My Journey

My 100 days Journey as a Technical Writer.

Israel

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It’s not an end rather an inception of a career.

Introduction

My name’s Israel and this is my story. I’m a software developer with 3+ years of experience in software development. It started as a passion stirred from desktop publishing. The usual learning of the office major packages like: Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Then on to CorelDraw for the advance class.I started coding at 200 level in my school’s library. It became a roller-coaster of learning as it was a rough curve until I got my pc and learning continued. Let’s get into the main reason for this article as the introduction is just a bare minimum of me.

Why Technical Writing?

Well, Technical writing wasn’t what I considered to be a career when I wrote my first article. It was just mainly about putting out a solution to an error in firebase that took me days of scouring the internet before arriving at the solution.
So, I choose technical writing as a side career when my pc got spoilt and I barely have something to do. Then, there’s been this uproar about technical writing on Naija Tech Twitter Space. It became an everyday routine of seeing stuffs (tweets) and folks making money in technical writing.
Then I decided, this is something I can do with my phone pending the time I repair my pc or get a new one. That’s what I thought at first and wrote couple of articles until it dawned on me that I have to be really good at this to get offers or get employed for this role.
So I tweeted and posted on my twitter and whatsapp respectively about me writing articles for 100 days one per day. 100 days? Yeah that’s right 😂. At some point in-between I thought was this ‘advice taken from a mad man’ ?

I must be crazy right? Well maybe, maybe not. We’ll find out soon.

What fuels my consistency?

Man, SAPA ( Serious Absence of Payment Ability) . Well, yeah I want to make money. Going out of the trenches ain’t a joke as people deemed it. A lots of privileged persons out there don’t know what it takes for some persons to get where they currently are. That aside, I knew I’d fail if I don’t properly equip myself with people and things to keep me in check.

Firstly, I searched for an Accountability partner; someone I’d report my articles to daily. While they keep me in check if I don’t submit. So I posted on my status, that I’m in search of an accountability partner related to the 100 days of Technical Writing post I made initially. Three person’s asked to be my partner and I promised to keep my consistency to always post my articles in their dm’s everyday until this streak is complete.
I also asked them to always check in on my if I don’t post my article early.

Secondly, I downloaded an application called Habit Now , this application helped me a lot to keep track of my daily activities. Especially the technical writing part.

Here’s an overview of what it looks like:

Here’s a page that show’s list of things I have to do per day related to technical writing.

Here’s also a progress tracking page. With visual overview of how many days you’ve marked so far.

Here’s also an analytics page that shows you how many days a week you’ve kept your streak with monthly equivalent of that too.

This app helped me alot as I was able to trigger my alarm with this app to daily remind me to write my article for the day or the next.
I also use my phone’s alarm. Double authentication style 😂. So that I don’t miss it regardless of my task for that day or how busy I am.

What tools do you use for writing?

This is a very important question. Well I use a number of tools for my daily technical writing as these tools relieve me of a lot of workload.
Firstly Google is my go to place for trending topics or general research about a topic in software development.

Medium is my primary writing platform. It has this minimalistic text formatting tool or functions that I enjoy a lot because of how basic they are. With my consistency there’s also a lot of publications that reached out which helped me boost my audience. I’d recommend this platform anyday.

Quillbot, this is also a platform I use to quickly rephrase my words to sound very professional explaining some coding concepts depending on the level of expertise of my audience.

Chatgpt, sometimes it can be very hard to find code snippets for a particular topic or workflow you’re trying to explain to your readers. It’s a great tool that helps with that alot and note that you also have to verify that the code snippets work the way intended.

Unsplash or Google for my cover images or any graphical materials needed to explain a concept in my article. These two platforms have been very useful in that aspect.

How do I get my topics for each day?

This is one of the things I did wrongly in this journey of 100 days streak. Didn’t make a plan towards this. It kinda didn’t help me plan my articles well.
I get my topics by majorly googling trending topics in software developments. This helped me navigate on what kinda topic I should write about that would get enough audience as it’s something developers are currently talking about.

Also got my topics from having daily conversations with my friends in the field of software development. This helps a lot as 50% of the conversations I have with my friends daily wraps around software development.

What I should have done in this case is to plan my topics weekly. So it won’t be overwhelming for me and most things would be planned out before time. Like structures or outline for each article.

It’s not always rosy

Well, It’s not always going as planned for each day. Coupled with the fact that in-between I started running a technical writing community which is currently at 400+ members which is poised to helping people transition into the field and provide job links or referrals for those already in the field.

Most times I don’t want to do anything regardless of how less busy I am. This is one of the things I thought would not happen to me, but it happened and I had to deal with it. One day I was literally sleeping in-between writing an article that I ended up posting that article by few minutes after 11pm for that day. Which means I almost broke my streak.

All these still boils down to proper planning. So if you’re willing to do something similar, I’d suggest you properly plan this visually. Something you can keep track of. So you won’t burn out in-between.

What’s my gain so far?

I have made friends, meaningful connections and mostly importantly grow as a technical writer. I got commendable comments from random people on medium, my whatsapp contacts and also criticisms too which were encouraging.
** I became a writer for seven publications
** My article got featured on google news with over 18k views
** I got over 20k views monthly on my medium
** I got 300+ followers on medium.
** My linkedIn account grew in-between.

You might be wondering. Have you made money from this? No, not yet. I started taking applications seriously recently. Hopefully I’d secure my first bag in technical writing soon.

Was my article good enough?

One principle I have always lived by is not being scared of putting myself and my work out there. Hawk your craft until it hawk's you. I am not scared of criticism, So I put my work out there without worrying about it not being good enough and expect enough criticism to shape me and make me get better at my craft.
Also, medium provides me with articles to read daily and it became one of my daily task to read one article written by someone else daily. As it helps me learn diverse styles of writing and how words are articulated and explained by different people.
I also took technical writing course in-between which helped shape my article outline. I honestly did learn a lot and I’m currently taking Google’s technical writing course.

Was this 100 days fulfilling?

Absolutely, It was more than I expected and that’s mostly God’s doing as without him this would have been a waste of time. I had fun, I learnt, I grew both mentally and career wise. It helped enhance couple of skills along the line.

My friends helped me a lot. With hypes , sharing of my articles, word of encouragement and so much more that I couldn’t mention. I’d take my gratitudes to their dm’s.

Well this was a journey so far. I hope it was worth reading and somewhat enlightening to you.

Conclusion

Whatever it is you’re doing? Don’t give up!

Find this article helpful or want to join my technical writing community? Drop a like or comment for indication.

Gracias 🙏.

I’m Israel and once again, thank you for walking this journey with me. I’ll continue writing but for now ‘make I rest small’ (taking a little break).

✌️

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Israel

I'm Isreal a Frontend Engineer with 4+ experience in the space . My love to profer solutions led me to being a technical writer. I hope to make +ve impact here.