You’ve Got Skills

And so do I. Our skills aren’t they same, but they are equally valuable. This is what I’d like people I work with to understand.

Part of being a technical writer or editor means being invisible and vastly underappreciated. We don’t get a byline or an author credit anywhere. People often toss our creations aside, preferring to figure out how the product works on their own. And for the most part, we don’t mind. We wouldn’t do what we do otherwise. But being devalued by your own co-workers and collaborators, the people who do the “real” work—the subject matter experts (SMEs), the engineers—can really get under our skin. Continue reading →

But…Puerto Rico?

I did a thing over the long Fourth of July weekend; I set foot in the only one of the 50 states I hadn’t yet. Idaho!

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When my company sent me to Portland, Oregon for a conference earlier this year, I realized that only Idaho remained and I needed to seize the opportunity. Aside from the bizarre pleasure of conquering some arbitrary political boundaries, I was further motivated to make the trip because I had just finished a year long freelance project helping the lovely Deb Glaser develop her online course for reading teachers (it’s really cool – check it out!). Deb lives in Boise and we had never met in all that time. I thought I should pop on up and say hi. Continue reading →

Freelancing

I thought freelancing would be great. Get out of bed at 10am, work all day in my yoga pants, jet off to Iceland one week and Hawaii the next, not have to sit in corporate meetings mentally playing buzzword bingo, take two-hour lunches on sunny patios, do the grocery shopping during the day when the aisles are relatively people-free and the checkout line is short, and spend my nights hanging out with friends feeling more refreshed than they because I didn’t just spent 9 hours in a beige cubicle.

And that’s where I was wrong. My nights were never free for hanging out with friends. Turns out that when you sleep in late, do your errands in the morning, and take a long lunch, the work you need to do doesn’t just disappear. It’s still there, along with its deadline. I was constantly scrambling to get assignments done and missing out on concerts, dinners, and birthday parties. Continue reading →