Solo writer--how do you keep up, etc?

Subject: Solo writer--how do you keep up, etc?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 11:02:51 -0400

Sean Brierley wonders: <<Those of you in smaller shops, or lone writers, how
do you keep current with the tech writing industry?>>

I read omnivorously and voraciously. In addition to keeping an eye on the
discussions here on techwr-l, I also read the STC publication I receive (the
journal--which has a great "interesting new articles" section--and the
magazine, plus several newsletters) cover to cover.

If you're not an STC fan, lots of good stuff gets published elsewhere; I
receive a table of contents listing for IEEE's communications magazine
("Transactions..."), subscribe to the Journal of Technical Writing and
Communication, and try to get a look at ACM SIGDOC materials whenever
possible. Because we have a good library at work, I can order articles from
any of these sources to keep current.

<<How do you advance your skills and also your career, especially in this
time of reduced (or absent) training budgets?>>

Internet resources (techwr-l for instance) are great, as they cost next to
nothing. I attend as many STC meetings (local and international) as
possible, and am currently working with other local professional societies
(IABC, IEEE, ISPI, AMWA, PWAC, EAC, etc.) to arrange occasional speaker
swaps with our local STC chapter to broaden our horizons. The local meetings
are usually free or very inexpensive (typically C$5 to attend if you're a
nonmember), and well worth the cost and time, particularly if (like me) you
enjoy chatting with others about their work.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
President, STC Montreal
Manager and Newsletter Editor, Scientific Communication SIG
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada


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