QUOTATION OF THE DAY
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
I’m big on community. If you know me then you know that’s true. I believe in a sharing of prosperity, and I believe in a sharing of ideas. Writers who believe they can make it on their own, without the support of other writers, are, in my opinion, delusional.
So today I want to share with all of you an interview I recently conducted with John Hansen. Many of you know him as Jodah on HubPages. Whatever you may call him, I call him a friend and a damned fine writer.
Let’s see what John has to say.
THE INTERVIEW WITH JOHN HANSEN
- What is your main motivation for writing? Put another way, what do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
- A) my main motivation is just to be the best writer I can and for others to enjoy reading what I write. I have no real formal training in literature or writing other than High School English. In fact I am still learning, and my use of grammar etc still needs improvement. I do enjoy trying my hand at different forms of writing and genres. I love poetry but don’t want to corner myself into a niche.
- What are your thoughts regarding the marketing of your writing? What has worked well for you? What new avenues of marketing are you considering?
- A) Until I began writing seriously on HubPages a few years ago I had really only written for myself and family (mainly poetry in birthday cards etc). I guess I wasn’t confident enough in my writing ability to let it be read publicly. My confidence has grown immensely thanks to the kind HubPage community and I decided to advertise my services writing poetry and text for children’s books and editing on Fiverr.
I only made about half a dozen sales and $100 in the first year, but then it seemed to suddenly take off and I now find myself working on at least one gig a day (usually more), making around $400 per month and growing largely due to repeat customers. Whoever said poetry isn’t still popular is mistaken because most of my requests are for rhyming poems.
My latest project is contributing to a book of poetry featuring a selection of poems written by the members of The Creative Exiles website (creativeexiles.com). It will be a hard copy first and maybe followed by an eBook.
Later we may consider a book of short fiction stories, and I am still considering publishing my own rhyming children’s picture books.
- What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?
- A) The main advice I’d give is to write what makes you feel good. Topics that you have a genuine interest in or causes you feel strongly about. Too many people write for the money first and for the heart second. Whether it be prose or poetry doesn’t matter. If you don’t enjoy what you write, others won’t either. Don’t be discouraged by rejections.. even the greatest writers have received them. Just persist.
- If you could start all over again in writing, what one thing would you do differently?
- A) Starting over again I would take my writing more seriously from a young age and pursue it more vigorously as a career path, possibly journalism, advertising etc. instead of putting it on the back-burner. I was always good at art and wrongly thought that was what I should concentrate on. Now, I’d like to combine the two.
- How do you juggle your personal life with your life as a writer?
- A) This is a very good question, Bill. How do you? No, seriously, I fit my writing in wherever and whenever I can. Random time management is at play. I don’t have a set time to sit down and write but I take a pen and notebook with me wherever I go in case the urge strikes. I scribble notes to develop into something later.
Often I find myself sitting up in bed at 2 or 3am when an idea or my muse decides to prompts me. If I am writing to a deadline as with my Fiverr work, I always seem to fit it in somewhere and deliver it on time. I am not sure how.
I worry that my wife sometimes feels neglected but there is so much else happening that we are doing a lot together even if it isn’t recreational. Babysitting four grandsons for the last 10 days for instance. She is understanding and I think she’s ok.
Thanks for inviting me to do this interview, Bill. It has been a pleasure.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I guess that is what happens when you interview someone who loves to write.
All the best,
AND THANK YOU, JOHN!
And next week I’m going to have another interview for you, so stay tuned for that. John Hansen has two books of poetry available on Lulu.com. Check them out by following this link.
To answer a question I was asked earlier about the new creative writing site I am trying (NIUME), payment is made when you reach $10 in a month, and you earn one dollar for every 1,000 views. I honestly don’t know if that’s better than HP or not. Seems to me it is, but honestly I haven’t done the math. I do know I’m probably going to continue to take some of my HP creative writing and move it over to NIUME where it is appreciated, and I’ll also do some new creative writing for The Creative Exiles where it is also appreciated.
AND THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK.
Thanks, as always, for the visit. My new Shadow novel is coming along nicely. I just passed the 35,000 word level. When I’m done I’ll probably need some beta readers…hint, hint.
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”