RE: Educational areas to pursue

Subject: RE: Educational areas to pursue
From: "Gilger.John" <JGilger -at- acresgaming -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 13:08:47 -0800

WARNING: This is a Dissenting Opinion not a flame :)

Previous responses to this question seem to presuppose that you want to continue your career as only a software documentation guru. There is nothing wrong with that, and if you like it - Great!

However, there ARE other writing "genres" that are interesting and profitable. One area that has been mentioned in passing is marcomm, or writing marketing copy. This is a broad area encompassing diverse documentation such as ad copy, brochures, proposals, grants, web content, annual reports, policy manuals, procedures, sales letters, and direct marketing packages.

There are even a few people on this list that write technical docs about something other than software.

If you are tired of writing about code, user interfaces, and all the other minutiae of technical documentation and tired of dealing with geeky SMEs, you can explore these other areas. You might want to make a friend or two in the marketing department and volunteer to help out on a project to get the feel for it.

There are courses available to learn copywriting and other "business writing" so don't just restrict you educational pursuits to the software world.

If you are comfortable writing in a variety of "genres", it will expand your prospective opportunities. The "dot bomb" collapse might have dried up a lot of TW opportunities in the Silicon Valley, but there are other businesses there that still need good writers in their marketing departments, for instance.

A nickel's worth of free advice to think about.

John Gilger
Senior Technical Writer
Acres Gaming
Las Vegas, NV


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