How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

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How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby RobynneL » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:02 pm

Hi there, I'm new to these boards.

I discovered I was a scanner back in 2010 when I first read Refuse to Choose. I am a Cyclical scanner - I have a specific number of areas of interest and I go around them all in a large repeating cycle, sometimes taking as much as 1 or 2 years getting back to each area of interest.

There is one thing in common with all of them, and that is writing. I love writing about what I have learned and regurgitating it (for want of a better word) in easy to understand English, so that other people can also learn. The thing about writing is that scanners can write about a wide variety of subjects and learn at the same time.

I have just spent 2 years writing for the online platform called SQUIDOO. 2 years is the longest time I have ever spent in one place while writing. But I loved that platform. I could write pages and pages (or lenses as they are called) on as many different subjects as I liked. People kept telling me to pick one niche and stick to it - but that would be just so BOOOOORING!!! I ended up writing just over 250 lenses altogether.

The down side to Squidoo is that it is mostly a sales platform, where authors write good original sales copy and attempt to sell products. I HATE sales - I dont like pushy sales people and I dont want to become a pushy sales person. I was writing informational lenses on Squidoo. And I was not making much money - a few sales here and there, as well as a little money from the ad clicks but nothing substantial.

As to the reason I left Squidoo - that would be mostly due to the Google panda and penguin (I think) algorithms where duplicate content was just totally not wanted, and any use of quotes was punished. Lenses were often not even published if the Squidoo filters found anything that might be "duplicate content" or unoriginal writing. That is writing that is "copied from elsewhere" We could not even repost old stuff we had written ourselves, (somewhere else online such as in blogs) because that was now classed as "duplicate content".

For the first 18 months on Squidoo, I had no problems at all then all of a sudden, 3 lenses of mine within 6 months were flagged as having duplicate content. If I did not remove the duplicate content then the lens would be deleted. Did they tell us what the duplicate content was? No way. I had to try and figure that out on my own. That was just too much trouble. I no longer had any real editorial control over my work, so I sold my account and left.

As for the "good enough" jobs, I had 2 OK jobs that I worked in - both for 5 to 6 years each. I was just rank and file, and I was never promoted to any supervisory position, so I dont have any management experience at all. Every job I have had since the year 2000, has lasted for less than 1 year. Because while I can do them, and I have done them in the past, they eventually ended for 1 of 2 reasons.
1 - they were contracted jobs with specific time limits
2 - they were so boring and I was NOT learning anything new.

Like most other scanners, I also have gaps in my resume as well - mostly due to family and medical reasons. As of right now, I have not worked since 2007 - that's 6 years - but I have been looking after my family, and surfing the internet, learning,and reading. And discovering that I am a scanner and that I am NOT lazy like my mother used to tell me. Having discovered that I am a scanner, I now understand why my heroes from history were Hypatia, Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci!!!!

Right now, I am working on writing a series of e-books, on various subjects (again, still no "niche) and am hoping to be able to sell them online. I have 30 plus years of life experience and 40 plus years of learning knowledge that I feel compelled to regurgitate.

So I think if you like writing, scanners could make some money online, by writing.
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:44 pm

Welcome!

I think you should emphasize that you like to learn new things both on your resume and during your job interviews. I think it's a valuable asset, and all the companies I've worked for looked for that in an employee.

Thank you for that insider's view of squidoo. I'm never quite sure what to make of that site, but now that I have an idea of its business model, I can be a bit more wary.
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby Thinker » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:18 pm

Hello fellow writer RobynneL. Yes, I think it is a good vehicle for our various passions.

I see that it is nearly seven years since I last looked at 'Refuse to Choose' and turned up here, so when suddenly it popped up in my sight on the bookcase. It was absolutely the perfectly right time !

Like you, I was criticised for being "teflon" - non-stick to one particular path. My overall work was office jobs and I remember the best one being at a school which now makes perfect sense in my search for learning. My mother sent me off to do book keeping studies just like her when I wanted to follow my languages and arts skills - but that would have required tertiary studies back then (I'm a senior now) and girls had to just get by till they were married off....fortunately my husband has been very accommodating and supportive of my free spirit !

I've always been a writer and I too have found it useful to explore and process all the information collection that I do. I seem to have my writing as a common thread to most things I do in a passion for learning and communication. I also love the contact between pen and paper that goes on with my prolific journalling. Thing is, until now I have been very shy of publishing what I know. I did a sociology degree which was really inspiring, though I struggled when i began to lose interest ! :-) I've written so much but it has always been put away. Now I am thinking it is now or never and my mother the judge is dead.

I think I get overwhelmed with the whole "book" concept and so I am entering competitions with reasonable word allowances to practice again. I suspect I might rewrite my memoir in essay form so that it becomes a series of small bites adding up to a whole.

My other passion that falls within the other things I do is how we live this life, reaching our potential etc. so I have a huge interest in mentoring which I have done from an early stage for two high achieving sons. We have had a good time in long conversations about the underlying issue that needs to be filled with their interests and jobs. Thanks to Barbara's book I have discovered the "adventurer" theme underlying my father's life, mine and my youngest son's. Some of this has lain dormant too long and needs a lift along as boredom is a common thread for us all.

So thanks to Barbara we are finding a cure for that dreadful flat spot, or depression, that comes from our acute boredom. And what a wonderful thing to read about not being "specialists" in anything but everything.

So I am going to shoot again at writing and meanwhile am positively electric with my mixed media art classes right now which is a whole new language and way of communicating. Design and composition for my abstract work is fascinating me !

Some time ago I believe it was I found that many people wrote and submitted online to Helium.com as a vehicle to be published. I haven't been there for a while but you might like to check it out.
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby elizagard » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:16 pm

I am a technical writer for the computer industry. In my company, a writer might work on three to five different projects in different stages of development, plus special initiatives, as well as projects I create for myself. Recently, I have been asked to do training for other writers. It can be a good career for a scanner, and then of course there are many personal interests.
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby emspace » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:36 pm

elizagard wrote:I am a technical writer for the computer industry. In my company, a writer might work on three to five different projects in different stages of development, plus special initiatives, as well as projects I create for myself. Recently, I have been asked to do training for other writers. It can be a good career for a scanner, and then of course there are many personal interests.



Oh! I was thinking about switching into a technical writer job last year. How did you get into it?
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby elizagard » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:40 am

One week I was an english major at berkeley who just decided to try techinical writing, but had no idea how to get into it as my computer knowledge was very limited. The next week, i saw an internship and have been doing it ever since for the past 18 years. i figured out the computer stuff along the way. Surprisingly, i beat out 10 other candidates some of whom were getting degrees in technical writing. Luckily, the hiring manager was a french major. I told her that I was really smart and she should hire me, plus offered to stay longer than just the summer.

For anyone out of college, you might try a certificate in technical writing, then use their contacts for an internship or contract position. Hope that helps.
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Re: How about WRITING as a job for scanners?

Postby elizagard » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:41 am

Ps. It helps if you are in or near technology centers such as silicon valley.
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