Why Being Different is Better than Better

Heroic Technical Writing: Advice and Insights on the Business of Technical Communication

Sorry, I’m a Generation Xer, so the death of the musician/composer/singer/director/actor Prince cannot pass unnoticed. If this seems like an odd topic to bring into a technical writing blog, bear with me, I’ll get there.

There are individuals out there in the workforce who are good or excellent at a few things: awesome editors, wittycopy writers, creative storytellers, wise and understanding managers of people, etc., but that doesn’t mean they’re good at allof those.Others might be in the same line of business, but these prodigies are justbetter, through sheer talent and a ton of effort and are able to show a career of high-quality, impressive work.I envy those people. When I was younger and more arrogant, I related more to Mozart than Salieri; as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m closer to F. Murray Abraham’s cranky “mediocrity.” It’s not that Salieri was a bad composer, he was…

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7 Tips for Better Documentation

Write Spot

Basic writing skills are not something that should be taken for granted. Time and time again, I read poorly written manuals, instructions, and articles. Whether you write for a living or it is simply an annoying add-on to your real job, it is your responsibility to effectively communicate through the written word. If you do not understand basic writing best practices, you will fail.

Here’s an infographic with 7 tips for better documentation:


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Doing Your Best

So true!

Heroic Technical Writing: Advice and Insights on the Business of Technical Communication

“What do you mean, you don’t like proposals? You’re so good at them!”
–Former manager to me, ten years ago

My work tastes have changed over the years–I actually like proposal writing now–but my manager’s question at the time provided me some insight into how I work: even if I don’t like what I’m doing, I try to do a good job. This is a fundamental success behavior wherever you work. You might not enjoy proofreading, meeting minutes, proposal writing, or some other task. You’re not required to do that (sorry, managers, it’s true). Still, it behooves you well to do that thankless task well. The ability to take something mundane and kick it up a notch will be noticed. As a side benefit, you can find yourself being asked to do other, cooler things unrelated to said thankless tasks simply because you did well on them.

If you’re starting a…

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