Your Urgent Help
> Due to the current recession, my company has closed down. I find myself
> without a job with huge financial committments. I am looking to enter the
> field of professional writing. However the fees charged by most technical
> writing companies in Bangalore ( Writers Block, Technopoint ) are simply
> exorbhitant and I cannot afford it. Is there a cheaper alternative? Can I
> download software tutorials from the internet? Are there books? Can someone
> please guide me. I urgently need help.
> Best regards,
I understand your situtation. I wish things will change better soon.
You can very well download the trial versions of most commonly used tools like Frame Maker, Robohelp, snag IT etc and get trained on them. I am sure you can learn to a comfort level. You should have the perseverance to achieve.
In my opinion, getting a certification is not mandatory, though some companies prefer it. To be frank with you, I have not done any such course, however I am in this field since 2001. When I joined first as a Technical Writer, I didn't even have any one here to give a knowledge sharing or any guidance on this field. I have learnt everything by myself through trial and error, and now I can proudly say that I am one of the successful professionals in this field.
Ofcourse I do agree that not everybody will get such opportunity. What I am trying to say is don't limit yourself with the thought that doing a certification only will help you. I know couple of people who did the course (but not from the institutes that you referred), but the quality of their work is very low.
Please let me know where are you from and what is your qualification. I will try to see if I could get an entry for you.
Here's what you can do to avoid a technical writing course and also landing a job.
1) Download trial versions of Adobe Framemaker 9, Adobe Robohelp 6 or 8, SnagIT
2) Start of with their help files. Learn diligently and with perseverance. Try to cover all of them in 30 days.
3) Learn basic things of MS word like creating Table of Contents, cross-references, Index, Heading styles, Style sheets, creating and modifying styles (NO BIG DEAL!!)
4) Download Microsoft Manual of Style (MMOS) and read it thoroughly. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
5) Download an open-source software of any kind and document the application OR document any electronic or software product that you see around you. Try to prepare a user document on your router, mobile phone, microwave etc. Create your project using the above-mentioned software (point 1). Try to follow MMOS guidelines in your project to the T.
6) Store your work on a CD
7) Apply for jobs
Whistle and sing as you work hard.