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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.
surfer924 -at- earthlink -dot- net writes:
> So what's the problem? I think I'm getting burned out. Lately,
> the thought
> of going in and sitting in front of the computer all day writing
> that nobody is going to read is making it almost impossible to get out of
> bed. I get to work and I find myself watching the clock waiting
> for the day
> to be over.
> To those of you who are long-time technical writers, is this
> common? Is it
> a passing phase or did I pick the wrong profession?
Technical Communications can involve more than just writing user manuals. If
you don't enjoy spending most of your day writing manuals (or on-line help),
then maybe you need to do something else within this field. Or you might
look for a position with varied duties.
Some of the "other" tasks I have worked on as technical writer include:
* write & publish a customer newsletter
* edit & publish training materials
* design web sites
* collaborate on white papers
* edit technical documents
* develop PowerPoint and Macromedia Director presentations
* get quotes and track costs for publishing documentation
* design and program templates
If you look over the archives you'll find other writers have worked on other
tasks. You might find some other tasks that appeal more to you than
writing - or that you prefer to be able to do a variety of tasks. Or perhaps
there is a company whose product interests you; for example, a big motivator
for me to switch to my current company was that I'm interested in the
Finally, if you decide to stick with your company and your current tasks,
you might find changing your outlook helps. You mention that you are tired
of "writing documents that nobody is going to read." I don't believe most
people are going to pick up a manual to read either, but I do think people
will turn to it when they get stuck - perhaps you can focus on developing
your manuals so that users can locate information as quickly as possible.
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