I’m only here for the memes.

Hello Internet, we meet again, it’s me, the Doogie Howser of tech docs. It feels a bit hasty to just launch into tech docs blog-mode without first at least briefly mentioning the Covid and the coup and other insane things that have happened over the past — checks calendar— wait… it hasn’t even been a full year? That can’t be right. I’m pretty positive it’s been at least five thousand years. But I guess time does move slower in the Upside Down or the quantum realm or whatever nightmare we’re living in.

This was going to be my preamble to…

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I often have a hard time explaining what I do to people, and I really shouldn’t, because I explain things for a living. But there’s a lot more to it than people generally think.

Normally conversations about what I do tend to go something like this:

Person I Just Met: “What do you do?”
Me: “Oh I’m a technical writer.”
Mildly Interested Person: “What’s that? Like you write manuals and instructions and stuff?”
*Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” begins playing softly in the background*
Me: “Kind of, yeah. Only I don’t do a whole lot of writing really, it’s more rewriting and…

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

My friends will tell you that I am relationship girl. As in I’m never not in one, nor is it going well, nor are they allowed out of our one-sided conversations where I vent my boy drama and they pretend to care. They’ll also tell you that I’m quick to rush into things, I will often have pegged whatever issues a potential suitor has from a mile away, and I will stay way too long with people I have no business being with just trying to make things work that clearly are not meant to be.

Dating is a hard…

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash — This cat is me. I am this cat.

Random thoughts from a not-that-qualified person

I remember being new to technical writing and being out of my depth when it came to the behind-the-scenes architecture of how things got from my inbox all the way out to the web for customers to consume. Sure, I knew what XML and HTML were, but how in the hell they worked, I knew not. I had no idea what Markdown was. I knew about, and could parse, very few programming languages. …

Millennial imagery.jpg

I was texting a friend earlier about my problems, which are plentiful and of little to no consequence to anyone but me and the people I force to play the role of my therapist, and I said, “I’m going through a thing. I’m having a defining moment I think.” And he texted back, “What was your first clue? *Stares out window at 2020.*” And this uncomfortable parallel to my personal life is true.

We are in a defining moment in time.

Or, at least it feels that way when the entire year has become a bad calendar meme that only…

Y’all… don’t be dumb

No, not really, no it’s not, nuh uh, nope, nah…

I keep hearing that technical writing is a dying field. I have been hearing this “fact” since I first started doing the technical writing thing back whenst I was a wee babe. However, what I’ve observed in my LinkedIn inbox is very much the opposite. It still seems to be an in-demand thing that people want to continually pay me good money to do, so I keep doing it. If you are just starting out in your technical writing career, ignore the Googles about whether your fledgling career is dying, alright? That’s like going to WebMD when you have a…

Me, daily

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen peoples’ eyes glaze over with boredom when I’ve been asked to describe what I do for a living. Usually the response is, “Uh hah. Interesting…” and then they wander away. Far far away. “Come back! I’ll talk about sports with you!” I want to say, but I don’t, because I don’t like most people, nor do I really ever want to talk about sports (unless the Texas Rangers are in the World Series).

What I do is not sexy, but it can look a lot of different ways…

One time when we were out on the smoker’s patio, a friend of mine cocked his head to the side and looked at me for a solidly uncomfortable period of time. Then he spoke, “You just firmly believe you’ll be a kid forever, don’t you? Like you just view yourself as a non-adult.” It was almost as if he was in awe (or maybe that’s just how I decided to take it). I took a hit of my vape while I mused on his declaration, and I said, “Yeah, that’s pretty accurate.”

I tend to go through life in a…

Jen Brown

Decent as h*ck. @heyjbisme on the Tweeters. I write the docs at AWS. Thoughts and opinions my own.

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