Re: What Are Writing Skills?

Subject: Re: What Are Writing Skills?
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 20:28:33 -0800

And I could not agree with it more. All of the best writers I've ever
had working for me started out as engineers, technicians, chemists,
biologists, etc. And people who can write well are really not all
that hard to find; once upon a time you couldn't get out of high school
in this country without a reasonably good grasp of English grammar
and composition, much less an engineering college. I'd be willing to
bet that I could take any engineer or technically trained person over
the age of 40 and turn him or her into a reasonably competent
tech writer in his or her field in about 6-8 weeks.

As far as the "capital-W Writers" are concerned, I won't go so far as
to say that they all share this inordinate fascination for warm fuzzies, but it does seem to be more of an occupational hazard for a certain type of writer who seems to wish he or she was really writing the next Great American Novel. During the years I used to get about a dozen resumes a week from folks like that, and every one of them I have ever had to manage I eventually had to pull aside and counsel to stop fussing over things like "awkward grammar" and "repeated phrasing" and get on with the job of getting under the hood of whatever was being documented. I haven't seen much of these folks in at least two years now.
I have no idea where they've all gone.

Gene Kim-Eng

"Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com> wrote in message news:...

I could not disagree more with this premise. Good writing--good communication--is not a skill that is either easily taught or easily learned.

But what offends me the most is the assumptions that "a capital-W Writer will most often work for warm fuzzies." The goal of good writing, of good technical writing, is to help readers reach their goals. Or on an even higher and more important level, to ensure reader (read: user) happiness. Good (technical) writers are proud of work that accomplishes this goal, but have no ego that stands in the way of others' contributions and input to help reach that goal.

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

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