RE: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.

Subject: RE: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.
From: Mac Wheeler <email -at- macwheeler -dot- com>
To: "beelia -at- pacbell -dot- net" <beelia -at- pacbell -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 02:49:51 +0000

Thanks, this is pretty much what I was thinking myself, I still have very strong tech skills (Iâve kept up to date, oddly I have enjoyed doing this even though whilst I was working as a techie for a living I became sick of it). So I donât think the transition would be too tough. I am also much more comfortable as a contractor, Iâve not held a permanent position for decades apart from a short stint as a technical director.

Do you have any recommendations on the writers tools to start becoming familiar with? Whatâs in demand?

I guess I should start putting a CV together and sending it out to judge the reaction.

Thanks.

Mac.

From: beelia [mailto:beelia -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: 22 May 2012 09:32
To: Mac Wheeler
Cc: Milan DavidoviÄ; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.

If I were you, with your programming background, I'd aim for documenting APIs - but you'd probably have to do a few contracts first to get your skills back. Plus you'd need to learn some tech writer tools. Production skills are crucial, especially for the larger companies, and you can't just use Microsoft Word.
I don't know what the UK job market is like, but if you were in Silicon Valley, you'd find quite a few API jobs. Most of Google's job listings for tech writers require some kind of programming skills, but I don't know if you could get one remotely.

HTH.

Bee

On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Mac Wheeler <email -at- macwheeler -dot- com<mailto:email -at- macwheeler -dot- com>> wrote:
That is a very good question.

OK the main difference is in the fact that what I do now seldom exercises my previous skills. Sure, it may be interesting researching the latest killer iPhone app and writing a review, or putting together a press release for the launch of yet another online gambling site, but quite frankly, it becomes less than satisfying after a while.

The reason for this dissatisfaction is twofold. Firstly, I need to attach some value to the 24 years I spent in my original career. With hindsight, simply ditching it and walking away was illogical, what I should have done is find a way to use it to move sideways into something I would enjoy (which is exactly what I am considering now). Unfortunately, at the time, I had no idea I would enjoy a career as a writer, this was something I accidentally slipped in to. I can now see there might be a way to combine the two. The second reason is that I am working in a very broad niche, which has its benefits but is highly competitive, but overall I feel as if I could make more money (and let's face it we all work for money) if I leveraged the value of my previous work experience.

I am also beginning to miss the structured environment that working in an office provides. Currently I set my own hours, and work wherever my laptop is. Some people may be thinking that this sounds like heaven, and sometimes it is. Yet there are those times when I find myself spending 60 hours a week working, simply to catch up due to too much procrastination the previous week. I'm not really a good self-motivator!

However, the main reason for considering making a move in to technical writing is that I am thinking of heading back to the UK. My current work provides a good income for having a pretty nice life in SE Asia. It would not provide enough to live a good life in the UK.

Thanks in advance.

Mac.

-----Original Message-----
From: Milan DavidoviÄ [mailto:milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com<mailto:milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>]
Sent: 22 May 2012 07:37
To: Mac Wheeler
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com<mailto:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.

What do you think is the difference between what you're doing now and what you envision as "into technical writing"?

--
Milan DavidoviÄ
http://twitter.com/altmilan
http://altmilan.blogspot.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/in/milandavidovic



On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM, Mac Wheeler <email -at- macwheeler -dot- com<mailto:email -at- macwheeler -dot- com>> wrote:
> Hi folks.
>
> I'm considering making a move in to technical writing, but am wondering if my skill set fits.
>
> I spent the first 24 years of my working life in IT, started off working for the M.O.D, made a move into programming for a few years, and then in to tech support, some middle management positions and then finally senior management. So I have a very good tech background, and also a firm grounding in project management etc.
>
> About 7 years ago now I was sick of the industry, gave it all up and walked away. I've spent the last 6 years in South East Asia earning a living writing just about anything and everything, from product descriptions of adult toys to white papers and everything in between. I've been working freelance in this way as my full-time employment for the last 6 years, so I figure I have plenty of experience now.
>
> So it occurred to me that there might possibly be a synergy between my original career, and my more recent work.
>
> Do you folks think I am well positioned to make a move into technical writing?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> Mac Wheeler

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.: From: Mac Wheeler
Re: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.: From: Milan Davidović
RE: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.: From: Mac Wheeler
Re: Greetings - Looking for a little advice please.: From: beelia

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