It's now been one year since I've been working as a technical writer. To say I've thoroughly enjoyed the work would be an understatement. I've always loved technology (as evidenced by this blog and an IT degree), and I've always loved writing (as evidenced by this blog and an Arts degree 😉 ), so I have to pinch myself that I have a job at a great company where I get paid to combine the two.
In this past year I have learned a lot more about both writing and technology. I've been exposed to some great experience in using and administering Linux every day, and recently have the certification to prove it.
There's a lot more to being a decent technical writer than I initially anticipated. The constant learning, reevaluation, and improvement is challenging for both the technical aspects (the products we are documenting) as well as the writing itself.
Why did I choose to change careers to technical writing? It was after seeing Ruby Sparks in 2012 that I started to think about doing something with writing career-wise. I wanted to get out of the IT administration and support game, and do something for work that I could get some enjoyment out of, namely writing. I toyed with the idea of attempting to write fiction, but the miniscule chance of ever being able to make a decent living out of it, coupled with me being my own worst critic for anything totally creative, meant that I dismissed that idea quickly.
I still liked technology, and I used to like troubleshooting the illogical and stupid problems that come with complicated technology, but after 7 years of doing that in increasingly stressful scenarios and environments, it was making me stressed and unhappy. Combined with my chronic health issues, I made the decision to stop working in a role where the only things I was getting out of it was money and stress.
The most logical thing to do was to combine the two things I liked (technology and writing) into something that I could make a realistic living out of. Needless to say, technical writing was a great fit, and my only regret is not changing careers sooner.
Making the career transition was made so much easier by working for a company that provides such a great environment to work in. I am surrounded by lots of like-minded people from one or both sides of the tech and writing spheres, and for the first time in a long time, I am actually happy in what I am doing for work.