What do you write?

Subject: What do you write?
From: "Tech Writer" <a -dot- technicalwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 11:27:18 -0700

I have been a tech writer for almost a year, having previously worked as a
software engineer in the same company. I love the change, but there is one
thing that bothers me about it. I expected to spend most of my time writing
user manuals and help files, as our software is sorely lacking in user
documentation. I firmly believe that documentation would improve the
quality of our product.

Unfortunately, I am more often assigned to write internal systems
documentation that is either ignored or simply filed away somewhere, mainly
because this is a small enough company where everyone already knows how to
perform their job from pre-existing documentation and notes. (The "head
cheese" who assigns these projects to me apparently doesn't see it that
way.) I'm afraid that my developer past is keeping me tied to those types
of projects. I really want to build writing experience and to
gain knowledge of many types of documents.

My question to you is this: On average, what percentage of your time to you
spend on user documentation versus internal system documentation? Also, how
much control do you have on the projects you get to work on?

Thanks for your input!


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