The BARCODE For Being A Technical Writer

Written By: Sonia Naik

A technical writer? Me? Well I never thought I was one until one fine day I woke up to a pile of reports, essays and research papers all pointing to one thing – when did all this happen and how?

For starters I have always been a voracious reader. More of those ‘ l love the smell of new books’ or ‘Oh I would love to be a librarian’ or ‘ Books are my best friends’ were always a part of my vocabulary. I wrote…a lot, whether it is my own expressions to fill my diary pages, edit the college magazine or complete the thesis. Each one was dealt with renewed vigour and unbounded energy. However it was not until completion of my Masters and joining a planning firm that I actually ventured into what is called a technical report. Having started my tryst into ‘serious’ report writing in an UK based firm the standards of writing, content assimilation, analysis and overall output were very high.

Since the past 8 years I have gained a more in-depth outlook towards writing such reports and have come up with my own unique formula to crack the case! The BARCODE as I call it. It has helped me simplify my thought process and deliver a product to the highest quality and standard. In addition, it has built my own resource bank to explore opportunities in making writing as a skilled career choice.

1.   Broadcasting one’s skills

First thing first…no one is going to employ you unless they know what your base talent is; especially when it includes field-specific core skills. It is important to find the right platform to promote your knowledge base. A good resume with sample writings on key web portals, intensive networking and branding would instantly improve outreach and visibility and enhance chances of landing a writing job.

2.   Applications

So you think you have a great report with the perfectly formulated content? Well just half the battle won. It cannot be stressed enough on the idea of making it look good. Many or most times any content backed with the right graphic imagery will draw attention of the reader. It is this ability to see through a fine glass, sieve out photos and colours to convey the report that will see people actually enjoy reading what you write. And yes, this applies to a technical report too. Who said such a report has to be a boring one?

3.   Research & Knowledge base

Correct research is a game-changer. It differentiates a mediocre piece of work from a well-articulated and confident article. A college degree to that effect would go a long way to hone one’s skills. Pulling out the right sources, collecting data and analyzing to generate solutions/views pretty much guarantees an accurate end product. Being internet friendly is a definite plus here and you can Google away to glory!!

4.   Content Writing

OK, so now comes the crucial part of actually delivering the content. When it comes to technical reports there is no place for anything superfluous. Every statement is a culmination of in-depth research and analysis and resultant conclusion. It has to be concise and well-structured. An impressive body of text would pretty much nail your identity as someone who writes with clarity and cohesion.

5.   Opportunities

Try, try and try till you succeed as they say. But this is easily said than done unless you punch the right keys and connect with the right people. This has been stressed a million times and I repeat - one has to be at the right place at the right time!

6.   Desire for a long term career

This one is important for it will simply make or break the idea of establishing yourself in the tech writing regime. A need for dedication, passion & perseverance combined with raw talent is essential to keep delivering a quality output. Sometimes it is this X-factor within that will catapult you from a person wanting to make money to a highly successful and respected tech writer.

7.   Engagement towards Continuous Learning

A constant urge to explore avenues, subjects, learn and unlearn, create and recreate is of utmost important to keep freshness in your writings whilst delivering a straightforward and readable document. It is this knack for curiosity; intuitive understanding of words and wish for lifelong learning that could find you firmly on the path of a successful technical writer.

To conclude, yes…it is indeed possible to make a living out of this profession and a highly successful one too. All you needs is to get on track, set goals and create a niche clientele for yourself. So get BARCODE-ING and there is no way anyone can write you off!!!

Sonia Naik is an Urban Planner by profession with over 8 years of experience in writing tech reports.  A self-confessed foodie, avid reader, movie buff and writer she loves to explore the finer nuances of life through her writings. She is inspired by nature and people-watching. She is passionate about graphic design and looks for ways to convey her words through strong imagery. 





 


6 comments:

  1. This blog post is actually helps for do my dissertation for me and I truly like it your post… Thanks a lot…

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your enumeration using the the word Bar code is ingenious. Would not have thought it. Being a technical writer is more challenging because you are to be devoid of emotions on your writing. - Layce, from an Australian writing service.

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  3. Good Piece! Indians can also check out www.falconwriters.com to get online writing jobs that are well paying.

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  4. Your suggestions for technical writer are nice. I have just come up to this blog when I was searching for an Indian academic writing site. Keep up the good work!

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  5. Thanks for the helpful information.

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