RE: Questions about the Technical Writing field

Subject: RE: Questions about the Technical Writing field
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 02:01:57 -0400

::: 1. How/why did you become a professional writer?

Structural analysis of trusses using varied connections to various
vertical support structures DID NOT like me very much. *LOL* I went to
college to study architorture and fell back on my strengths as a writer
after my third semester.

::: 2. What is your job title? job description?

Technical Communicator. My job is to make stuff understandable.

::: 3. What percentage of your time is spent writing, editing,
::: or presenting?

About 15% to each. The other 55% is made up of meetings, planning,
designing, and thinking.

::: 4. What types of writing, editing, and presenting do you do?

Whatever's needed. Soup to nuts.

::: 5. Who are your audiences and what are their needs?

I don't want to make this a 1000+ page e-mail. ;)

::: 6. What things do your audiences expect from your documents or
::: presentations?

Clear, concise, helpful info.

::: 7. What is your biggest writing-related challenge on the job?

Gathering the right info in a timely manner. That's the biggest part of
the job, and is almost always harder than it seems.

::: 8. What about deadlines? How do they influence the way
::: your write on the job?

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
*lol* Deadlines are planned and agreed to. They aren't just handed to me
(usually, anymore). I do my best to provide the best deliverable in the
time agreed upon, and having agreements with those I need to interact
with helps.

::: 9. What standard and predictable processes (writing techniques,
::: organizational templates, heuristics for brainstorming,
::: etc.), if any, do you
::: employ in profession-related writing?

I keep a 20-round Nerf machine gun in my office.

::: 10. What are the frustrations/rewards of your work?


::: 11. What advice do you have for students?

Flush the lines nightly and keep ice on the cold plate.

Information Design & Development Professional
tel/fax: 518.371.1867
wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com

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Questions about the Technical Writing field: From: jumays

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