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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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.


“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 – Volunteer

Today’s quote from Arthur Ash embodies the spirit of volunteering: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” And it’s a positive quote because it states that you are perfect just as you are to do whatever comes next. However, you don’t have to be perfect to help someone else; you just have to be willing to help.


“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

I’ve volunteered most of my adult life. My first venture was for My Sister’s Closet which benefited the women who had come from domestic violence situations then I worked for a Crisis Center. I’ve been on professional boards, studied to teach adults to read, ran a website for my neighborhood, did a few resume writing workshops and wrote grants.

There are many articles out about the psychology of why people volunteer but for me (especially when I was laid off) volunteering was my lifeline because it helped me as much as I helped others. In the U.S. News ebook, How to Live to 100, it states “…volunteering improves the health, happiness, and in some cases, the longevity of volunteers. Children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to be adults who volunteer.” Then added, “And in a virtuous circle, communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism.”

Starting where you are (an individual with the desire to do something good) and using what you have (an ability to make a difference) to do what you can (achieve lasting results) can make the world a more positive place.

High Five – Positive vs. Negative

“You cannot have a positive life and negative mind.” So, according to an article in More magazine that I read recently which lead me to the book written by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, PhD, called Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, all we need to do to be happy – and change our way of thinking to be positive – is rewire our brains. Or change the structure of the brain and how it responds to life experiences, thoughts and feelings. For example, have a good experience and dwell on it – thereby replacing a bad experience with a good one. Like saving a new file over an old one!


“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind”

I am currently reading this book and will have a review soon; however, here’s a link to the More magazine article.


I hope it influences you to read the book as well and allows you to reprogram you negative mindset to create a positive life.

It worked for Kris Kringle & Macy’s

You know that part in Miracle on 34th Street where the disheveled mother tells Santa (aka Kris Kringle) to discourage her son from wanting ice skates for Christmas because she can’t find them at Macy’s? And what does Mr. Kringle do? He tells the boy he can have the skates for Christmas and winks at the mom, telling her later that Gimbels (a rival to Macy’s) has the skates. She is so impressed that Macy’s is not being so commercial (at Christmas!) as to only market their own store but are thinking of the customer.  She adds that she will become one of Macy’s most loyal customers because of their generous policy.

Well, let’s flash forward 60+ years into the future.  What if, say, XYZ Company’s jobs openings page matched you to a job AT ANOTHER COMPANY if they didn’t have an opening you qualified for? Here Kris Dunn of iMomentous makes an argument for that very philosophy.

TalentBin as the next recruiting tool?

I ran across this post from David Zax on Fast Company detailing how TalentBin would be giving LinkedIn a run for its (8K a year compared to a 6K a year) recruiter fee. LinkedIn relies on the member to input their resume-like information whereas TalentBin searches the web for the finer points a LinkedIn member may have left out of their profile. TalentBin is banking on the fact that your social presence on the usual sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as on Wikipedia, Meetup, GitHub and Pinterest will show a hidden talent such as sharing code you’ve written, a publication on a particular subject, comments you made to solve a specific problem or an elaborate architectural drawing you’ve made. TalentBin’s search engine seeks candidates through skills, interests and actions in the social media world.

Check out the TalentBin site for details and be sure to view their demo video!

2013 May Be the Year

Of late I’ve been researching Human Resource trends (and teaching myself more about blogging!). I started working in an office in the 90’s (not dating myself, I swear) and at the time applying for a job was pretty simple. The process involved getting a Sunday newspaper, circling jobs you qualified for, typing out a resume (one type written page could be photocopied many times) and a separate cover letter on thick, expensive “resume” paper then putting it into an envelope (of the same paper quality as the resume) with a stamp and a mailing address as stated in the advertisement.  A day or two went by; you received a call from HR and were presented with a time for an interview. You dressed in a suit and showed up in person to answer the interview questions, and within a few more days you received the call telling you that you had the job.

Flash forward to the early 21st century: the Sunday paper now just exists for coupons. Jobs sites supply the well of jobs and you are now required to apply online – tailoring your resume to the job listed – and then enter specific details into an applicant tracking system (ATS). Your other job application options include creating a stellar LinkedIn profile where recruiters may search you before you can even apply to a job and networking with professionals in your field who may know of an “unadvertised” position. You are also encouraged to create a Twitter resume, post extensively to Google+, make your whereabouts known in FourSquare, post significant details about your life in Facebook, update wiki’s and make a video for YouTube – all of these actions increase your influence in the social media world and bump you up in the search engine ranks. Your interview may be conducted by a recruiter a world away via Skype while you sit before your webcam (or just hold up your smartphone!) dressed in business casual attire. That same recruiter may send a text with a 1AM time stamp telling you that you have the job!

As you can see, so much has changed and evidently, the social media revolution has reached a new point and is transforming the working world once again.

According to a post from HRMorning.com blogger Dan Wisniewski, those looking for a working environment outside the rigid 9-5-onsite-only standard may get their wish starting in 2013. For years workers – namely Generation X and the Millennials – have wanted more control over their schedules; or at least to have hours that allow for more work-life balance. Mr. Wisniewski states that this year may see a rise in companies agreeing to offer more flextime and telecommuting options. Human Resource Departments may use video to conduct online interviews, which saves the employer and the applicant time as well as money.  Lastly, the idea of using temporary or freelance workers will grow in popularity because hiring these people will allow companies to be more competitive (no benefits) and allow the workers to gain more experience and flexibility.

Wow, 2013 may be the year when everything we’ve known about applying for, obtaining, and retaining a job changes. With that, I can honestly say that I appreciate the opportunities and challenges of being social networking savvy.  I especially appreciate it since I am from the generation that saw these trends just as they were beginning to rise.