A few people have asked about recommendations for books on writing. Writing for MSDN is an interesting proposition because you're writing about a technical topic, but you can also interject your own experiences with the given process. For example, you're writing about migrating an app from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET, and certainly there are technical writing standards that can help with the structure and formatting of your article, but you also want to give your own input on the process. A good way to think of it is that you're not writing a generic How-to manual for a product, but rather telling a colleague how you went about performing a task and you're passing along that knowledge to help them when they have to perform that same task. In terms of the technical writing structure and standards, The Handbook of Technical Writing is an excellent resource. Two other books that are often found on the desk of a technical writer/editor are the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publication and The Chicago Manual of Style.


As far as writing goes, I think the same issues come up regardless of what area or genre you write in—writer's block, voice, crappy first drafts, and so on. My favorite book on the topic of writing is Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. She provides brilliant insight into the craft of writing and it's a book I find myself reading again and again.


If you want some additional information on writing for MSDN, check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/write. Until next time, good luck with your writing.

[Listening to: The Dairy Queen - Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music (05:03)]