Tips for rapid writing

Typing quickly (Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, here.)

There comes a time in the career of every writer (technical or otherwise) when you’re looking at the wrong end of a looming deadline and don’t have anything close to being ready to send out. Or you might be asked to write something before the end of the day or in next couple of hours.

What do you do when that happens? Some writers will panic. Others will be frozen with fear. Others will scramble to get something, anything written. Regardless of the quality.

There’s no need to do any of that. Unless what you’ve been ask to write is several thousand words long, it’s possible to quickly write something to that deadline. And that something will be of good quality.

Curious? Then read on for some tips that can help you write quickly.

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A few screencasting resources

Want or need to jump into screencasting, but don’t know where to begin? Then take a look at these resources that can help get you up and running:

Do you have any favourite screencasting resources? Why not share them by leaving a comment?

Tips for efficiently editing in Word

by: Rhonda Bracey

Recently, Bill Swallow stated on the HATT list: I’ve been a long-time advocate for efficient process and documentation. I base this on one key truth: I’m lazy. I’m so lazy, in fact, that I bust my butt to make things easier.

And so it is with me and Word. If I can find an more efficient way to do something, or to automate a tedious and/or repetitive process, I will.

For the past 18 months I’ve edited hundreds of academic-style environmental science reports for a global oil and gas company. The editing – or QA as we call it in house – involves everything from formatting (such as checking consistency in headers and footers, page margins, styles used) through to a full review of the content, including the usual grammar and punctuation checks, as well as checking lists of terms and making sure that citations and references match.

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Coworking spaces: a good option for the consultant

One of the atttractions of being a consultant or a freelancer is that you can work from your home office. As Ivan Walsh discussed in a guest post, working from the home office can have its joys and its pains.

Aaron and I usually work at clients sites, although we do some work from our homes. I’ll be honest: when the weather’s warmer, I take a laptop or a netbook out on to my enclosed porch and work for hours.

That said, sometimes you need to get out of the house — if only for a change of pace or to avoid the inevitable distractions. TO get that change of pace or a change of scene, many consultants and freelancers decamp to a public library or a favourite coffee shop.

Another option is a coworking space. And it can be a great way to straddle maintaining working from home and renting a more traditional office.

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The joys and pains of working remotely

by: Ivan Walsh

“You’re so lucky,” she said “You get to work from home.”

Before I could give my 2 cents, she listed the wonderful things about working remotely: not having to commute, more time with your kids, and other such perks.

Like most things, though, working remotely has its ups and downs.

I’ve worked at home for the last seven years and made most every mistake you can make. So, here are a few tips if you fancy taking the plunge.

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Stepping into the freelance world, part 5: rendering unto the tax collector …

tax Taxes. It’s not a four-letter word, but it may as well be. I won’t go into the reasons why people dislike paying taxes — we all have our own. But if you want to play (or, at least, stay in business) then you’ve got to pay.

For the full-time employee, paying taxes is relatively easy. Employers deduct tax at the source, and at the end of the year you file an income tax return. If you’re lucky, and any other income that you have to pay taxes on isn’t too high, then you might just get some money back.

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