By the way:
Coming up with writing inspiration is tough. My advice would be, in all the cases, always write about something you really like, or something you really enjoy. As a technical writer, you can write different kinds of articles:
Human beings are interested in stories about people. If your reader knows you a little through your blog, the reader will remember who you are and the reader will be more interested by your technical articles. Here you'll find different kinds of stories.
Giving an opinion is a common way of interacting with other people. Of course you don't simply share an opinion, you'll also share the compelling and interesting argument that support this opinion. Also, please don't spend your time attacking others people or spreading controversial ideas. Here is an axample of a shared opinion.
An how-to is a document providing detailed and practical step-by-step guide on how to do something. In a precise, step-by-step approach, you should walk your reader through the process. You should make sure your reader can reproduce the same results by following the provided steps. Example of an HOWTO.
There are people like me who want to know how almost everything works. This kind of article is suitable when you want to deep dive into a very specific topic. For example, somebody already using Django sessions, may be suddenly wondering how does Django sessions work under the hood ? Here is an article showing how Django sessions work.
You have read, used, tested, played with something. In a review, your attempt will be to write about what was your experience. You'll describe the thing, you'll share what were your feelings about the thing, you'll show the strengths and the weaknesses of the thing. Example of review.
Identifying your intended audience will help you write effective content that achieves your goals. What are you writing ? Who are you writing for ? Knowing your audience will help you adapt your content accordingly. And if you don't know who to write for, then the following is a serie of questions you can ask yourself:
For example, as a Python specialist, the audience can be found in different places. Pycoder weekly news want to hear from you about projects you are working on, conferences you are running, and articles you want to share.
Awesome Python is another newsletter who want you to contribute links to blog posts, tutorials, libraries, events, videos, books.
You can als share your posts on Lobsters, on Tilde News, on dev.to, on towardsdatascience.
The following is what I recommend. In all the cases, you should find what is best for you.
The most effective writers write every day, at least a bit. The more you write, the more your brain form connections between neurons. Those connections get stronger the more often you write. After some time and regular practice, you no longer have to think about it. This is when writing becomes a habit.
Prepare to spend between 90 minutes and 3 hours writing. But hey, 15 minutes can be useful if you do it every day. Don't fool yourself, thinking you'll wait for a big chunk of free time to start. That will never happen.
You are much smarter and more resilient after you have slept properly and ate. Again, find what suits you best. According to some studies, creativity peaks in the morning. My experience tells me that's true.
Write only when you feel it.
You should provide yourself with the right technology. Here again, I can tell you what I do, but there are plenty of differents tools, you should always find what suits you best.
I've choosen to build my website using a Static Site Generator (SSG). An ssg is a tool that generates a full static HTML website based on raw data (text files) and a set of templates (html, css, js files). :
The article you're reading right now, was generated from a markdown file using an SSG named Zola and a theme named Oceanic Zen.
To finish this article, I would like to quote Leslie Lamport
"If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking."
— Leslie Lamport
To learn more on this topic, I strongly recommend the following links:
Things that were discussed during the talk:
Love the article, nicely written. I do think it's such a shame that writing well isn't taught alongside software engineering.
I'd even go so far to say that having a good writer can make or break a team - someone who is able to structure everyone's collective knowledge, and make it easy to access and understand. Someone who ties the team together through past and future.