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. 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 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?
The primary audience for this site remains individuals considering a career in technical communication in the United States. My goal is to share some of the professional insights that you might not necessarily learn in class. This is not a reflection on your professors, just a fact of life. They’re there to teach you the mechanics of the skill, not all the stuff that happens around the person performing the skill.
My secondary audience members are current technical communication professionals. Your opinions on how work is done might differ, and I’m cool with that. Advice shared here is coming from my multi-tasking perspective.
What kind of stuff do I write?
Here’s a good starting point: this page lists my most popular or useful blog entries as of March 2015. Other stuff might come up, but these cover 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
- 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” on the latest rocket launch or what cheerleaders do in their free time, you most likely won’t find that information here.
Am I trying to sell you something with this site?
Not exactly. This site is written as a public service and out of an inherited habit of sharing unsolicited advice. 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, well, that’ll cost you. If you are interested in actually hiring me to do aerospace technical writing, please refer to this page for samples of my space-related writing or my Publications page for links to my other writing. I might turn this pile of advice into a book someday. Maybe.
What’s with the “Heroic” thing, anyway?
My primary (though by no means only) skill set is proposal writing. I want to write prose that helps good ideas succeed in making the world a better place. 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: if you have specific topical or career-related questions, 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.