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Old 04-21-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,662 posts, read 3,067,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Have you considered technical writing -- manuals, documents, etc? Besides consumer products like software, pretty much every government contract requires deliverables, tons and tons of documents describing everything about how to operate and maintain whatever was purchased.
One of the problems I've had in this area is that most technical writing hires expect certain levels of prior qualification - if not actual security clearance and DoD certifications/protocol experience, then industrial and trade equivalents. There don't seem to be many openings for someone who is just (!) a good, organized writer, even one who can translate complex expertise into end-user or training-level material.

Here in the Denver area, there are scads of tech and aerospace companies, and I often have to pass on even bothering to apply because somewhere down the list of qualifications is "four years experience writing to BoopFart 4.2/gamma standards" or the like. Even with considerable tech writing (and nonfiction) writing experience, I can't jump a hurdle like that.

I did find it funny that Boeing was frantically searching for a tech writer recently. "We have this emergency control system no one know how to use, see..."
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:11 PM
 
3,410 posts, read 3,550,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
One of the problems I've had in this area is that most technical writing hires expect certain levels of prior qualification - if not actual security clearance and DoD certifications/protocol experience, then industrial and trade equivalents. There don't seem to be many openings for someone who is just (!) a good, organized writer, even one who can translate complex expertise into end-user or training-level material.

Here in the Denver area, there are scads of tech and aerospace companies, and I often have to pass on even bothering to apply because somewhere down the list of qualifications is "four years experience writing to BoopFart 4.2/gamma standards" or the like. Even with considerable tech writing (and nonfiction) writing experience, I can't jump a hurdle like that.

I did find it funny that Boeing was frantically searching for a tech writer recently. "We have this emergency control system no one know how to use, see..."
Tech writing is a great area. Very lucrative. Every tech company is looking for them. Hop online and take a couple of coding classes in python or javascript. Build out a couple of writing samples. Should put you in great shape to land a job paying near the six figure mark.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,662 posts, read 3,067,747 times
Reputation: 12960
Quote:
Originally Posted by usamathman View Post
Tech writing is a great area. Very lucrative. Every tech company is looking for them. Hop online and take a couple of coding classes in python or javascript. Build out a couple of writing samples. Should put you in great shape to land a job paying near the six figure mark.
I'm not clear what a little coding experience brings, except to software documentation.

My problem is that I have plenty of experience - including books and whole libraries of software and mechanical product documentation in paper, help-system and interactive form - but often run into demands for these esoteric standards and protocols. Without them, I can't be considered; that I have absorbed, followed and forgotten more such standards than I can count doesn't qualify me.

So I write books while I wait.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:23 PM
 
17,708 posts, read 4,087,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
I work in the copywriting field, which pays well but isn't as writing- and research-heavy as I'd like.

Which areas in writing are heavily writing- and research-driven?

I've looked into it and it seems proposal writing may be a good fit. There's also medical writing, but I probably couldn't break into it without a medical background. (I studied marketing.)

Any others that you recommend checking out?

Thanks in advance for your help.
professors.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:14 PM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,157 posts, read 1,639,604 times
Reputation: 2043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
I work in the copywriting field, which pays well but isn't as writing- and research-heavy as I'd like.

Which areas in writing are heavily writing- and research-driven?

I've looked into it and it seems proposal writing may be a good fit. There's also medical writing, but I probably couldn't break into it without a medical background. (I studied marketing.)

Any others that you recommend checking out?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Might you be interested in writing resumes, cover letters, executive bios, LinkedIn profiles, etc.? It's marketing-centric, involves research, and is definitely writing-heavy. It's a field that has grown tremendously over the last 20+ years, especially for those of us who write exclusively for executives. It's easy to take on as a "side hustle" (lord, I hate that phrase!) while you're learning the ropes and building your skills, but you can essentially write your own ticket from there.

I've worked in this industry for 25 years--as both a 1099 contract writer and as owner of my own firm. Contract work pays less per project, but you don't have to exert the time/effort/expense of selling the work like you would if you were the business owner. I used to keep a pretty fast pace and heavy schedule, writing an average of 4-5 projects per week. At my current contract rate, that would equate to a gross of $2000-$2500 per week. I work only part-time now, fitting projects in around my life, so I average $1000-$1250 per week.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:27 PM
 
40 posts, read 8,274 times
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Be a technical writer. Biotech/medical companies employs them. That or be a Technical Information Scientist, but you probably have to travel a lot.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,185 posts, read 11,808,808 times
Reputation: 32199
I think someone else mentioned paralegal - I was going to say being a lawyer. But if you have any interest in the field, finding a paralegal job would be a good first step, to see if it feels like a good fit, and then you could consider law school if you were interested. Many firms are happy to take a smart, well educated person who can communicate effective and teach them what they need about being a paralegal, so you don't need to get a certificate to start with.

But it could be an initial step down in terms of salary since you said you are currently well paid. Potentially an investment in yourself for a longer term future, though?

Otherwise, I'd consider working on a book on your own time - even fiction can take a lot of research to get the details right, or you could also find an interesting non-fiction topic as well.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:32 PM
 
2,897 posts, read 1,073,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
Explore your interests and create your own niche. People who write well are always going to be necessary. IMO (and I could be very wrong here) the need for good writers is going to increase in the coming years, especially with the younger generation so used to tYpInG LyKe THIS and using Wikipedia as a primary source. These kids are being ruined, but it's a wonderful opportunity for people who can spell and string a sentence together. The world is your oyster!
Yes and no. Yes, you might beat the younger competition, but, as you pointed out, if the average American is getting dumbed down, you will increasingly go over the heads of your readers.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:39 PM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,157 posts, read 1,639,604 times
Reputation: 2043
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
Explore your interests and create your own niche. People who write well are always going to be necessary. IMO (and I could be very wrong here) the need for good writers is going to increase in the coming years, especially with the younger generation so used to tYpInG LyKe THIS and using Wikipedia as a primary source. These kids are being ruined, but it's a wonderful opportunity for people who can spell and string a sentence together. The world is your oyster!
Or worse yet, with emojis only!! We writers are an increasingly rare breed.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:53 PM
 
753 posts, read 1,060,357 times
Reputation: 895
Disaster planner.
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