Re: What Are Writing Skills?

Subject: Re: What Are Writing Skills?
From: "Jerry Muelver" <jerry -at- hytext -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 21:42:08 -0600

----- Original Message ----- From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>

Sorry Jerry, Chuck's right on this one. Having work as and with engineers for many years, most can't and don't want to write. However, with that said, a good technical writer should have some foundation in the field in which they are writing. An electronics hardware technical writer trying to develop SOPs for a HMO would be as out-of-water as an RF engineer trying to document a GUI for CRM package. The difference is, you won't need to teach the electronics hardware writer how to create documentation.

My two-cents...and yes, being a writer for over 30 years and hearing this same writer-engineer argument for the last 29 of them makes me a bit biased.


Al, note that my point was I could make a writer out an engineer easier than I could make an engineer out of a writer. Maybe I've been dealing with a different class of engineers since 1966 than you have, but I've seen a lot more writers with unrecoverable technical inadequacies than technicians with uncorrectable writing inadequacies. Given some decent examples, sensible templates, and a coach who understands the communication process -- not just doc specs, but the entire process -- it's easier to get usable documentation out of engineeers than it is to take your skilled electronics hardware technical writer and regear him to develop SOPs for an HMO. If it weren't you would have a great many more multi-specialty tech writers than there are now.

---- jerry


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Re: What Are Writing Skills?: From: Al Geist

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