RE: Are you a writer?

Subject: RE: Are you a writer?
From: "Wilcox, Rose (ZB5646)" <Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 13:23:16 -0700

To elaborate on this point: I always have trouble with the claim that
our specialty is communication. Perhaps I take the ability to
communicate for granted, but I consider it no more than the basic
requirement for the job. To say that a writer communicates is a
tautology, and not very useful. The question should be WHAT are we
communicating, not whether we are doing so, or how skilled we are. After
all, the ability to sling a memorable phrase or write grammatically is
fairly common. The ability to structure material is much rarer, and
depends on the material itself.

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

Thank you for this, Bruce. That's why I prefer to call myself a "Technical
Writer" than a "Communication Specialist" as my boss at Project Office
prefers. The other thing you brought to mind was a memory of my first
technical writing consulting gig. I took an outline of the material to my
mentor, the Senior Tech Writer, which was a reiteration of the topics asked
for by client. He had me go back and reorganize it, saying, "What do you
think we are selling here? Our main product is the ability to *organize*
the material." It stuck with me.
And to organize the information, you do have to understand it.

Rose A. Wilcox
Project Office / Power Trading
Communication Specialist / Technical Writer
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com

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