RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers

Subject: RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 07:01:39 -0700 (PDT)


--- Goober &lt;techcommgoober -at- yahoo -dot- com&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &gt; Nothing is so simple as to be boiled down to one
&gt; &gt; thought, but it does occur
&gt; &gt; that we seem to suffer from a lack of PR and
&gt; &gt; education about our contributions.
&gt;
&gt; Maybe all the folks over at the STC should actually
&gt; start marketing the profession OUTSIDE the profession,
&gt; as it should have been doing in the first place.

Hi, guys...been watching this thread...if I step on any toes, sorry.

&lt;rant&gt;
I don't think we have a problem with them knowing we exist...infact,
part of the rate/credential/out of work problem that we have is
because EVERYONE knows we exist...everyone with a copy of Word....or
RoboHelp, who read the article in Redbook a couple of years ago that
said we are one of the 10 best jobs.

What orgs such as STC and the PR should be pushing is the value
between someone with the skill, experience, aptitude, and motivation
to be a professional technical writer that can deliver and someone,
who as Ed pointed out, is a failed something else and has backed into
technical writing because even when taking a small portion of the
normal rate still is making more than WalMart.

This problem comes from many directions...most of us are familiar
with eHelp's adverts that pretty much said that armed only with a
copy of RoboHelp, any developer can create a full-blown help
application in 70 minutes. While WE know it is marketing-speak,
others don't and that doesn't help us to be valuable for what we
know...it says we are valuable because we know how to use a tool that
isn't our brain and if you have the tool, you can be valuable too. We
see companies rejecting 15-year veterans but using admin assistants
because they can type. We see posters on this list with the following
question...&#34;I've been asked to create an installation
manual...know how I can find an example from the Internet so I can
see what one looks like?&#34;

On the other hand, it is because management has seen so many useless
writers that they think they are typical and the result is bonus
exclusion, reduced respect, ommission from core development circles,
etc. ...BTW...if you ever posted such a basic question when you
should have known the answer, your management is aware of your basic
lack of knowledge...you aren't hiding it from them.

We don't get disrespect because we haven't earned respect...we get
disrespect because we've EARNED disrespect. THAT is the problem with
those who are taking low rates...they don't lower the bar on
rates...they lower the bar on skills...they allow the useless writer
to compete for position that they have no business getting near and
letting them in in the first place. When you take a low rate, you are
telling the employer that you don't think you are worth more than
them...and who should know but you?

They see that many of us are only taking up desk space and refuse to
believe that a &#34;real&#34; technical writer can save their butt in
so many ways.

Up until recently, I was against credentials...I'm not so sure now. I
still believe they wouldn't make me a better writer...what they would
do is show that &#34;dues were paid&#34; and perhaps filter out the
&#34;don't-really-wanna-be-a-writer&#34; who is only do this until
something better, that they enjoy, comes along.

Yes...I'm between contracts...have been about 5 weeks. I get
contacted at least once a day by agencies...However, I also refuse to
consider positions below a certain rate...not a high rate, but a
reasonable rate...not so much because I cannot live on less, but for
two reasons.

1) Principle...when the field was such that I had agencies begging me
to interview, I asked for decent rates but refused to soak them, now,
I expect decent rates but refuse to be soaked.

2) Value...at my normal rate, I'm a good business value..even in this
economy...with no supervision, I deliver a better product than
expected with no fuss, muss, or missed deadlines.

OTOH, I'm not just taking this stance and feeling sorry for
myself...there are two paths I can take...continue to take that
position and feel sorry for myself, or direct myself to a type of
writing where the rates are still high and the skill very much in
demand..CFR21Part11, cGMP, GAMP, Validation, etc (if you don't know
what they are, look them up...they are not for the faint of heart)
However, it is because of this that I'll be contributing less/lurking
more on this list and starting to hang out more on the Yahoo group
list &#34;21cfrpart11&#34;...though on that list, I'm a rookie and
will only be lurking for quite a while.
&lt;/rant&gt;

&lt;editorial&gt;
BTW...that list is VERY moderated...the moderator actually edits some
posts and trash-cans others...but it is also one of the most
informative and on-topic trade lists I've ever seen...NO OT ALLOWED.
It's pretty good....probably what Eric would like this list to be if
it wasn't for those who would have nothing to contribute if it wasn't
subjective tripe rather than objective substance.
&lt;/editorial&gt;

=====
John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
...and everything...is...42
--- Deep Thought
-----------------------------------------------
"Will work for money"
Resume: http://www.tdandw.com/Resume_Posada_050502.doc
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers: From: Goober

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