RE: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?')

Subject: RE: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?')
From: Donald -dot- H -dot- White -at- pmusa -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 12:09:59 -0500

"Andrew Plato"

STC encourages people to enter the technical writing profession
without warning or telling
them that they had better enjoy and have aptitude with technical and
scientific information.

My experience with STC as a member is that the organization assumes you are
a tech writer; other than grants for internships, don't see anything from
the STC that encourages anyone to become a tech writer.

Really good contractors will tend to niche in certain industries
where they have
extensive background in those technologies.

"Really good contractors...?" 'Good' or 'Successful'? A contractor may be
very successful and yet be little good as a writer, at least as a writer who
conveys to a wide, non-technically proficient audience the means to perform
jobs with the subject of his or her writing.

Nitpicking question: Is 'to niche' a verb?

No tool--Word, FrameMaker--will make anyone a writer. A solid and successful
background in Unix or C++ or network design will not make one a good
technical writer, either. Does a writer need the ability to research and
grasp details in order to successfully write about a subject?

Welcome to Writing 101.

I'd like to see STC offer a library of white papers and articles to its
members over its website; it doesn't. I'd like to see STC setup and run a
convention that doesn't depend upon corporate sponsorship in order to afford
the fees; it doesn't. Nevertheless, I don't understand why so much hyperbole
is expended upon STC. After all, the heart of the organization lies in the
work of its chapters. These people are in the grass and they tend to involve
themselves with the types of topics for which Andrew apparently longs.

Don White
Technical Writer
dwhite -at- venturipartners -dot- com

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