I began my career as a writing instructor “decades ago” when I was a grad student in the English Department at Ottawa U. There I taught essay writing and fiction courses as a part-time professor.
In the 90’s, I also started work as a writer in high-tech. The transition from academic writing to workplace writing took me a few years to manage. The first thing I had to do was kick my academic writing habits and learn to write for new audiences. Very few people, I quickly learned, wanted to get essential information in the form of an essay, even a grammatically perfect one.
That fact is even more true now. We are scanners before we are readers, and essays don’t scan well. Writing well these days means planning reader-centred writing that presents information clearly and without clutter and uses plain language wherever possible. It’s as much about problem solving as about writing.
Writing At Work: The subject I love teaching the most.
Over the years, after working in both government and high-tech, I have gravitated to teaching the subject I love most: writing at work. I’m passionate about it because I believe that good writing makes a difference in the world. People who have to write at work rarely get thanks or a byline, leave aside glory. But the country can’t function well without people who can explain things well. I know how hard they work and the barriers to writing clearly that they often face. I am privileged to work with them.
Incidentally, I have been profoundly deaf almost as long as I’ve been teaching. My interpreters, who do a special kind of sign interpreting based on English, remove any sense of obstacles or barriers.
When I’m not in the classroom in Ottawa, I’m in Stratford in our old rescue-project of a house by the river enjoying the company of my husband and training our lab puppy, Silas, to one day be a hearing-ear dog.
Want to learn more about my workshops or coaching? Contact me