Amid the rumbling of the belly

It has been a busy week – I think I’ve been out of the office more than I’ve been in. Everything is just so GO! GO! GO! I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. It’s been so busy that Renante was suggesting we move our weekly meetings to Sundays. Heh! If he wants to be the only one in the office on a Sunday, sure go right ahead. Me? I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday.

Right now I’m waiting for Pia to get back from Bago so we can go to Julius’ house for dinner. He’s making pasta. Apparently the one dish that our friends can cook to perfection is pasta 🙂

And in other news, I found out today that Post Avatar is a finalist in the Philippine Blog Awards for Best Plugin/Extension. Wheeee.

Pia just texted and she’s on her way back. Dinner awaits.

Make it snappy

When you’re a technical writer being told that your writing is “dull”, “boring” and “full of platitudes” is the kiss of death. It’s even worse when you don’t disagree.

I’ve been reviewing my work and the constructive criticism is spot on – the writing is uninspired, full of repetition that makes for really boring reading. If I was looking for instruction with my work, I’d have my head on my keyboard having passed out after reading some of my stuff.

So how do I give my documentation some spark?

I’ve been using a thesaurus to find proper synonyms. I’ve also looking (really looking) at the text and asking myself:

  • “What are you trying to say here?”
  • “Does what you’ve written make any sense?”
  • “Is it in the active voice?”
  • “Can I tighten up the language to make it more accessible?”
  • How does it fit with other text in the section and the documentation as a whole

How do I create a sense of uniformity in the overall documentation but at the same time maintain some creativity in the writing so that it’s not all “Do this” or “In this screen you will see” type blather?

It comes down to focusing on the topic at hand while keeping the mind’s eye on the whole, just like life (platitude not intended).