The Pen Tactics blog is changing as I continue to write blog entries and explore the blogosphere. I am a writer and have been for as long as I can remember. Right now I am focusing on topics related to making a living as a writer, and there are a lot of them.
How I Made a Living as a Writer
I’ve spent most of my working life doing technical and technical marketing writing at high tech companies and have developed many techniques that I have been sharing. This means I started out writing manuals, but branched out into brochures, white papers, ad copy, case studies, newsletters, web copy, emails, and many other kinds of promotional materials. I much prefer marketing and copywriting because for me it is more fun, but there are also a lot of interesting jobs in pure technical writing (or as some call it, technical communication). It is not a bad way to make a living.
I am also interested in fiction writing, creativity, and many other subjects, so these topics have been creeping into my blog. I have a PhD in English from CUNY, and I wrote a critical biography of a minor Victorian-Edwardian playwright for my dissertation. What I really wanted to know was how he became a playwright. I would have continued thinking and writing about that subject, except college teaching jobs were scarce when I got my degree, so I had to find another way to make a living.
Although I met a lot of great people as a writer in business, one of my happiest memories was of a weekend I spent in Leeds, England at a crime writers conference. It was one of the few times I really felt at home.
I have several audiences in mind right now:
- Writers who need to make a living
- Writers who are thinking about expanding into technical writing or copywriting
- Tech writers who want to cross over into marketing
- Anyone who needs to produce technical marketing pieces and doesn’t have access to an agency or a professional editor
Technical writing and copywriting are relatively easy ways of making a living while you are planning something else.