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Technical Writing is Boring! (Or is it?)

People think writers write novels, blog posts, or magazine articles. Technical writing isn’t top of mind. People also tend to think that technical writing is boring. It’s about writing instructions, and how many people have the patience to follow instructions these days? Now before you yawn, let’s get into why we need technical writing.

First, what is technical writing?

It’s not dry writing. I mean, technical writing is about a specific topic. The primary purpose is to provide instruction and information. Employee handbooks, standard operating procedures (SOPs), troubleshooting guides, user manuals, company documents, and case studies are all examples of technical writing.

Why do we need technical writing?

Sometimes in life, we get stuck. We need help that is easy to follow. You’ve probably read an example or two of technical writing by now, especially if you bought a new computer or phone and read some documentation to figure out how to use it. If you’ve watched a video that gave you instructions, the transcript is an example of technical writing.

Technical writing organizes information into easily digestible bits. You can go to a table of contents to find the topic you’re interested in, and read just that section to get the information you need. You don’t need to read the entire book or PDF from cover to cover, or read each page of a website to find the answer you need.

Why is technical writing fun to write?

People may think that emotions and personal experience have no place in technical writing, so technical writing is boring. However, if you like organization and solving puzzles, you’ll like how technical writing follows a sequence. Technical writing will explain a concept clearly, using plain language without jargon or idioms. If a special term is used, the meaning is explained.

This is why technical writing is fun. It’s like being in an escape room and you’re faced with the challenge of organizing a bunch of information to get the answer you need. If you get it right, your mission is accomplished. You can also use your imagination in technical writing. You can create a handbook on how to capture and tame dragons.

Key Takeaways

Technical writing provides valuable instructions and information. If you’ve picked up a user manual to find the answer to your question, you’ve read a piece of technical writing. This style of writing sticks to the facts and doesn’t include emotions or personal experiences. For this reason, some people think technical writing is boring. But other writers think technical writing is fun. It’s challenging to write information in a way that is easily understood and easily found by skimming and scanning. Technical writing has a very important role in providing readers with important information. 

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