Jeanne Perdue, editor of Zeus Technology magazine

(Dec. 8, 2008) First rule of Journalism: Spell their names right! This becomes more important as information is digitized and searched digitally.
If you want to make money doing journalism, try technical writing. Pick an industry you are interested in and learn some of the technology and jargon in that industry, perhaps by taking chemistry or engineering courses in college. Every technical area has its own trade journals that need assistant editors and copyreaders. And all the vendors in those sectors need case studies written up, brochures and datasheets composed, and success stories published. There are never enough good writers who specialize in medicine, aeronautics, nanotechnology, engineering or sciences, since most of the professionals in those areas absolutely HATE to write -- they consider it torture!
I personally have made a career of technical writing in the oil and gas industry right here in Houston. Find out what the technology companies are in the place you want to live, and get some exposure to that industry in school and in a first job when you graduate. Then work your way toward the vendors' communication departments and the trade journals, and you can have a lucrative writing career working 9am to 5 pm. And if you get laid off, you can always freelance.
Jeanne M. Perdue
Editor of the award-winning Zeus Technology magazine
(formerly Upstream Technology)
Published by Zeus Development Corp.


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