How to contribute to Technically We Write
We welcome everyone to share their story on Technically We Write. Here are a few suggestions for your first article.
Technically We Write is a community-based article-driven website about technical writing, technical editing, usability, and all things under "technical communication." We welcome everyone to share an article with us.
And you don't have to have a "technical writer" title to share an article on Technically We Write. Everyone writes some kind of technical or professional documentation, no matter their role, organization, or affiliation. Technical and professional writing is everywhere.
Aren't sure what to write about? Here are a few suggestions:
If you're a technical writer: Share a few tips about a task or process you often do in your daily work. This is a great way to share with others! A workflow or tool that you use all the time may be new to someone else. For example, "How to create a new content page in WordPress," "Starting a new project in OxygenXML," and "How to set up a custom page layout in InDesign" are all excellent topics.
If you're a student: Describe a new topic you've learned. Students might write an article on "3 things I learned about DITA authoring" or "How to use Word to create an ebook" or "What I learned about collaborating in Google Docs." If you've experimented with a new tool or technology, write an article to describe it! An article like "I tried LibreOffice Writer for the first time, here are 5 things I learned to do in a weekend" would be very interesting to many readers.
Students can also share a paper they wrote for a class, but we ask you condense it to 500 to 800 words. For example, a student in an "introduction to technical communication" course might reuse a paper about "5 roles in technical communication" or "4 skills tech writers use today." Or a student in a usability course might summarize a class project as "We did a usability test on a real-world website, and here's what we learned."
Open source tools, workflows, and alternatives are also great topics. Articles about "Learning to use Scribus for publishing," "Managing ebooks in Calibre," "Getting started with LibreOffice Writer," and "Creating ebooks in Sigil" would all make excellent topics. How-to articles for open source tools and platforms are also welcome, such as "How to track changes in LibreOffice Writer," "The 'Docs as Code' paradigm," or "Managing documentation projects in GitHub."
Don't shy away from topics if they require the command line. For example, "Topic-based authoring using DITA Open Toolkit" and "How I write books and articles using groff" both require the command line, yet are very interesting topics for our readers. Articles about "Scientific writing in LATEX" or "Writing documentation in Markdown" could be described using either applications or the command line.
Interviews are good, too! One way to approach this is by writing a "roundup" article, where you ask several colleagues about one specific topic, and share a summary with the responses. Prompts could include "My favorite font for printed material" or "What keyboard and mouse work best for your technical writing?"
You can also share your personal "journey" in technical communication. How did you get started in technical communication? Did you transition into technical communication from a different field? What new skills, tools, and technologies did you learn?
Technically We Write also welcomes articles about professional communication. For example, editors write transmittal memos, developers write build documentation, project managers write project plans, managers write vision statements and goals, organizational leaders write strategic plans. Share what professional communication topics you write about, how you write them, or what you've learned to make the writing process easier.