RE: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing

Subject: RE: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing
From: "Mike Bradley" <mbradley -at- techpubs -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 11:40:58 -0700

> Search the archives for a posting by Andrew Plato about what
> it takes to set up an independent/contractor tech writing
> business. He had lots of good advice and covered a lot of the
> nastier details that might be omitted in a generic go-for-it
> type of response.

> * Most work-at-home types are writers of many years
> experience who have built up a clientele in the process of
> gaining that experience. IME, most work-at-home writers were
> also full-time employees before making the move to
> independence; some use a layoff as a opp to go independent.
> * A lot of work-at-home writers are actually full-time
> employees that tele-commute. I work at home 2-3 days a week.
> I actually look forward to coming in to the office so I can
> get face time with the engineers. Of course, I am able to
> work at home because the company has an enlightened approach
> to it (some guys actually moved to Europe and telecommute from
> there!) AND I am good at what and have a deep understanding
> of the product and the underlying technology.
> In many cases, you seem to be asking to be the exception to
> the rule. That doesn't mean it isn't doable but you need to
> be aware of the sort of challenges you are facing.

Wow, Andrew. I see that you're in Silicon Valley. I've worked in Silicon
Valley and the SF Bay Area for 20 years, mostly as a contractor, and my
experience has been quite different from yours.

As a contractor, the main determinant of where I work is the product: if
I can bring it home I usually work at home, going to the client's only
for meetings and face-time. If I can't bring it home, I'm stuck with
having to commute. Granted, working conditions have changed for the
worse in the past decade or so. Clients were willing to give contract
tech writers more independence. The clamp-down results from tax problems
as much as anything else. But that's another story.

= Mike Bradley
Tech Pubs

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RE: Joing STC and breaking into Technical Writing: From: Andrew Dugas

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