Re: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes

Subject: Re: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes
From: "Char James-Tanny" <charjtf -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 16:18:12 -0400

> Oh, boy, another go-round on the "Do technical writers feel like they've sold
> out?" question. Haven't we beaten this one to death yet?

Obviously not to death ;-)

> And it's also irksome that several of the questions specifically refer to
> technical writers who work for IT departments. I've been doing technical
> writing in the electronics, computer, and telecomm industries for more
> than two decades, but I have never worked for an IT department. And
> the tech writers writing for dozens of non-computer industries are even
> farther removed from IT departments.

I wonder where the stereotypes are coming from (or if I'm just that
far from the norm). I'm not bored, my creativity isn't stifled, I may
or may not do a lot of writing (depends on what needs to be done).
Experience helps but I don't think you need a job in tech comm to get
a job in tech comm. I'm never considered a second-class citizen (but
I'm a consultant). I definitely haven't sold out...I never wanted to
publish the Great American Novel and I've already written two books
and co-written another. Other people make enough money to support
their families in various writing careers (but seriously, these days,
how many families survive well on one income?).

You don't have to know a lot of tools to break into tech comm, but you
should know the technologies related to what you want to do. While
many tech writers are introverts, they aren't necessarily isolated,
boring, or geeks. And keeping up with what's new happens in a lot of
professions...I'm very glad my dentist takes time to keep up with the
latest techniques! (And my hairdresser goes to classes every month.)

Char James-Tanny ~ JTF Associates, Inc. ~
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Contact me directly (CharJT at helpstuff dot com) with business inquiries.
Microsoft Help MVP since 2002
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Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes: From: Fred Ridder

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