I stumbled into Tech Writing (actually Technical Writing) as most tech writers do.
But before I tell you how it happened, let me answer the question that is now foremost in your mind…
“What the heck is Technical Writing?”
I’d love to reference a well-known dictionary entry here, but there isn’t one, so failing that the Wikipedia entry defines it as:
Technical writing is any written form of writing or drafting technical communication used in a variety of technical and occupational fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. It encompasses the largest sub-field within technical communication.
Simply put, Technical Writing is writing where the reader needs to be instructed, or have a subject matter explained to them.
Back to my Story…
It’s not something I remember being on the list of potential professions and trades on the posters plastered around high school.
I started out doing data entry at Curtin University and just like my family raised me to do I started looking for ways to improve how things were done.
This soon led to business process documentation which I found I had a natural talent for.
These things came easy to me!
Knowing how to;
- lay a process out step-by-step,
- identifying improvements within the process,
- knowing when and how to highlight different stages in the process in documentation with with headings, bold, italics, numbering.
Articulating what was;
- system process (defined by the database or software being used) vs
- business process (something the end user has to action or confirm outside of the system).
Pretty soon I was improving processes and then documenting those improved processes so that other people could understand and follow them.
When a role as the trainer for the University’s student administration software came up, I jumped in with both feet and was soon developing training materials for more than 2000 staff.
Since then, multiple projects with Mango and BHP Billiton Iron Ore have given me the opportunity to hone my skills, developing training manuals, quick reference user guides, standard operating procedures, work instructions and comprehensive user manuals for customised software.
The corporate world understands technical writing and it’s now my mission to spread the word amongst small business so that they can reap the benefits of well documented, easy to read business process documentation.
Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.Lynette Delane
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