Back to Basics, Continued

I’m continuing with my effort to sort and organize the book visually on my office wall. This has been an interesting exercise, as it has allowed me to trim the foolishness, improve chapter titles, and better balance the content across more sections. I hope you find this educational. I have.

When we last left our hero…

When I first laid out the contents, they looked a little lopsided: too many pieces in part IV,  not nearly as many in I-III. I had a single-piece chapter 4.


What the outline looks like now

Among the changes I made were to break up the sections. I also removed content that is not on-point with the rest of the book and found some individual pieces that overlapped or repeated points; those blogs will be combined. I identified content that I have not written before but that would make useful additions to the book.

I still have the following sections:

I Product (learning technical content)
II Process (doing the individual technical writing tasks)
III People & Politics (interacting with people and the social structures they create in the workplace)
IV Professionalism (attitudes and behaviors that create and maintain your reputation)

I decided to break up the “Professionalism” section. However, I’ve stuck with the alliteration, so the sections now continue with:

V Pursuing Work
VI Protecting Yourself

Section V, obviously, is about the job/career hunt. Section VI is about self-care, both personal (health tips, stress management) and professional (developing your brand, seeking future career paths, planning for retirement).

I’m happy with the state of the outline. Per my friend Melinda, I can now start working on the document itself, working section by section rather than trying to face down the daunting task of 200+ pages at once, which led me to this outlining exercise in the first place. I believe I’m in a good place to take on the work systematically now. As with many things I’ve explained in this blog, it’s good to have a system in the first place.

About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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