RE: on technical writers

Subject: RE: on technical writers
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 11:51:40 -0000

Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes inquires:
>>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 bacchanalian
charm....).<<

<g> Sadly true... I was writing creatively (from the age of 14) though
selling was ALWAYS a problem. (I worked out once that over five years I had
earned in total less than £200...) Still, while I do have half-finished
novels and stories tucked away in my hard disc, I have some finished ones,
too.

>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?

It's made me a better writer. It's made me MUCH more conscious of word
choice, of tense, of grammatical structure. There are differences in
technique and voice between writing a story and writing a manual, but that
is just a learned skill - and a writer who cannot learn new writing skills
is (IMNSHO) not a good writer. (And there are other skills besides writing
that it is necessary to learn, but I do have a degree in Computing, which
gives me the basic technical background.) And, of course, technical writing
pays MUCH better. <g>

But then, since I first began to "write creatively", my goal was to be able
to perceive in my mind's eye what I wanted to write about, and describe that
so that the reader could also perceive it. And isn't that what most
technical writers have to do? <g>

Jane Carnall
The writers all stand around a cauldron chanting and occasionally tossing in
a small unfinished novel. Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine,
and mine alone. Apologies for the long additional sig: it is added
automatically and outwith my control.










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Follow-Ups:

References:
on technical writers: From: Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)

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