Re: Writing: better or worse after years on the job?

Subject: Re: Writing: better or worse after years on the job?
From: CarolAnne -dot- Wall -at- minnesotamutual -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 07:22:13 -0500

I notice that my technical writing takes a hit based on the type of outside
reading I am doing. I have one of those highly-suggestive minds, and tend
to unconsciously mimic styles. Which I then have to clean up. I have
been reading nonfiction lately -- not exactly clear and concise, unless
you're reading a Dilbert book. I think I need to start reading Hemingway
and Steinbeck again.

I also think you have to exercise your writing muscles outside of the
technical writing arena to keep sharp. I edit a newsletter for our
Toastmasters Club. I believe that helps to keep my mind sharp and my
creativity satisfied.

Yes, I have been embarrassed by what I have written years earlier. Just
earlier this week, I turned to one of my colleagues and asked, "Who wrote
this dreadful help file? It's full of passive sentences and "appearing"
screens. It's awful." Well, I was commenting on a project I had rushed to
complete two years ago, just before I went on adoption leave. Ugh. I've
cleaned it up, and I'm feeling much better now.

Carol Anne

Carol Anne T. Wall, FLMI, ATM-B/CL
Technical Writer - Individual Business Technology, Minnesota Life Insurance
Vice President of Public Relations, Mutual Voices Toastmasters
carolanne -dot- wall -at- minnesotamutual -dot- com

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