TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Raymond asks: "In your experience, is Technical Writing as a profession
merely a high-tech sweatshop?"
In my experience, NO.
You could do a lot worse than technical writing. I remind myself of that
every summer day in Dallas, Texas, when I see construction workers toiling
away in 100+ degree heat.
I'm in my 12th year as a technical writer and am working for my 4th company.
When I feel burnout or complacency setting in, I start looking for a new
position. I've always worked for small companies (as a sole writer or as one
of two or three writers) where a technical writer is expected to do more
than create documents and help. I've been at my current company (12
employees) for 1.5 years. In that time, I've created HTML help, Windows
help, seminar presentations, software and company demos, and next month I'm
going to start to learn Authorware and create CBT classes.
If you start feeling burned out, it's your own fault (no matter what's going
on around you) and you owe it to yourself and your company to make changes.
Tech writing can be as challenging or as boring as you make it.