Technical writers are first of all writers. They are constantly searching for the Castalian Spring trying to fill the Grail of their thirsty mind and soul with the wine of inspiration. That is the gift and that is the curse of the creative people. Sometimes the routine tasks, lack of support, or the technical and communication gaps demotivate the technical writers, and they start wandering around looking for the silver lining. I experienced the fall of enthusiasm but I found the right path to the Muses. It was a long road to Sofia, Bulgaria, where the ETC conference returned me my faith in TechComm.
Check how great ETC was: Evolution of TC
How did the 2-days event inspire me like a million of motivating books? Follow me in my stirring travel and get your portion of ETC: encouragement, talent, and creativity!
Welcome to ETC: The journey began.
The creators of ETC know that a good start is a half of success. In the welcoming speech, they impressed me saying that the profession of technical writer does not exist (in the official lists of occupations)! No, we are not the ghosts, we are the underground community unknown by the others. But sitting there and looking at the hundreds of the technical writers I realized that this community is so fascinating!
What inspired me the most: From the speech I found out that there is a huge TechComm community in Bulgaria. Moreover, every member of this “clan” stays always tuned and in the center of the big volume of activities this group organizes. They are doing great work – organize TechComm trips to the cities and towns to share knowledge and search for the talents, create surveys and quizzes to gather statistics on different topics, and closely interact with other professional clusters to level up the expertise in wide range of technical branches. Such amazing social life of technical communicators warms up the interest in the profession and shows the great opportunities of development. So let’s open our doors and show how technical writers rock!
See the tekom team: tekom Bulgaria
Keynote: The power of words.
The keynote speaker was a smart and charismatic Leah Guren from Israel. She was talking about the power of language and its influence on almost all spheres of our lives. I could listen to her for hours – I believe that is the best proof of the power of words.
What inspired me the most: Sometimes I used to lose the vision of the aim of my work. I could not understand what was my input as a technical writer in the society. Leah Guren became the person who opened my eyes and showed me the variety of aspects where the words, the language make a difference! Our speech defines the first impression of people around us, so improving ourselves as writers we are improving our life quality also! Moreover, Leah Guren explained the value of documentation that we are writing. Poor documents cost sales and the product is seen as bad because of the bad content. These thoughts were straightforward and to the point, and finally evoked the pride that I am among the guardians of the high-quality content galaxy.
Learn more about Leah Guren and her work: CowTC
Lectures: What really matters.
The themes of the lectures were diverse and astonishing.
People exchanged and shared their experience and knowledge, and these short inspiring success stories motivated me more that months of daily work. I understood that all speakers faced the same difficulties and failures as me, but they were passionate about their ideas and followed the dream.
What inspired me the most: After the lectures, I realized that the TechComm world is much brighter and bigger than I suspected. The story about the robot user assistant Tina persuaded me that we can create not only books-like tutorials but also an interactive, live, and funny content. Also, I discovered that there could be totally different collaborative style of work with the documentation called a document sprint. What can be more productive and more relaxing for some internal projects than doing an interesting task together with colleagues? I was positively shocked by the lectures about projects where technical communicators used dozens of tools that I never heard of. Most inspiring was to listen about DITA and now I am wondering why I am still not using this almighty tool! All speakers showed me that there are so many opportunities that we are missing! And that means that there are so many ways of the development!
Check out the videos of lectures on Facebook page of ETC: ETC on Facebook
Interactive Session: Fading the fear.
During the interactive session, our group discussed the future of the mobile documentation. We talked and listened to each other, and the transparent thought became the accurate plan of the possible actions to be done to optimize the mobile docs. When the member of our team presented the results of the interactive session to the audience, I felt the confidence that not only the experienced technical writers could share the ideas and be great speakers but also the newbies like me. It was then that I finally felt that I am no more a padawan of the TechComm, I am a young Jedi.
What inspired me the most: It is not a crime not to know something in details. We are constantly learning and our mistakes are good lessons. Do not be afraid to talk and express your own vision.
Workshops: Creativity is alive!
The workshops were so funny and exciting that I didn’t want to leave. During the workshop about the video, we wrote the scripts for our video, drew the flow, and shared our ideas. That was awesome! The interaction among the technical communicators and usage of the various deliverables miraculously encouraged me and showed the new colors of TechComm.
What inspired me the most: The workshop “Sketch me a document” by Angel Petrov evoked my sleeping creativity and showed that writing can be fun! The idea of sketching not in the app but on the board using colorful markers, bright schemes, and associations impressed me. When I am excited and inspired I can create a masterpiece. After this workshop, I know it for sure!
Networking event: Marvelous people.
I met a lot of wonderful people. Although we knew each other for a couple of hours, we were talking about almost everything in the world! There I felt I am an equal member of a fantastic society that lives a life full of challenges and discoveries.
Maybe one day I will become a speaker on the conference. I will tell my audience that my true love for the TechComm started in Sofia, on the ETC conference that was the most innovative, inspiring, and impressive thing in my professional life!