I submit, m'lud, that I am a wordnerd

by WordChazer

The whos, whys, whats and wherefores of WordChazer's compulsion to write, edit, proofread, read and generally be around words.

So, as the Wizzley wording has it: 'Here we go'. I've taken a deep breath, wiggled my fingers, have the all important glass of wine alongside, some Mike Oldfield on the player, and I'm ready to spend Saturday night in the best way I know - article creation. I have been a compulsive writer for most of my life, although the format has changed over time. I started out writing short stories in primary school Creative Writing classes, switched to writing book reviews at around the age of 10 and became hooked on penpalling shortly thereafter.

My love affair with penpalling is still alive, just about. In the last few years I have discovered writing for the web and content editing, both of which take up much more of my time these days than they should...

I'm also what is described as a voracious reader; everything from the contents of the cornflake packet to a 700 page historical epic is well within my range. But that's a whole other article and not for this one - how long do you have, after all?

I have a minor fixation with databases, leading to a 25 year project involving the collation of addresses from my penpal exploits. Associated with that is a fascination with names, so you may find both of those topics covered in future articles, as well as my 'specialist subjects' of words, music, retro technology, editing, British traditions, travel articles, corporate rewards, cats - and polar bears.

Wordchazer's Words

Blogs and articles

My experience of writing online started when I joined the now-well-defunct Themestream in 2001 or so. I published a more-or-less weekly column there, and met some great people, inspiring writers of all kinds, some of whom I'm still in touch with. After Themestream's demise, a short-lived stint on a site called something like 'the Vines' followed. I forget the exact name, but it was totally incomprehensible to me and I deleted my content and left within a few months.

Photo taken by Ed Yourdon, 2009 and available on Flickr

Then, the penpal bug really took hold, and I wrote nothing except reams and reams of letters to people all over the world for the next few years.

However, when I met the man who is now my husband, I moved to Cambridge, and encountered the wonderfully stimulating atmosphere that is working in a world-class University. I quickly started blogging, first on the site attached to my hotmail account, and then later on LiveJournal. When that was sold a few years ago, I stopped writing there and took out a dreamwidth account, which used the same basic coding platform, so was not too difficult to get my head around.

In 2010 I started work as an Editorial Assistant for an academic journal editor. Dream job, except it was only part-time. I had another two part-time jobs to make ends meet and in between times wrote up a storm on Suite101, Squidoo and my new blogger blog. Well and truly bitten by the writing bug, I finally had a niche to fill, writing articles on anything which crossed my line of sight. As I had a couple of colleagues at the time who used me as an encyclopaedia instead of Google, I found I had numerous subjects to cover.

Three years - and several iterations of Suite101 - later I finally decided that I needed a new platform for my body of article work, by that time numbering over 100 articles. I left Squidoo well before the site folded, as I had long since grown weary of the constant tweaking required to keep lenses ranking highly, and never made more than a few cents in revenue, none of which I ever actually saw.

My blog bit the dust around a year ago, when it was caught up in the backlash from Google against guest blogging platforms, so I urgently found myself in need of a site to publish all my factual work on.

I used Squidoo for the pieces needing lots of video content, which I was unable to post on Suite, the op-eds which Suite's T&Cs prevented and a few other lightweight topics which were not going to fit well with my other work on Suite. In my blog, I provided background to and more information on each article, as well as extra links to other similar work, which again, was frowned upon for a while on Suite.

Op-ed and guest posts

For the longest time Suite did not let writers compose in anything other than the third person. Great journalistic training, but not much use for writing personal opinion. Eventually first and second person articles, and even op-ed pieces, were allowed, but then the Google Gods let the Panda out, and we all know what that did to content sites like Suite was at the time. I went from earning double figures dollars to earning double figures cents a month if I was lucky.

Angry Girl Frown by Steven Depolo on Flickr

Even so, a few months after starting work with the academic journal Editor, I was delighted to be appointed Suite's Topic Editor for Auto Racing, a post which lasted a year. My office colleague was persistent in telling me I should look for work in that area - and she was right, as she so often was about many things.

Come 2012 and things were once again on the move at Suite, so I started looking for further inspiration elsewhere. That's where the editing really kicked in, as I started to edit content for an American provider, proofread several stonking books for Twitter contacts and finally signed up for Elance late in 2012.

That started slowly but has built to a satisfyingly reliable level of work with a regular client. I occasionally write for other sites as well, such as RetroGT, a retro technology site, and Nameberry, the naming specialists, as well as diversifying into shorter work with quicker deadlines at fiverr.com.

So here we are today, ladies and gentlemen, and as of tomorrow, it is my pleasure to start sharing with you some of the articles which have tumbled - and are still tumbling - out of my brain onto the page recently.

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A month into the Twelve Month Success Challenge, how's it going? Have I really made progress or am I treading water?
Another month down and there’s much to report with regard to my goals in the Success Challenge. Many previously unseen changes happened this month.
In January 2013, I accepted the suggestion to take the Twelve Month Success Challenge and see how I measured up.
After one month and twelve published articles, it is time to write my review of Wizzley and my current view of the site’s ease of use, earning potential and my plans for the future
Updated: 10/09/2014, WordChazer
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So, what do you think? Is all this worth it?

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DerdriuMarriner on 06/20/2017

WordChazer, Does your husband share your love for online writing?

WordChazer on 11/24/2013

I wish I could say that I did make good money with it, Mira. Unfortunately that is not the case, so I have to keep hunting for a full time job to pay the bills as well.

Mira on 11/24/2013

You are one busy writer, Paula! I wish you the best of luck with everything. Yes, I believe writing is always worth it ;-). But you also seem to make (good) money with it, which is even better! ;-)

WordChazer on 11/24/2013

Thanks ologsinquito, I didn't realise you were at Suite too. There are a few of us here, those who still write for rev share that is...I hear Zujava has a lot of us too, and is even more like Suite as I remember it in the good days pre-Panda. I think my intro probably needs an overhaul now as I've made a lot of changes this year. After the official things I have to do today, maybe if I have time.

ologsinquito on 11/19/2013

I didn't know you also came from Suite 101. You're joining a lot of your online friends here.

WordChazer on 06/07/2013

I had fun on Squidoo too, but I've made no money from it. At least here it's possible to make some pennies. Looking forward to your articles.

jptanabe on 06/07/2013

I hope it's worth it! I also love to write, although I didn't realize I'd be good at writing non-boring scientific type things for a long time. I've had fun on Squidoo and now hope to have fun here on Wizzley. I'll be check you out some more!

CherylsArt on 05/24/2013

It is if you like it, and it sounds like you do.

WordChazer on 02/28/2013

Brenda! She of the cookies? It was Suite101. Was. Very much past as I became more than slightly fed up with the changes and lack of communication. And in any case, as I recall it they no longer describe themselves as a freelance writers' site, so that's no use to me as I describe myself as a freelance writer.

BrendaReeves on 02/28/2013

Welcome, I remember you on? DMS or Suite 101.

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