Calling in Sick: Just Do It

You’ve had those days: you’re so sick you can barely stand up without the urge to lose your lunch. You might be low on leave time or due for an important meeting. Call in sick anyway. Don’t share your illness with others. Don’t make things worse in an effort to look “heroic.” That’s where I’m at today. Fortunately, I work from home. I’ll post something coherent when I’m better. Meanwhile, take care of yourselves.

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Catching Up on Email

If there is one thing that can ratchet up your stress levels after returning from vacation, it’s opening your email to see what you missed. Several methods exist to help you sort through the pile. I’ll share them in their order of effectiveness, from most to least. Continue reading

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Getting Back to Work After Vacation

Ten years ago, I decided to take an extended trip to Europe to celebrate my 40th birthday (go ahead, do the math, I won’t be offended). After a truly amazing vacation, I came back to the office to find my perspective changed, along with my attitude toward work. Well, after a bit of time abroad to celebrate the latest round number, I’ll be coming home tomorrow. What will my mind be like after this downtime? Continue reading

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Document Trimming: Cramming Ten Pounds of Stuff into a Five-Pound Bag

Tech writers and editors are often asked to trim content from a document so that it meets a specific page count requirement. Depending on the amount of content you’re facing and the compression requirements, I’ve heard this task called, “Cramming ten pounds of [excrement] into a five-pound bag.” The trick is to do so without sacrificing anything important. Continue reading

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Technical Writer?

This question has come up a couple times recently, in person and online, so I thought I’d take the time to address it. I’ve talked on this page about technical skills needed for the job, as well as soft skills and business skills, but what about the skill required for the actual writing? That will be the subject of today’s post. Continue reading

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