How did I move from being tech-challenged to being a technical communicator?
I still remember the exam I took in High School. It was a block of test to check my apptitude for a range of topics, from academics to technical capabilities. I stared at the pictures on the paer with funny looking lines and circles… Only later did I realize that I was looking at the drawing of a screwdriver. I should have matched it to the appropriate screw. I was the only person in the class who got the example wrong!
I Was Tech-Challenged
My first love was music and writing, but I needed to make a living and ended up in nursing. Giving medications made me nervous. What if I gave the wrong dose? Math and I were not the best of friends. I’ll never forget when I incorrectly calculated a drog dosage. Fortunately, my error harmed no one, but I was mortified. To add insult to injury, I kept getting right and left mixed up, as well as horizontal and vertical!
All those years ago (we are talking the 1970s) I never dreamed that I would become an award winning technical communictor who would document complex medical devices, a variety of different software programs, and edit and rewrite medical manuscripts from just about every field of expertise from neonatology to orthopedics.
You see, I considered myself technically challenged (tech-challenged for short). I thought I could not understand complex technical information of any kind. However, I do have two qualities that have helped, tenaciousness and curiosity. If I really want to learn something, I usually can.
I Wanted to Throw My Computer Out the Window
And then came the infinite upgrades to my Windows computer and newer versions of Microsoft Word. The newer the version the more frustrated I became. Sometimes I wanted to pick up my computer and throw it out the window.
Getting my Master’s Degree in Technical Communication was easier than mastering the computer that I had to write my thesis on. I recall having to get all 20 copies of my thesis reprinted because of a mistake in the headers and footers. I had corrected a typo but hadn’t realized that it carried over into every section of my Word document.
Tech-Challenged in Hi-Tech
The age of computers had arrived and while I loved to write, I did not always enjoy writing on my computer. Pen and paper had been my tools of choice. But when I began documenting medical devices I was chained to Microsoft Word. I thought I’d die.
Back in the 1990’s, Microsoft had not yet fixed a numbering bug and I was complaining to one and all about how awful my life was. I had to manually number long chapters and lists. Why? Why? Why?
A Professional Documentation Trainer Had Mercy on Me
One day I received a phone call. Someone had noted my struggles via a forum I was on. She was going to be in my city the next day and wanted to offer to spend a couple of hours with me explaining to me some basics about MS Word.
She ended up spending the afternoon with me, gratis, and the rest is history. I went on to become one of the most productive employees in my company and the go-to person for everyone who had trouble with MS Word. Sometimes I even knew how to fix a computer problem!
It’s Time to Give Back
This is why I’ve created this website. Over the years dozens of people have asked me for a solution to a problem. Often they have asked the same question, over and over, because some things in MS Word do NOT change. Others have asked me to teach them how to make their documents look good, and others even came seeking for help with how to manage certain issues on their computers.
Along the way I’ve learned a few things that have helped me tremendously. I want you to benefit from these tips and tricks.
Some of my services are available for a fee… but quite truthfully, you may never need them once you’ve learned some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned.
Maybe you aren’t really tech-challenged at all. Maybe, like I did, you just need a good teacher!
I look forward to working with you.