Not sure if this site is for you? Let me break it down for you.
Who am I and why should you read my stuff?
Hi! I’m Bart Leahy.
I’m a freelance technical writer whose specialty is absorbing a lot of data and articulating the most important points, usually in a proposal format. Most often I help large technical organizations communicate their message clearly across multiple products, from marketing to blogs to correspondence.
My customers have included The Walt Disney Company, NASA, the Department of Defense, Nissan, small aerospace businesses, nonprofits, and the Science Cheerleaders. I’ve got a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Master’s Degree in Technical Writing.
My diverse background enables me to write for multiple audiences about a wide range of subject matters. It’s been a weird way to make a living, but it means I have a lot of useful experience to share.
Who’s the audience for this site?
If you are an individual pursuing (or aspiring to) a career in technical communication in the United States, congratulations, you are the target audience for Heroic Technical Writing. (That said, I have quite a few followers outside the States as well.) My goal is to share some professional insights you might not necessarily learn in an academic classroom. This is not a reflection on your professors, just a fact of life.
My secondary audience members are current technical communication professionals. Your opinions on how work should be done might differ, and I’m cool with that. My advice/insights are born out of my diverse career.
What kind of stuff do I write?
This page lists some of my most popular or useful blog entries. Other useful content might come up, but the linked page covers the basics of this site:
- Thinking about technical writing (organizing information)
- Tactical questions (specific activities/skills)
- Job hunting/how to get a tech writing job at NASA (now its own tab)
- All the things they don’t teach you in college (business travel tips, office politics, etc.)
Some of this is serious, some of it is written in an effort to be amusing.
Things you will not find on this site
Like I said, my day jobs have included work for NASA, Nissan, Zero Point Frontiers, and the Science Cheerleaders. I will not be sharing a lot of “inside baseball” talk about my actual subject matters, such as aerospace or cheerleader operations. I will talk about how I do my work, not the work itself, if that makes any sense.
Bottom line: if you’re looking for “the inside scoop” about the latest rocket launch or what cheerleaders do in their free time, you most likely won’t find that information here. If you are interested in such things, however, you are welcome to view my work at SpaceflightInsider.com or ScienceCheerleader.com.
Am I trying to sell you something with this site?
Maybe. If you want to hire me as a guest speaker for a university classroom, that’s free. If you have the crazy urge to hire me for a professional audience, that will cost you. If you are interested in hiring me to do actual aerospace technical writing, please refer to the Spaceflight Insider link above, this page for samples of my space-related writing, or my Publications page for links to my other writing. I might turn this page into a book eventually. Maybe.
What’s with the “Heroic” thing, anyway?
My primary bill-paying skill set is proposal writing. In that role, I want to write prose that helps good ideas win the day and help make the world a better place. I also believe technical writers can and should see themselves as heroic individuals who can make a difference in the world. See also this entry on the subject.
How to reach or follow me
If you have questions about technical writing, career advice, classroom guest visits (free if it’s online), or speaking requests (paid if it requires travel or speaks to a professional audience), you can email me at bart[at]heroictechwriting.com.
Fair warning on advice requests: unless your specific request is confidential, if you have a specific topical or career-related question, odds are >90% that I’ll turn whatever I write to you into a blog post just in case someone else has the same question.
You can find all the other different ways to follow me electronically on my personal page.