I’ve been working on making this blog more useful to my intended audience—new or current technical communicators. I realize there are tags for various topics, but maybe a summary entry like this will help you find the “best of” my thoughts on a particular subject. Fair warning: this list does not cover every entry I’ve ever posted, so dig around as you see fit.
Thinking About Tech Writing
These essays are my attempts to explain the mental processes behind how I organize and write content.
- The Attitude of the Technical Writer
- Everything I Needed to Know About Tech Writing I Learned from Reading Science Fiction
- How Do You Approach a New Topic?
- How I Learned Rocket Science (The Real Story)
- How to Know What to Know
- Playing at Work
- The Two Most Important Questions
- Thinking Like an Engineer, Working Like a Writer
- The Spirit of the Student
- Strategic Planning for the Freelance Technical Writer
- Strategic Technical Writing
- Why HEROIC Technical Writing?
These are on the practical side of things—how-to guides for specific work tasks.
- Business Writing for a Political Audience
- Editing for Scientists and Engineers
- Finding the Information You Need: The Magic of Keywords
- Giving and Receiving Feedback on Your Writing
- Marketing Language in Proposal Writing
- Presentation Writing Tips
- Reader Question: Document Design
- Thinking About Research
- Web Marketing
- Website Usability
- When Have You Researched “Enough?”
- Writing in the Corporate Voice
Job Hunting/How to Get a Tech Writing Job at NASA
This has become a recurring theme, so I might as well put all my thoughts in one place. Some folks have emailed me wanting advice on getting any tech writing job while others have asked for advice on getting a job at NASA, which is a slightly different question. I’ve also included here a couple entries on potential future career outlets for technical communicators.
- Alternate Lines of Work
- Five Tips to Make Networking Work For You
- How an English Major Got a Job at NASA
- Online Mentoring (how to get a tech writing job in general)
- Job Hunting: 8 Things You Can Do to Help Your Inside Game
- Science or Engineering?
- Setting Up Your Portfolio
- Setting Up Your Resume
- The Technical Writer as Advocate
- Three Reasons the Future Needs Technical Communicators
All the Things They Don’t Teach You in College
This is the advice I wish I’d gotten when I was in college.
- Budgeting for the Freelance Writer
- Business Development from the Home Office
- Business Travel Tips for the Technical Writer
- The Consulting Life
- Desktop Folder Follies
- Dressing for Success—Male Tech Writer Edition
- Email, Call, Telecon, or F2F?
- Estimating Labor Hours
- Health Insurance for the Freelance Writer
- Health Tips for the Technical Writer
- “It’s Not What You Say…”
- Large, Medium, or Small: What’s Your Best Working Environment?
- The Logistics of the Home Office
- The Mechanics of the Home Office
- Playing Nicely With Subject Matter Experts
- Professional Development
- Proposal Survival Tips Revisited
- Speaking Unpleasant Truths Aloud
- Staying Organized
- Vertical, Horizontal, and Matrixed Organizations (And Why You Should Care)
- What’s Your Preferred Work Load?
- What You Need to Know to Do Your Job: Tech Skills
- What You Should Know as a Technical Communicator: Soft Skills
- Why Do You Need a Marketing Plan?
- Working in the Little Room
These are fun, but they don’t quite fit any of the other categories.
- Basic Ethics for the Technical Communicator
- Book Review: How the World Sees You
- “Bring Me a Rock” – My most popular entry, I kid you not
- Classroom Interview – University of Houston
- The Cool Kids of the Future
- Freelancing Advice Podcast
- Project MERCCURI Flies
- Self-Portrait of an “Anchor”
- Setting the Conditions for Workplace Happiness
- Silly Season Politics