My Technical Writing Training

Sorry my dear readers (here’s me assuming that I got at least one or two) if you haven’t been hearing from me lately. I haven’t had much time (or money for that matter) to do my little adventures because I’d been busy learning something. In three months time, I am hoping to add technical writing in my list of skills.

Last January 24, I accepted the job offer of ESS Manufacturing Company, Inc., (EMCI) a Knowledge Process Outsource and an ISO certified company in Ayala, Makati, for a Technical Writer position. It involves a three-month training, which would hopefully turn me and the other 20 trainees into effective and excellent technical writers. Our training officially started on the 1st day of February 2011 under Mr. Lito Cruz.

Writing has five categories: Creative, Descriptive, Expository, Narrative, and Persuasive. Out of the five, my stronger suit is Creative Writing, the type that entertain the readers like feature articles, blog, stories, poetry, etc.

It is my love for writing stories and poetry that got me into taking Journalism in college. When I was still in school, I used to write tons of stories (of different genres) and poems (mostly about unrequited love and life’s frustrations). Unfortunately fate seems to have other plans for me so after finishing a degree on B.S. Journalism from Lyceum of the Philippines in 2002, I didn’t end up as the Filipino version of Anne Rice or Sylvia Plath. Instead, I found myself taking jobs that involved other forms of writing: news, feature, marketing, even speech writing.

Given this, technical writing is obviously way out of my plans. I have always thought it to be boring so I never really wanted to have anything to do with it. As our EMCI Project Manager puts it, this involves “writing within the box,” which loosely translates to writing what is asked of you, no frills, no beating around the bush, no excitement, and colors. Technical writing must be direct to the point because its main purpose is to inform. A good example of this is that little user manual that comes with your new gadget (phone, laptop, iPod, etc.). Yes those manuals were written by actual people and they are called technical writers. [Read: The Job I Constantly have to Explain to People]

I am not going to lie and say that I am thrilled, as I’ve said, technical writing is boring. But I do not regret taking this challenge either. I have just been given a chance to develop my skill, why would I say no to that? This is me taking a step ahead where my writing career is concerned.

Training was a lot like going back to school. I got a new teacher and classmates. Everyday we meet from 8 to 5, with one hour recess, and 15-minute breaks. We have manuals, we take notes, we have discussions, individual reports, and a little bit of homework. Of course there will be a major examination, which we’re all hoping to pass.

So this is what I’d been up to for the past week. Don’t worry, come payday I will find a new restaurant or café to visit and blog about.