RE: working with other writers

Subject: RE: working with other writers
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 11:55:41 -0700 (PDT)

> At 02:09 PM 06/01/2000 -0400, Bruce Byfield wrote:
>...a large proportion of the tech-writers I've met
would
>rather be journalists or fiction writers. In their
own own
>minds they've settled for tech-writing, and they
chafe
>at the barely submerged feeling that they're
failures.

Not true at all. Prior to "discovering" technical
writing, I thought I'd have to "settle" for academia -
a career in literary theory. That was the only place I
thought a writing degree could be applied.

I was thrilled to find that this field existed,
because it combines what I'm good at (technical stuff)
with what I love (writing).

I certainly don't feel like a failure - I did when I
was teaching because I felt like it was the *only*
thing I could do do with an English degree. Moreover,
I wasn't a very good teacher, mostly because I felt I
was settling. And I don't mean to impune any teachers
out there: I believe that teaching is a valuable
profession. It just wasn't for me.

And most of the people I've met were happy to be tech
writers. Like me, they shudder at the thought of
teaching or a career in creative writing.
*Personally*, I thought was wasting my writing
abilities when I taught, not to mention that I hated
having to enforce grammar rules. I also think that
fiction writing isn't dependable.

Also, most "technical" writers also write "creatively"
on the side - producing everything from poetry to
newspaper articles. We do it because we are *writers*
and can adapt our writing abilities to the context.

If someone isn't happy doing this kind of work, then
they shouldn't be doing it. Period. Life's too short
to waste hating your job.

=====
Jeff Hanvey
Memphis, TN

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