Since my surgery last October, I’ve taken some downtime from my normally busy 6-7 day writing schedule and as I feel better I am taking time to reflect on what really stokes my passion as a technical writer and writer in general. It wouldn’t have been possible to have kept such a busy schedule unless I absolutely loved what I was doing.
I am coming up with my “technical writer bucket list” not because I am planning to try to leave technical writing but a list of potential projects and moves that would position me for some passion and satisfaction.
Therefore, here is my technical writer bucket list:
Return to developing software development documentation. In my time, I’ve worked in software development, product management, operations, training development, customer care, and IT security groups. I enjoy being where things are being built and the real work is being done.
Return to a solo technical writer role. Looking back, I seem to be happiest when I am the solo technical writer with a degree of autonomy over documentation while working on a team of developers. My current job title is “technical writer” but I don’t do as much writing as I would like, work with a team of trainers, so I miss writing very much sometimes.
Document a major SharePoint implementation. I remain a believer in Microsoft SharePoint despite having seen some poor implementations of it in my time and would love to document a major SharePoint implementation sometime.
Document large-scale applications again. The projects I’ve enjoyed the most have been the large scale applications and I look forward to getting back to them in the future.
Document the migration from Microsoft Office to Google Apps for Business. One of the most educational and formative projects of my career was providing technical writing and training support for a Federal government agency’s migration from Office 2000 to Office 2003. While Google does a fine job of providing the documentation framework for a migration, there are always going to be organization specific details that have to be analyzed and documented to help ensure a successful migration.
Document some mobile applications. While I’ve written documentation for mobile device infrastructure, I’ve yet to write the documentation for a mobile application so such a project sits very high on my technical writer bucket list.
Write for technology publications again. Out of any writing, I’ve ever done, I’ve probably learned the most professionally and technically from writing for publications and websites. It is something I hope to get back to in the next few months.
Learn to inject some humor in my writing. OK, so maybe this entry doesn’t belong on my technical writing bucket list but I really would like to learn how to inject some humor in my writing.
What is on your technical writer bucket list?