RE: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?

Subject: RE: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:20:54 +0100

I don't want to blame bad teachers or bad journalism or the overly
casual approach to written communications today, because I think there
is still room for good technical writing to be taken seriously and
rewarded accordingly.

I'd love to agree, but really, where? Where is writing taken seriously?

The fact of the matter is this: when it comes to writing, most people are terrible. I mean really, really terrible. There - I said it. Shoot me.

Unfortunately, the other thing these people are terrible at is acknowledging their mistakes. They see even slight revisions as tremendous affronts to their authority and intellect. Whilst they can accept their limitations in, say, maths, or the shortcomings of their technical knowledge, being told their prose needs work makes them very uncomfortable. Makes them very defensive. And defensive people respond to criticism badly - first by first dismissing it, then marginalizing the critic and removing them from the process. Because people just don't like to feel bad about themselves.

And until we find a way to convince people they need the help, we will never have a response to that golden oldie from our bosses, "Anyone can write".

On 2012-06-12 23:26, Kat Kuvinka wrote:

As such, it impacts our jobs in that fewer people seem to view technical
writers as a profession and as worth any money. After all, everyone learned
to write in third grade.

The competition among writers to fill the need for published material (news
articles, use guides, technical documentation, and so on) has become such
that we see ads such as "Content writers wanted - $1 page" and "Technical
writer needed - $13/hour" more often.


I have mixed feelings here. I became a technical writer because I did
not want to be a programmer. I was one of those who cashed in on the
boom, but I am still here and still learning and still excited about
the profession. So...as more people became aware of the profession in
the 80s and 90s and it *was* worth more money, it was somewhat brought
down by a lot of bad technical writing.






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Follow-Ups:

References:
What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?: From: William Sherman
RE: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?: From: Kat Kuvinka

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