My goal here is simple: to document this worthwhile venture of creating meaningful copy/technical content for the benefit of those of you who are considering a change in profession (like me!), or perhaps have just started with a company, but feel overwhelmed—I want to assure you, right now, that there is a way to get your “feet wet” without being swallowed by the maelstrom of research, SOP/style-guide demands, intranet specific character count limitations, and many, many other riptide-pitfalls, including documentation management strategies that you can “plug’n’play” into nearly any content project—we will “right” this ship together.
Drifting away from nautical references (okay… one more), just as Odysseus desperately needed a rudder— here we will have an ongoing strategy meeting for answering that rise in workload, approaching deadlines, and those dreaded stakeholder notes and edit-demands.
So, let’s get Content with the Technical (ah, he said the line!) together!
Now for a little about me, and a quick look at what I have coming up for you in next week’s official first post!
My name is Jeffrey Graessley, I’m a technical writer for an engineering firm in Southern California with nearly a decade of technical, copy, and creative writing experience. My work can be found as far as Wales, locally here at home, and wherever the internet remains available. My most recent collections The Old Masters and Dual Impressions can be found on Amazon by following those links, and like any hungry writer I encourage you to buy several copies. There are also numerous online journals featuring my work that can be found through a simple search of my name.
More, I’m a graduate of Mount San Antonio College and Cal Poly Pomona, and for anyone familiar with the area, yes— I am clearly terrified of obtaining an education on any hill other than Kellogg Hill (right where the I-10 meets the 57 Freeway).
I mean… Cal Poly Pomona offered opportunities that fundamentally shaped the way I approach content creation and documentation management, specifically I was hired by the university (in my senior year) as a technical editor for their accreditation report, a +100 page document that outlines (with exceptionally clear detail) the means in which the university has met, exceeded, or made plans to comply with State and Federal mandates. This included demonstrable evidence of diversity programs, out-come driven course plans, and community outreach with infographics and charts abounding. This was no small feat, but through determination, loads of coffee, and the guidance of a skilled technical writer (a tenured professor with patience to spare) … not something you should plan on finding out there in the concrete jungle of digital selling and step-by-step user guide development.
Next week we will start this party off right with the absolute most important first step in content creation: Research, but not the way your teachers taught you!
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