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Subject:Re: What Are Writing Skills? From:Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 08 Mar 2005 23:33:00 -0700
I know an engineer who thinks he's also a great technical writer. This
engineer was also a decent bass player, former standup comedian and
excellent firmware writer. Since he was a good musician and an
excellent engineer, he surmised he could be a great at anything,
including technical writing. After all, most of the technical writers
he encountered previously were English majors who took a technical
writing elective, or journalists in need of better paying jobs, neither
of which had the detailed technical or engineering background required
to accurately describe the products he was developing, and he did get a
"B" in freshman English. The end result was the engineer wrote and
edited his own material, published it in print and to the web, and
nobody used it because it was garbage. Ironically, it was only after a
real technical writer joined the company and was able to work his magic,
did people (management and customers alike) realized that their
musician/comedian/engineer was nothing more than a hack writer whose
arrogance didn't match his abilities. Not all engineers are like this
one, but then again, not all writers are only interested in pleasing the
boss. Some of us, however, are strong enough to show the boss there is
a better way and as a result of our magic, both the boss and the company
look better. Unfortunately, there are other writers who are convinced
that creating a good piece of work is akin to working on the assembly
line at the Rouge Plant in Michigan. Oh well, I guess it takes all
kinds of people to make this big crazy world keep spinning.
Al Geist, Geist Associates
From Concept to Completion
Technical Writing, Online Help Applications, Marketing Collateral, Web
Design, Award Winning Video, Professional Photography
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
"When the situation is absolutely hopeless, you have nothing to worry
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