Re: On not becoming discouraged

Subject: Re: On not becoming discouraged
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 11:41:33 -0800

Ellen Vanrenen wrote:

When I read all your postings, I am always concerned with how very much I
have to learn.

I wouldn't be concerned. Everybody is always learning - usually twenty minutes before they need the information. Even people with twenty years' experience are in this position, because new technologies and tools emerge. The only advantage that experienced writers have over you is that they've learned to live with the uncertainty and the panic - and, maybe, not to show it as much.

In fact, it's not just tech-writers. High-tech and much of modern business work in the same way. When I first started, I used to wonder when the whole frail structure would come crashing down, and maybe it has, a little, in the last year or so, but it's far more resilient than I imagined. For one thing, many of us learn to make connections that allow us to learn more easily. There's no reason to think that you won't do the same. Just give yourself time.

I really don't understand the advanced postings you send.

There are some subjects on the list that don't mean a lot to me, either. For example, after three years of working on Linux, the arcane spells that are required to coax MS Word into behaving nicely are fairly remote and irrelevant to me. I scan posts on such subjects for future reference, but I don't really worry about them.

The fact is, nobody has time to learn everything.

Your situation sounds very much like most people's first semester at university. Everybody's so busy and everybody seems so knowledgable that as a newcomer you feel overwhelmed. Gradually, however, you realize that not everybody is as knowledgable as they appear, and that you have your own areas of expertise, and you don't feel so inadequate. Give yourself some time to adjust.

How do you all do and learn it all?
I think I've already answered this question, but, to summarize: We don't. We learn to cope, that's all.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"And I wouldn't say I couldn't be your lover,
Not if there was nothing else to be,
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Don't slit your wrists for me."
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On not becoming discouraged: From: Ellen Vanrenen

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