I just finished reading How to Get Started as a Technical Writer by James Gill. I snagged it on eBook from Amazon for $4.99 and read its scant 86 pages in about an hour. I’m not in the habit of writing book reviews but I thought I would on this occasion in the spirit of the new sub-blogging venture.
- This “book” is incredibly short, and it feels more like a long pamphlet than an eBook
- The audience Gill had in mind was not me. I’ve already landed the technical writing gig, which after reading about how difficult a field it is to break into, I feel very lucky to have, but that puts me outside the scope of the majority of the chapters – Why Become a Technical Writer? Should I Get More Education or Training? How Do I Get Experience?
- I really wish there was more meat in this book. The chapter on Life as a Technical Writer is what I hoped 85% of this book would be, but then again I guess if I paid closer attention to the title when I bought it I wouldn’t be so surprised
- If you’re starting from a true square one the book is worth the $4.99
At the end of the book, Gill includes a list of professional organizations for technical writers, which made me happy because my biggest fear about leaving librarianship is losing the profession’s strong sense of community. I tagged a few of these for future reference, including:
- Society for Technical Communication
- IEEE Professional Communication Society
- Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators
- National Writers Union
- Women in Technology International
Gill also offers a few (not as many as I’d like, but a few) suggestions for further reading. These include:
- Sentence Structure of Technical Writing – Kelley
- Technical Communication: Process & Product – Gerson
- Technical Writer/Subject-Matter Expert Interaction: The Writer’s Perspective, the Organizational Challenge – Lee & Mehlenbacher
*Originally posted on theleastshrew.com*