RE: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma

Subject: RE: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma
From: Dan Hall <Dan -at- cooper -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 08:37:00 -0800

Jo is right on.

There's more to technical writing than Big-W writing. Lots of folks can
write - and there are even a good number who can write reasonably well. But
writing (as A.P. often argues) is only half the story.

I would be hard pressed to assist a college student (with a degree in
"anything" as someone suggested) become a technical writer if they don't
have any tech savvy. A degree in Underwater Basket-weaving is well and good
for some types of work, and a degree in English isn't amiss for a TW. But
there needs to be some ability/inclination in the area of figuring out
technology to go along with it.

I have at least two dear friends who can crank out excellent prose, but I
wouldn't want them writing user manuals. Flowery sentences with fanciful
adjectives make a great Sci-Fi read, but that's not what I want when I'm
trying to solve the most-recent problem on my Linux box. I want something
concise written by someone who knows how to solve my problem.

There's a balance here, somewhere, between writing skills and technology
prowess. Though they're obviously not mutually exclusive. Just look at the
fine folks of Techwr-l!


dan -at- cooper -dot- com

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