Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!

Subject: Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!
From: "Melody Akins" <melodyakins -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 14:04:31 -0600

Andrew opined:
> Reprocessing text from an SME isn't writing. That's clerical work. Writing
> demands learning about something and then building a document from the
> knowledge you have borrowed, gleaned, or gathered.
If writing is a form of communication, and the gobbledygook spouting from
the lips of some scientific, medical, or engineering SME, needs to be
translated into normalhuman, then 'reprocessing text from an SME' is
definitely writing, and TECHNICAL writing at that!

Having worked from the 'clerical end,' in attempting to transcribe the notes
of a forensic psychiatrist (definitely a subject matter expert), I can tell
you that KNOWING something, and being able to produce an end product that is
understandable to its intended audience (in this case, 'normalhumans'), are
two vastly different things. Making sense of forensic psychiatry requires
more than a nodding acquaintance with the 'jargon,' but other than that, a
agreed-upon outline, good writing skills, the ability to knock out
transitional paragraphs, and a basic knowledge of the intended readership,
are all that's necessary to produce an at least editable product.

Producing the 'gleanings' that technical writers often use as 'reference
material' for their finished documents, is difficult and taxing work and
deserves a better title than 'clerical work,' imo.

I completely agree that technical writers will benefit from picking a niche
and learning the (don't hit me, please!) 'lingua franca' spoken therein.
One of the best ways to do this is from the 'clerical' end.

By the way, an experienced executive secretary earns more per annum than a
newly-minted Phd, if money is an issue. The reason for this is that a good
secretary can COMMUNICATE--can a new PhD?

So there! (Thanks for your ability to do the logic thing, Andrew. My
husband is a philosopher, and he gets me in logic traps all the time! I'm
sharpening (I hope!) my logic tools on this list!)

"Take the Shoes Off Your Mind!"(c)

Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

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Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!: From: Andrew Plato

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