Do You Have to Believe in What You’re Writing?

While some managers won’t want to hear or read this, it is entirely possible to do a job effectively without necessarily believing in the messages you’re required to write. However, there are side effects to operating this way, which is why I usually advise someone seeking a tech writing job to pursue work with companies or industries they admire or respect. Why make yourself or your coworkers miserable? Continue reading

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The Nuts and Bolts of Applying to Write at NASA

This past week I got an email from a college student who wanted to write for NASA. She took the time to read my page full of advice regarding the space-writing life and still wanted to know more. More to the point, she wanted specifics about the mechanics of applying for a job to the U.S. space agency. As is my practice, I responded to my reader by email and will now share with the rest of you what I shared with her. I’m helpful that way. 🙂 Continue reading

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Interview: Kristina Hendrix, Director of Communications

Kristina Hendrix and I worked together at Marshall Space Flight Center from 2006 to 2010. At the time, she was the events coordinator. Since then she’s gotten a Master’s Degree in Journalism with a strategic communication emphasis and has taken on increasingly more responsible positions within the aerospace and defense community in Huntsville, Alabama. She has been on the talking and extroverted side of sharing technical information. It was great to get back in touch with her and to learn about her current role. Continue reading

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Returning from Holidays

I’ve touched on the challenges of returning from a vacation. Today I’ll take a few moments to help you prepare to get your brain back in the game after a holiday. The primary difference, obviously, is that everyone or nearly everyone in your workplace takes the day off on a holiday, which is an advantage because it’s not just you who’s slow to get back up to regular operating speed, but everyone. That won’t last long, however. Continue reading

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Wrapping Up 2020–At Last!

It’s that time again: the last post of the year, where I take stock of what’s been happening on this blog and in my peculiar technical communication career. If you don’t have time for the long version, the short version is that I’m still employed; still dispensing advice on tech writing in the current challenging work environment; and finally managed to get my book–Heroic Technical Writing: Making a Difference in the Workplace and Your Life–published. The rest is just commentary. I hope you’ve done well this year, all things considered, or are looking forward to a better 2021. Continue reading

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