Posts tagged: technical writing

Any technical writers out there? Tell us about your job

I’ve always been amazed at the wide variety of jobs and specializations that are available for writers and editors. As a freelancer myself, I’ve taken on a number of writing jobs. One of the most challenging types of writing I’ve ever heard about is that of technical writers.

Any of you out there technical writers? Leave a comment and tell us about your job, please. I think it must be interesting. (And since this is MY blog, if it interests me, I’m happy to hear about it.)

I’ve tried a variety of copywriting and I’ve done a lot of newspaper copyediting, but I’ve never tried my hand at technical writing. Copywriters, of course, handle the “features-and-benefits-and-motivate-to-buy” aspects of marketing. Whether they’re telling us about the excitement and challenges of the latest XBox or Wii games, or urging us to spend our money on a particular ceiling fan, copywriters do stuff I “get.”

Technical writing and technical writers, I’m not so sure I completely “get.” As I understand it, technical writers are responsible for things like “how-tos” and user manuals, right? I actually applied for a position at a local nuts-and-bolts company (they really did make nuts, bolts, and electronic switches and connectors of various types) as a technical writer. I knew someone who had done the job at that company and I was acquainted with one of their engineers. I figured I could fake my way at the job until I’d learned what it would take to do it right.

Fortunately for me and for the company, they eliminated me at the first interview stage. That was probably a wise decision on their part.

So, what about those of you who are technical writers? Leave a comment and tell us what you do, what you don’t do, and what you do or don’t like about technical writing.

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