Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?

Subject: Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 12:33:23 -0400

Peter Neilson wrote:

Perhaps it would be good to end discussion of this stupid topic and
return to the main business at hand, which is How Do I Convince Possible Clients That They Need Tech Writing and that they need *me* to do it
for them?

You can't. An axiom of psychotherapy is that you cannot cure a successful narcissist; and I think that applies to this situation, unfortunately.

A couple of lifetimes and a marriage ago, when my first wife and I were starting to grow organic vegetables for market, we got into a conversation with a couple who had been growing vegetables for many years. The insight they shared was that people will do everything they can to wheedle the price down on zucchini or peppers, but they don't think twice about paying whatever you care to charge for an ornamental houseplant. We discovered that the same truth applied to the various non-food herbal products we started making and we eventually quit selling vegetables altogether.

How does that lesson apply to your situation? Bear with me a moment longer.

A year and a half or so ago, I hung out my freelance shingle, expecting to stay relatively busy with tech writing contracts. I've gotten a couple, but the bulk of my income at this point comes from self-publishing authors who need editing and production help. I get to apply a great deal of what I learned as a tech writer (much of it from techwr-l), and it's a fun way to make a living. But, as with houseplants and herb wreaths, the fact is that people will gladly pay what I want to charge so that they can put one more memoir out in the world; they just won't part with company money on something as necessary as technical writing.

Go figure.

Anyway, my suggestion is to find other ways to apply what you know about tech writing, preferably in areas that are completely non-essential, because that seems to be where the money is.

Dick, who, like ol' man river, just keeps bloggin' along at


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: cluetrain: From: Combs, Richard
Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?: From: Peter Neilson

Previous by Author: Re: Converting embedded Word Images
Next by Author: Re: Standard Docset for Hardware/Software Products?
Previous by Thread: Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?
Next by Thread: Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads