Hello New Year! Meet Hyper Writer, LLC

I’ve been thinking about freelancing part-time for a long time and after completing a class recently at The Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneur Center last Fall, I decided to strike out on a new venture in 2016.

So with that, I created Hyper Writer, LLC where I will be completing freelance documentation projects. I want to convey that documentation can be exciting and interesting and not just something that gathers dust on a shelf! I also want to share my love of writing and all the energy that can be focused on helping users understand software applications either through web or mobile interaction.

Software is changing and we need someone to manage the information so everyone can enjoy learning.

As for the hyper writer herself, I have over 16 years of experience writing software documentation for individuals, recruiters and companies large and small. You can contact me at stef.whitlow@gmail.com or click my contact link on this site for more information.

I will be transitioning this site and creating http://www.hyperwriter.net with a lot more bells, whistles and the latest documentation, please stay tuned for updates coming and moving soon!

Hyper Writer is always moving:

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So what did you do in your off time?

I’ve always thought this would be a great interview question. What you do with that extra time does say a lot about how you work and where you put value.

Donald Asher, in his book Cracking the Hidden Job Market, suggests that you spend 40 hours per week searching for a job when you are unemployed. Those 40 hours include networking, interviews and applications submitted plus any additional contact you can have with someone who could lead you to a new position.

The other 128 hours in the week can be used to help with the job search as well as help you get to your next position with a confident, excited spirit. You can start exercising (walk, take yoga, lift weights), learn a new skill (foreign language, web development, graphic design), find a new talent (no harm in making a little money playing guitar at a local coffee house while you’re looking for a day job!), or revamp you network (start a coffee and careers group with others in your area who are unemployed and exchange information, attend professional group lunches, volunteer in your community.)

For me personally, I put great value in learning something new, taking care of myself so I can be more self-assured when I get to the interview, working my network, and finding a special talent to share with others. During my unemployment, I’ve volunteered for a local volunteer center and started a job networking group. I’ve also taken this time to brush up on my technical writing skills. As well, I’ve signed up for career counseling which includes writing better cover letters, interviewing effectively, and making me a more confident job seeker. I’m also taking the time to write webinars in areas in which I wish to learn more (no better way to learn than to teach someone else!)

Take time to plan your 40 hours for the job search, but take the other 128 hours to make those 40 work better for you.

High Five – Celebrating Positive Focus

“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

This quote is the mantra of our yoga class and it sums up the focus of what this month has been – a celebration of what is possible.

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“We are not going to focus on what we can’t do; rather, we are going to celebrate what we can do!”

It’s been 30 days and I’ve written every day about some aspect of the positive attitude – an attitude that can be attained by giving, being happy, laughing, and helping others.

I’ve touched on aspects of positive psychology with coping skills, resilience, and positive thought.

A few posts dealt with mindfulness, personal journeys, relationships and perception.

In this month, I had some celebrations (my wedding anniversary), personal losses (a layoff) and remembered again the national losses of 9/11.

I do feel as though I have come a long way in 30 days and I do believe it takes about this long to form a habit.

The best picture of the month was attached to my post on Encouragement. My favorite post had to be the one about doing the impossible (Thanks, Walt Disney for the quote!). I put my focus on what I could do and I can now definitely be positive.

High Five – Positive Vision

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I saw this quote and realized, I have not posted anything about my positive vision!

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“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, I think it started with my elective classes in college. In one class, I agreed to be a graduate student’s guinea pig (the control groups included those who did homework in silence, with heavy metal or classical music. I was in the group that had to listen to classical music and do some writing while it played. Kind of tranquil actually). I didn’t know at that point that I wanted to be more involved in psychology because I was on my way to becoming a technical writer (majoring in English).

Flash forward 15 years. I am inspired by a presentation at a local ATD meeting and learned that I enjoy personality assessments and the psychology as well as working with all levels of individuals that make up an organization. Add to this, a timely report comes out stating that Organizational Psychology one of the 20 fastest growing occupations. So I obtain my MBTI Facilitator Certification and enroll in a Psychology Masters program.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology defines the field of Organizational Psychology as “versatile scientists specializing in human behavior in the workplace. Employers hire them—either in-house or as consultants—because their expertise results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower labor costs.”

There will be more posts as I begin my education and continue my research into this interesting and growing field. Until then, I will maintain my positive vision.

High Five – Positively Excited

Today’s quote comes from the CEO of Threadless: “I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.” I found this to be so timely and true.

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“I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.”

Of late, I’ve had a big decision to consider: what job am I going to take next? As a writer, I can go many different directions and some are very exciting while others most definitely are not.

So it is at that point that I need to become excited about the options to change careers completely, remain in the one I chose 15 years ago or venture out into something related but different. Each consideration – even staying on my current career path – produces no small amount of apprehension but does make the adventure seem more exciting, nonetheless. According to the Advanced Life Skills website, I need turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Here are some examples:

Negative self-talk Positive spin
I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
There’s not enough time. Let’s re-evaluate some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can learn to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one communicates with me. I will start the conversation.
I’m not getting any better at this. I want to give it another chance.

We make a million decisions a day and the one that should be the most important is to be positive. Make the decision and get excited about being positive! By being excited about that one decision, you can color your entire day, and eventually your life.

High Five – Be Positive for 12 Months!

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” –Winston Churchill

And I thought being positive for 30 days was tough!

Check out “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin who chose 365 days to be positive and happy!

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Be Positive for 30…no 365 Days!

High Five – Never Give Up!

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

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“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Mr. Edison’s quote reminds me of a time in my early life when I wanted to be a Pharmacist. I loved the idea of helping people feel better and the fact that I could live and work anywhere – but my way to success was blocked by an impenetrable brick wall made up of chemistry, statistics and physics. I collided with Math. At that point, I took my bruised ego and changed my major to Business which would lead me to Human Resource Management and play to my desire to work with people. In the Business classes I encountered were – wait for it – economics, calculus and accounting. There was no shortage wanting to give up here, at one point during a calculus exam, I looked at the test and realized I was never going to pass this class.

In that moment, though, I made a decision – not to be upset, not to be defeated, not be hurt – but to play to my strengths: writing, research, process and project management. I wrote my name on the test and handed it to the professor and said, “Thank you. I’m done.” I left that class for the last time and marched to the English department to change my major. My final attempt to find a place to succeed paid off; I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in English.

Along the way, I found a new passion – technical writing. I know it sounds weird to have a passion for writing technical manuals and online help but it allowed me to develop processes, manage projects and work with people to help them understand the most difficult concepts. And though I will probably never understand math, the position has allowed me to work with those brilliant people who do understand it – engineers, software developers and analysts.

With this quote, Thomas Edison encourages us to turn a negative – giving up – into a positive – be resilient and try just one more time to succeed.