the end of one tunnel, rats will explore one after another until they get to their reward.
Unlike them, people "believe" in one particular tunnel, going back and forth -- "never getting the cheese".
In Lateral Thinking they talk about the same thing -- people digging and digging deeper and deeper to get to water, instead of at some point changing the location where water will be closer to the surface.
So it is with lousy relationships, lousy businesses, lousy. . . well, anything where we keep taking the "tunnel with no cheese at its end".
There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
-- Ernest Hemingway
My "Great Looking" -- but Hardly Visited Articles
But then, we writers, are in our own "business" -- the one of creating, so we make believe until something is worth turning it into an article or a poem. Here, we even go nuts playing with logic -- and that's O.K. as well.
Hence this fun of mine imagining now that -- if anyone's contributions are worth keeping, they are worth paying; and if they are not worth paying...you finish the sentence, I gave you the clue.
Saying that my article is "looking great" should -- psychologically -- give me an incentive to write more and more. Well, I am a sort of crazy in that respect, because I even write about "de-hypnotizing ourselves from outer suggestive influences", so I don't find any stimulation in that.
Even this ongoing, and on our Feed extremely popular, pampering each other's writer's ego with constant and unconditional praises, has the same psychological effect on people wanting to write more and more, just to deserve yet another friendly validation.
That brain center for reward-seeking gets quite hyperactive after some persistent stimulation, and it seems to do the magic of writers incessantly orbiting the generous source of that pleasure.
As for myself, I mostly write prompted by a sort of playful creative curiosity to see what my thoughts would look like once when formed into an article. And, while being quite honest with myself, every so often I recognize it as some sort of an "intellectual masturbation" -- nothing more dignifying than that.
I might as well see it as silly enough to be replaced by doing more of my crossword puzzles, which I do a lot -- just to keep the mind busy, and by doing so to lessen chances of Alzheimer disease or dementia in my Golden age that is slowly approaching.
As I am saying this, that satirist in me is popping up in my mind and says: "How do you know you are not there already -- if you are finding this theme of underpaid writing so worth your time to make an article out of it?"
Needless to say -- l love that satirist in me -- it, and Zen, and Erhard Seminars Training, and my innate sense of pretty dark humor, have all done a number on my ego. O.K., forgot to mention my natural inclination toward non-religious spirituality, where a vulnerable ego isn't worth a shit.
And then, where is the logic in the fact that out of many thousands of readers out there, only some 10 to 50+, in most of the cases, may have a taste for my kind of literary crap? Hey, I am 77, I don't have that kind of time to gamble away, waiting for another decade or two to see this world hopefully change their taste from materialistic to non-religiously spiritual.
Even the world's SQ (stupidity quotient) doesn't seem to be favorable to me.
Indeed, think of all those downright stupid movies that have become box office hits; or all those bestselling novels in which the author is so obviously repeating a formula for his plots from one book to another, while knowing that a mass of readers would never notice.
Or those countless hysteria-prone lovers of that screaming-in-notes that passes for a "music" these days.
Or those sitcom watchers for whom that artificial background laughter is there, because they are being taken for so stupid that they otherwise wouldn't know when it's time to laugh.
Meaning that there are thousands, if not millions, of downright stupid enthusiasts of a downright stupid expressions of what they see as an "art" -- so that even if my articles and rhymes were nothing but stupid, I should have one huge stupid readership by now.
But I don't, and anything looking like an explanation would be stupid enough not to be mentioned.
Again, not feeling sorry for myself, not being pissed off one bit -- simply because any of that is bad for digestion -- but just wondering. Wondering, and nothing beyond that, and you may even join me with my wondering, if you have nothing better to think about at the moment.
I must really suck as a writer, what do you say? -- if even those thousands of stupid readers don't get attracted to my kind of written crap.
One day I will find the right words and they will be simple.
-- Jack Kerouac
Giving My Muse a Rest
Let's just say that I am somewhat confused in all this matter, without diagnosing it any further than that -- while seeing my 270+ pieces still featured -- but hardly visited. And not that they just get featured, but without my ever submitting them for those special sites, they get quickly transferred there.
Don't ask where -- of course, to Letterpile, where they probably must belong, together with all other creative, non-informative crap already there, like a mile long lineup of sitting beggars with their extended hats. Now, how is that for a good graphic metaphor?
If you don't know a new recipe for Hungarian goulash, or if you don't know how to fix cars -- basically meaning -- if you are too lazy to search and steal from others on Google some useful information and then just reword it to make it look like yours -- keep amusing yourself with your useless poetry and fiction stories. You got my sincere blessing, plus my empathy because we are in the same company there.
Anyway, as some rare few of you may still remember, several months ago I closed this account. Thoughts, similar to these, were somewhat contributing to that decision, as well as the realization how some idiot had been stealing my stuff and probably making more than my buck-a-month by possibly having a well organized and presentable website of his own.
You know, form matters, not the contents, you can write garbage as long as you decorate it enough. Find an eye-catching picture, include a poll, a map, a video. . .
Well, that's my problem, at least one of them -- I am not a literary cosmetician, I just say it as it is, and I don't give a rat's ass about what it looks like, or even sounds like. That would probably explain, at least in part, that buck-a-month "royalties" -- albeit still not explaining my not getting a "writer's exile" from this fine company of geniuses and other high achievers.
However, none of the above was the primary reason for my closing the account; namely, I was starting a time-and-mind consuming self-advancing project, so writing had to go. (One of its main features was minimizing thinking processes and enhancing elevated emotions in a continuum of a few weeks. After its completion, I figured that I could reintroduce some writing).
Well, this time I am in front of yet another project, but not planning to close the account; I just won't write anything for some days, pretending to be here -- and they'll pretend to pay me. As for this new project, I wrote about it in my recent hub, but with some even more intense modifications to be implemented beyond that.
Playing some more with logic, my fresh creations won't be missed simply because the old ones were not much read either. LOL!
And I will still keep receiving those notifications about my reviewed articles "looking great". And those same "great articles" will still have their "8 views" from months ago.
And no one at the administration is bound to come up with the idea to put my Muse out of her misery by suggesting that I go work for Walmart as a greeting man at the entrance, where I will be making all that money which those most successful hubbers are getting by burning their brain's fuses and spending hours by their laptop each and every day.
That way, it would also be much easier to keep that artificial smile on for incoming customers, than to keep parroting those already patterned friendly and supporting praises for some pieces of literary crap that a high school kid might do better.
Why not also mention that feverish effort to keep my name visible a lot on the Feed, as if to look like my "contributing a lot to the community". Well, respect to everybody -- but -- not my cup of tea. I am a professional untamable oddball, not easy to saddle up, with my non-complacent nature that loves to roam free in the voids of the unknown.
Thus, in the times ahead, at least for a while, before I possibly write some more, I will be busy doing my own crazy stuff.
Like, I will be raising my frequencies; extending my daily "feeling divinely blissful" practice; further deepening my self-hypnosis; reintroducing my yoga -- which I was so good at some years back; further healing and rejuvenating every cell and body-system; further working on my non-religious spiritual enlightenment; whereas my meditations need not more deepening -- any deeper, and I might start partying with ghosts of another dimension.
O.K., this was another too long sentence, damn it, but what did you expect -- a Shakespeare born and raised in Croatia, with English being his second language?
As for you, my dear hubbers -- I love and respect you all, and I mean it more than you may be willing to believe it -- but merely loving and respecting my being different so much more than that.
Well, you see, that's why I moved to this West -- because here everyone is free to be crazy in their own chosen way, while all pretending to be sanely tuned into a common mindedness. LOL!
I hope you had at least some fun reading, because I had a lot of fun writing.
Be blessed everyone! I'll probably see you again some time soon.
© 2022 Val Karas