Re: Getting Started in Tech Writing

Subject: Re: Getting Started in Tech Writing
From: Wayne Brissette <wayneb -at- APPLE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1993 06:00:45 -0700

>Any advice for me? I'm hoping to stay in the Milwaukee area, so I think I
>will have to market myself to companies around here, like Ken Cook Co.,
>for example. Thanks in advance.

Here is how I got started, it might be of some use to you. I like you
spent several years as an electronic technician (this has been a big plus).
I changed my major to Technical Writing, and started doing FREE work. There
were always non-profit organizations that needed help. You might see if
your school (or instructors) provide leads for this type of work. I also
joined a computer user group and started writing their monthly newsletter
-- notice a pattern, so far nothing has paid me. All of this writing
enabled me to establish quite a portfolio of writing. I then started
looking in the paper for Technical Writing jobs (yes, they do exist). After
about 6 months of sending in Resume's, I got a job as an entry level
technical writer. Unfortunately, I was laid off after about nine months.
Now I work as a technical support representative, and have my own freelance
writing business. In the last year, I have written 5 software manuals for a
local engineering firm, and have several more they want me to write.

The key is to learn PC's, Macs, and you already have the much demanded UNIX
experience. While writing is a very important skill to have, knowing how to
use the technology that a company has is as important. Also, you will end
up doing lots of free stuff before you get any money for it.

Hope this helps


All views are my own and do not reflect those of my employer!

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug" - Mark Twain

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