Linda’s Lessons: An Introduction

Today we introduce the newest guest blog on STC’s Notebook, Linda’s Lessons. Linda’s Lessons comes from Linda Oestreich and will highlight lessons she’s learned throughout her career in technical communication. Today’s post contains an introduction and an invitation; her second post later this month will start the lessons!

Welcome! You’ve found Linda’s Lessons, a new guest blog on STC’s Notebook. With a little nudging from Kevin Cuddihy in the STC office, I am beginning a new adventure that you can share. Linda’s Lessons will be a little of this and a little of that—remembrances, observations, new knowledge, guest bloggers, answers to your questions, tips for newbies, reinforcements for the experienced, and a general potpourri of things I hope you’ll find valuable, thought-provoking, and fun!

The “lessons” will relate to technical communication and its environs as I have experienced and observed it since I first became an editorial assistant in 1976. That means it will encompass writing, editing, psychology, coaching, mentoring, and other topics that technical communicators do daily. But I must warn you: this will not be a “techie” blog. Others more knowledgeable than I have cornered that market and I’ll refer to them when the occasion warrants.

So, why do I deem myself worthy of this blog? Here’s a synopsis: I began life in Brooklyn, NY, as the first child of a young sailor . . . wait! That goes back a little too far! How’s this? I joined STC in 1979, the same year I donned the title of technical writer/editor as a US civil servant. After a few years, I found myself supervising a group of 13 writer/editors during the day and teaching Technical Writing 101 in the evening at a local community college. That two-job pattern became the norm for me. Over the years, I often taught school as an adjunct to my full-time techcomm job.

Never one to stick in one spot, I have worked in two major locations (San Diego and Houston) and had several titles, such as doc manager, project manager, senior editor, instructor, training director, and business analyst. And, to keep it interesting, I also supported multiple industries, including oil and gas, information technology, property management, government, computer science, life sciences, engineering, human resources, and consulting. No matter what the job or industry, the constant was that I communicated technical information and helped others do the same.

Through it all, STC has been my foundation and my helpmate. As an active volunteer and leader for the Society, I have served in many roles, but the two I consider most noteworthy are attaining STC Fellowship in 1996 and President of the Society in 2007.

So, hold on tight. We’re in this together. Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions. As this blog takes hold and finds its balance, I hope you’ll become a dedicated reader and contributor to its content! Why not start now?