Re: Part-time tech writing

Subject: Re: Part-time tech writing
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 09:46:43 -0700

Irv Cantor wrote:
> I have never done full-time technical writing. I've been involved in technical support and technical project management for many years and have written all types of software-related documents. I am
> interested in knowing if it's possible to do tech writing part time as a supplement to my income and to prepare for tech writing as a
> retirement activity about fifteen years from now.
> Are there assignments that can be done part-time (evenings and
> weekends) while holding a full time job? What kinds of assignments do those tend to be?

If you live in an area with a moderate concentration of high-tech
business, you shouldn't have much trouble finding some part-time
work. Of course, not all tech-writing is in high-tech, but it does
account for about half the business, so the lack of it will affect
your chances. Also, in my experience, most part-time work comes from
new companies or small ones, so high-tech startups are likely to be
a major source of income for you.

That means that you will often be setting up documentation
procedures and templates. So, some project management experience and
some design experience would help make you employable.

I doubt that you'll get high end pay, but it should be acceptable.
However, the type of employer you'll be working for is also the type
most likely to renege on payment, so you should take a few
precautions to guard yourself.

The projects themselves are likely to be all over the map. If you
like change or quirkiness, you can enjoy yourself quite a bit on
this type of work.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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