As an Asian saying goes, it is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. When somebody describes you some concept you can try to imagine each tiny detail, every piece of the whole, each brick in the wall, but there is always a thing that somehow slips your mind.
I was going to write this post much earlier. However, each time I got down to it, I was either distracted by whatever I saw in my timelines or just seemed not to have enough inspiration to kick-start the process.
Some people call it a creative block, some – a lack of inspiration, others blame laziness or a habit to procrastinate till the very last night before the deadline. No matter what it is, for an information developer such a non-creative state may sound like a nightmare, as we need bright ideas and resourcefulness like a breath of fresh air. But if you happen to feel unproductive at times, there are some tricks which may help you to find your muse again.
I started my career as an Information Developer not so long ago. I never worked in the field of technical communication before and never thought that someday I would give it a try. So, as Bryan Adams sings, ‘Here I am, this is me’. I have not acquired any extensive experience yet, but still, I think that I can share some discoveries made during my debut in this position.
A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon a gorgeous example of graphics that advertises 10 medicines for each of the common seasonal ailments. I was so fascinated by the concept that I stood in front of it for several minutes. Because it is:
Clear. Concise. Cool.
Don’t you think? 🙂
(The text reads 10 best seasonal offers)
… people don’t buy quarter-inch drill bits.
They buy quarter-inch holes
so they can hang their children’s pictures.
‘Made to Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath
A young and passionate CEO carefully crafts new strategy that will revolutionize the company standing and even the industry itself, yet his brilliant idea falls on the deaf ears of the stakeholders.
A dedicated scientist discovers a dead-sure cure for an untreatable disease, yet the scientific community dismisses the idea and leaves thousands of ill people in the dark although their lives could so easily have changed for better.
The marketing department of a food chain finds a customer success story that will make into a beautiful campaign for the brand, yet the management shrugs off the idea 15 minutes into the presentation.
It doesn’t have to be all that tragic, and contrary to what is seems, the actual villain here is not at all the thick-skinned management.
Let me tell you a New Year story.
Have you ever had an idea lingering in the depth of your mind surfacing from time to time just only to sink again before you can get a proper grip on it? Have you ever felt lost in the piles of thoughts scattered like puzzle pieces and needed to be systematized before you can compile them in a coherent picture? Have you ever started a new article and experienced a severe case of writer’s block when you look at the blank page and aren’t able to squeeze out a word?
If at least one of those does ring a bell to you, there’s a solution to your mind napping: master mind mapping.
0. Ghost-Tip. Never waste your time for introduction.
1. Be general. Don’t go into details, you don’t need to provide actual information. Write “The software is useful.” Enlisting the spheres of application is for dummies. Your readers are the best. They are working as prophets and reading your mind in their free time. Why spell it out for them?
Other questions you definitely don’t need answering:
The world of IT and high technologies is constantly growing and expanding its horizons. IT has immersed into our lives so quickly that we can’t imagine our daily routine without technologies anymore: mobile phones, smart watches, e-books, laptops…
And every single gadget or application has supporting documentation that bridges the gap between technology and users and makes learning curve as smooth as possible. Technology is striving to become closer to people, and Information Developers (also known as Technical Communicators or Technical Writers) are the wizards who help bridge the gap.
Is there any silver bullet or golden set of characteristics for becoming a successful Information Developer?