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

Subject: Re: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?')
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 12:33:29 -0800

kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com wrote:

But the way some of you express it, we're supposed to know everything
already. I must have forgotten to sign up for Omniscience 101 when I was
registering for my Macrame class. Bummer.

Seriously, I hope that I haven't been suggesting that. It's just that most people's thinking tends to fall into the patterns they are are most familiar with. Engineers and developers are trained in thinking patterns that are different from those of the average Arts major, so, the less Arts majors have been exposed to those patterns, the less likely they'll be able to understand engineers or developers, or what they do or make.
Naturally, Arts majors like me can try to overcome that problem. Nobody can be expected to be an expert each time that they apply for a job - although, if you are, you'll probably get paid more and have more job security. My concern in this discussion is that, from my own observation, too many tech-writers are reluctant to admit the limits of their thinking patterns, and even fewer seem to have any willingness to overcome them.

In other words, I don't think that writers have to be experts from the start - but I do think that they must be willing to become experts if they're going to do their best work. Even if they never get to the same level of expertise as a developer, I suspect that they produce better work when they're trying to close the gap.

And, if nothing else, trying to gain that expertise makes work a lot more interesting.

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

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