About the Pen Tactics Blog

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.

Other Interests

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.

Blog Audience

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.



2 Responses to About the Pen Tactics Blog

  1. Heidi Haaland says:

    Nice blog! Who is the playwright, btw? I like the angle you were heading with the “why” of playwriting, as ambivalence about the theatre was still pretty strong in that era. I have a script set in the late 1890s and once read a lot about the London theatre world. Was also in grad school for English, around the time when academic jobs first started to disappear. Left with a Masters.

    • The playwright’s name is Henry Arthur Jones. Jones was an evangelist for the foundation of the National Theatre, and was at first a friend and supporter of Shaw. Although he is almost completely forgotten as a playwright, Jones does have a place in British theatrical history.

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