From Ballet Slippers to Life Jacket

Robin G Coles on stage in a ballet tutu doing an arabesque

This ballet solo was in front of 3,000 Amway distributors at a rally in Danvers, MA back in the early 70’s. The music was “The Impossible Dream”

Growing up in Massachusetts, my original career plan was to be a ballerina.  I loved dancing, especially in front of hundreds of people.  But that never happened.  I injured my knee my senior year in high school. The doctor said I would never dance again.  (I did go back years later only to rip the adductor longus muscle in my thigh. That finished my dancing career for sure.)

Computers became my next plan. Much to my 8th grade math teacher’s dismay, I received my degrees in both computer technology and management information systems (MIS). During my time at Northeastern University, I was a single mom raising two young boys. Plus, working full-time at Honeywell and a part-time job at McDonald’s. Once I graduated college, I left computer operations and went to System Software Support.

Another Giant Leap! Out On My Own.

In 1990 after working ten years at Honeywell, I started freelancing and my computer skills took off. I picked up database skills, web development, technical writing and training to name a few. Plus, I studied and practiced marketing. While working in various positions in computers I wrote a lot of documentation and took several writing courses. Those courses opened the world to a more enjoyable life: working as a freelance writer and published author for over 10 years.

As a hands-on specialist throughout the full Software Development Life cycle (SDLC), I am one of those rare birds who feels good documentation is essential. Every database I created or maintained, I always researched the users and how they would use the database. Then wrote the documentation inside the code. This was especially important for the next developer that came along. Not only did it help them understand the logic, but also saved the company time and money with a shorter learning curve or maintenance. With those skills, I became a sought-after database developer. I had five developers that I would follow before the dot-com bust. Once they left a company I received a call to “fix” the databases. These skills helped me reinvent myself as a technical writer.

Fast forward to today. Companies hire me to help with their documentation needs. This includes strategizing, creating, replacing and updating technical and marketing content.

Industries include: tech (software and bio), healthcare, telecommunications, financial, hospitality, maritime and nonprofits. Samples of my work are available upon request.

My Passion

Robin G Coles, marine enthusiast and content marketing writer at the Helm on Tartan Sailboat

 I’m a passionate marine enthusiast and sailor who has interviewed countless industry experts as well as visited, interviewed personnel at, written about, photographed and video taped hundreds of marine ports in the US and abroad.

The ocean both scares and exhilarates me, as it should any boater – one minute it is as calm and smooth as glass; the next a stark raving maniac, as crazy as life itself.

I’ve authored over 100 articles, published several books on boating (Boating Secrets: 127 Top Tips to Help You Buy and Enjoy Your Boat), and had my own newspaper column for the Winthrop (MA) Transcript, a column in Tartan Owner’s Northeast (TONE) quarterly newsletter, and Great Lakes Scuttlebutt Magazine on boat safety.  Plus a variety of articles
in maritime magazines, newsletters, case studies, reports, and technical documents about boating and non-boating topics. To read my articles click here.

My latest books

Writing Practice Journal for Technical Writers is Now Available!.
100-pages of writing exercises to help anyone starting out as a technical writer or those looking to improve their skills. To learn more about this check out my press release.

Only “Safe” Desserts Now taking Preorders!
50 delicious “safe” dessert recipes cookbook for Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, and
Sorghum Flour Free

Currently, I spend my summers on a peninsula near Boston Harbor and Logan Airport, where I sail and work with business owners around the world. 

In my spare time I love to walk the beach, photograph a variety of subjects, read good detective stories, business books, travel, cook, crochet shawls for four-to-six-year olds in cancer wards, write, and sail Boston Harbor.

Last, but not least, my current project I’m working on is:

  • Volume II of Boating Secrets: 127 Top Tips to Help You Buy and Enjoy Your Boat.
    This new volume is about Boat Safety.

To learn more about working with me, click here  or contact me directly.