Have you thanked your technical writer today?

The Mojo of technical communication and writing as mused by Dr. Lu Kondor

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Motivation to write

I'm lifting this off of a creative writing site. I've had this for quite some time so I can't remember the site but I love that the same motivation that is used for creative writing can be used for technical writing. When you work from home it is especially important that you don't procrastinate and keep on schedule. So many jobs can be done away from an office that I think this is an important topic.

The important points to remember when you are having a hard time to get started with a project are:
  • Remember the deadline - do your own project management and lay out what you need to accomplish in the day and do it. Always keep the bigger picture in mind. What are the milestones? When are they due?
  • Get dressed and get ready like you are going to work - because you are!
  • If you are blank or feel intimidated - write one sentence. Once you start there is momentum. I say outline first. Then you get your head on straight to know what you need, from who, and plug that into your timeline.
  • Discipline. Like anything else writing is a discipline. You should really love what you do, otherwise is writing really for you?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Creativity and Technical Writing

I was thinking about this the other day when I discussed with someone who was interested in entering the technical communication field about their fear of losing creativity by writing and creating technical documents. Which made me think long and hard about what I am doing.

I came to the realization that technical writing makes me creative. For me personally getting to write for a living has been awesome. It let’s me practice my craft, I am always improving. learning, and being creative. By creative I mean, you have to find creative ways to present information to your readers that is useful, meaningful, clear, and concise. In some cases, this isn’t easy. I also appreciate the elegance of making difficult to digest information useful and hearing readers say the occasional thanks.

One byproduct to technical writing is that is gives me ideas for creative fiction writing. I like to write stories about science and technology in my fiction writing. I am paid to learn about technical subjects to write on them in technical communication. How great is that? Then I use my knowledge later in my creative fictional writing to give my characters depth and methods to their actions. A perfect pairing. I guess in the end I just love to write. Technical writing let’s me do that while satisfying both my craving for technology  and creativeness. In the end, I really like my job because I’m always learning and to me that is creativity in itself.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Culver City Lunchtime Forum- STC

Culver City Lunchtime Forum (Society of Technical Communicators - LA)

When: Thursday, October 27, 12 noon - 1:15 pm
Where: LUNCH, 3829 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232; Telephone: 310-837-6200
Directions: LUNCH is on Main Street, between Venice and Culver Boulevards.
Parking: Free parking in nearby public garages.

Friday, September 30, 2011

OSTC chapter meeting

I thought this was very interesting and worth a shout out (yes - I am a member of OSTC). I'm posting from the site. I really like project management and think it is very useful aspect to technical communication.

Chapter Meeting
Start Time: Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:00 pmEnd Time: Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 9:00 pm
DoubleTree Club Orange County Airport
7 Hutton Centre Dr., Santa Ana, California 
Join us Tuesday, October 18, and listen to Rebecca Lyles discuss the relationship between project management and technical communication.

She will share with us her views of how project management and technical communication can and do work together.  What applies – as well as what doesn’t.  What you can expect from PMP certification and her assessment of how it might help the technical communicator.  She will also share how to take the best from both worlds.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Books etc.

I do have to say I am a bit of a book addict. I like various technical communication books from Pearson. I haven't read all of them but the ones I have read are good, at least in my opinion. I have in truth only read a few. For example:
Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication), 3/E by Penrose & Katz was just right for me. Some of the books can be loaded with more complex apsects but I do like that. Now I get nothing from the publisher. But I like these book and having a publisher that takes the time to cover so many aspects in technical communication is awesome in my opinion. I reference this book often, especially for on off projects and things I don't normally cover but write on occasion. Check out the series and let me know what you think of other books in it.

(though their links do tend to stale very quickly)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

thanks for coming!

To those who came today to the STC luncheon, thanks! I enjoyed the discussion.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Culver City Lunchtime Forum

The Culver City Lunchtime (Society of Technical Communicators) Forum this Thursday at 12:00 noon. The featured topic will be “eBook manuals and apps: The future is here!” Come discuss how docs and manuals will soon include this area. 
When: Thursday, September 22, 12:00 to 1:30 pm  
Where: LUNCH, 3829 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232 Telephone: 310-837-6201
Directions: LUNCH is located between Venice and Culver Blvd. There is a public parking garage behind the Bank of America at 9543 Culver Blvd. You can walk through the alley to Main Street and turn left. The first two hours are free

Profile of a typical technical writer

Let me first start off by saying is there a typical technical writing? With so many types of tech jobs out there that is an interesting statement. Having said that this article does state at the very beginning that  it is difficult to profile a technical writer. I think the most important statement in the article is : "Many enter technical writing from different fields: Many individuals who work as technical writers had other careers before they entered the field." I find this to be true. This is the same with my own personal experience. The other thing is that "Technical writers take their jobs seriously." Good point because the job world is highly competitive. I really try and emphasize these two things to my students (I teach technical communication at a CalState part time).