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Explore the Career Path of an Online Technical Writer
I am an Online Technical Writer and specialize in writing about software for the business and health care industries. I have ten years of experience writing for various topics, and five years of experience specifically writing in the technical field.
I write about advances in technology for blogs, websites and other online content sources. I am generally given a topic to write about, and must find a way to explain it so that readers can understand it.
While most of the people who read my works are already knowledgeable in their fields, they are often busy and don’t have time to read every word of a large report.
Because of this, I must give them this new information in a way that makes the key points accessible and useful to them.
I rate my job satisfaction a 9 out of 10. I think the one thing that I would change would be to interact more with clients and other people directly. This can be a very solitary job at times and I would feel completely enthusiastic about working each day if I had more contact with other people.
I have always wanted to be a writer. Technical writing gives me the opportunity to be a writer without having to worry about writer’s block or struggling for the right way to describe a scene. I feel like I have accomplished much more as a writer since I began technical writing, than when my work was not as specialized.
I love being able to craft words into sentences and paragraphs. It can be somewhat of a thrill to create finely structured text that both informs the reader and holds his interest. I can truly say that I have found my calling in technical writing.
I believe that anyone who is familiar with words and their grammatical structure can write for a living. Luckily, those tools can be learned through English classes and by reading extensively. By reading other people’s works, you can become familiar with the flow and pattern of words.
I began writing during college. I worked with various businesses to improve their marketing, write training materials, and with professors and other students to write grant proposals. If I could change anything about the way I began, I would not have undervalued my work as much as I did.
One thing that I learned the hard way was to research the industry more before determining my prices. When I first started out, I charged very low rates. Because my rates were so low for the quality of the work that I delivered, I soon had more work than I could handle. I began to learn how to place a higher value on my skills, so that I could earn enough money to live on and still have a life outside of my work.
The most important thing that I have learned about the working world since I left school is that if you have confidence and work hard you can achieve your goals. Confidence is important because it allows you to visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. Hard work is what makes it possible. Without both, you will never be able to reach your dreams.
The strangest thing that has ever happened to me while working at this particular job was a request to write an article on UFOs. I had to make the client’s research and notes understandable and easy to read, while not sounding too beyond belief.
Each day I get up and work because I love this job. I love writing about different topics and creating new ways to look at various subjects.
Sometimes dealing with clients who are particular or don’t exactly know what they want can be difficult. I have learned to get clear guidelines from clients at all times to avoid any miscommunication.
Besides the rare difficult or demanding client, this is a relatively low stress job. Any stress is put upon me by myself in my attempt to meet guidelines and deadlines.
Because I work from home, I can work at my own pace, without having to deal with many of the stresses of a traditional career.
Because I determine how much work I want to take on, I determine how much money I make. Last year I made roughly $36,000. This is by no means representative of the industry as a whole. I chose to take on jobs that interested me. I am able to live comfortably on my earnings.
My vacation and work schedule are created by me. If I am feeling stressed, I can choose to not take on any new jobs for a while. I can set my own hours and choose which days I really don’t want to work. I am happy with the balance that I have created.
To succeed in this industry, you need to have excellent grammar and spelling skills. It is a good idea to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in order to gain credibility in the field. For technical writing, a background in science is also advisable. No matter what kind of writing you choose, though, it is important to learn how to market your skills and talents in order to get the jobs that you want.
One thing that I would tell a family member or friend considering pursuing a career as a technical writer is that it is much harder than it looks. There are times where your income fluctuates, or when the work seems overwhelming.
You must also be able to use your mind in ways you never thought possible. It isn’t just playing on the computer.
With Online Technical Writing I feel I create my own opportunities. I love the ability to choose my own path and plan to continue this career for many years to come.
Career path online technical writer image from Shutterstock