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Technical Writing: What is it?
Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else.
Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer.
While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else.
Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do.
Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn?t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend.
If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be.
To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don?t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.
Is Christian Publishing the Easy Road to the World of Writing Success? (Christian publishing) Any community with a special interest will pay for products that cater to that special interest. If that community is of significant size, you can bet that there will be products galore geared to them. There is money to be made where there is a need for a product. The Christian community is one such group that has a desire for a very specific product. They are interested in products that explain their faith and expand their knowledge of what is less understood within that faith. They also seek encouragement in what is already agreed upon. Because of all of these needs, there is certainly a market to be entered into within the Christian publishing network. The question is, since the group is exclusive, does that mean that there are too few writers for the consumers? Is it easier to get published when you?re not competing with the best of the secular authors? Those are difficult questions to answer with any certainty, but there are some topics to explore within that subject. Degree of Expertise In one genre of Christian publishing one qualification is essential. To write with expertise on subjects of faith, it is necessary to have the correct education. A seminary degree at the very least is required for convincing publications. The publishers do not accept authoritative writing from those without the proper education. When it comes to education, separate Christian denominations will expect degrees endorsed from those specific denominations. You may have expected that a Christian would need to write for the Christian community, but the requirements can be much more stringent. Just as a pastor or preacher must have the proper education to teach a congregation, a writer on subjects of theology or other topics from the Bible must also have the credentials to back up his claims. While it is not possible for every writer to obtain the correct degree for authoritative writing, there are other kinds of writing that will easier to achieve within Christian publishing. Experiential Knowledge A huge portion of Christian publishing is made up of personal stories. A Christian has unique experiences related to his faith. People who seek encouragement will buy books that relate to their own circumstances. A typical human problem is grief. If a Christian can effectively write about their grief from a perspective of faith then those writings will be helpful to other struggling Christians. Other important subjects include doubt, blessings and prayer. A lay Christian can back up their experiences and observations with scripture and therefore be much more relevant in their writing to the Christian community. If the writer?s material is not sufficient to fill a book, there are other outlets within Christian publishing for those who are able to inform and encourage fellow Christians. Magazines and church bulletins often publish poetry and short stories for the building up of believers. The Bottom Line Christian publishing may not be necessarily easier to do than secular publishing. If your heart is in the ministry to other Christians however, it may be the best field for you to attempt writing for. Christian publishing is not a ?first step? to enter into the publishing world. Most publishers are only looking for sincere and relevant publications. They will avoid writings done only for the money and will favor those with the honest goal of furthering the message of the Christian faith. Specific communities are looking for products geared to their lifestyles, but the best candidates for creating those products are those who have talent invested in that community. Entering into the Christian publishing world will be a similar task to entering into the scientific publishing world. It will take dedication and work. The writer will come out with a deeper understanding and faith of his own.
Finishing a Masterpiece and Getting it on the Shelves (how to get a book published) Writing a book is a monumental task in itself. The process is long, drawn out and grueling. Even if you thoroughly enjoy writing and writing on the same subject for an extended period of time, you will no doubt be exhausted by the writing of a book. Getting that book published, however, will take even more time and effort than producing the thing in the first place. Are you thinking about writing a book? Have you already written one and now are just wondering how to get a book published? If you are, read on. Here are a few tips on how to get from the starting line to triumphantly crossing the finish line. Writing that Book When starting out writing your book, before you are ready to consider how to get a book published, you may already feel daunted. To write a successful book you need to start out with some original thought. You probably have plenty of originality, but you may have trouble getting your ideas into a coherent flow of information that will be digestible by the general public. The first step is to create a book skeleton. You need to organize your thoughts into a progression of chapters. If your book will be non-fiction, start with a table of contents. Write chapter headings and sub-headings. You will automatically know that you?ll need an introductory chapter, but you should probably leave the content of your introduction for the last step. Organize your chapters so that they build upon one another. The more headings that you can brainstorm to begin with, the easier it will be to fill in your book with a series of short articles that flow into one another. If your writing will be fiction, you will need more of a storyboard. You will need to create cause and effect as well as character sketches. To make your story coherent your characters will need events to react to. Their reactions should become predictable as your readers get into the story. You may need to create some situations for your characters just for the purpose of introducing their traits to the reader. These are very general guidelines about how to begin constructing your book. The actual process will be much more involved as you move closer to finding out how to get a book published. Even after you are finished with the bulk of the content, your goal is still a ways off into the future. Getting to Print The next step in how to get a book published is finding a publisher. There are resources at your local library that will let you know who will be the best candidate for publishing the kind of writing that you do. After a series of queries and correspondence with the potential publishers you may get an invitation to send your manuscript. Then the work begins. A publisher is very experienced in finding books that are marketable. He knows what it will take to get your book to sell. Don?t be offended when his editors tears your writing apart. If they are doing that, you can enjoy the fact that you are on the road to a published book. Expect to enter into a close relationship of compromise and change with the editor as you rework and rework what you have already so painstakingly written. When you are finished you will have a readable and clean and correct manuscript ready for print. The road to getting a book published is a long one, but well worth the effort. Trust yourself, and trust the publisher to create a beautiful masterpiece. Don?t be discouraged if several publishers are not interested in your book. You may have to just keep the first few for yourself, and then again, they may eventually get accepted. Good luck and enjoy the process.
Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 18.104.22.168. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.