How soon is now?

How early do you get involved in a project? At the start? Part way through once the scope has been set? Or once the design has been agreed? Or do you swoop in at the end and document whatever you find? One common complaint a lot of technical writers have is that they aren’t included early enough in lifecycle of a project. The downsides are that by the time work hits your desk you don’t have a full picture of who the customer is, why they want whatever it is you are building, and how they want it provided to them. All of which directly impacts the information being created. So how do you, the lowly technical writer, make sure …

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I am not style

On Saturday I found myself in a large department store in Glasgow. I was there to purchase a shirt, possibly two, to get me through the endless round of Christmas nights out, lunches and whatnot that will inevitably start to pile up towards the end of the year. So I was looking for the smart/casual combination and as I wandered round I started to realise that I’m not style and, frankly dear reader, I never have been. Don’t get me wrong, growing up I succumbed to the fashion senses of the day, I had a plastic, neon orange belt, neon pink and yellow socks (always worn with one colour on one foot, the other on the other), and the tartan …

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All fizzle, no bang

and when they light up our town I just think, what a waste of gunpowder and sky I’m sat inside, gazing out the window as the some of the surrounding neighbours set off fireworks. The night is peppered with dull thumps and brittle crackles, garish green flares against black, and in my head the quiet melancholy descends. It’s been a long, tiring day, facilitating meetings, full of good and bad. I know not to take some of the criticsms personally but they resonate and my natural empathy kicks in. I feel the annoyance and pain, I share the frustration that some things aren’t better, yet I get no gain from the good, from the laughs of the team, their in-jokes …

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On taking notes

I have been remiss at writing new content for this blog, and whilst this topic isn’t one that I said I’d post about (those posts are coming, I promise), it’s something I was discussing yesterday and so is at the forefront of my mind. Like many people I still use pen and paper when taking notes, and regardless of the type of meeting I stick with three basic categories. [] Actions either for me or my team to do. Includes things that need done immediately or things which it would be good to do in the future. ? Questions on things I want to learn more about, which relate to my team. Whilst these may also be actions (typically they …

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And per se and

One thing that continues to keep me blogging, and writing, is my love of words. I write for a living. Well that’s not strictly true these days, but my profession is focussed on technical content, the bulk of which comes in the form of the written word. I write for a hobby. Mainly here on this blog, and on my other blog, ohh yeah and that blog I hardly ever post to anymore. And whilst I won’t be tackling NaNoWriMo, again, this year, it remains something that intrigues me (quantity over quality, hell yeah!). AND. There it is, that word. And. The also. The join. My mind tends to form patterns, relating X to Y, noticing that Y and Z …

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