5 Ways To Differentiate Yourself as a Technical Writer

Feeling ignored? What’s that? No pay respects the hard work you do as a tech writer. Sad, isn’t it? Very sad… Ever wonder why? Ever wonder what you need to do about it? Hmmm? Tom Peters says, “the value of services will continue to fall” and that the only way to survive is to differentiate […]

Who Makes More Money? Technical Writers with Language or IT Skills?

Kai raised an interesting point about which skill (writing/technical) takes longer to master. Knowing how to structure and present information to users? Or knowing how to use a product or application? That got me thinking. If you want to make money as a technical writer, which area should you focus on? Sharpen your writing skills or deepen your technical knowledge, for example, learning how to document an API?

Stephen King Can Make You A Better (Technical) Writer

Scott says, “If you want to improve as a writer, you not only need to write. You need to read. Writing and reading are two sides of the same coin. You need to do both to achieve your potential.” I head downtown most weekends and buy 2 or 3 books, mostly business, history and some fiction. Every so often I run out of options (we’re in Beijing) and get something I usually wouldn’t buy, for example, Iain M Banks. Reading outside my comfort zone stretches me. I encounter writing styles, opinions, and information that I usually side-step.

A Day in the Life of a Home-Based Technical Writer

Thinking of starting a career as a Technical Writer? I’ve worked in Technical Writing for over fifteen years, mostly as a freelancer. Here’s an outline of a typical day when working from home. FYI – I wrote this last thing at night, so the grammar may not be perfect. But, it will give you an […]

How Technical Writers Can Move Further Up The Food Chain

Do you feel loved? Many technical writers feel unloved. They feel they don’t get the respect they deserve. I hear this on LinkedIn and Facebook: “people don’t respect the work I do.” Well, if that’s the case, here are a few ways to get more respect and move into a more rewarding career.

Who Makes More Money – Technical Writers with Language or Technical Skills?

Which of these would you hire to join your Technical Writing Dept? Someone with great writing skills but little technical knowledge or, for example, a Computer Science graduate with deep technical knowledge but average writing skills? We’ve been talking about this on LinkedIn and here are some thoughts.

5 UK Technical Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

From Shakespeare, Graham Greene, JK Rowling to Colum McAndrew, Ellis Pratt, David Farbey. All have all one thing in common – great writing! As my career started in the Baker Street, London in the 90s, I’ve always carried fond memories of my time in England. Here are some UK based technical writers you might want to add to your Twitter list. By the way, do you notice any difference between UK and US tech writer blogs?

How to Interview Technical Writers Even If You're Not a Technical Writer

Yes, I’m that terrible person who interviews technical writers and asks those awkward questions. Here are some of the things I’m looking for when I interview people. First, companies expect that graduates will have the same (more or less) writing skills – that’s a given. So, what they’re looking for are other qualities.

Why did you choose to be a Technical Writer?

Why did you become a technical writer? Some move into technical writing by accident (me!) while for others it was part of their career path.  I spoke to some technical writers about this recently. Here’s what I learned.

5 Reasons Why Women Are Better Technical Writers Than Men?

Technical Writing attracts women. They’re very good at it and make great team leads. Maybe I’ve been very lucky but I believe women are far better as technical writers than men. Here are five areas where I think they have the edge of the guys. 1. Communication When in entered technical writing, I assumed my […]

Do Technical Writing projects need a Documentation Plan?

Gordon McLean asks: do you plan to review your plan? This is in relation to the Documentation Plan (aka Information Development Plan) that most technical writers prepare in advance of starting a major project. Granted, on smaller projects you can get away with this if you know the product, have the resources and the deliverables […]

Is it possible to get into technical writing without a degree?

I got this email during the week. The question was: is it worth the time and money to take a technical writing course? “I’ve been reading articles about Technical Writing and I’m thinking about a change in career. I’ve worked as a non-degreed Quality Engineer in the manufacturing industries. Writing quality documentations and SOPs was […]