Who needs another technical writing blog?

Many people have professional blogs — to boost visibility, build credibility, help find jobs, become famous, retire off Google AdWords, etc.

It seems that so many technical writers have blogs… we’re writers, so in additional to all the reasons above, blogs are also an opportunity to showcase our skills.

But usually these blogs are technical writers writing for other technical writers.

I enjoy reading many of those blogs, such as http://www.tech-tav.com/technical-writing-blog, http://www.writepoint.com/blog, http://idratherbewriting.com.

But that’s not my intention here.

I realize that technical writing is still a mystery to many of those we work with. They have no idea how to evaluate us. I will never forget when a developer told me: “it’s great, you made the guide bigger.” What a backhanded compliment! As though I aspire to quantity rather than quality.

AnotherĀ  intended compliment was even worse: “you made it so pretty.”

Companies don’t always know why they hire us–and sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons, such as making something look nice.

And once we’re hired, they don’t always know what to do with us.

They don’t know what we do, what our process is, what our needs are.

I’ve heard so many times that I just “work my magic”.

Thanks for the compliment, but that’s not it at all. I’m a technical writer, not a magician. And like other successful technical writers, there is method to my magic. My first step is figuring out what your goals are. But I will leave that to another blog entry.

For now, I want to talk about technical writing to the non-writers who surround us, especially dev. managers, project managers, and small business owners. If you understand what we do and how we work, you will get more of what you need from us.