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Armchair BEA: The World Beyond the Blog

07 Jun

So, today’s Armchair BEA topic is moving beyond the blog (and the books)  and so I wanted to focus on a relatively new development in my life, my employment as a tech writer.

If you’ve followed my blog and/or my Twitter account then it’s really no secret that I’m a bit of a tech nerd. I was practically raised on Apple products and I spent five years working for them in a retail store managing inventory and creating training materials for our new employees. While doing that I was also getting my bachelor’s degree in English and then a master’s degree in Library Media and technology (seemed a good meld of books and tech).

As a result I’m a rare breed, someone who is a proficient writer, but also has a deep understanding of the tech world in all it’s intricacies. In talking to some friends of mine about how frustrated I was with working retail and its terrible hours someone suggested that I look into tech writing. I seriously think I owe whoever told me that a  cupcake as it was some of the best advice I’ve been given.

I now work for an awesome email company here in Atlanta as a technical writer. My day-to-day job entails writing articles for our customer facing knowledge base, creating training documentation for new and existing employees, creating copy for internal communications, sending out internal newsletters and a lot more. I work closely with the developers to make sure that the information is technically sound and works in a logical way, yet is also clear and easy enough for a very basic user to comprehend.

As a tech writer not only do I need to beware of the style and grammar in my writing, but I also need to have a  working knowledge with basic HTML to format the posts for the web. Thankfully I was already prepared for this by having a pretty good graph on HTML, but I’ve definitely worked to improve it since taking on this role.

Being a tech writer is a fantastic job and I’m so lucky that I get to go to work every day to do a job that I love.

If you’re interested in Tech Writing there are a ton of great resources out there! Here are a few I’ve found to be useful/helpful.

Websites:
Society for Technical Communication
Technical writing @ Wikiversity
Purdue Online Writing Lab

Books:
Handbook of Technical Writing, Tenth Edition by Gerald J. Alred
The Elements of Technical Writing by Gary Blake
Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Content by Alan S. Pringle

And if you ever have need of a tech writer, I’m available for freelance jobs! 😉

I’m excited to see what everyone else does outside of the blogging world! I’d assumed most bloggers were also writers or involved in the literary world in some fashion, but I’ve come to learn this is not the case. We’re a very unique and diverse bunch and I think that makes us special. 🙂

Be sure to check out the official Armchair BEA website to read today’s goes post from Florinda at The 3 R’s Blog on freelance writing!

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15 responses to “Armchair BEA: The World Beyond the Blog

  1. Kailana

    8 June, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I have always been pretty atrocious with tech stuff. I wish I was better!

     
  2. Michelle Birbeck

    8 June, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’m a microsoft girl myself, having known only them since school, but I have been tempted in the past by an Apple! Have fun with the technical writing!
    Chelle

     
  3. Amanda

    7 June, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I wish I was good with tech stuff, and I love the blog!!

     
  4. Julie@my5monkeys

    7 June, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Very cool job indeed and nice to meet you.

     
  5. Suey (@SueySays)

    7 June, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Very cool indeed!

     
  6. karinlibrarian

    7 June, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    WOW! Technical writing. I’m sure that helps make you a well-rounded writer.

     
    • Breaking the Binding

      7 June, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Here’s hoping it does just that! Right now it’s hard to move mentally from “work writing” to “creative writing”. So my personal stuff has kinda stalled out.

       
  7. Heather

    7 June, 2012 at 11:01 am

    My relationship to the tech world is on-again/off-again. I am a contributor on a tech blog, but I haven’t written anything in a few months. I’m in one of those off-again phases right now. Haha!

     
    • Breaking the Binding

      7 June, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Oh what tech blog do you usually contribute to? I’d love to read some techy stuff that you’ve written!

       
      • Heather

        8 June, 2012 at 9:52 am

        It’s a site called TechFanatiX. I’ve written two or three things for them so far, and I mostly write opinion-type stuff. As soon as I’m writing for them more regularly again, I’ll be sure to send you the links on Twitter. Thanks!

         
  8. Lauren@The Housework Can Wait

    7 June, 2012 at 10:55 am

    How cool that you’re a technical writer and love your job! I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty ignorant on the tech front (although my husband more than makes up for my technical shortcomings). I sometimes read sci-fi or futuristic books and think to myself, “would that really work?” and then I have to describe it to my husband and he explains to me how something like that would (or wouldn’t) work. But it sometimes gets hard to discuss when he hasn’t read the book and I do a poor job in my description 🙂 You probably don’t have that problem!

     
    • Breaking the Binding

      7 June, 2012 at 11:42 am

      See, it’s good that you have a built in resource then! It is always kinda fun to read about the techy stuff in sci-fi books and figure out if it would even be possible to happen. Some of it I’m still trying to figure out how it would actually work, lately a lot of it seems to be a meld of biology and technology and that has me completely stumped.

       
  9. Kristilyn

    7 June, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Very cool that you’re that into tech stuff! The power went out at my place yesterday and my husband had to reprogram the channels back into the TV … I had no idea how to do it!

    I do agree with you … the book blogging community is indeed a diverse bunch!

     
  10. Victoria

    7 June, 2012 at 4:04 am

    I’m SO happy you’re posting again. It’s my lunchtime routine to go through my bookie blogs and yours is one of my favorites!

     
    • Breaking the Binding

      7 June, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Awww, I’m so glad you still keep up with it! I haven’t seen you on Twitter lately and kept meaning to check in on FB to see how you were 🙂 Hope things are going well for you!

       

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