RE: on technical writers

Subject: RE: on technical writers
From: Geoff Purchase <Geoff -dot- Purchase -at- ReTechGlobal -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 14:44:49 +1000

|Is there anyone who WAS writing and selling creatively, who moved into
|technical writing as a new challenge and to earn a sustainable
|wage from
|their writing skills (poets don't earn money - just kudos and
|And if you are out there - what is your take on the field of technical
|writing - and what it means to be a technical writer?
|regards and thanks,

Well, I've worked with one in the past(previous employer) and while she was
a very nice person, she wasn't a very good tech writer. I suspect the
agency that placed her didn't know/care about the difference between
'romance' and 'technical'. Her work suffered from many things, the two
major problems being excessively descriptive text - beautiful, exquisite and
delightful are not terms I've often(ever?) used in a user manual,, and her
inability to comprehend the basics of Word - templates, styles, numbering,
lists, spell-checking etc. I suspect she had just joined the empty-nest
brigade and was trying to re-enter the workforce.

We outsourced the user manual to 'super-big global mega-corp' because I was
too busy. The 'super-big global mega-corp' hired a consultant to write the
user manual. The consultant (unpublished romance writer) wrote the manual
with a great deal of technical assistance from me. My boss reviewed it and
asked me if it could be cleaned up. I reviewed it and threw it out. I
re-wrote it from scratch. I was/am still polite to her - aren't you proud
of me :-).


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