Copyright notice

All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

365 days of being a writer: day 340

I broke down and grabbed some Demand assignments today. I'm not sure if I can get them done before they expire, but I will try to knock out at least a couple.

I also spent a few hours editing a technical report on battery tests. This is the glamor of technical writing: replacing 75 occurrences of ultra battery/ultrabattery/Ultra battery with 75 UltraBatteries. I can format the hell out of your word document. Need sections? I can give you sections and styles and some kick ass tables of contents. I will be ruthless in changing all of your body paragraphs to Normal. There will be no extra carriage returns. (Remember when there was an actual carriage that required returning?) I will not tolerate any fudged headings. Or spaces when you should have used a tab. Or tabs when you should have used a style. Like, if I see one more crazy "outline" that has been created manually, I'll scream.

Also, we've gone over this before, but it bears repeating: there should never, ever be one bullet. One thing is not a list. It is just a thing.

I edit in stages: First I check all the borders, pagination, headers & footers. Then headers and captions; and tables of contents, figures, and tables. Then I check all of the trademarked words for correct branding. Finally, I scan the body of the text, looking for unnecessary engineer speak, such as "in order to" instead of just to.

Glamor without end.

Except, in this case there IS an end, in seven workdays. SEVEN. But the real beauty of it, is that if I need work, documentation is usually being written poorly SOMEWHERE in the world, and I could help remedy that. For very small durations and at slightly better than modest compensation. My new motto is that there is a bright side, damnit. Who could be hurt with a little optimism? No one, that's who.


Lyndsey said...

Wow, fiery. Maybe you should consider adopting this tone for your bus piece.

Chelsea said...

Lyndsey, You are completely right. I need to harness my bossiness and use it for good rather than evil. One of the things I want to work on at Wyoming is letting more of my "natural" voice loose on the page. I don't know why I am usually so reluctant to do that.