RE: E: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers

Subject: RE: E: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:33:05 -0400

On Behalf Of tom -dot- green -at- iwon -dot- com opined:

> In reading these shared experiences with ADD/ADHD, I can only
> say that I have had these same issues such as, lots of
> paperwork, time management, concentration and missed details
> but I don't think I need to be diagnosed with some sort of
> mental condition that qualifies me for some new drugs. I do
> believe in "better living through chemistry" but I also
> believe that just a little more discipline on my part will
> help get my job more organized. I am probably minimizing
> someone's truly bonifide condition and for that I apologize,
> but I just don't see how lack of concentration can be a
> medical condition.
> Now, you may ignaite the flames.

You mean like toasting your toes for writing "ignaite"? <gdr&h>

ADD aside, a number of conditions can make it literally
impossible for a person to concentrate on endless niggling
details. A headache will do it for me. I can have rather
substantial pains in other parts of my body and still be
able to perform mental work, but a headache is somehow
just too close to me. It's the difference between "that toe
really hurts" and "*I* really hurt". For many people,
low blood sugar throws their ability to concentrate.
Willpower may keep your eyes open and pointed toward the
page, but it can't make you notice things that don't
trip the fuzzy threshold.

If you can accept that somebody like Peter D'Adamo might
have at least a kernel of truth in his theories, millions
of people might be constantly "off their game" just because
they're eating wheat, corn, and a few other things that
disagree with their bodies (those of us with blood type O or B).

You'd think that that would be improving, lately, as
the low-carb notion sweeps the dieting world (which
accounts for about half of all North Americans, among
others and thus for a huge chunk of our audience).
But if D'Adamo and others are correct, that just means
that the people who naturally thrive on low-carb eating
would be feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for
a change (able to concentrate on our docs), but
all the people who naturally thrive on grains and
carbs would now be off their feed and distracted by
sluggishness and pains as they try to force themselves
into the latest popular eating style that just isn't
made for them.

There's not much that we can do about that sort of
thing, other than be aware of it and minimize its
effects on our own ability to do mental work... this
writing stuff is mental work, still, isn't it? :-)

All we can do is to make our stuff as accessible and
usable as possible -- to quote Chuck Martin "They need
to know how to get their task done. Now.
The docs have to be designed so users get the information
they need, when they need it."

As foggy/fuzzy as our readers' heads might be, the easier
we make their task, the better we've done our jobs.
Big fonts... that's the ticket!


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