Re: Just can't help myself

Subject: Re: Just can't help myself
From: Martin Bosworth <martinhbosworth -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 16:45:15 -0400

I tend to agree with Harry and Kathleen on this issue.

In my previous job, I was nothing more than a glorified editor. I
never got to write any of the reports, test any of the products, or
even do any serious revisions beyond the most basic grammar and
spelling. Then I made them into PDF's and posted them on the Web. It
sucked, I hated it, and I was glad to be gone.

In this job, I actually have the title "Technical Writer". I get to
design the user guides, seriously edit and revise content, make
recommendations as to development, etc. I don't have the tools or the
professional respect that many of the senior folks on this list
do--hell, I don't even have Visio 2003 on my machine yet, though I
requested it for when I get my actual office desktop set up. : ) But I
have the instinct to know what works and what doesn't, so when I
integrate the developers' work with my own revisions, I don't get a
lot of screaming and whining about how it's not my job. They actually
WANT my help, and WANT me to contribute. It's a wonderful feeling.

Maybe I'm not doing data flow diagrams, business analyses, studies of
workflow processes--yet. But in my view, I'm doing what a tech writer
is supposed to do: Taking technical information and developing it into
a format that addresses the needs of the audience, and makes the
information accessible to users of all levels.

Your mileage may vary, but as a relative newbie to the craft, I wanted
to express that sometimes work like this is good for people at my
level. Four years from now, I'll be ready for bigger challenges...and
better pay, I'm sure. :)

Martin H. Bosworth
Technical Writer, Telemedicine Directorate
Walter Reed Army Medical Center (
Writer/Editor, (


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Re: Just can't help myself: From: HBacheler

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