I Love To Write! Do You?
Squidoo Has Fulfilled My Lifelong Dream Of Being A Writer!
Since I was a little girl growing up in a dusty, tiny Kansas town, I had two dreams for "what I wanted to be when I grew up." I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to design the achingly beautiful crocheted lace in endless varieties that I would gaze at in my mom's pattern books. With my crochet designs, and the tremendous opportunities afforded here at Squidoo, my one-time dreams are now my daily reality!
Lots of people might think I should be very unhappy about my life. I had a great career going fast track in a technology environment, which came to a screeching halt when my body decided to betray me. First came four failed back surgeries, leaving me on a surgical scrap heap with constant pain. Closely following was a diagnosis of one of the rare Muscular Dystrophy diseases called Myasthenia Gravis which in my case causes double vision and muscle weakness. My career was over and I had to figure out what to do with myself next. My future earning potential was zip. Physically, I faced a lot of pain, medical procedures and physical limitations. But all of this gave me one precious gift: time.
With this abundance of time on my hands, I picked up a crochet hook and began to pass the time learning to create my own crochet designs rather than following the patterns of others, which I could no longer do due to the double vision.
Lots To Say, But Nowhere To Say It! - Until Squidoo!
By the time I'd been disabled a number of years, in the mid-2000's, I had accumulated quite a collection of my original crochet patterns, like the Carnation Bouquet Doily pictured here. It was always my dream to have them published... somewhere.
In 2006, I happened onto Squidoo completely by accident and became intrigued. Another major thing I had done when I became disabled in the late 90's was to start a Miniature Schnauzer Rescue & Sanctuary called Sheila's Schnauzies. I saw Squidoo as a great venue to tell the story of my rescue dogs, and to hopefully find forever homes, volunteers, donors, and everything else a dog rescue needs. And that was that. My little dog rescue lens did perform its function, and every now and then would generate a lead in one area or another.
Fast forward to 2011!
Getting Serious About Writing!
In 2011, something (I'm still not sure what it was) made me come and visit my lonely little lens at Squidoo. I took the time to really look around Squidoo and a light bulb came on. Why was I trying to maintain a very cumbersome private website with a few free and for-sale crochet patterns when I could make a free web page for each one right here on Squidoo!
Same thing with my dog rescue - I started writing individual lenses for each of my rescue dogs on Squidoo rather than having areas for them on my rescue website. This could work!
In the Fall of 2011, I was going to have a very major surgery - a total hip replacement. It was going to be a long recovery during which I would be stuck in my house unable to drive and very limited on what I would be able to do. I made the decision that I would write every day on Squidoo. It didn't matter what I would write - just write something, about anything I felt like.
And that's exactly what I did! I wrote nearly every day throughout that recovery. And I never stopped. When I had my other hip replaced in March of 2012, I wrote throughout that recovery too and kept writing. Now, I'm looking at a total knee replacement in just a few more days. I'll do the same.
While I started out intending to write just about crochet patterns and dog rescue, I ended up getting interested in a lot of other topics! I've written about home decor, the fashion style of a TV character named Penelope Garcia, a quiz of people's 101 Favorite Things, my gardens, my dogs, my family, some of my favorite places, even a number of gift guides for various holidays! My interests have definitely expanded.
In 2012, I was very honored to be invited to become a regular contributor to Squidoo's online magazine, "SoCrafty." It's been so much fun developing a new crochet pattern or craft and writing a weekly article about it for the magazine! And the exposure for my crochet patterns as a result has been tremendous.
"I'm just at the point where I'm earning a little pocket cash every month. But I am more proud of that pocket cash than any money I have ever earned in my life! Why? Because I, for the first time ever, am being paid to be a writer, my life's dream!"
The Next Chapter?
More Writing And Potential Future Earnings!
None of us knows, when we sit down to write a lens, when we might write "THE" lens that will pique the world's interest, go viral, and set the world on fire! It's everyone's hope, of course. There are lots of people on Squidoo who have done just that and are paying their bills with their Squidoo income! I'm not there yet. I'm just at the point where I'm earning a little pocket cash every month. But I am more proud of that pocket cash than any money I have ever earned in my life! Why? Because I, for the first time ever, am being paid to be a writer, my life's dream!
When we write a lens on Squidoo, we also have the opportunity to offer items for sale through Amazon, eBay, Zazzle, CafePress, etc. When someone buys one of these items, we get a revenue share. Also, if our lens gains enough exposure and achieves a high enough lens rank, it can earn a share of Squidoo's ad revenue pool.
I have always been a firm believer in the concept of "Work Once - Earn Many." By writing a lens on Squidoo, I am making an investment toward the possibility of future earnings for years to come! I look at my Squidoo lenses - now over 250 of them - as my little lens garden. I tend them the best I can, making sure they are updated, that no links are broken, that everything is still accurate. I promote them the best I can through vehicles like Google +1, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. If I'm really feeling ambitious I'll promote their link on delicious or digg.com too.
You can do this too! You have things to say, things to tell about, you know you do! Use the link just below and sign up with Squidoo for free. Just try building one lens. I promise you will become totally addicted, just like me! Besides that, you will meet a whole community of other writers who are amazingly supportive! You'll get the opportunity to participate in contests, win trophies and level up if you're into that, and achieve all kinds of recognition! I cannot describe the feeling of pride when I first had one of my lenses achieve Squidoo's prestigious "Lens Of The Day" honor! Or when one of my lenses is awarded Squidoo's highest honor, the "Purple Star."
This is a wonderful place to be!
You Say... - Come On, You Can Tell Me!
What Are Your Thoughts About Writing On Squidoo?
My daily things-to-do list never changes. It says...
- Write something
– Crochet something.
- Get dressed and fixed up
- Help somebody
- Care for everybody around me
If I do those things, the rest is gravy.
Thanks Squidoo! - Appreciate The Purple Star!
This lens was awarded Squidoo's highest honor, the Purple Star, on February 11, 2013. Thanks very much, Squidoo, for the award!
All photographs and illustrations in this lens are SheilaSchnauzies unless otherwise indicated.