Re: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?

Subject: Re: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:51:22 -0800 (PST)


"Nutting, John" wrote

> A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

A little knowledge in the hands of a moron is a dangerous thing. That's why you
have to go beyond just "a little knowledge" and have a deep, intimate
understanding of your subject matter. Yes, a tech writer who can only scratch
the surface with a tiny bit of knowledge will usually make an ass out of
themselves and produce crappy documentation.

>A good writer can write about ANYTHING
> providing they get their hands dirty, know their audience, throw out what
> they know and start at the bottom and ask questions....you get the idea.

Yes...I get the idea. You want people to believe that ignorance is an asset to
technical writers. And you're wrong. A tech writer who is ignorant of the
subject matter will consistently produce lower quality documentation than a
writer who isn't. No amount of communications training, process methodologies,
and dedication to the reader can overcome that.

Good sports writers are good writers because they are passionate about sports.
Not because they merely sit there and watch the games. They get into those
games, the personalities, and the dynamics of the games. Their passion (and
knowledge of the games) is what makes them capable writers. Not a well honed
method of game watching.

Andrew Plato

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