Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Subject: Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 16:53:26 -0700

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> No, if you have a driver's license it doesn't automatically mean
> you can just take an Indy car out. Someone with years of
> experience racing Indy cars can't just jump behind the controls
> of a combine harvester or the NASA Crawler, either. But it's
> all still "driving."
>
> The distinction being described here is merely the difference
> between two highly specialized forms of very technical writing.
> No, I wouldn't argue that anyone with experience as a "technical
> writer" can easily make a jump to writing business or finance
> documentation or vice versa, but there are any number of types
> of science, engineering, medical, etc., writing that also require
> highly specialized knowledge and backgrounds to work at their
> most advanced levels as well.
>
> What I see happening in this discussion is that there are a lot
> of people here who seem to believe that technical writers can
> easily jump from any "technical" subject to any other, so any

As contractor, my bread-n-butter can depend on being able to jump and
high. I get a kick out of changing jobs, but absolutely, I've paid the
dues, hopefully all of them if such a condition even exists, to have the
title Technical Writer, and I value it too much to misrepresent it as my
qualification for doing just any technical writing work.

I think maybe this lesson comes with paying the hard dues, which are not
the kind that fold.

> subject that is sufficiently different from what they do, have
> done or can do that they can't make that easy jump must not
> be "technical writing" simply because they can't do it.

There be business writing.


Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
-
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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Lauren
Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Ned Bedinger
Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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