Information Overload & My Fuzzy Mind

I'm going to be candid, and admit that this past week has not been the best for me personally. I've been fighting a cold and that awful fuzzy-minded feeling you get when taking night-time cold medicine. Processing the reading has been a bit challenging, but what I'm learning is that #techwriting in the digital age is not what I was expecting at all. Perhaps, I'm a bit biased because of my educational and professional background.

Background & Expectations

I have a BA in English with a Concentration in Professional Writing, but I didn't take a Technical Writing course until my first year of graduate school where I was pursuing an MA in Mass Communication. The course was an undergraduate course and did not count in my program, but I knew I'd benefit from it.

Professionally, I've engaged in many forms of Technical Writing including creating training documents for new documents, writing instructions, and writing program assessment reports. However, technical writing in the digital age is not something that I have much experience in at all. I'm more familiar with the kind of technical writing described in this resource: Balzotti, John (2022). Technical Communication: A Design-Centric Approach. New York: Routledge. Balzotti writes about technical writing being used to solve problems in the workplace. The objective, jargon-free, standardized, and simplification of complex messages that Balzotti describes in the first chapter of his book is what my experience with Technical Writing has been so far.

What I Know Now

Having completed the reading for this week, I understand that technical writing in the digital age is more multi-faceted than I imaged. I expected this discipline to only involve the written word, but after completing the reading for this week, I've learned that technical writing in the digital age includes multimedia - videos, podcasts, etc. I understand that this discipline a marriage between the Technical Writing discipline that feels comfortable and the digital landscape that is constantly changing and evolving.

Something new I learned that I wasn't expecting was the emphasis on visual design as it relates to this discipline. I envisioned learning more about grammatical mechanics and the best ways to distill complex messages into more digestible chunks. While I'm sure that's part of the process, I was not expecting interdisciplinary nature of the field. For instance, audience analysis is something I teach in my public speaking course. Being an effective speaker requires knowing, considering, and understanding your audience's interest-level and knowledge base as you prepare your speech. Similarly, technical/digital writers must understand their audience and conform their message to meet the audience's needs.

Something else I realized is that I've been engaging in digital writing personally for longer than I realize. Over the years, I've published several blogs through sites like Blogger, Xanga, and most recently through Square Space. My personal blog site can be found here: https://www.wildlyhopeful.me. Unfortunately, I don't spend much time writing on my personal blog, but I hope to get back to it when life gets a little less crazy for me.

Where I'm Heading

In addition to writing for my job, I most interested in improving my digital persona in a few areas. First, I'd like to create more regular content for my personal blog. I started Wildly Hopeful as a blog to process my grief after losing my first husband, but then it became something else. The blog was supposed to be part memorial and part a writing project that outlined activities I was crossing off my late husband's bucket list, which consisted of things that he or we wanted to do. I'd like to return to that project eventually, but I've been paying to keep the website live and maintain my domain name.

Second, I'm looking to help establish a better online persona for the business that my current husband and I run called Honey Badger Apiaries LLC (https://www.honeybadgerapiaries.com). We are beekeepers, and we sell honey and wax products online and at various famer's markets and local events. As our business grows, we want to branch out into being beekeeping educators as well. While I don't maintain the website myself, I would like to start writing and creating content for the website.

I'm looking forward to learning and engaging with others as we journey through this digital landscape and become the best technical/digital writers we can be.

Kimberly Leinberger

Kimberly Leinberger

Kimberly Leinberger

Kimberly Leinberger is a full-time optimist, part-time realist. She is a higher education professional, beekeeper, and aspiring digital writer.
Macon, GA