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> It's the same with writing. Many people can write passably.
> But to be a
> professional technical communicator I think you have to
> devote some time to
> learning the mechanics of writing and divorcing yourself from
> your "natural"
> writing technique.
I would agree with this. A younger friend of mine is graduating shortly
with an English degree under the premise that companies everywhere are
looking to hire people who are good at verbal and written communication.
Problem is, every time this friend sends me e-mail, I cringe at the poor
grammar, poor spelling, poor punctuation, and poor organization of thought.
True, it's informal e-mail, but as a professional writer, I try to present
myself as a compitent writer whether I am sending an informal e-mail to a
pal or a more formal proposal to management. I question whether this friend
of mine has what it takes to be a good writer because of the lazy writing I
see in his e-mail. I have yet to see any "passable" writing. I'm probably
wrong to judge. I identify myself as a writer, while my friend still
identifies himself as a college football player who just happened to study
English on the side. :) I'm obsessed with words because I'm a writer,
while my young friend doesn't view himself that way.
My writing style changed drastically after I started taking style and
mechanics writing classes in college. I began applying many of the
techniques to anything and everything I wrote. Now I can see plainly that
my "technical writing" skills have seeped over into my every-day writing.
My "natural" writing style is very similar to my technical writing
technique. But I had to be trained in technical writing. I certainly
didn't come by it naturally, but it feels pretty natural now.
megan -dot- rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com