RE: Are you a writer? And do you give a rat's arse?

Subject: RE: Are you a writer? And do you give a rat's arse?
From: "Sella Rush" <srush -at- MusicNet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 12:24:05 -0800

In case I didn't make this clear before, there are many, countless, occasions when *writing* is simply not called for. Reference material is a good example. Do I really feel the need to put my writer's stamp on a list of error messages or a table of system requirements? Even an API document (in contrast to an SDK doc) has a specific format and is almost pure fact dictated by someone else.

And sometimes a SME writes content that is 100% ready for prime time with merely a minor edit from me. Am I seriously going to waste time rewriting their work merely to claim "ownership"? I think not.

The last thing I would want to see come out of this discussion is droves of people rewriting perfectly good text just because they're worried about whether they're *really* a writer.

What it comes down to is this. Do you spend your time analyzing how the content is useful to the intended audience? Do you look for ways to improve your product, by researching and adding pertinent data, organizing and presenting information more effectively? When you make changes, are you doing it to get a measurable improvement or because someone told you you're not a real writer unless you use your own words and own knowledge? I don't know if it makes you a writer or not, but it does mean you have worth.

I don't really care what people call themselves. In the real world, technical writers may write, edit, create graphics, proof, ask questions, answer questions, test, copy and bind documents, present at meetings, code, etc. It's all about producing a useful, valuable product.

Sella Rush
technical writer
srush -at- musicnet -dot- com

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