RE: Real Writers - WRITE

Subject: RE: Real Writers - WRITE
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 11:10:08 -0700

The Andrew_Plato Monologue(s) -- reminds me of that in-law who knows just
*everything* about whatever is under discussion, but Reality as we know it
still pertains in The Real World.
If they weren't so obnoxious, his rants would be far more amusing--but he
does, apparently, take himself seriously, and expects others to as well!
mirabile dictu!

I've written detailed step-by-step instructions for physicians to follow,
having worked closely with physicians to develop the material, and I've even
taught medical terminology, but NO, I'm NOT medically trained and was in NO
WAY personally responsible for the content of what I wrote, rewrote,
formatted, and even trained others in the use of -- it was, by state law,
the doctors' responsibility and liability throughout. We who were tasked
with making it readable and usable were steeped in many of the same details
that physicians were licensed to dispense, but to assert that we as writers
were obliged to *master* the same content as doctors is patently silly--like
most of Plato's posturing.

Let me count the ways,,,

I've written detailed instructions on how to calibrate US Navy aircraft test
equipment without ever seeing the aircraft or even the actual equipment in
situ, let alone using it as field operators would--it was impossible and
unnecessary to verify my understanding of the process. Somehow they
kept on using it in locations around the world...

I've written instructions for biomedical test equipment but I have no
advanced training in biology.

I've written about shake tables for earthquake testing but I'm no

I've written about embedded systems and real-time OSes, though I've never
created or compiled one and have at best a superficial knowledge of how to
use them--but I satisfied the SMEs who paid me.

I've written about EDI for Microsoft to sell their own software but never
coded a byte of it myself.

I've corrected instructions for security equipment in French, German,
Italian and Spanish, but I'm not a native speaker in those languages nor an
expert equipment operator--but I made sense of the material and improved it
WITHOUT mastering it anywhere near as well as real experts or users have to.

Nothing Andrew asserts proves [or disproves] others' experiences, but he
obviously enjoys the vigor of his own convictions. We can at the very least
applaud him for his rigor! Keep feeding him material! Some of us need the
comic relief.

> -----Original Message-----
... If you're writing about something, you should know what you're
> writing about. Otherwise - you're not writing. You're just a text "pretty
> upper." (See below.)
> You were not a writer. ...
> REAL WRITERS - WRITE. Real writers take nothing and turn it into
> something.
> Real writers pull from their own knowledge and understanding !!! and do
> not have to
> rely 100% on other people to show them the way. Sure, real writers work
> closely
> with SMEs to make sure they're on the right track. But real writers don't
> need
> the SME to bless every last sentence. !!! Real writers can take fragments
> of ideas
> and designs, research them, and then write intelligent documents for an
> SME to
> review.
> How can you in any way communicate effectively if you don't know the
> material?
> You can't. It is impossible.

Learn how to develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver!
Dec. 7-8, 2000, Orlando, FL -- $100 discount for STC members. or 800-646-9989.

Your web site localized into 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than
you think. Download ForeignExchange's FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
translation management" at

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Reflexive responses: forwarded for a colleague
Next by Author: RE: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Previous by Thread: Real Writers - WRITE
Next by Thread: RE: Real Writers - WRITE

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads