Re: What tech writers "do"

Subject: Re: What tech writers "do"
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2006 08:06:06 -0500

I think there's an aspect of this question that has eluded folks so far (although perhaps someone touched on it and I just missed it):

An individual tech writer is unlikely to be responsible for all of the different types of deliverables listed so far, and an individual tech writer is unlikely to be versed in all of the types of activity listed so far. Rather, what an individual tech writer _does_ is _any or all_ of the listed tasks, over the course of a career.

I only mention this because I can imagine someone listening to the variety of things tech writers do and being discouraged from ever starting on the path to becoming one. And I can imagine someone else listening to the variety of things tech writers do and trying to hire one person to do it all. Both would be making a false assumption.

Tech writers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are capable of doing fairly routine tasks, in a consistent way, year after year--and nothing more. Others are capable of absorbing and digesting new technologies and new organizational paradigms about as fast as the brain absorbs caffeine. And most of us fall somewhere in between, finding it a surmountable challenge to shift into a new aspect of the field every now and then but content to remain in a comfort zone most of the time.

The point, then, is that tech writers have, to some extent, a _choice_ among many possible areas in which to specialize as well as a choice to explore additional areas. That is different from the presumption that we are all expert in the many diverse kinds of information massage that fall under the rubric "technical writing."



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RE: What tech writers "do": From: egalite

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