Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

Subject: Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
From: "Kevin Christy" <kevinchristy -at- socal -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:40:41 -0800

I had to answer Other/None of the Above because I have seen such a
diversity, ranging from "there's nothing I can't do" to people who had the
basic talent but were convinced that they couldn't do the job. Admittedly,
I have interacted with maybe just a dozen personally, besides on this list.

In my personal experience, accurately sizing up your ability to learn what
you don't know and to master what you haven't confronted before matters more
than experience. For instance, I've had to write proposals, reports, and
user documentation for stuff that you would normally require a Ph.D. to talk
about. Because I knew that I liked smart people and loved learning about
new ideas, and I loved writing about them, I found that I was able to form
easy working relationships with the Ph.D.'s and to draw from them what I
needed to know to pull it off. I saw others with Masters' degrees and years
more experience than me perish in the technical detail and chafe the

So often, I see in job ads that they want writers with experience in the
field that the company is in (local ads have recently said, "must have
experience writing FAA manuals," and "must have experience in radar-related
field"). I think that these companies haven't discovered what a good
technical writer can do who possesses the basic skill of being a quick,
willing study.

I suppose that what I'm really trying to say is that perhaps the most
important assessment that we can make of ourselves is our ability to adapt
and learn quickly, which is less a skill than a temperment. To be, in other
words, "teachable" in whatever our circumstances.

Agree or disagree?



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New TECHWR-L Poll Question: From: Deborah S. Ray

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