Work-Life Balance

Taking some time off again this weekend, so I’m returning to a familiar question: Does work-life balance really exist? Some people live to work, others work to live. Your perspective on the question is determined by which you prefer. Continue reading

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Reader Response: My Customer Isn’t Organized!

A reader named Larry posted a comment on my personal blog, but the response really belongs here. Let’s see what he has to say.

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Book Proposals

While I’m waiting back to get some more feedback on my query letter, I’m also working on the proposal for my book. This is the more formal document that explains to a publisher what they would get if they bought the rights to purchase my book. Like a government or business proposal, I’m laying out the outline of what my product would be. I’ve covered some of this topic before (specifically, audience analysis and competitive analysis), but there’s always more to learn. Continue reading

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Query Letters

Having narrowed myself down to three best-fit publishers, I now have to start selling my manuscript. The most common tool in the process is the query letter or email. A query letter is just what it sounds like: a question document (“Do you want to look at my book?”). It’s more than that question, though: you’re also providing a marketing document. What I’ll share here is my personal wisdom-drawn-from-experience, some inputs I received from friends, and advice offered up on Writer’s Digest. Continue reading

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Using the Writer’s Market 2018 to Find a Publisher

As I now have a complete book manuscript to sell, it’s time for me to find a place to sell it. The most indispensable tool a professional writer can have, in my opinion, is the Writer’s Market, which is published annually by Writer’s Digest Magazine. Why do you need it? Quite simply, it provides an up-to-date listing of magazine outlets and their editorial points of contact (for articles); publishers (for books, fiction and nonfiction–my immediate need); literary agents; and tips for selling your work in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.  Continue reading

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Dressing for Success–Female Tech Writer Edition

This post is long overdue, and I apologize. I wrote the men’s version of proper work attire three years ago, adding the comment, “I will not even attempt to decipher women’s fashion requirements. Best of luck to you.” However, I’m 99% finished with the first full draft of the book, and I realized that given the number of women who are technical communicators, not including an article on women’s attire was a copout. I figured I’m a professional, I’m a researcher, how hard could this be? As it turns out, it proved to be a little more complex than I expected. All part of the adventure, dear readers. Continue reading

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How “Honest” Do Your Opinions Need to Be?

I’ve known people over the years who regularly conflicted with their coworkers or managers because, in their own words, “They couldn’t handle me expressing my honest opinions.” Often, however, it’s not the honesty of someone’s opinion or even the content that causes the friction. It is, instead, everything that gets attached to the honest opinion. Yes, it’s been awhile, but it’s time to return to that old lecture of “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Continue reading

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