Re: home alone tech writers

Subject: Re: home alone tech writers
From: "Robin M. Allen" <robin -dot- m -dot- allen -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 10:24:50 -0600

F. Blaine Dickson wrote:
>
> I would be interested in hearing from those tech writers who work out of
> their home. How do you find it? Do you have difficulty finding work?
> Advantages? Disadvantages? How do you find potential business?
>
> *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
> F. Blaine Dickson, B.A.
> Teaching Professional
> Pro 3 Golf Instruction
> Kelowna BC Canada
>
> "Five years ago corporate software giant Microsoft spent
> millions of dollars and put a team of hundreds of highly specialized
> programmers on an extensive and highly ambitious project to find another
> name for the Apple Menu - Windows 95" - Tim Scoff
>
> *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
> to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
> to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
> Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
> browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html
Blaine:

I have been self-employed for the past year and a half and I love it.
Sometimes I work in the client's office if I need to be around people,
sometimes I work at home if I don't. It's nice to be able to have the
choice.

The advantage is that you can do whatever you want. The disadvantage is
that you can do whatever you want. Although you work on the client's
deadline, *you* tell yourself what to do and when to do it. So a
beautiful Spring day is just another work day -- not an excuse to hit a
few golfballs. Of course, if it's a *perfect" Spring day, that's a
different story.

And you educate yourself. No one pays for you to go to the STC
conference, or pays your membership dues, or pays for magazine
subscriptions, or buys you paper, or fixes your computer. No one pays
you to learn a new software tool or to keep up with the latest trends.
As a consultant, you are expected to be on the bleeding edge of
technology. That's why this list is so wonderful!

You also have to have to know that a contract, and therefore your
income, will eventually come to an end. But if you market yourself well
and stay connected, something will turn up.

I don't do a lot of networking, but I have found something that works
for me. I don't see a lot of ads in the paper for technical writers, but
I do see plenty for programmers. So, putting two and two together, if a
company is programming something, they will eventually need to document
something. About two or three weeks behind the ad in the paper for a
programmer, I send a marketing letter and my resume. I'm starting a new
contract in a couple of weeks!

That's all the wisdom I can impart today. (I have to get back to work.)

Good luck:Robin Allen
robin -dot- m -dot- allen -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html


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