Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Are you good at following directions? How about writing out directions?

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I’m pretty good at following directions, I think. My wife could probably judge that better than I, but I really don’t believe I fit that old stereotype of men who are unwilling to ask for or follow directions. In fact, when we’re traveling I generally love to have a map or road atlas along and check it frequently.

But when it comes to writing out directions or step-by-step instructions for anything, I’m a bit more challenged. How about you?

I ask because I know some of you make part of your livelihood as technical writers. I’ve not been trained for technical writing and wouldn’t want to try it as a profession — although I’m open to trying freelance technical writing should it cross my path.

I would assume the ability to think in clear, logical sequence and write out step-by-step directions for a process is crucial to success as a technical writer. As I understand it, most technical writers make the bulk of their living doing just that — simplifying some process and making it “doable” for non-technical people.

Any of you technical writers out there care to leave some comments and explain this to us? I appreciate your comments. We can all learn together.

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