2019 Part II: Starting It Write

Hello, and welcome to the second half of 2019! Has any year ever gone faster? I can tell you I have never had one with so many fireworks (which perhaps explains why I have generally posted less here, but hopefully these pages can be darkened again on the regular.

From April’s evaluations, to May and June’s Music Narratives to: something that… holds promise? Yes, a development for which I have been waiting, I am now getting to try my hands at technical writing with my current employer.

What is technical writing, you ask? Well, I am still learning the ins and outs of it myself, but as best I understand it it’s writing about business happenings and technologies that can benefit those within a business or users of its services.

To test my abilities in this area, I have been given two projects to work on for three-hour stints throughout this week, with July 4th providing a natural day off for pondering before submission. I will do these projects; a white paper that addresses some kind of accessibility issue and provides a solution, and a user manual or guide that helps a blind person learn to use a device; within their computer room over said days.

Today was my first go at it, and I actually quite enjoyed it and myself. First, I kind of had to re-familiarize myself with a Windows computer, after having typed on this Mac for a little over two years now. I have limited experience with Windows 10, but did not find it hard to learn the few new things I needed to know. What did make things fun at first was remembering that the cursor in Jaws works a little differently than it does in VoiceOver. I kept typing in the wrong place and having to erase. I’ve also gotten used to the autocorrect function on the Mac, so had to remember to go back and correct errors more frequently in the Windows environment. But, I’ll be right as rain by the time I get back at it tomorrow.

With regards to the projects themselves, the user manual is proving pretty easy for me, as there is a really good Internet template into which I have only to insert the relevant information. The biggest challenge there is making sure I know exactly what I am talking about. With the white paper, I think I am going to change direction from my initial idea, because that approach is kind of a slog. I’m actually thinking of doing it on Paratransit and its lack of flexibility. I have cooked up a couple of articles and will mine them for some kind of potential solution, especially as this is something I find quite relevant, and it says we can discuss travel-related accessibility issues. We shall see.

One thing is for sure, just flexing my mental muscle like that made me feel something I’ve not really experienced since grad school. So I hope I get to do this sort of thing some time soon. Wish me luck as I continue to work on crafting and ultimately expanding my skill set to include an idea I had not really considered, but as with the music thing, now wonder if I can run with. More later.

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