You know that person? The one who points out the punctuation errors in movie captions, or edits their church bulletin during the sermon, or sighs when you type “should of” in a group email? That person is me. Those tiny details get under my skin like nothing else. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, “Someone should have proofread that.” Well, now that person is me, too. I’ve been a technical writer for five weeks.
When I started at Shea, I didn’t know what to expect. After reading the first few search engine results for “definition of technical writing,” I had the basic gist. Technical writers make content easier to understand. Usually, that content is complex and procedural. The kind of thing you wish someone would make more readable, and perhaps even in bullet points. That’s what we do.
I’ve been surprised at the broad scope of projects I’ve worked on in just the last few weeks. Each project has given me a chance to learn new skills, new vocabulary, and new subject matter. The need for technical writing seems to span across all areas of expertise and processes. I’ve also been surprised at the specificity of our work. No detail is too small to be improved. Every new set of eyes is valuable. A document may get passed to five different people, and each person has a distinct part in ensuring that our client gets the best product possible.
I’m proud of that. By making documents more readable, I’ve helped businesses to run safely and efficiently. This work touches more people than I thought it would, and I feel like I’m contributing something important to our community. We’re protecting those around us. Pretty worthwhile work, even if you’re not language-obsessed.