RE: "Tech writers" are not "tech writers"

Subject: RE: "Tech writers" are not "tech writers"
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
To: "'Dori Green'" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 13:27:40 -0700

> -----Original Message-----
> Behalf Of Dori Green

> When people ask (and they sometimes do), I explain that I
> translate Engineeringese, Computerese, Educationese, and
> Managementese into English that anybody can understand.
> "Oooohhhh!" they say, a visible lightbulb appearing above
> their crown chakras. "Why yes, there must be a whole bunch
> of people who do that sort of thing, never much thought about
> it before."

I say, "I translate geek." I do get annoyed when people think writing is so
easy that anyone can do it. "We have all of our stuff documented, we just
need somebody to fix it up a little." I think to myself, "Do you mean,
'make it intelligible'? Sometimes those kinds of documents require a
re-write that takes longer than writing from scratch." I'll also hear,
"Well we can do this, but none of our people have time to do it." Like it's
easy or something.

> If I had known that this profession existed when I was 8
> years old, I would have put "technical" in front of "writer"
> when that dumb "what do you want to be" question came up. I
> didn't know, so I just said "writer". When I didn't say
> "veterinarian".

I was obsessed with writing from like three or so and was eager to learn how
to write. I don't think that my obsession for writing has faded. I didn't
think that a job as a writer was possible and I said that I wanted to be a
veteranian. At some point, I asked my mother if it was possible to get a
regular day job as a writer and she told me that I could be a copywriter. I
thought "copyright," so I asked what they did and she said they write ad
copy. Well I didn't want to do that and I kept looking for other jobs that
would let me write. I accidentally discovered technical writing and I still
didn't believe it was a good job until recruiters started to get excited
about the fact that I could write.

> Now I'm a vet (gotta be these days if you have livestock;
> there is never an emergency when the official doctor isn't
> already out on a 4-hour crisis call), farmer, herbalist,
> poet, writer, process engineer, project manager, employee
> counselor, and pretty good cheesemaker if I do say so myself.

I doctor my pets and I occasionally rescue birds, my garden is wilting, but
I did make a pie out apricots from my tree. I make good pies.

> I'm also starting to write and sell photographs and articles
> to magazines, and to write more about technology. There's a
> book or a pony in this pile somewhere.

There's the optimistic spirit. I got as far as getting the "Writer's
Market" with an online subscription, but I'm not getting very far on
submitting anything.

I did recently buy "Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul." That is a nice
little book. The stories run the gamut of emotions and some are funny.
There's one story from a writer that talks about his first writing
assignment as a teenager that required using a typewriter. The typewriter
that the writer's dad scrounged up was missing the letter "e." But he
overcame this hurdle and made a career out of writing. I think the book is
inspirational for anyone that enjoys writing.



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RE: "Tech writers" are not "tech writers": From: Dori Green

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