President’s Message from STC Washington, D.C. – Baltimore Chapter – October Update!

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Greetings STC WDCB Family,

As we face the permeating health, social, and political climate in various aspects of our lives, and juggle priorities and commitments, I would like to express gratitude for your willingness to make time to reconnect with our community. Through a solid lineup of virtual opportunities to sharpen your skills and network, my hope is that the chapter’s efforts contribute to reaffirming the notion that we are stronger together. In the words of Helen Keller, “although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Announcements

Thank you to those that were able to attend our 2020-2021 New Chapter Year Kickoff Celebration last month. We had a fabulous time recognizing award recipients, discussing upcoming events, and networking. Please check out the presentation highlighting the awardees designed by Carolyn Klinger if you missed it, and thank you again to the STC WDCB Chapter Administrative Council for dedicating your positive energy in support of our programs and community engagement efforts. Hugs!

The Masterclass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series

The MasterClass in TechComm is off to an incredible start with Dr. Ginny Redish’s feature on UX Writing setting the tone for an excellent series. There were 184 registrations and over 115 in attendance during an evening that went overtime because of the enthusiasm from guests that had questions and comments for Dr. Ginny. Thank you to those that joined us for an enlightening evening. Please sign up for our October feature:

October 2020

Dr. Ugur AkinciSelf Publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for TechComm Pros

Ugur will teach the tricks and tips for how to leverage on-demand self-publishing via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Attendees will have the opportunity to publish their first book on the KDP platform in real-time.
Webinar: Thursday October 29, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

November 2020

Ms. Shawneda CroutIntegrate Social Media into Your TechComm

Technical communicators with the ability to adopt social media into the creation, and review phase of content planning, find it to be an invaluable resource in their TechComm projects. Shawneda will advise on how to use social media and social search platforms to provide opportunities to illuminate customer pain points, provide customer preferences, and receive real-time feedback to benefit work processes.
Webinar: Thursday November 12, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

December 2020

Dr. Liz HermanIdentity Disruption and the Technical Communicator
It’s an amazing time to be a technical communicator. Our talents, skills, and smarts are needed. The way we have identified ourselves for the past several decades is changing. We need to prepare for an identity disruption. Join Liz as she shares insights and data about this seismic change.
Webinar: Thursday December 3, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

Our chapter uses the GoToMeeting platform to host webinars. The webinar link will be emailed by noon on the date of the event. Please also subscribe to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast to support this growing professional development initiative. Stay tuned for further details!

STC Alliance Competition

The STC Alliance Competition team is in the planning phase and will release updates on how to enter the competition and volunteer as a judge via their notification subscription list. Please subscribe for details.

TechComm Roadshow
Winners from the STC Alliance Competition will discuss their award winning submissions and the benefits of entering the competition. The roadshow is scheduled for November 11, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m. ET. Invitations will be emailed to those that subscribe for details.

Online Resources

Our chapter website offers job listings, a LinkedIn Group, and much more. View chapter updates in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Networking and Volunteering

Our First Friday Lunches were a successful networking event that we’ve decided to put on hold in support of current social distancing measures. However, what may be perceived as a setback can also be harnessed as a great opportunity; Let’s dive deep together in support of our speakers in The MasterClass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series, and tap into a free subscription to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast.

**Please consider the current chapter volunteer openings to review opportunities to get involved.

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Renew Your STC WDCB Chapter Membership

Please Renew Your STC Membership for 2021 and allow us to continue to serve you by selecting STC WDCB as your home chapter. We welcome your suggestions for how we can continue to bring you meaningful professional development events, and networking opportunities.

Thank you for your time and membership. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your comments, or for assistance.

Sincerely,

Tavia Record
President and Professional Development Director
STC Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter
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CAA 2020 Platinum ribbon (236x200)

Jumping into Technical Writing

[Administrator’s Note: The following post was written by guest blogger and chapter member email hidden; JavaScript is required. Chapter members are welcome to contribute to this website. Contact the email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information.]

I have been encouraged to write here of my somewhat unusual way of entering into the field of technical writing. That's right, I am not a technical communication professional, but am trying to enter the field—by just jumping in. Some of you might find my approach and my experiences—and my success (?)—interesting.

Let me introduce myself by my elevator presentation. It was interesting when I gave it to a gathering of about 40 technical communication professionals at a recent evening event of the WDCB chapter:

  • name: Steve Jolivette . . .
  • trying to break into the field of technical writing . . .
  • have done a great deal of technical writing, but in the capacity of an IT programmer/analyst, not a technical writer . . .
  • have also done much writing as an historian (have a Ph.D. in history) . . .
  • so I have done a great deal of writing, but I do not have expertise in the software tools of TW . . .
  • in order to break into the field I am willing to start at a very low rate . . .

Wooh—I got quite a rise from this last revelation! I had hardly finished pronouncing the last word (“rate”) when everyone laughed, some gasping with shock. The laughter was not exactly because it was funny—it was more the laughter of surprise at the unexpected-incredible, i.e., at a supposedly big-time gaffe.

Now, I am not exactly a spring chicken—but I was more surprised than my audience. Naïve? Hmmm . . . Well, then again . . . To hell with it! I defended my stance then and I defend it now. How else can I show my talent and my determination to do quality work? I'll work for nothing (for awhile—however long it takes) to prove myself. I'll even volunteer for a good long stint at a non-paying job if that is what it takes. (My idea is that I can be highly productive writing solid text—to pass to others to format and graphically enhance—while gaining expertise with the tools.)

This hire-me-on-trial, let-me-train-on-the-job tactic is how I first entered into computer programming years ago. With a B.A. in history, needing solid employment, and with no programming education, training, or experience, I went to the Yellow Pages and started dialing the "Data Processing" numbers and soon found a small company which gave me a two-week trial (I passed) which was the beginning of a satisfying career in IT. (It was a fine career in its own right, and in later financing my way through graduate school in history.) So something like that can probably—almost certainly—work for me a second time. I'll give it a try.

Anyone interested in trying me?

In any case, I'll post here from time to time, at major events or major epiphanies, to let those who are interested know how it is coming along . . .