Writing Technical Articles
I started my technical author career writing ‘how to’ articles, which explained the best way to create logon scripts. It’s always difficult to suppress ones roots, and my grounding in the learning process came through fifteen most satisfying years in teaching 11-18 year olds.
While I invariably have an underlying expertise in the computing topic I am writing about, my best articles are created out of a need to learn a new technique for myself. At such times I can empathise with beginners, thus I write down all the details needed to get the job done.
A factor which explains my many PowerShell and VBScript pages is that I yearn to be a programmer. Through persevering with these scripting languages I have had some success in learning coding, and passing on tips to my readers.
Guy’s Windows Technical Articles
From those early days of writing logon scripts, I extended my repertoire by creating step-by-step instruction on how to configure Windows Server 2000.
One trap of technical writing that I inevitably fall into is not realizing that my articles will soon be out-of-date, or at the very least need updating. The dilemma is whether to update an existing article, or create a new section when Microsoft releases successors, for example, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2008, and now Windows Server 8. As the original article worked fine for that particular version, I tend towards new pages for the later operating systems.
Technical Training Helps Writing
I found that technical training provided a fertile area for writing. Firstly, you could see which areas interested students the most. Working at practical exercises also revealed where the students struggled at a particular task, thus created an opportunity for a ‘how to’ article.
Meeting with delegates on training courses also provides a rich seam of amusing stories, anecdotes and also examples of how to use the products in the workplace.
I too find there are times when I find it difficult to write. Sometimes it seems that everything that can be written about a topic has already been covered. At other times I can empathise with Archimedes when he made the connection between displacement and buoyancy in his bath; ideas come to me when I least expect them. Once I have an ‘ah ha’ moment I rush to the keyboard lest I forget the topic and the energy dissipates.
Reading biographies of famous writers heartens me in that not only do they invariably report times when their writing dries up, but also they admit to polishing and pruning their articles before they are sent to the publisher.
Guy’s Twitter Account
As a writer I am still learning how to make the best use of Twitter.
Other Articles that I have Written
They say you can judge someone by their humour, here are a few funnies that I like.