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Technical Writing: What is it?
Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else.
Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer.
While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else.
Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do.
Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn?t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend.
If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be.
To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don?t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.
Writers Block: What Causes it and How to Overcome it (writers block) If you are a writer then you know what I am talking about. You have everything ready, a drink, a snack, the topic, and even reference material. You sit down ready to start typing or writing, which ever you prefer, and it happens. You are stuck, your mind is blank and you have no idea how to fill that blank canvas in front of you. It is a writer?s worse nightmare come true. You have writers block. First you need to figure out what is causing it. There are a multitude of things that can be causing it. Stress is one of the biggest factors that cause writers block. Whether it is stress caused by personal matters, deadline dates, or fearing your article won?t be good enough it can block the words from flowing as easily as the should. Sleep deprivation doesn?t let your mind function to its full potential. Getting a good night?s sleep is imperative to having a clear mind and being able to focus. The project itself could be causing the writers block. A topic you are not interested in can easily turn your normally resourceful mind into jelly. The research on that topic turns into a grueling task. Then trying to put the words on paper that make sense and will peak someone?s interest seem impossible. If a topic has personal meaning to you it can be hard to write objectively about it. A simple informative topic can easily become a personal rant session. Writing because you have to, not because you want to makes it hard to concentrate and focus. Now that the basic causes have been covered, you need to know how to fix it. Writers block is not permanent. Identifying the reason is the hard part. Relax. The world is not going to end if the article isn?t as perfect as you feel it should be. Just because you don?t think it is perfect doesn?t mean someone else won?t. Go and read some of your previous writings. Even if what you read has nothing to do with your current topic, it can be inspirational to you. Don?t burn yourself out on a topic. Try to split up the writing process. Research and brainstorm one day and write the next. This will give you time to think about your topic and figure out the angle you want to write. Talk your way through it. Call a friend or colleague and chat. Tell them the topic you are working on and get their opinions or ideas. They may be able to offer fresh insight and ideas. Work on multiple projects at one time if you can. Bouncing back and forth between a few topics can keep your mind hopping and will keep boredom at bay. Take a break from you current project and write about something that motivates you. Chances are once you get those creative juices flowing they will continue into your next project. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. If your schedule says 500 words by noon, write your 500 words and stop. Even if you don?t have a project going, by writing daily you will stick to your schedule and keeps your imagination going. If you write from home, which most of freelance writers do, make a quiet time and treat it like a real job. If you have young children at home, write while they nap. Let your answering machine be your secretary. If it is important they will leave a message. Most importantly remember why you started writing in the first place. Even the best of the best have gotten writers block at one time or another.
Steps on Reinventing yourself to Land a Better Job Having a decent job can greatly improve the quality of your life. You probably spend a fair amount of time at work. With that in mind, you do not want to be miserable when you are at work. If you want a better job, make yourself more attractive to employers. This task may be easier than you think. Start making some simple changes and watch the job offers begin to appear. The number one way to reinvent yourself in order to land a better job is to reform your attitude. Even if you are working at a nightmare of a job at the moment, you need to fight to stay positive. That negativity can be seen a mile away. You may not realize it but your face expression, posture and quality of work give off your frustration. This attitude is the first thing that has to go. Simple ways to change the way you feel about your current job include being on time and in uniform or proper dress code. These are two easy steps that will give you more pride about yourself. If you are out of dress code and late, you are not just making statement about the job. You are making a statement about yourself. Change these aspects of your working environment and you will be on your way to increasing positive energy. Take some classes. Whether you have a degree or not, brushing up on skills is always a good idea. No matter what your schedule is like, you can find time for a class or two. Use the Internet and take online classes if time is a major issue. Work at your own pace and pick up new skills. A degree or a couple of classes will make you more attractive to employers. Move away. If you are tired of dust collecting on your Communications degree while you wait tables, move to a place where your degree is more marketable. Find an area where the job market is fertile. When the economy goes south, certain job types are completely eliminated. If you are eager to find a better job you may have to go somewhere else to do it. Apply for higher positions in the company that you currently work for at the moment. Even if you are not really that thrilled about the current company you work for, while you are there you should make the best of it. Get as much experience as you can so that you will have a nice extensive work history to refer to when you are looking for a new job. If you want a better job, do some networking. Take advantage of the people that you know that have better jobs. Surround yourself with people that are working at jobs that they enjoy or are successful at. This is a great way to pave the way for yourself to get a better job. Figure out what type of job you want before you start looking. Narrow down the search and target the positions that fall in line with the jobs that you are most interested in. If you a constantly saying that you want a better job but don?t have any idea what the better job is, you are not going to be very successful in you search. Have a job in mind before you start your search. Join networking sites. These sites can be used for networking for jobs among other things. Be sure that you take the professional route when you put up your page. Let employers know that you are serious about finding a job. Do not post pictures of yourself at parties or in questionable positions.