A Technical Writer’s maximum potential can be uncovered through developing these 7 habits, regardless of which country they are operating in:
1. Do not take it personally (learn)
Great technical writers thrive on criticism. They understand that it enables them to improve, and to improve the accuracy and readability of their content. So, don’t take criticism personally. Use it to your advantage.
2. Learn before asking (respect, impress)
Learn as much as you can from available resources before asking questions. In this way, you can respect others’ time and impress your colleagues with your ability to ask intelligent questions.
3. Ask (often)
Technical writing requires good people skills. Don’t attempt it alone. Ask questions. Ask for help.
4. REWRITE (always)
Pick 3 of your favorite writers. If you were able to see their first drafts, you’d probably think, “I can do much better.” The best writers in the world are the best re-writers. Always rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite some more.
5. Acquire Feedback (test, reviews)
Technical writing is almost never 100% on the first draft. Without adequate testing and review, accuracy is often unattainable. Make sure you get the feedback you need to excel.
6. Understand (before publishing)
When you start, you may not fully understand your subject matter. That’s fine. By the time you publish, make sure you do understand. If you don’t understand what you write, your readers are not likely to understand it, either.
Notice things. Does the prototype work as expected? Are the user interface labels capitalized consistently? Ask questions. Make suggestions. Be a part of the product team.
Leave a comment
Blog Tag Cloud
Latest Blog Posts
All Blog Posts
Recent Blog Comments
Latest Facebook Posts
Saiff Solutions In The Media
Testimonials“Barry [Saiff] truly is a force of nature – he is a consummate professional with deep technical expertise when it comes to technical writing which lets him just “get it” right out of the box. Barry pairs very strong writing skills with the ability to easily speak both “business analyst” and “software engineer” in the same meeting. Barry was the lead information developer for my product at Symantec, and I had the utmost confidence in his abilities and work ethic. On top of all that, Barry has a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious laugh that can transform the work environment in an instance. I strongly endorse Barry’s many talents and would welcome working with him again in the future.”
Principal Product Manager, Symantec
December 17, 2010
Read more testimonials here.