Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- How NOT to Look for a Writing Job (1) - January 22, 2017
- Hazards of Poorly Written Technical Documentation - December 26, 2016
- Get an ‘A’ on Your Next Research Paper With These 6 Simple Steps - November 28, 2016
© Ugur Akinci
The answer is YES and NO.
It is similar to content or article writing in the sense that you need to create prose that is easily understood, logically consistent and conveys useful information.
Where it separates from regular non-fiction writing is in its procedural nature.
It takes a while to learn how to break complex information down to its individual components and then put them all together again in a series of logical steps.
The proof of good tech writing is in whether the reader can follow your instructions and achieve the intended result. That’s when you know whether your writing was good or not.
Take this test: try to write a “technical user guide” describing how to make an omelet from scratch. After finishing it, try to make an omelet only by following your own instructions and nothing else. You might be pleasantly surprised at the steps you have omitted because they felt like “obvious” to you. For example you might notice that you have forgotten to tell the reader to turn on the burner, or to dispose the broken egg shells to the trash bin, etc.
If you can achieve that kind of attention to “obvious” details and express them in clear and simple English, then you might probably make the transition from general content writing to technical writing rather easily.