Wrapping Up 2020–At Last!

It’s that time again: the last post of the year, where I take stock of what’s been happening on this blog and in my peculiar technical communication career. If you don’t have time for the long version, the short version is that I’m still employed; still dispensing advice on tech writing in the current challenging work environment; and finally managed to get my book–Heroic Technical Writing: Making a Difference in the Workplace and Your Life–published. The rest is just commentary. I hope you’ve done well this year, all things considered, or are looking forward to a better 2021. Continue reading

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“Bring Me a Rock” Revisited

One of the most popular posts on this blog is my “Bring Me a Rock” anecdote. I don’t pretend to understand why this is so, but the internet is a fickle place. It’s been a while since I wrote the original post (2012), so I thought I’d revisit the rock-bringing exercise and suggest some reasons behind why it happens. Continue reading

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Interview: Rebecca Renner, Freelance Journalist

Rebecca Renner is a freelance journalist and fiction writer operating out of Orlando, Florida. Her fiction writing is quite funny and her nonfiction articles are detailed and accessible to non-science audiences. She covers a lot of scientific and environmental issues, which made her a good person to talk with about that part of the writing business. She was also gracious enough to introduce me to the Voice Memo app on my Mac for conducting this interview, so in addition to being a good interviewee, she’s also a helpful human being. Continue reading

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Cash Flow and the Freelance Tech Writer

Today’s blogging adventure covers a practical matter: cash flow.

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Marketing as a Long-Term Consultant

I spent the first year and a half of my freelancing life taking any job I could find. Some of it was work I wanted, some of it wasn’t. I was not particularly adept at marketing myself as a solo practitioner in the open market, mostly because my clients were so diverse that a referral from one wouldn’t necessarily transfer to the next. Once I was picked up as a long-term contractor by a couple of large organizations, the money stress eased. The marketing did not stop just because I had an existing (renewable) contract each year. Continue reading

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