How to Deal with an Editor Who is Taking too Long to Respond

One of the hardest parts of freelancing is the waiting. Some editors (publishers or clients too) get back to you quickly. With email or phone queries, you can often know almost instantaneously whether or not they have accepted your query or submission. Those are the best case scenarios. In other cases, the wait seems to stretch on and on. This can be frustrating, especially if you would like to submit to others if this person rejects your query. Here are a few tips for getting a reply. When has the Editor taken too long to respond? For an unsolicited submission, … Continue reading How to Deal with an Editor Who is Taking too Long to Respond

A Career in Technical Writing: Life as a newbie

Bullet points Struggling to make the wrong tool work for a job can add months to a project FrameMaker is good for long technical documents PageMaker is good for sending a newsletter to your Aunt Fanny Sometimes the most important thing a technical writer can do is gather information When expectations are sufficiently low, it’s easy to be a star Meet your Maker I wish I could say I got off to a running start and quickly proved my value at my new job, but this is about my real career, not my resume. Life at PHPS did not begin … Continue reading A Career in Technical Writing: Life as a newbie

Be a Problem Solver

Problem solving is what I do. It’s what my activity is, all day, sometimes a sentence, sometimes a whole book. My satisfactions come from solving those problems. It’s work, just endless work. – Philip Roth One night, about ten years ago, I wrote a short novel. Yes, I wrote it in one night. I began at about four o’clock in the afternoon and I finished up at about ten o’clock the next morning. It was almost 40,000 words. The words just flowed like water. About once a year I read through that novel and try to think of a way … Continue reading Be a Problem Solver

Successful Writing and Reporting for Newspapers

By Shannon Lester No one said that news reporting was easy. In fact, when speaking to some of the most experienced editors and reporters, you hear the very statement every aspiring journalist hates to hear. “You’re going to have trouble getting people to talk to you.” You cringe for a few minutes until reality sets in. You’ve got a story to write, and the editor wants it in just a few days. So where do you begin? Before writing your first story, remember one thing — news revolves around life. Any local, state, or national event that has a direct … Continue reading Successful Writing and Reporting for Newspapers

Living Documentation: The Future of Technical Writing

John’s Note: This article was originally written in 1999. The future is here now…   By John Hewitt I have a fairly large library of technical manuals. They cover topics such as application programming, web development, networking, and database development. Some of the books are well written and useful; others are of little or no use. Out of all my technical manuals, I have only read about five cover to cover. I have a supplemental book on FrontPage 2000 that spans 976 pages. It is a good book on the application, but I don’t have time to read it all, … Continue reading Living Documentation: The Future of Technical Writing