What Does It Take to Be a Tech Writer?

Does this seem like a fun job to you – writing how-to articles and instructions that will help folks who are having trouble with their computers, mobile devices, and the Internet? Do you want to know what it takes to be a tech writer? We asked a few of our writers, “What does it take to be a tech writer?”

Derrik believes it takes “a willingness to dedicate a bunch of research to your topic.” This is definitely true. As a writer of just about anything, Google becomes your best friend as you research everything. It does become time-consuming, but it’s necessary for the end result.

Christopher goes back to the writing itself, knowing it needs a lot of practice, and also feels you need “a genuine love for computers and technology.” He also points to the little bit of luck you need and “a willingness to take feedback and improve.

After doing it for thirty years, Phil definitely knows what it takes and thinks it boils down to a few things: dumb luck and preparation. Like Christopher, he goes back to the luck you need to land a gig in the first place. For the writing, he feels you need to be able to put in many hours of writing every day to be able to hone your craft. He also believes you need to be passionate about what you’re writing about to have the writing flow “authentically.”

Shujaa agrees you need to have a passion for what you’re writing about as well as a “knowledge of the topics you’ll be focusing on” and a good command of the language. He adds in here that “being an expert in how-tos is an added benefit.” He also believes in the old adage that “practice makes perfect.” He sums it up as “have passion, be patient, and practice a lot!

I think all our writers have summed it up well. The number one thing I point to is having a passion for your subject, and it seems many of our writers feel the same way. But it also definitely helps to b a good writer as well, as Phil pointed out. Tech writing only differs from writing in some other areas of the Internet in that you have to be able to write in an instructional format as Shujaa noted.

We’d like to know what you think. If you can think of something that you feel would improve our content here at Make Tech Easier, let us know below in the comments. And if you think you have what it takes to be a writer here, fill out the application, and maybe you’ll get that chance!

Image Credit: Elke Wetzig via Wikimedia Commons

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