Most of my work is as a copywriter for real estate investors. But that wasn’t always the case. I used to do a lot more writing for financial audiences not that long ago. In fact, one of my favorite clients was an insurance company that I did some technical writing for a few years ago.
Well recently they called me up again and were implementing a new piece of software and were looking for some more technical writing from me. I jumped at the chance to work with them again because they are a great organization to work with, plus I have several friends there (and who doesn’t want to work with your friends?), plus — even though I mostly do copywriting now — I like to keep my technical writing “muscle” strong. (Here’s the difference between technical writing and copywriting, in case you’re curious). I get other benefits, too: I get to do a bit of training/support/interaction with end users (which is something I don’t always get to do as a copywriter) and I also strengthen my management “muscle” (which is something I don’t always get to do as a writer who works alone) and they are kind enough to give me an office at their downtown headquarters, which I use when I’m working there because I love downtown Winnipeg.
Here’s a brief description of the project: The insurance company has partnered with a software vendor to provide a software application that will be used by its own staff, plus there’s a related implementation with third-party partners to have them use a related software application… The goal is that everyone (internal and external) can communicate faster and clearer. I can’t tell you much more than that right now but I can tell you this: It’s a MASSIVE project with some of the best companies in the business and I’m privileged to be working on it.
Here’s what I’m doing: As a technical writer, I work with other writers and trainers to understand the software itself and then to create policy and procedure documentation that will be disseminated throughout the organization to get all staff members up-to-speed so they can perform their duties with minimal impact to productivity and with maximum benefit to the insurance company’s customers. Now, writing policies and procedures may sound boring but I love it. It’s a very different flavor of writing than copywriting but in some ways you still need to be able to write good sales copy as a technical writer in order to “sell” the reader on why they should start using the software.
A project this big — which is complicated and time consuming and there are a bazillion moving parts — was a challenge to take on and continues to challenge me whenever I’m working on it. And I’ll be honest: There are days when it’s a challenge to juggle everything I’ve committed to do for this client and for my other clients. But I’m having more fun now than I’ve had in a long time and that’s directly related to the degree of challenge that I’m facing right now. I love it!
If you want to see more of what I do as a very occasional technical writer, check out my technical writing website at WinnipegTechnicalWriter.com.