Do you have what it takes to be a technical writer?

Are you very analytical, with an excellent grasp of communicating in plain English? You may be a good fit for technical writing.
Technical writer. Bookshelves full of colour coded files or bound reports. Along the top shelf are blue, green, lime and yellow ones. On the bottom grey and white.

Almost always, creative writers have to support their art through myriad other jobs, both allied and non-related – some take up the teaching mantle, others become arts administrators. Many dabble freelance in a variety of ways, taking on gigs in proofreading, copywriting, school visits and journalism for instance. Turning to technical writing is one possible avenue to supplement your earnings. It can be a lucrative main (or side) gig, but its highly specialised language requirements mean it’s not for everyone. ArtsHub reached out to three writers who are working in this sub-sector.

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Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy