It wasn’t until my impending nuptials in 2011 that I realized I was a HAK  (or hack) writer, thanks, in part, to a clever and creative coworker. When I first started technical writing in 1995, I created easy-to-use computer manuals for understanding Windows 95 (not an easy task, I assure you). That blossomed into a unique tutoring company where people paid me for my talents – although, sometimes payment resulted in an apple pie.

A few years later, I went to work for the awe-inspiring computer book industry. My first publisher was Macmillan Computer Publishing. As was the case with publishing during the mid-1990s, the company was bought and quickly sold by three different companies. Ultimately, Pearson Publishing swallowed the company. As an acquisition editor, I learned the art of contract negotiation and the ability to attract talent to our company (ranging from COM/DCOM to programming architecture books). I called it my crash course in publishing because I not only learned the ins and outs of publishing, but I worked hard (60+ hours per week). 

At home and long before blogs became the hot ticket, I wrote my own stories. Mostly because my dad, a masterful storyteller, asked for them for Christmas presents and I obliged. That early encouragement would pay off later when I wrote my first self-published book of short stories titled As You Are.

After I had my Oprah moment (aka a huge life changing moment) in February 2000 (a book to come on that in the near future), I jumped Pearson’s ship and sailed with McGraw-Hill Education for 9 1/2 years. There my writing became more polished, and I learned more about proofreading and copyediting. Eventually, I found my calling as a technology producer. As a trainer and manager, I revamped our technology development department and had fun along the way.

At this time, I also found my calling as a yoga practitioner. I taught free yoga classes to my coworkers with the encouragement of a fellow Yogini. It was at this time I wrote my first book, Living Yoga, a beginner’s guide to Hatha Yoga.

Eventually, the ship sailed for McGraw-Hill, and I stood onshore seeking new ways to reinvent myself in the Los Angeles market. At California Psychics (Outlook Amusements), I became the senior editor of the content and community where I was responsible for creating Web content, emails and print pieces that engaged our customers to purchase our product (psychic readings).

It was there, during my preparations for my wedding, that I realized I had become a hack writer. Over the years, I learned to write business reports, presentations, trainings, training manuals, books, articles, fiction, non-fiction, newsletters, customer retention emails and much more. I also crossed genres from computer applications to computer languages, from fiction (pre-teen and teen stories) to non-fiction (yoga manuals). And by getting married, I became Holly Allender Kraig, HAK.

I became a true HAK Writer.

For more about my story and how it might help develop your story, contact me at holly@hakwriter.com.