suomeksi  In English


Martti Tala

What makes a technical writer?

The ingredients of my career are various. Studies in Finnish philology and folklore are but two of them. Writing comprehensibly and logically in one's mother tongue is the basis of good technical writing and also any translation of it. Even more important ingredients are a passionate relationship to technology and my lack of technical education – I'm literally always an amateur. Therefore, what I write is, in a sense, always an attempt to explain to myself what I just researched, and such explanations of complicated things in plain words are exactly what most readers of technical articles are looking for.

I started my career as a writer by contributing technical articles and classical record reviews to a Finnish audio magazine until they hired me as a staff writer. In 1985, I bought my first computer, a venerable Kaypro IV portable, and information technology has been my bread and butter ever since. After a year on the editorial staff of the computer magazine Tietokone, I founded Tekstiviestit OY in 1988.

Clear, concise, and explicit style is the aim of all good writing. Whenever I succeed in this objective, my thanks go to my literary teachers. In this English context, I wish to mention especially Edward Gibbon and Winston S. Churchill, whose lively prose has been my trusted companion for many years.