Guest Speaking Summary: Starting Your Technical Writing Business

I was asked to be a guest Zoom speaker for the North Alabama chapter meeting of the Society for Technical Communication. My talk was on February 4. I was asked to speak about the process of starting your own business, which I’ve been running without a net since 2014. I won’t share all of my presentation here, but I thought I’d call out some of the highlights and key points. Continue reading

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Why Going With Your Gut Isn’t Always Great

A couple days ago, I was updating the online version of my resume, which included some links to previous articles I’d written. First, my link didn’t work–broken links are always a hazard with a website that’s been up for nine years. Then, when I went directly to the site, it appeared that my byline had been replaced by someone else’s. Being the excitable type, quite a few ugly emotions roiled through my mind. While it turns out I misinterpreted the situation, in the end I was glad I didn’t respond with my first flash of anger. Continue reading

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Presentation Prep

I’ll be guest speaking at the Northern Alabama STC Chapter Meeting this Thursday (members only–sorry!). I’ll post my remarks next week. Right now I’m in the process of rehearsing my talk. I thought I’d share my “process,” such as it is. It doesn’t change much just because I’ve shifted from standing in front of a group to talking on a Zoom meeting. Continue reading

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Keeping It Real

I’ve always had a “keep it real” ethos on this blog, the point being to share what life as a professional technical writer is like–good, bad, and ugly. Today I’m going to venture outside my usual comfort zone and share information I’d normally keep among family and friends because I think it’s important enough to do so. If you’d rather tune out and read about negotiating with clients or improving sentence structure, I won’t be offended. Today I’m going to talk about alcohol and why I quit drinking it a year ago today. Continue reading

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Ethics Revisited

The last time I wrote an extended post on ethics was in 2012. My feelings on the subject haven’t changed too much, though I suppose instead of a “top ten” list of reminders for technical writers I might simplify that list a bit. Bottom line: ethics are integral to what you do; and if you do not have a habit of behaving ethically, you will also find yourself in a long stretch of unemployment. Continue reading

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