Oh My Gosh, I Missed a Deadline!

I just realized this very moment that I didn’t have a blog posted for today. I apologize. I trust you folks will forgive my lapse–and I’ll definitely have something written up for Thursday.

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The Tyranny of the Urgent

I touched on this subject a little over three years ago, and it still remains relevant. Planning and strategizing are as important for the freelancer as they are for any business, but are often neglected while we deal with the tyranny of the urgent everyday tasks that must be done NOW. However, we owe it to ourselves to be proactive and to think about the future and the big picture before we’re caught off-guard, and the important becomes the urgent. Continue reading

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Reader Response: How Do You Handle Questions You Can’t Answer?

Ask and ye shall receive. I got some great questions from readers this past week. Today’s question is from Matt, who’s a regular reader (thank you!). The short version of his question was, how do you handle questions you can’t answer? My short-version answer would be: don’t apologize for not being an engineer or not knowing everything and don’t make stuff up. I have more thoughts below.

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Reader Response: Is There Work You Would Not Do?

I’m always open to new topics for Heroic Technical Writing, and I’d like to thank my friend Sarah Across the Pond for today’s question, the short version of which is, is there work you would not do? The short answer is: not if I can help it. Continue reading

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Do You Need a Diplomacy Filter?

Sometime in my twenties, I started realizing that people could get hurt or offended by my choice of words in a business document. I wasn’t insulting people (deliberately) or using vulgar language. I was, however, not always aware of some of the sensitivities people can have toward how I phrased things. From that point on, if I found myself in a situation where I thought I might get into trouble, I made certain to have my writing reviewed by my “diplomacy filter.” Do you have one? Continue reading

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Writing for Government Agencies in a Partisan Political Environment

When political passions get heated in a free society, individuals writing for government agencies can find the mere act of posting information challenging. While I’ll provide examples below, the short version of my advice is: “Write what the party/person in charge says, but don’t alienate the opposition. You need to write for everyone.” Continue reading

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Taking Advantage of Your Opportunities

Every job is an opportunity. I must have heard this or something like this from my immigrant grandmother and her daughter thousands of times while growing up. The thing is, they were right, and I’ve seen that that applies as much to the world of work as it did to household chores. Continue reading

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