Re: Creative Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Creative Technical Writing
From: John Posada <john -at- tdandw -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 21:54:49 -0700

The bad way to work a plan is to create the plan, then stick to that plan
without deviation, saying...sorry, it's not in the plan.
The good way, which I just went through for the project I mentioned is that
the plan gets modified as the project evolves. It allows for change,
sometimes daily. (Thankgod I only have to submit my revisions once a week,
not daily) It also allows for creativity AS LONG as it has a positive
impact to the parts that proceed it, not just for the sake of "it would be

I was discussing this with my boss yesterday. His feeling, and I agree, is
that since you cannot make factors not under your control around you conform
to your requirements, your requirements must react to the factors around
you. Sometimes something you were going to do later can be moved up at the
same time something you were going to do sooner can be moved back. Sometimes
the introduction of something new has the result of eliminating 2-3
somethings you were to do later. Result is zero or positive change at the

> > BTW...I know there are going to be those who react to this emotionally.
> > "Plan? Plan? I don need no steeeenkin plan. I'm experienced and it will
> > stifle my creativity" That's fine. I expect it.
> Ever notice that the people who so deeply desire some "creative job" are
> first ones to jump on the "let's plan everything into the ground"
> When I was in college one of my English professors took us to the art
> for an assignment. We were supposed to write an essay about a work of art.
> While all the other sheep, er, I mean students, stood in front of
paintings and
> Planning is fine, but you can't plan for creativity. Its either there or
> isn't. And you can't follow the rules all the time and play by a safe, and

Actually, you can plan for creativity. Include regular milestones in the
plan for looking at where you are, where you should be, and where you'd like
to go from there, keeping the end-point in sight. Sometimes that means a
considerable amount of the plan from that point get's modified, but that is
allowed and infact, encouraged.

> comfy plan and be creative. The two concepts are just not compatible.

Plans shouldn't be comfy. It needs to be looked at all the time to see how
things are deviating, and if the deviation is positive, embrace it. After
all, it's a plan of action...not a series of steps.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
john -at- tdandw -dot- com

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Re: Creative Technical Writing: From: Andrew Plato

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