Re: Where did you get your feet wet?

Subject: Re: Where did you get your feet wet?
From: Sandra Carden <src -at- cardenworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 06:36:53 -0400

My first post here. This seems as good a way as another to introduce myself.

Lori Olcott asked to hear how some of us got started in the field.

I started out with my BS in Clinical Dietetics. After working for a year for the
county health department, I was hired by the (then great) local group-practice
model HMO (health maintenance organization for non-US folks). During my 15
years there, writing and basic editing were a regular part of my job as a
registered dietitian/nutritionist/manager. When I was thinking about leaving, a
colleague approached me to do some medical technology research on the internet
and writing, which I did for a year. I didn't like it, but I learned a lot. I
then worked as a medical writer, attending medical conferences and writing
reports about the sessions (and then the tech folks would get them up on their
web site by the next morning), and then as a medical editor.

About five years ago I was approached by someone I knew whose company had a
desperate need for a technical editor. She assured me that I could do it, and
offered to help me. I worked on a freelance basis for about five years for that
client and others, and then last year formed my own company. So that's how I got
started in technical editing.

I think that I would have had an easier time of it if I had had more of a
foundation in writing and editing -- perhaps coursework. But I didn't know any
better and just plunged in, spending many (many!) hours each week studying the
references and style manuals. My background in health and medicine transferred
to technical editing more easily than I expected it would.

My web site has a page of (mostly editing) resources that might be of interest
to people on this list.

I like hearing people's stories, so I hope that more will share theirs.

Sandra Carden src -at- cardenworks -dot- com
Carden Works, LLC
Clarence, NY 716-630-5971
Technical editing, layout, and design
Visit us at


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Where did you get your feet wet?: From: Lori Olcott
Re: Where did you get your feet wet?: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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