Reader Response: Liberal Arts as a Path to Information Development

I was clearing out my Heroic Technical Writing email this past Monday when I found a 2017 message from Nevin in Ireland (absurdly late–my apologies!). He shared with me two articles he’d written for Johnson Controls (here and here) about how varied backgrounds often prove idea for careers in information development. I thought I’d share some thoughts…again, just a tad overdue. Thanks for sharing, Nevin! Continue reading

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Staying Motivated On the Road

I was on travel for a week and a half recently, first in Huntsville, then in another city supporting a space customer. On both trips I brought work with me, though as it turned out, I only ended up doing work on the dedicated space trip. These things happen. Coming back home, however, I was meditating on what keeps me motivated when I’m away from my comfortable and familiar home office. Below are some thoughts for your consideration. Continue reading

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Proposal Writing for Engineers

Following my presentation last week, an engineer friend pointed out that the biggest adjustment he faced with technical writing was learning to write proposals. For reasons that elude me, unless they’re required to take a technical writing class, college/university engineering students often do not get any education in the art of proposal writing. Science majors learn grant writing early on, perhaps because scientific studies are heavily grant driven, and so grant proposals are built into the curriculum. Engineering is often detached from “mere marketing.” That doesn’t mean engineers are immune from that sort of work. Today I’ll share some thoughts to help engineers unfamiliar with the mysteries of writing proposals. Continue reading

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Communicating About Space: Pitfalls & Priorities

Flyer GraphicAs promised, I’m sharing the presentation I gave to the joint HAL5/STC meeting in Huntsville, Alabama on Thursday, May 9. I had an audience of around 25 people, which wasn’t too shabby. I appreciated the opportunity to talk people from both groups.

A video of the talk can be found on a friend’s site, though he did add some commentary to the front end. My talk starts at around 9:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJkwgh_5Zag 

The PDF of the presentation can be found here: HAL5-STC Space Communications Continue reading

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Talking About Space

Today I’ll be giving a talk in Huntsville, Alabama titled “Communicating About Space: Pitfalls and Priorities.” This will be an interesting experiment for me and my audience, as this will be a joint meeting of HAL5, the local chapter of the National Space Society (NSS) and the local chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Oddly enough, I made the short list for crossover presenters. I won’t be giving spoilers here, but I will provide a brief preview about why I chose this particular topic. Continue reading

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