TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
My first writing job was as a copyeditor. I thought I would go nuts
reading some of this stuff all day. After a while I starting doing the
following things and I am still a writer/editor. Hope this helps!
* Take breaks; a quick way to the end of the hall or the printer
can wake you up
* Have some kind of background noise (play music if allowed, or
leave your office door open) so that you hear other human beings even
though you may not talk with them. (of course, the noise can't be so
loud that you can't think).
* Get up from your desk and move around at least every two hours,
go to the bathroom, get more coffee. You will likely see someone you
need to talk to or at least walk by a window and see the outside world
(if you don't have a window)
* If possible, work on a couple of projects in various stages of
the process so you can rotate work
* I like editing in the morning, writing in the afternoons, and I
schedule appointments between 10-2 when possible so that I get a blocks
of uninterrupted time to work on something, but I still see people
during the day.
* If allowed at your company, decorate your area with colorful
stuff that makes you happy. (When my head starts to swim because I
can't find the verb in the middle of a developer's sentence, nothing
calms me down more than my picture of the Charles River in Boston
surrounded by Fall leaves.)
* Set goals for yourself. Break large tasks into small tasks so
that you increase your sense of accomplishment
* When you feel like you can't stand another minute you can still
do work by: updating your status reports, reviewing your task list and
appointment books for upcoming due dates, read email, schedule
* If you are a morning person take lunch later, the afternoon will
be quicker. If you like the afternoon better, take an earlier lunch set
yourself up for a productive afternoon
* Do both big and little tasks throughout the day. If I am working
on a big project, I try to work in at least 30 minutes on one of my
smaller projects, just to clear my head.
Elizabeth (Beth) Marshall Hilliard, OH
WorldCom Advanced Networks Office 24051
Support Services - Projects 614-723-4451
Systems Technical Writer emarshall -at- wcom -dot- net